Today, almost everyone aims to become famous. With the rise in social media and its ease, there are many who manage to find fame overnight. However, all of our favorite celebrities and powerful people had to start somewhere in their life. Not everyone is born lucky or famous but these regular people who had to pay the bills with normal jobs like “working at McDonald’s”, are worth millions or even billions today. Here, we have gathered some amazing stories of 10 such people who had some worse jobs before becoming some of our favorite icons.
1. Taylor Swift – Praying Mantis Remover
The Country Music artist has won several Grammy Awards and is one of the most popular musical artists in the world today. Born on December 13, 1989, in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, life for her wasn’t always easy. Taylor loved singing at a young age and by age 11, she was writing and singing her own songs. However, not everyone was a big fan of her. When Taylor took her demo tape to Nashville, she was rejected by every record label in town. Her parents then moved the family to Hendersonville, Tennessee, because they believed that Taylor had a future in the music industry. In 2006, she released her single “Tim McGraw” and a self-titled debut album, which reached number 1 on the Top Country Albums and was at the top of the charts for 24 out of the next 91 weeks.
Before her life changed for the better, Taylor had an unusual job. Taylor and her family lived on a Christmas-tree farm where she also happened to work. From the age of five to ten, Taylor had the job of plucking praying mantis pods off of trees. In an interview with Esquire in 2014, she explained, “My job was picking the praying-mantis pods off of the trees, collecting them so that the bugs wouldn’t hatch inside people’s houses. The only reason that was my job was because I was too little to help lift trees.”. (source)
2. Pope Francis – Bouncer at a Nightclub
Today, Pope Francis is one of the most powerful men on Earth. It might be hard to believe but before becoming God’s enforcer, he worked as a nightclub bouncer. In 2013, Pope Francis told parishioners about some of the odd jobs he had undertaken before becoming the Pope. To his parishioners he revealed that in order to support himself, he worked as a janitor, sweeping floors, as a technician in a chemical lab, controlling the raw substances, and also as a bouncer. According to MSNBC, the Pope took the odd job while he was a student in Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. (source)
3. Warren Buffett – Newspaper Boy
Some people are born into wealth while others have to hustle their way to the top. Warren Buffet is one such person who understood at an early age that working hard is the only way to succeed in life. Buffet started working at the age of 6, selling gum and Coca-Cola around his neighborhood. He walked around with Juicy Fruit, Spearmint and Doublemint on a tray and sold them in packs of five for a nickel. If people came to him and demanded that they only wanted one, he would refuse to sell it to them. In his biography, he explains, “We don’t break up packs of gum — I mean, I’ve got my principles. I still, to this day, remember Mrs. Macoubrie saying she wanted one stick. They were a nickel and she wanted to spend a penny with me”.
At 13, he worked as a paperboy, waking up at 4:30 in the morning to deliver copies of The Washington Post. He then found a way to discover which houses had magazine subscriptions and based on their purchasing habits, he sold magazines on the side to make some extra money. By 15, Buffett was making $2,000 delivering papers. He then invested $1,200 of that in a 40-acre farm, which turned out to be a success. Since then, Buffet has been making smart decisions to become the third most richest person in the world today, with a net worth of $82.7 billion. (source)
4. Nicki Minaj – Red Lobster Waitress
Like many other famous artists, Nicki Minaj was also born to a poor family. In order to support her mother, Minaj did odd jobs such as customer-service representative and waitressing after school. She soon learned that she was not built to handle drama so decided to quit the customer service job. According to GQ Magazine, the “No Frauds” songstress waited tables at the popular chain restaurant Red Lobster during her high school years. However, after following a couple who had stolen her pen, and engaging in an argument with them, Minaj was fired for “discourtesy to customers”. “I chased a customer out of the restaurant once so I could give them the birdie and demand that she give me my pen back,” Minaj told Billboard. “I swear to God I was bad”. (source)
5. Beyoncé – Salon Floor Sweeper
It’s hard to imagine that someone as famous as Beyoncé had a tough childhood. The talented American singer-songwriter was born on September 4th, 1981, in Houston, Texas, and showed her talent at an early age. By age 7, she was a soloist in her Church’s choir. Her mother owned a salon, where little Beyoncé worked as a floor sweeper to earn money for herself. She also sang and put on shows for the customers to keep them entertained. Today, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has a net worth of $355 million, becoming America’s Richest Self-Made Women. Together with her husband Jay-Z, the couple is estimated to be worth $1.255 billion. (source)
6. Brad Pitt – Chicken Costume Wearer
Before becoming one of Hollywood’s most famous, Brad Pitt had to make a living by wearing a chicken costume for El Pollo Loco. Pitt wore the costume and waved at passing cars to promote the chicken sandwich shop along Sunset Boulevard. Today, he waves at his beloved fans who eagerly wait to get a glimpse of him. (source)
7. Matthew McConaughey – Armadillo Capturer
The first paying job Matthew McConaughey had before fame found him was raking the sand traps at Oak Forest Country Club in Longview, Texas. Every day, McConaughey had to rake about 77 sand traps if he wanted to get paid. In order to complete his quota by 7:30 am, McConaughey started working at 3:00 am. With the help of a headlamp, McConaughey achieved the task everyday until the greenskeeper asked him to start catching armadillos that were ravaging the grass. According to McConaughey, that was a fun job and he really enjoyed doing it. (source)
8. Jennifer Aniston – Bike Messenger
Before starring in Friends and becoming a popular face all around the world, Jennifer Aniston used to deliver packages by bike when she was a struggling actress in New York. In a press conference for the film Horrible Bosses, Aniston said being a bike messenger in New York City at age 19 was the toughest job she ever had. When her co-stars suggested that the image of her on a bike looked breathtaking, Aniston responded; “Not if you saw me riding the bike. My lowest moment was probably driving into a door that opened. I’m very uncoordinated and extraordinarily klutzy”. (source)
9. Megan Fox – Banana Costume Wearer
Megan Fox might be known for her roles in action movies such as the Transformers but did you know that before becoming an actress, she worked as a professional banana costume wearer? Fox worked at a smoothie shop in Florida, where she attended the register. However, on Fridays, she had to dress up as the fruit and stand by the end of the highway to attract customers. Although there were many other fruit costumes, her coworkers made her wear the banana one. (source)
10. Dwayne Johnson – Dish Washer
Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, is one of our favorite celebrities. He’s well known for his wrestling career and movies, as well as his charity work. When The Rock was still a pebble, at the gentle age of 13, he worked as a dishwasher from 3:00 to 11:30 p.m. Today, he’s one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood with an estimated net worth of $220 million. (source)