There are plenty of inspiring rags-to-riches stories that have been written and rewritten over time. They're great because these people had average lifestyles growing up, but worked hard or believed in their dreams enough to open doors for them.

Some of these stories have been turned into books and movies, and they give us hope that we, too, can achieve greatness if we tried.

We've all heard success stories about celebrities like Oprah, 50 Cent, J.K. Rowling, and some other prominent people who have opted out of the celebrity lifestyle. Here, we have a list of inspiring people whom you may have never even known existed:

Ursula Burns
Chairman And CEO Of Xerox

Raised by her single mother, who ran a daycare out of their apartment in the housing projects to make more money, one of the most terrifying events of Ursula Burns' childhood happened when she was only three-years old. A group of teenagers in her housing project shot and killed a 76-year old man for just $2.60. Although Burns was raised in this environment, she was determined not to let this define who she was going to be.

Burns knew that, from an early age, that education would be her way out. She knew she wanted to become an engineer from an early age, so she took this passion with her through graduate school at Columbia University. She started her career at Xerox in 1980 as an intern, and quickly worked her way up to oversee the engineering department.

Burns continued to rise to the top of the company, and soon became the first female CEO of Xerox in a time when it was almost unheard of. Her story reminds us that it doesn't matter where you come from, it's up to you to make an amazing life for yourself.

Li Ka-Shing
Hong Kong Business Mogul

Li Ka-Shing started working at the age of 14 in a plastics factory to support his family when his father died from tuberculosis. He dropped out of school, and was stuck in a plastics factory making watch bands for 16 hours a day.

There were times that got so bad, the family had to sell of the father's left over clothes. But Ka-Shing continued working in the plastics factory because it was the only way his family could survive.

But when he was 22, Ka-Shing decided it was time to make a change. He saved up enough money to start his own plastics company. His first success was plastic flowers, which he mainly sold to customers in Italy. With this, he grew his plastics company and expanded his business ventures at a rapid rate.

Ka-Shing is now one of the richest men in Asia, and has his hand in many different business ventures, as well as being the largest controller of transport containers in Asia. Through Li Ka-Shing, you know that even if you have no choice but to hold on to your current job, you'll one day be able to use it as a springboard to a life you know you deserve, if you just take action.

Do Won Chang
Creator And Founder Of Forever 21

When Do Won Chang and his wife moved to America, he did whatever it took to survive. He was a gas station attendant, janitor, and worked at a coffee shop - all at the same time! Times were tough, but when he saved up enough money, he started the store Fashion 21. When it started to do well, he changed the name to Forever 21. Now, the company has 480 stores worldwide, and revenues of $3 billion. Chan's estimate net worth is now $4 billion. Look at how much hard work and savings can help you create a foundation to doing something you really want to in future.

John Paul DeJoria
Creator And Founder Of Paul Mitchell

John Paul DeJoria started Paul Mitchell with his friend, a hairdresser, with only $700 - the only money they had. They didn’t even have the money to print color labels on their shampoo bottles, so they had print black and white labels. They couldn't get any investors or loans to start their business, so they were forced to build their business with all of their own money.

Times were even tougher for DeJoria, who had been kicked out of his house by his first wife. He sent his two-year old son to live with friends, and was forced to live out of his car. He also had to live off $2.50 a day. But with hope and prayer, the duo took their shampoo to different salons to sell their product.

DeJoria is probably really glad he made that sacrifice in the early days, because he is now worth $4 billion, and we bet his wife wished she never left him.

Les Brown
Famous Author And Motivational Speaker

Les Brown's life began in the housing projects of Miami, Florida. He was born in an abandoned building. His birth mother went crying to her neighbour, Mamie Brown, and begged her to adopt her baby. Brown accepted the baby into her heart and life, and though she didn't have the best education, she did the best she could to provide for her children by working as a cafeteria assistant.

But Les Brown's problems weren't just about money, the school system labeled him "educably mentally retarded." Fortunately, Brown and his family paid that no heed. With the help of one encouraging high school teacher, he graduated from high school and got a job as a radio DJ.

Brown then went on to be one of the world's most popular motivational speakers, always telling people, “If I could make it, anyone could make it.” He uses his story of early struggles to show people that anyone can come from the lowest of situations, and truly live a full and productive life. Les Brown is estimated to be worth anywhere from $15 to $25 million.