Becoming a successful business owner or entrepreneur is about more than having good math skills or understanding of business practices. With 50 percent of all businesses closing their doors within the first five years and only approximately one-third of all businesses surviving past ten years, it requires a deep passion that sparks inspiration to keep moving forward and growing your company; something that these five people understand all too well.

Jim Koch, Founder of Samuel Adams

Jim Koch’s passion for everything beer stems from generations of family brewing. As a Harvard Business school graduate working as a consultant for Boston Beer Company, Jim channeled his lifelong passion for beer into his own label using the Austrian beer recipe that had been handed down from generation to generation by his family.

Since the European buyouts of Coors, Miller, and Budweiser Boston Beer company is the largest brewery in America; with Samuel Adams being one of its top selling products.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia (high-end outdoor clothing manufacturer)

Yvon Chouinard’s passion for climbing inspired him to buy a second-hand forge and begin making his own climbing equipment. Since then his passion for everything climbing has spread into the high-end outdoor clothing manufacturing business that in 2013 did $600 million in sales.

Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America

As a senior at Princeton University writing her thesis, Wendy Kopp saw a need for quality teachers in the inner city and poverty stricken neighborhood public schools.

It was her passion to provide every child with the opportunity to receive a quality education, and as such, she used her senior thesis to create the non-profit organization, Teach for America.

Since its organization, Teach for America has become a $229-million-per-year, not for profit organization that places some of America’s top graduates in teaching positions at schools that would not normally attract higher caliber instructors.

Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft

It is no secret that Bill Gates built his multi-billion dollar fortune through his passion for programming and computers. What you may not have heard, is that this passion for computer design and technology started much earlier in life as early in fact as the eighth grade where he designed early video games instead of going to math class.

Neha Gupta, founder of Empower Orphans

Neha’s family traditions incorporated a desire to help others as her family celebrated their birthdays by traveling to their native town in India to bring gifts, clothes, and food to the orphans.

Even at the age of nine in 2005, Neha could see that she wanted to help more orphans in India in a much broader manner. This drive to help others inspired Miss Gupta to establish the nonprofit organization, Empower Orphans; through selling homemade charms and putting on community fund-raising events.

Since its creation, Empower Orphans raised upwards of $1.6 million toward educational expenses and school books, as well as completed over 27 projects. These successful endeavors that were fueled by a passion for a cause earned Neha Gupta of America the, 2015 International Children’s Peace Prize.