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Low Income People Can Succeed-Just Think Outside the Box-Some Noted Examples of Low Income People Who Obtained Success

Updated on May 9, 2019
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Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, noted psychologist, author, and motivational speaker came from a poor family.   However, THAT FACTOR did not stop him from succeeding.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, noted psychologist, author, and motivational speaker came from a poor family. However, THAT FACTOR did not stop him from succeeding.


Many highly influential and successful people came from very humble and/or lower socioeconomic conditions.
Many highly influential and successful people came from very humble and/or lower socioeconomic conditions.


Noted people who came from poor socioeconomic backgrounds include:  Mark Wahlberg
Noted people who came from poor socioeconomic backgrounds include: Mark Wahlberg
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Larry Winget
Larry Winget


Many poor children REFUSE to let their environment deter them from succeeding.They go against the odds, seeking ways to improve themselves academically to prepare themselves for future success.
Many poor children REFUSE to let their environment deter them from succeeding.They go against the odds, seeking ways to improve themselves academically to prepare themselves for future success.

If You Are Poor and Want to Succeed- Just Think Out Of The Box

Oprah Winfrey is an internationally renowned, beloved, and revered entertainment mogul who is considered one of the wealthiest women in the world. Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D, is known as the father of psychological motivation and spiritual teacher in addition to being a best selling author of at least twenty psychology books, DVDs, and CDs. Larry Winget is a best selling author and motivational speaker regarding self-help and career guidance. Mark Wahlberg is the executive producer of Entourage and Boardwalk Empire, two of the top hit series on HBO television network in addition to being one of Hollywood's top movie superstars and major power player.

What do these people have in common? Did they came from celebrated and wealthy families? No, all of them came from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Ms. Winfrey was born when her parents were teenagers and in her early childhood, was raised by her maternal grandmother in a poor area in rural Mississippi. Mr. Winget reported being so poor that when he was thirteen years old, one of his classmates chided him for having only one pair of jeans. Dr. Dyer spent his formative years in foster homes and orphanages and had to work to get anything that he wanted. Mr. Wahlberg's childhood was in the lower class Dorchester area of Massachusetts. However, all four celebrities overcame their lower socioeconomic backgrounds, defying conventional wisdom which states that lower class children cannot be inordinately successful.

They elected to think unconventionally and outside the box as to what they wanted from their lives. They refused to succumb to the rules of what lower socioeconomic income people were supposed to do i.e. they should never aspire to socioeconomic success beyond their class of origin. Lower socioeconomic income people are taught that the odds are against if they wish to get out of poverty. Lower socioeconomic income people are often told that dreaming to be successful is a total waste of time and they should just settle.

Conventional wisdom dictated the one's socioeconomic class is a parameter indicating future academic, economic, and career success. This same wisdom further mandated that people from lower socioeconomic classes usually ended up without higher education, dead end jobs, living from hand to mouth, and being one step away from unemployment and homelessness. In addition to the aforementioned, it dictated that your children and other progeny will most likely to be impoverished also. Conventional wisdom further assert that girls from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to have teenage pregnancies, marrying a man who was equally poor and uneducated thus either living on welfare or having a substandard job, remaining in poverty. Of course, there are children from lower socioeconomic families whose parents do not care about their education and nurturing, only viewing them as economic mascots to do their bidding.

There are many children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who elect to think beyond their socioeconomic circumstances and conditioning. Although their parents, peers, and relatives seldom or never encouraged them to appreciate school, develop a correct work ethic, nor obtain higher education, they chose to ignore their environmental admonition and viewed a better life for themselves beyond their impoverished homes and neighborhoods. Dr. Dyer reported that he visualized that he was going to be a doctor and a motivational speaker despite people saying that he would never overcome his lower socioeconomic circumstances.

They begin to read books, exposing them to worlds outside their socioeconomic purview. For example, Ms. Winfrey always said that books open the world to people outside of their environments, exposing them to what they can be and achieve. These children also had positive role models in teachers, coaches, ministers, and guidance counselors to guide them to academic and economic success.

Many impoverished children and adolescents adamantly refuse to let other people's stereotypes of who they are and what they could achieve based upon their socioeconomic background deter them. They know just that because they were born into a lower socioeconomic class, that situation is only a temporary one and as an adult, they can be whatever their hearts desire. Many children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds know that there is a broader world beyond their familial and neighborhood environment. Oftentimes, by working after school jobs, they see other socioeconomic lifestyles and venues. They use this experience to push themselves achieve academic and career success.

I attended school with a classmate who came from the impoverished area of Hell's Kitchen(now Clinton), New York City. She often worked after school to supplement her family's income. Nevertheless, she was an honor and a teacher saw her potential and decided to mentor her. She refused to let her lower socioeconomic background influence her into not succeeding and to settle for just anything. She subsequently won a scholarship to Fordham University. She currently is a Director of Social Work at a large institution. She thought unconventionally and outside the box about the outcome of her life and wanted outside beyond that was presented in her lower socioeconomic environment.

Many times, their lower socioeconomic backgrounds act as an impetus to achieve adult economic success. Many children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are often hungry to succeed and will not let anything deter them on the road to success. In fact, their lower socioeconomic backgrounds makes them stronger and able to withstand any so-called deterrent to adult success. Mr. Winget reported several times, that the remark made by his classmate regarding him only having one pair of jeans spurred him to economic and career success.

Ms. Winfrey stated that her maternal grandmother told her not to aspire to anything much and to get some good white people to work for. However, Ms. Winfrey stated that she ignored her maternal grandmother's admonitions and knew that she was destined for great success. Paradoxically, Ms. Winfrey remarked that she did get some get white people-to work FOR her!

In summation, being born into a lower socioeconomic background should never be used as an excuse not to achieve and accomplish one's dreams. The road may be daunting; however, one must devise unconventional methods in order to be successful. Many poor children find mentors regarding their academic success in teachers, guidance counselors, clergy, ministers, and other positive role models if not their parents.

Conversely, being born into a lower socioeconomic background is often an impetus to be more successful in life. Many children who are born into impoverished backgrounds observe their bleak socioeconomic environment and want something better for themselves when they got older. They use this environment to become avid students thus gaining scholarships. Many also have after school jobs to make their lives socioeconomically easier, using this experience to observe that there is life beyond their impoverished home environment. There are some impoverished children who use those after school jobs in order to pay for their future college tuition.

Many children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds adamantly refuse to let their negative surroundings which include parents, relatives, and peers deter them from succeeding. Oftentimes, such children visualize life beyond their impoverished beginnings. They begin to imagine that they are successful thus strategizing towards their eventual success. In other words, what is imagined with smart work and planning, can be achieved no matter what class origin a person comes from.

© 2010 Grace Marguerite Williams


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