Who are 7 surprising, odd historical figures to cite as examples of people who started out in quite a different industry or field of specialization before becoming entrepreneurs. For each individual include a detailed explanation and a citation

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Here are seven surprising and odd historical figures who started out in different industries or fields before becoming notable entrepreneurs:

1. Benjamin Franklin

Initial Field: Statesmanship and Science
Entrepreneurial Venture: Printing and Publishing
Explanation: Benjamin Franklin is often remembered as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, but he was also a prolific inventor and entrepreneur. Before his political career, Franklin was a successful printer and publisher. He founded the Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard's Almanack, which became highly influential publications. His entrepreneurial spirit extended to various inventions, including the lightning rod and bifocals, which he commercialized effectively.

2. Thomas Edison

Initial Field: Telegraph Operator
Entrepreneurial Venture: Invention and Business
Explanation: Thomas Edison began his career as a telegraph operator, a job he took up after saving a toddler from being hit by a train. His early work in telegraphy led him to invent the phonograph, the electric light bulb, and the motion picture camera. Edison founded multiple companies, including General Electric, and held over 1,300 patents, making him one of the most prolific inventors and entrepreneurs in history.

3. Henry Ford

Initial Field: Engineer
Entrepreneurial Venture: Automobile Manufacturing
Explanation: Henry Ford started as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. His experience there helped him develop the assembly line production technique, which revolutionized the automobile industry. Ford's Model T made cars affordable for the average American, fundamentally changing transportation and manufacturing.

4. Coco Chanel

Initial Field: Singer and Seamstress
Entrepreneurial Venture: Fashion Design
Explanation: Before becoming a fashion icon, Coco Chanel worked as a singer in cabarets and a seamstress. She used her sewing skills to create hats and later expanded into clothing. Chanel's innovative designs, such as the "little black dress," revolutionized women's fashion and established her as a leading entrepreneur in the fashion industry.

5. John D. Rockefeller

Initial Field: Bookkeeper
Entrepreneurial Venture: Oil Industry
Explanation: John D. Rockefeller began his career as a bookkeeper at the age of 16. He later entered the oil business, founding Standard Oil, which became the largest oil refinery company in the world. Rockefeller's business practices were often controversial, but his success in the oil industry made him one of the wealthiest men in history.

6. Ray Kroc

Initial Field: Milkshake Machine Salesman
Entrepreneurial Venture: Fast Food Industry
Explanation: Ray Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman before he discovered the McDonald brothers' restaurant. Impressed by their efficient operation, Kroc bought the franchise rights and transformed McDonald's into a global fast-food empire. His persistence and vision created the fast-food industry as we know it today.

7. Mary Kay Ash

Initial Field: Direct Sales
Entrepreneurial Venture: Cosmetics Industry
Explanation: Mary Kay Ash worked in direct sales for various companies before founding Mary Kay Cosmetics. Frustrated by the lack of advancement opportunities for women, she started her own company with a focus on empowering women through flexible job opportunities and recognition for their achievements. Mary Kay Cosmetics became a leading brand in the beauty industry. These individuals exemplify how diverse backgrounds and initial career paths can lead to significant entrepreneurial success. Their stories highlight the importance of adaptability, vision, and perseverance in achieving business success.
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