In the movie, Chris Gardner is a single father, struggling in poverty. Unable to sell the products he invested his life savings into, he finds himself struggling to pay rent. Within one year, he manages to become a stockbroker at a top firm and goes on to run his own multimillion dollar firm.
People gravitated to this story because it's the ultimate success story: the story of the underdog. It's about perseverance, determination and hard work.
While trying to sell one of his bone scanners downtown, he meets Jay Twistle, a manager for Dean Witter, whom he impresses after solving a Rubix cube puzzle in a taxi ride. After securing an interview with Dean Witter to become an intern stockbroker, he is arrested for unpaid parking tickets. When he’s let go, he’s out of time to change clothes and has to suck up his pride and go to the interview in sweatpants and a wife beater. He presents his reasons for candidacy with such strength, determination and passion that his employers were forced to look beyond his appearance.
Chris often struggles to find a place for him and his son to sleep while maintaining the illusion at work that he is the most put together, normal candidate for the possible job at the end of the internship. At one point he even lends his last $5 to a coworker for a cab, just to maintain the illusion.
Due to his limited time, he must find ways to make his sales calls at work more efficient, even going against protocol when he reaches out to high level prospective clients. He proves that perception really is everything, and how you make people perceive you is a major part of the recipe of success.
Chris Gardner never let anything stop him because it was his passion. He knew how hard and special it was to find something he not only loved doing, but that he understood.
You must find your path, your focus. It's important that you keep your dream alive and keep a clear eye on the end goal. It's not about the failures and missteps along the way, but how they help to make you stronger on your journey to the end.