These 3 powerhouse entrepreneurs share their breakthrough moments

Martha Stewart - Who Inspires Martha Stewart?
Martha Stewart - Who Inspires Martha Stewart?

If you're starting a business, you'll take heart in these inspiring breakthrough moments--and maybe relate to them.

One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur isn't the long nights or angry customers: it's knowing that you're on the right path.

New York Magazine recently asked several superstars the question: "What was your breakthrough moment?"

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For most, it didn't occur when they banked their first million or prestigious award. Rather, it was the moment that they realized that they were meant to be in their chosen career field. Here are some of the highlights.

1. Martha Stewart discovered that she could get New York City residents excited about farm life.

The founder of Martha Stewart Living, Stewart is now well-known as a lifestyle guru. But in 1982, when she was writing her first book, she had to rely on more creative ways to get people to notice her and her catering company.

She landed a gig catering for an antique show in New York at the Folk Art Museum, and decided to liven up the decorations by bringing chickens from her farmhouse. She knew she was on to something when the chickens were a hit.

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"People were shocked to see real chickens alive and well," Stewart said. "People went nuts over that. They loved it. The wanted the country brought to the city and the city brought to the country."

2. Rookie Magazine founder Tavi Gevinson realized that even if her writing didn't get published, it still made her a better person.

Although she's only 19, Tavi Gevinson has made a name for herself as a writer, actress, and the founder of Rookie Magazine, an online publication for teenage girls. Launched in 2011, the magazine reached more than 1 million page views less than six days after it had launched.

Gevinson told New York Magazine that while she's "constantly evolving," one of her biggest breakthroughs came in high school. She began writing a journal as a way to cope after she argued with a friend. She realized that just because something she wrote wasn't going to be published, that didn't mean that it wasn't valuable.

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"That was one of the first times when I realized that I could convert what I was feeling by writing about it, even if it wasn't to be published," said Gevinson. "I could use this practice to help myself move through the world."

3. Tony Hawk knew that he just had to follow the money.

Before he started his career as a professional skateboarder and founded his own video game company, Tony Hawk Inc., Tony Hawk was trying to figure out a way to get out of going to college. He did well in school, but he was already earning some money through skateboarding competitions, and didn't see the need to find another career path.

"I kind of looked around and I thought, 'Well, I'm already making money, you know? Why am I going to go pursue something else?'" he told New York Magazine.

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