Self-Made Billionaires How They Started

In today’s time, in the business world, billionaires are recognized as the highest achievers. Simply stated, a billionaire is a person who has a net worth of $1 billion or more. There are many people who have emerged as billionaires in the world. Either they are the ones who have inherited the wealth from their family or are self made. 

Going down the billionaire path requires working hard, perseverance, ambition, efforts, and the ability to take risks, and overcome failures. These are a few key traits of self-made billionaires and today they are at the top list of the richest people in the world because of their determination, blood, sweat, and tears! These are the ones who made it from zero to billions and with their fearless visions. Well, many of them just started like you! 

Here are some valuable and insightful things you can learn from these self-made billionaires who started from nothing and now are in the list of world’s richest billionaires

  1. Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

 “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.” – Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the Internet entrepreneur, e-commerce pioneer, and is the founder and CEO of Amazon. After completing graduation from Princeton University, he worked on Wall Street, and in 1990 he became the senior vice president at D.E. Shaw. While his career in finance was extremely lucrative, four years later, Bezos quit his job to start his ecommerce company, Amazon. A few employees with Bezoz developed and operated the e-commerce portal. He started with his online bookstore in his garage before settling into its current headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Initially, Jeff named his company Cadabra but later changed the name to Amazon after the Amazon River in South America. 

  1. Bill Gates (Microsoft)
Bill Gates (Microsoft)

“If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor its your mistake.” Bill Gates

Bill Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, investor and the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. At the age of 13, he wrote his first program. He entered the technological world by adapting BASIC programming language for use on a microcomputer that he was studying. At Harvard University, he joined his friend Paul Allen to develop software for the first microcomputers. With the success in building the software, he went on to co-found Microsoft in 1975.

  1. Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway)
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway)

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”  – Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet is an American successful investor and a businessman. He exhibited an entrepreneurial streak from an early age. He purchased his first stock at the age of 11 and worked in his family’s grocery store in Omaha. Before graduating from school, he had few business, among them was the pinball machine business which he sold later at a good price. Warren became a millionaire at the age of 30. In 1962, Warren saw an opportunity to invest in a New England textile company called Berkshire Hathaway and bought some of its stock and since then it has been recognized as one of the most valuable companies in the world. 

  1. Larry Ellison (Oracle Corporation)
Larry Ellison (Oracle Corporation)

“You have to believe in what you do in order to get what you want.” – Larry Ellison 

Larry Ellison is an American business magnate and entrepreneur who is the cofounder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation.

He was born in the Bronx, New York to a single mother and at the age of 9 months, he was diagnosed with pneumonia, so his mother sent him to Chicago to live with her aunt and uncle. Over the years, he had picked up basic computer skills, and he was finally able to put them to use as a programmer at Amdahl. While working at Ampex in the early 1970s, he was influenced by the research on relational database design, which led in 1977, the formation of Oracle. His projects included a database for the CIA which he named Oracle. In 1977, Ellison and his two partners founded Software Development Labs and in 1983, it officially became Oracle Systems Corporation.

  1. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

“I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress” – Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is an internet entrepreneur and the co-founder of Facebook and serves as the chairman, and chief executive officer. Born into a well-educated family, he had developed an interest in computer programming at an early age. Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his friends developed Facebook in 2004 at Harvard University to connect with each other and share information. Mark has launched Facebook from his dorm room. And today, he has become one of the youngest billionaires in the world.

  1. Jack Ma (Alibaba Group)
Jack Ma (Alibaba Group)

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma

Jack Ma is the Chinese billionaire, business magnate, and the founder of the giant e-commerce company Alibaba. He was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China and began studying English at a young age. After graduation, he applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected, and it included KFC as well. 

On his entrepreneurial journey, Jack Ma went on to fail on two of his initial ventures. But, this didn’t make him lose his confidence. He convinced 17 of his other friends to invest and join him in his new online startup called Alibaba. He started his first successful company at the age of 30. Initially, there were no outside investors for Alibaba, but soon the company attracted people around the world and raised investors from SoftBank and Goldman Sachs.

  1. Amancio Ortega (Zara)
Amancio Ortega (Zara)

“We cannot limit ourselves to continuing on the path we have already opened” – Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega is a Spanish fashion entrepreneur and the co-founder of Inditex, which includes fashion chains such as Zara, Pull & Bear, and many others. The Ortega family moved to La Coruna, Galicia, Spain, due to Amancio father’s job at the local railway station and so he had to leave school. His mother was a housemaid. He started working at the age of 14 and his first job was a shop assistant at a local company called Gala, where he learned to make clothes. Amancio realized to earn money he would need customers and he started to organize women into sewing cooperatives likewise to make clothes. And then finally he founded his first company in 1972, Confecciones Goa to sell quilted bathrobes. Then eventually, he opened his first Zara store in 1975.

  1. Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg LP)
Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg LP)

“Life is too short to spend your time avoiding failure.” – Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg was born to a bookkeeper of a dairy company and was brought up in a middle-class family in Massachusetts. He got his start on Wall Street in 1966 with an entry level job at investment bank Salomon Brothers and later was laid off with a $10 million cash buyout of his partnership in the firm. Using this money, he had set up a data services company (IMS), which sold customized computer terminals that delivered real-time market data, financial data, financial calculations and other analytics to Wall Street firms. Later the company was renamed as Bloomberg LP.  Bloomberg was also the mayor of New York City for 12 years, and the Quinnipiac poll considered it as “mainly a success”.

  1. Sheldon Adelson (Las Vegas Sands)
Sheldon Adelson (Las Vegas Sands)

“Create a vision. Identify it and go for it.” – Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson is the billionaire behind iconic casinos like The Venetian and Marina Bay Sands, who’s worth is $37 billion, and lives in a Vegas mansion. He is the CEO and chairman of casino company Las Vegas Sands. 

Sheldon was born in a low-income family and he started his business career at the age of 12, when he borrowed $200 from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston. Over the time, he built his fortune by running a candy-vending-machine, selling toiletry kits, and chemical sprays to clear the car windshields.

  1.  Elon Musk (SpaceX)
Elon Musk (SpaceX)

“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.” – Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur and businessman. He learned to program at an early age and by 12 he sold a video game called Blastar to Spectravideo for $500. At 17, Musk moved to Canada and enrolled in Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.  After two years at Queen’s University, Musk transferred to the Pennsylvania University. He sold computer parts when he was at the university to make extra cash. And to pay rent, with the help of a fellow student, he bought a 10-bedroom fraternity house, which they used as an ad hoc nightclub on weekends and charged cover. Since then he built several companies such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors, PayPal, and zip2.

The Important Takeaway is that all the billionaires have started with humble beginnings. Whatever position these people are in today, it is all because of their hard work, determination, and the urge of upbringing a change for their future. If you want to become a billionaire, learn to follow your dreams, work positively to achieve your goals, and then only you can evolve as one of the self-made entrepreneurs.


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About the Author: Aafreen Pawar

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