from Life Hack.com (& Forbes Zine) 3/16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
In Bloomberg’s top 200 billionaires, 70% are self made. The percentage of self-made billionaires is growing from year to year at an amazing rate – proof that it is possible to achieve this dream. For the last 19 yrs, billionaire wealth growth was strongly driven by entrepreneurial wealth creation.
Traits. Going down the billionaire path requires a great deal of perseverance, ambition, business focus, & work ethic. Match that with an appetite of clever risk taking, influencing others to believe in your dream, & massively helping others along the way and you’ll have several of the key traits of self made billionaires. Although they are fearless visionaries, many of them also started out in the world just like you. Here are some extremely valuable & insightful things you can learn from these self-made billionaires, to inspire you and launch your entrepreneur journey:
1. Learn the real value of money: Mark Cuban (Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures & Chairman of AXS TV + Shark Tank) Networth: 3 Billion (Forbes) “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business & your industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”
Cheap, but not a Creep. Mark Cuban is an American business guru and investor who understood the true power of money at an early age. Before his billionaire days, he learned to stretch his dollar by living of ketchup and mustard sandwiches, couch surfing, & living on the cheap. In university, he made extra cash teaching dance lessons and hosting disco parties. He lived well below his means – so that he could deploy his money on business opportunities. He lived on the cheap for a long time in order to build and grow his businesses and investments into a multi-billion-dollar empire.
In his book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, Cuban wrote: “It doesn’t matter how you live. It doesn’t matter what car you drive. It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear. The more you stress over bills, the more difficult it is to focus on your goals. The cheaper you can live, the greater your options to take advantage of opportunities.”
2. “Learn to give to those who truly need it”: Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx) Networth $1.03 Billion (Forbes)
Giving is #1. Sara Blakely is an American intimate apparel billionaire & a philanthropist, who has committed to donating most of her wealth away. She started her billionaire journey when she was 27 years old, out of her Atlanta apartment and revolutionized the way women look in their clothes. In 2006, she started the Sara Blakely foundation – dedicated to helping women through education & entrepreneurship. In 2013, she became the first female billionaire to join the ‘Giving Pledge’, a commitment to donate the majority of her wealth to help others who truly need it. To date, there has been more than 100 billionaires that have made this pledge. Yeh !!! [Wiz4.biz]
3. “Learn to hustle early in life”, Elon Musk (Founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors & Paypal) Networth 13 Billion USD (Forbes)
Roots. Elon Musk is a South African born Canadian – American billionaire technology mogul who started hustling at 12 years old. He started his entrepreneurial journey teaching himself to code and selling a video game he made for $500. When he first arrived in Canada, he held a series of odd jobs. When he was in university, Elon sold computer parts & computers to make extra cash. To help pay rent, he & his friend turned their 10 bedroom Fraternity home into a nightclub on the weekends and charged cover.
4. “Learn to solve complex problems by turning them into something simple & beautiful: Elizabeth Holmes (Founder-CEO, Theranos) Networth 3.6 Billion (Forbes)“What I really want out of life is to discover something new, something that mankind didn’t know was possible to do, then do it.” – Elizabeth (at 9 years old)
Painless Testing. Elizabeth Holmes is an American entrepreneur who has dedicated 1/3 of her life to her biotech blood testing company – Theranos. She is also the youngest female self-made billionaire. When she was 19 years old, she dropped out of Chemical engineering to start her company, because she was afraid of needles and wanted to revolutionize the blood testing industry. After starting out in the basement of her college house, she filed her first patent and worked in secrecy many years. Her company has now disrupted the laboratory industry, performing nearly 10 billion tests a year, and overturned the requirement for needles.
5.”Learn to be mentally tough”: Jack Ma (Founder of Alibaba & China Yellow Pages) Networth: 22.2 Billion (Forbes) “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow may be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be you sunshine and pot of gold.”
Chinese internet entrepreneur & billionaire, Jack Ma, has an amazing mental toughness & resilience got him through many failed school exams including university entrance exams, twice. After graduating, he went on to dozens of rejections from jobs including a managerial position at KFC. Before he became rich & famous, he was kidnapped on a business trip to Los Angeles, threatened with a gun, and held captive in Las Vegas with no money – before managing to escape. His mental toughness, resilience, extreme determination & passion to achieve his goals eventually paid off and he went on building a mega billion dollar internet empire.
6. “Learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable”: Guy Laliberté (Co-founder and Former CEO of Cirque du Soleil) Networth: $2.1 Billion (Forbes) “I don’t believe in pitfalls. I believe in taking risks and not doing the same thing twice.”
Life is a Circus. Guy is a Canadian entrepreneur, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. He is used to being uncomfortable – he started his billionaire dollar journey as a street performer playing the accordion, walking on stilts & eating fire (& Jalepenos). In 1987, he co-founded a Circus troupe in Montreal and took a big risk moving it to Los Angeles to make it big. The move paid off and his troupe became the famous Cirque du Soleil. In 2009, he became the first Canadian space tourist and his spaceflight was dedicated to raising awareness on water issues making it the first, in his words, ‘poetic social mission’ in space.
7. “Learn that circumstances don’t matter”: Oprah Winfrey Networth: 3 Billion (Forbes) “You become what you believe you can be. You are where you are today in your life, based on everything you have believed so far.”
Boot-Strapped from the bottom. Oprah rose from a life of poverty & hardship to become one of the most influential & powerful women in the world. She is an American media mogul, producer, talk show host, author & philanthropist. She grew up wearing potato sack dresses when she was living with her grandmother. By the time she was 14, she suffered physical abuse, molestation, & the death of her first new born. A few years later, she won a beauty pageant, got her degree in speech & performing arts, then became an ABC news anchor. The rest is history. Her cable network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), is worth billions of dollars also.
Comments: Do you know any $B’s (ie, personally) that really have impressed you?