While some entrepreneurs enjoy the accelerated version of success (think Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Tumblr’s David Karp), most business owners put in a lot of time and effort—and face a lot of rejection—before reaching their goals.

Read below about a few Dallas-based entrepreneurs whose hard work paid off. Remember, each of them started out just like you: with a goal and the determination to make it happen no matter what!

  • Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is no stranger to odd jobs, earning money any way he could. He also got a jumpstart on college, focusing on academics. He formed his own consulting business, and his career skyrocketed from there.

  • Evelyn Torres, CEO of Solaris Technologies, bridged the gap between being an employee and a business owner from her own garage. Her dedication to hard work and helping others is the key to her success, and her multimillion-dollar business continues to grow.

  • The President of Bottle Rocket Apps, Calvin Carter, heads a company that makes apps for big companies. He started his first business at age 10, after discovering his love of Apple Computers. The business only lasted a year and didn’t make much money, but it sparked his passion to run technology-based businesses.

  • Billionaire and entrepreneur Ross Perot watched his parents pour hard work into achieving success, and at a young age, he followed suit. He did anything he could to earn money, including selling Christmas cards and delivering newspapers. After serving in the Navy, he took a sales job with IBM and pitched a business idea to managers, which was rejected. Rather than giving up, Perot formed his own business that’s now worth billions of dollars.

  • In a city where fried Twinkies are a delicacy, Chris Dahlander beat the odds by founding and successfully expanding Snappy Salads. It took him awhile to get the support he needed to open up his first shop, but he persisted and now owns seven locations—with more on the way!

Think of businesses you like and research their founders. If any of them inspire you, consider learning more about them and letting their tactics guide you in your endeavors!

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