Life is about taking the cards you’re dealt with, turning it around and still walking out the winner. You might not always be born into riches, you may not always be spoon-fed success and fame but you can always believe in yourself and make it big in your life. Whenever you doubt turning your dreams into reality remember that there are people amongst us who are living, breathing examples of those who have started small and made it big in their lives, through sheer hard work and determination.

Here are 13 such Indian celebrities who have made it big on their own.

1. The late Dhirubhai Ambani

A gas station attendant who didn’t let his circumstances dictate his destiny. Today, his name is amongst India’s most famous sons and one of world’s greatest entrepreneurs.

2. The late comedian Mehmood

A commoner who worked odd jobs as a driver and poultry seller before becoming one of India’s most iconic comic actors.

3. M.S. Dhoni

A young boy with a dream larger than his reach worked as a railway ticket collector before he became a country’s pride and India’s World Cup winning captain.

4. Rajinikanth

A simple bus conductor who became arguably the epitome of superstardom and one of the most famous names in Indian film history.

5. Akshay Kumar

He worked as a waiter cleaning tables while never giving up on his dream to one day chase down his dreams. Today, one word describes him – Khiladi – one of Bollywood’s most bankable stars.

6. Nawazuddin Siddiqui

He spent years working as a chemist and a watchman but Nawazuddin proved he is the perfect example of ‘dreams can come true if you never give up’. He is today one of the nation’s finest actors.

7. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Who could have thought that a man whose means of livelihood was knocking on doors selling vacuum cleaners would one day become one of Indian Cinema’s most influential directors.

8. Boman Irani

He worked as a waiter, room service staff and even an assistant in his mother’s bakery before becoming one of the busiest actors in Bollywood today.

9. The late Dev Anand

Today he’s an evergreen part of Indian Cinema whose name will forever be remembered. But there was a time when he was a simple clerk in the Censor Board Office earning peanuts.

10. Dilip Kumar

A fruit seller by the roadside whose life revolved around trying to earn enough money to sustain himself. But always looking ahead, always keeping in touch with his dreams, he never gave up and became one of Bollywood’s greatest acting legends.

11. Smriti Irani

She earned her sustenance scrubbing floors at a McDonald’s joint but she decided no matter what rules life had set for her, she was going to create her own. She went on to become one of TV’s most memorable characters and is currently a formidable name in Indian politics.

12. Johnny Walker

The great late Johnny Walker – A simple bus-conductor in Mumbai who became one of India’s most loved comedians.

13. Narendra Modi

A common man, selling chais for a living, who was born into a humble family with limited means kept his face up and stared in only one direction – ahead. Today, he is the Indian Prime Minister and one of the most talked about leaders internationally.

In the face of adversity when you curse your destiny or blame your fate, remember that if set your mind to making your dreams come true, there’s nothing that can stop you. No matter how small your beginnings are, you have it within yourself to reach somewhere in life.