In the early 1980s, United States was going through some tough times, financially speaking. The then president, Donald Reagan, went on national television and announced the start of the financial crisis.
Chris Gardner, who back then was working as a sales representative for medical equipment, was watching the event from home. The crises had caused him to lose many clients. His wife was working in a laundry shop for many hours a day, trying to make ends meet. In the end, it didn’t work out for them, and the couple separated, with Gardner keeping custody of their only son.
As time went by, Gardner lost his job, as his financial problems seemed to be only getting worse, causing him to start selling his own blood to blood banks. He had been kicked out of the place where he was living, due to the fact that he wasn’t able to pay rent.
One day, he noticed a man driving a red Ferrari, who was looking for a parking spot. Gardner approached him, and said that he would give the man a free parking spot, if he would tell him what kind of work he was doing. The man replied that he was a broker ins a stocks company. It was then that Chris decided to take on this path, hoping to finally turn his life around. For 6 months, he worked without getting paid, as an intern stock broker.
During his time as an intern, he would always leave the job early to find a place for himself and his son to sleep, in the streets. Despite all these challenges, Chris was always very determined to make the most of his work. As a result, at the end of the training program, Chris was the only trainee selected to work for the company for a full-time job.
After a few years of working there, he moved to work with another company, where he was earning a higher salary. But even so, his ambition was growing more and more every day and he wanted to reach the top. In 1987, he founded his brokerage firm in Chicago, later renamed Christopher Gardner International Holdings, which became one of the leading companies to open markets overseas, especially in South Africa. Gardner made the most of every minute of his business, developing his personal rule – “Always be early.”
Nowadays, Chris Gardner is still earning lots of revenue from his 2006 autobiography, his personal memoirs, and from the movie adapted from his story, featuring Will Smith. Since then, he has published another book, defining some basic rules on how to combat homelessness and domestic violence.
He established a social services agency in Los Angeles, working to prevent violence against women and children, and is also involved in various projects in Chicago, offering employment and homelessness assistance to those In need.
The story of Chris Gardner, the so called “Pursuit of Happyness”, proves that no matter how many challenges life makes us go through, no matter how hard they can get, we can all get through and make it, only provided we’re able to rise as many times as needed, and fight for our goals, just as Chris did.