The   MMM   Coach
Description
Soichiro Honda





In 1938, Mr Soichiro Honda, was a poor student who had a dream of designing a piston ring that he would sell to and manufacture for Toyoto Corporation. Every day he would go to school, and all night long he would work on his design. He spent what little money he had on his project, and it still wasn’t finished.Finally he pawned his wife’s jewelery to continue.

After years of effort he finally designed the piston ring he was sure Toyota would buy. When he took it to them, they rejected it. He was sent back to school to suffer the humiliation of his teachers and friends, telling him what an idiot he was for designing such a ridiculous gadget.

Finally, after two more years, he refined his design, and Toyota actually bought it! In order to build his piston factory, Mr Honda needed concrete, but the Japanese government was gearing up for World War Two, so none was available. Once again, it looked as if his dream would die. He got together with his friends,and they worked around the clock trying different approaches until they found a new way to manufacture concrete. He built his factory and was finally able to produce his piston rings.

The story doesn’t end here.  During the war, the USA bombed his factory, destroying most of it. He rallied his employees and told them to watch where the bombers dropped their fuel cans. He then used the collected cans to help with the raw materials he needed in his manufacturing process, as the raw materials couldn’t be obtained in Japan. Finally an earthquake leveled his factory and he was forced to sell his piston operation to Toyota.

When the war ended, Japan was in total turmoil, petrol was so scarce, Mr Honda couldn’t even get enough petrol to drive his car to the market to buy food for his family. He then noticed a little motor he had, one which was the size and type to drive a traditional lawnmower, and he got the idea of hooking it up to his bicycle. In that moment, the first motorised bike was created. He drove it to and from the market, and pretty soon is friends were asking him to make some for them, too.

Shortly thereafter, he’d made so many “motorbikes” that he ran out of motors, so he decided to build a new factory to manufacture his own. But he had no money, and Japan was torn apart. How would he do it? He came up with the idea of writing a letter to every bicycle-shop in Japan, telling them about his cheap motorbike. Of the 18,000 bicycle-shop owners who received a letter, 3,000 gave Mr Honda money, and he manufactured his first shipment.

Unfortunately the motorbike was too big and bulky, and very few Japanese bought it. He decided to change his approach again, and stripped the bike down to make it much lighter and smaller. He called it The Cub, and it became an “overnight success,” winning Honda the Emperor’s Award. Today, Mr Honda’s company is one of the most successful in the world. All because Mr Honda never gave up on his dream or ambition.



Colonel Sanders








He was a broke, alone, 65 year-old looking at his first Social Security cheque for $105, his name? Colonel Sanders. He started thinking of ways to boost his income, but all he had was a chicken recipe that everyone who’d tasted it, seemed to like.If he sold his recipe to restaurants, that would barely pay his rent,could he sell the recipe and show restaurants how to cook the chicken properly,while taking a percentage of profits if business was increased due to his recipe? He went knocking on doors,telling each restaurant owner his idea, many just laughed in his face and told him to go and take his white suit with him.

Instead of giving up, after each refusal he focused on how to approach the next restaurant with a different sales pitch. He spent two years driving across American in his old beaten up car and rumpled white suit while using the back seat as a bed. Colonel Sanders idea was turned down 1,009 times, yes, 1,009 time people said “no” before he finally had a chance to fulfill his ambition, and as they say “the rest is history”!



Joe Simpson & Simon Yates







In June 1985, two British mountaineers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates made the first-ever climb of the West Face of the 21,000 foot snow-covered Siula Grande mountain in Peru. It was an exceptionally tough assault - but nothing compared to what was to come. Early in the descent, Simpson fell and smashed his right knee. Yates could have abandoned him but managed to find a way of lowering him down the mountain in a series of difficult drops blinded by snow and cold. Then Simpson fell into a crevasse and Yates eventually had no choice but to cut the rope, utterly convinced that his friend was now dead.

In his subsequent book on the climb entitled "Touching The Void", Joe Simpson wrote:

"As I gazed at the distant moraines, I knew that I must at least try. I would probably die out there amid those boulders. The thought didn't alarm me. It seemed reasonable, matter-of-fact. That was how it was. I could aim for something. If I died, well, that wasn't so surprising, but I wouldn't have just waited for it to happen. The horror of dying no longer affected me as it had in the crevasse. I now had the chance to confront it and struggle against it. It wasn't a bleak dark terror any more, just fact, like my broken leg and frostbitten fingers, and I couldn't be afraid of things like that. My leg would hurt when I fell and when I couldn't get up I would die."

The survival of Yates himself was extraordinary. That Simpson somehow found a way of climbing out of the crevasse after 12 hours and then literally crawled and dragged himself six miles back to camp, going three days and nights without food or drink, losing three stone, and contracting ketoacidosis in the process, would be the stuff of heroic fiction if it was not so true. Indeed, six operations and two years later, he was even back climbing. All because, against all the odds, he tried ...



Jan Matzeliger









Often the greatest inventions are those which simplify necessary tasks. Such is the case with Jan Matzeliger, the man who made it possible for ordinary people to purchase shoes.

Jan Matzeliger was born in Dutch Guiana (now known as Surinam) in South America. His father was a Dutch engineer and his mother was born in DutchGuiana and was of African ancestry. His dad had been sent to Surinam by the Dutch government to oversee the work going on in the South American country.

At an early age, Jan demonstrated a remarkable ability to repair complicated equipment and often did so when accompanying his dad to a manufacturing plant. When he turned nineteen, he decided to travel away from home to explore other parts of the world. For two years he laboured aboard an EastIndian merchant ship and was able to pay a visit to a number of countries. In 1873, Jan decided to stay in the United States for a while, ending up in Pennsylvania. Even though he spoke very little English, he was befriended by some African-American residents who were active in a local church and took pity upon him. Because he was great with his hands and mechanically keen, he was able to obtain small jobs in order to make a living.

At some point he began working for a cobbler and grew to become interested in the making of shoes. At that time more than half of the shoes produced in the United States came from the small town of Lynn, Massachusetts. Still unable to speak more than basic English, Matzeliger had a difficult time obtaining work in Lynn. After considerable time, he was able to begin working as a show apprentice in a footwear factory. He ran a McKay sole-sewing machine which was used to fastened different parts of a shoe together. Unfortunately, no devices were around that could affix the upper part of a shoe to the sole.  As such, attaching the upper part of a shoe to the sole had to be done by hand.  The people who were able to stitch the parts of the shoe together were known as “hand lasters” and expert ones were able to generate about fifty pairs of shoes in a ten hour work day. They were held in high regard and were able to demand a high fee for their services, especially after they banded together and established a union called the Company of Shoemakers. Because the hand lasters were able to charge so much money, a pair of shoes was very expensive to purchase. Hand lasters were confident that they would continue to be able to demand higher amounts of money for their services declaring “… no matter if the sewing machine is a wonderful machine. No man can build a machine that will last shoes and take away the job of the laster, unless he can make a machine that has fingers like a laster – and that is impossible.” Jan Matzeliger determined they were completely wrong.

After working all day Matzeliger took classes at night to learn English.Soon, he was able to read well enough to study books about physics and mechanical science. This permitted him to a number of inventions. Lacking adequate funds, he was unable to patent these inventions and observed helplessly as other people claimed to have created the devices and collected the financial rewards they brought. Matzeliger did not lose hope over these situations because he was already thinking of a more important invention – the shoe laster. Watching hand lasters all day, Matzeliger began understanding how they were able to connect the upper parts of a shoe to the sole. At night he sat creating methods for emulating the mannerisms of the hand lasters and sketched out approximate drawings of a device that might work in the same manner.

Soon, Matzeliger began putting together a raw working model of his creation. Missing the proper materials, he used whatever leftovers he could find, including cigar boxes, thrown away pieces of wood, scrap wire, nails and paper. After six months, he believed he was on the right track but knew he required better materials in order to take the subsequent steps.

Though he attempted to keep his invention a secret, people found out, including the expert hand lasters he was trying to “compete” with. These people belittled and made fun of him and tried to discourage him pursuing his objective. He carried on, however, and decided to try to raise money in order to improve his working model. He was offered $50.00 to sell the device he had developed up to that point but turned it down, knowing that if people were interested in purchasing, he was on the right track.

As he improved upon the device, additional offers of money came in, some as high as $1,500.00. Matzeliger could not bear to part with the device he had put so much effort into making so he held out until he arrived at a deal to sell a 66% interest in the systems to two speculators, retaining the other third interest for himself. With the new inflow of cash, Jan completed his second and third models of the machine. At this point he applied for a patent for the device.

Because no one could believe that anybody could create a device which could duplicate the work of expert lasters, the patent office sent a representative to Lynn, Massachusetts to see the device in action. In March 1883, the United States Patent Office issued a patent to Jan Matzeliger for his “Lasting Machine.” Within two years, Matzeliger had perfected the machine to that point that it could produce up to seven hundred pairs of shoes each day (as compared to 50 per day for a hand laster.)

Sadly, Matzeliger would only take pleasure in his success for a short time, as he was afflicted with tuberculosis in 1886 and passed away on August 24, 1889 at the age of 37. As a result of his work, shoe production capabilities increased as did efficiency. This permitted for lower prices for consumers and more jobs for labourers. Matzeliger left behind a legacy of taking on what was thought to be an impossible task – making shoes affordable for the masses.



Amy Johnson









Flying solo from England to Australia in 1930, was an achievement for any experienced male aviators, so Amy Johnson becoming the first female to complete the journey in those male dominated times is even more remarkable.

Born in Hull in 1903, Amy left the University of Sheffield with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and became a solicitor’s secretary in London. She was introduced to flying as an exciting hobby and gained her pilots “A” licence 5 days after her 26 birthday at the London Aeroplane club.

With £600 from her father and Lord Wakefield she purchased “ G-AAAH”, a second-hand de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth which she named “Jason”. Amy was soon looking for more and more challenges and received worldwide recognition when, in 1930 she became the first female pilot, to fly solo from England to Australia. Flying “Jason” she left Croydon on the 5 May and landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, on May 24 after flying 11,000 miles. She received the Harmon Trophy as well as a CBE in recognition of this achievement, and was honoured with the No. 1 Civil Pilots licence under Australia’s 1921 Air Navigation Regulations.

In 1932 Amy married Scottish pilot Jim Mollison, who had,during a flight together, proposed to her only eight hours after they had met. In July of the same year, Amy set a solo record for the flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa in a Puss Moth,“G-ACAB” named “Desert Cloud”, breaking her new husband’s record.

The Second World War saw Amy (now divorced) join the Air Transport Auxiliary, with her duties consisted of ferrying aircraft from factory airstrips to RAF bases. It was on one of these routine flights on 5 January 1941, that Amy crashed in to the Thames estuary and was drowned; her body was never recovered. Mystery still surrounds her death with the reason for her flight remaining a government secret.



John Bird








John Bird was born just after the Second World War to a London Irish family in slum-ridden Notting Hill. Homeless at five, he went on to spend three years in an orphanage before, at the age of ten, embarking on a spree of shoplifting, house breaking, vandalism and arson. Periods in jail were followed in his twenties by the birth of three of his children and his metamorphosis into a successful businessman. 

At the age of 45, using his own life and professional experience, he founded The Big Issue and over recent years he has overseen its development into an international movement which stretches from Tokyo to Totnes and provides opportunities for people facing homelessness to help themselves. John Bird was awarded the MBE for ‘services to homeless people’ by Her Majesty the Queen in June 1995. In 2003 he was chosen by the Queen as one of the Most Important Pioneers in Her Majesty’s reign and a year later he received from the United Nations a Scroll of Excellence for his international work in poverty, presented by the President of Kenya at the Habitat Celebration in Nairobi.



Sylvester Stallone








During his birth on July 6 1946, complications resulted in obstetricians having to use two pairs or forceps during the delivery, misuse of these accidently severed a nerve and caused paralysis in part of Stallone’s face, resulting in the lower left side of his face,including parts of his lip, tongue, and chin being left paralysed. Little did he know then, that this accident gave Stallone his snarling look and slightly slurred speech which would later became his trademark.

His mother opened a women’s gymnasium called Barbella’s in 1954,and when Stallone’s parents divorced, Sylvester lived with his mother. At the age of 16, and with his poor school record, his mother got him a summer job at her beauty salon. He attended Notre Dame Academy, Lincoln High School, Charlotte Hall Military Academy before attending Miami Dade College and the University of Miami, he eventually completed his degree in Drama and decided to go to New York City to pursue his acting career. While waiting for his acting career to take off, Stallone worked all types of jobs to keep a roof over his head, these included cleaning out the lions’ cage at the Central Park Zoo and ushered at a movie theatre. In 1970 the 24 year-old Stallone was on the point of being evicted and homeless for several days, when he was given the opportunity to star in the soft-porn film The Party at Kitty and Stud’s in which he received $200 for 2 days work, the film was released several years later as The Italian Stallion , in order to cash in on Stallone’s newfound fame.

A few uncredited parts in the 1971 films such as WoodyAllen’s Bananas and Klute soon followed. 1974 saw Stallone have a more substantial role in the film The Lords of Flatbush with Henry Winkler and Perry King. This was also the time when he married Sasha Czack in late December, they had two sons, Sage Moonblood born in May 1976 and sadly died of heart disease in July 2012 and Seargeoh born in 1979 who was diagnosed with autism at an early age. The couple divorced on Valentines day in 1985.

In addition to acting, Stallone had an interest in writing. In March 1975, Stallone saw Muhammad Ali fight Chuck Wepner. He went home and created a screenplay about a rough and tough thug who struggles to make it as a professional boxer, in the space of three days and after 20 hours writing.Stallone denied that Wepner provided the inspiration for it, Wepner filed a lawsuit which was eventually settled with Stallone for an undisclosed amount.

Despite having a pregnant wife and little money in the bank,Stallone held out until he found two producers, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, willing to let him play the lead, initially they offered $350,000 for the rights, but had their own ideas for the lead role, including Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds, Stallone refused unless he had the lead role, eventually,after a substantial budget cut to compromise, it was agreed he could be the star.

Released in 1976, Rocky became a critical and commercial hit. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations, including two for Best Actor and one for Best Original Screenplay. Proving to be the small film with a powerful punch, Rocky emerged victorious and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The story of Rocky Balboa, the quintessential underdog, also struck a chord with movie-fans and earned the film more than$117 million at the box office.

Stallone next starred as a labour organiser in F.I.S.T in 1978, although receiving some good reviews, the film failed to attract much of an audience. Returning to the film that had made him famous, Stallone wrote, directed and starred in Rocky 2 in 1979 and grossed $200 million. He kept the franchise going a few years later with Rocky 3 in 1982 and Rocky 4 in 1985.

1982 and Stallone introduced a new character to movie-fans, John Rambo, a disenfranchised and troubled Vietnam vet in First Blood . Rambo ends up going to war with the police in a small town after being mistreated by the authorities. Once again Stallone had struck box office gold. He went more time behind the scenes for his next effort, Staying Alive which he wrote and directed.It being a sequel to the 1977 hit film Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta, after this commercial failure, Stallone tried to branch out as an actor and starred opposite Dolly Parton in the comedy Rhinestone in 1984. The film proved to be another critical and commercial failure. Fans,however continued to queue up to see Stallone at his trademark best in Rocky 4 (1985), Rambo:First Blood Part 2 (1985), Rambo 3 (1988) and Rocky 5 (1990).

In preparation for his block-busting Rocky and Rambo roles,Stallone embarked upon a vigorous training programme which often meant two workouts a day for six days a week in the gym and further sit-ups in the evenings. It is claimed that Stallone had got his body fat percentage down to his all-time low of 2.8% for Rocky 3

In December 1985, he married model and actress Brigitte Nielson in Beverly Hills, California. Stallone and Nielson’s marriage, which lasted two years, and their subsequent divorce, were highly publicised by the tabloid press.

By the mid-1990s, Stallone’s star power as an action hero started to fade. He made a series of forgettable films, including Judge Dredd (1995) and Daylight (1996). Despite the poor reviews the 1990s saw Stallone receive an honorary Cesar Award, the French equivalent to the Academy Award in 1992 and an acting award at the Stockholm film festival in 1997. His highlight of the 90s was starring in Cliffhanger which grossed $84 million in the US and $171 million worldwide. In May 1997 Stallone married Jennifer Flavin, with whom he has three daughters:Sophia, Sistene and Scarlet.

Taking a break from big budget actions films, Stallone took a supporting role in the independent drama CopLand (1997) which starred Harvey Keital, Robert De Niro and RayLiotta. He earned rave reviews for his portrayal of a sheriff in a small New Jersey town largely inhabited by New York City cops.

He returned as the leading man in the crime thriller Get Carter (2000), which received mixed reviews. He then wrote, co-produced, and starred in the car-racing drama Driven (2001) which netted more than $32 million at the box office.

After other poorly received films such as Avenging Angelo (2002) and D-Tox (2002), Stallone once again returned to his tried and tested creation Rocky. The plot of Rocky Balboa (2006) mirrored Stallone’s own career to some extent. The former heavyweight champion of the world, long retired, decides to go for one more big fight. Stallone admitted in 2007 that had he been involved with successful films over the previous ten years, he wouldn’t have written it. The fans loved it, earning more than $70 million at the box office, as they turned up in droves to see Rocky’s final fight. 








There are times in our lives when we look for inspiration to keep us pushing onwards and upwards.  Below are biographies of people who have inspired the MMM Coach.

Soichiro Honda
Colonel Sanders
Joe Simpson & Simon Yates
Jan Matzeliger
Amy Johnson
John Bird
Sylvester Stallone
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
$SIGNUP$
$VALIDATION$
Working... Please wait