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10 Self-Made Billionaires In The World That You Should Learn From

10 Self-Made Billionaires In The World That You Should Learn From

In Bloomberg’s top 200 billionaires, over half are self made; 137 to be exact. Together, those 137 are worth about $2 trillion. And 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.  In the last 19 years, billionaire wealth growth was strongly driven by entrepreneurial wealth creation, according to a 2015 study by PWC.

Going down the billionaire path requires a great deal of perseverance, ambition, business focus, and work ethic. Match that with an appetite of clever risk taking, influencing others to believe in your dream, and 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 10 extremely valuable and insightful things you can learn from these self-made billionaires to inspire you and launch your entrepreneur journey:

1. Learn to hustle early in life: Elon Musk (Founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Contributor to Paypal)

Networth 13 Billion USD (Forbes)

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

self made billionaire elon musk

    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 including tending vegetables, shoveling out grain bins, and cleaning out gunk from a boiler room in a lumber mill.

    When he was in university, Elon sold computer parts and computers to make extra cash. And to help pay rent, he and his friend turned their 10 bedroom fraternity home into a nightclub on the weekends and charged cover. Since then, he’s built several companies, including SpaceX, Tesla Motors, PayPal, and zip2.

    His philosophy: “If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk.

    2. Learn to give to those who truly need it: Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx)

    Networth $1.03 Billion (Forbes)

    “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become more memorable.” – Sara Blakeley

    self-made billionaire sara blakely

      Sara Blakely is an American intimate apparel billionaire and 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 and 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.

      3. Learn to grow your investments: Warren Buffett (CEO of Berkeshire Hathaway)

      Networth $60.8 Billion (Forbes)

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

      Self-made billionaire warren buffet

        Warren Buffett is an American investment wizard and businessman. He started investing in stocks at 11 years old and real estate investing at 14 years old. Before he graduated from high school, he had a few businesses under his built, including a pin ball machine business that he later sold for a handsome profit. He made his first million at the age of 30 and already had about 20 years of business experience under his belt. He grew Berkeshire Hathaway into one of the most valuable companies in the world based on his ‘invest what you know’ mentality and strategically investing in undervalued businesses for the long term in many industries.

        His philosophy is: “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” – Warren Buffet

        4. 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.” – Guy Laliberté

        Self-made billionaire Guy LaliberteÌ

          Guy Laliberté is a Canadian entrepreneur, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil and a professional poker player. He is used to being uncomfortable – he started his billionaire dollar journey as a street performer playing the accordion, walking on stilts and eating fire. 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.

          5. Learn that circumstances don’t matter: Oprah Winfrey (CEO of Oprah Winfrey Network)

          Networth: 3 Billion (Forbes)

          “You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.” – Oprah Winfrey

          Self-made billionaire Oprah Winfrey

            Oprah Winfrey rose from a life of poverty and hardship into one of the most influential and powerful women in the world. She is an American media mogul, producer, talk show host, author and philanthropist. She grew up wearing potato sack dresses when she was living with her grandmother. By the time she was fourteen, she suffered physical abuse, molestation, and the death of her first new born. A few years later, she won a beauty pageant, got her degree in speech and performing arts, became an ABC news anchor – and the rest is history. Her cable network, the Oprah Winfrey Network, is worth billions of dollars.

            6. Learn the real value of money: Mark Cuban (Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures and Chairman of AXS TV)

            Networth: 3 Billion (Forbes)

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            “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

            Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban

              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, and 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.”  – Mark Cuban

              7. Learn to be mentally tough: Jack Ma (Founder of China YellowPages and Alibaba)

              Networth: 22.2 Billion (Forbes)

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

              Self-made billionaire Jack Ma

                Jack Ma is a Chinese internet entrepreneur and billionaire. His amazing mental toughness and 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 and 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 and passion to achieve his goals eventually paid off and he went on building a mega billion dollar internet empire.

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                His philosophy: “If you never tried, how do you know there’s no chance?” – Jack Ma

                8. Learn to solve complex problems by turning them into something simple and 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.” – Elizabeth Holmes (at nine years old)

                Self-made billionaire Elizabeth Holmes

                  Elizabeth Holmes is an American entrepreneur who has dedicated one third 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.

                  9. Learn the power of curiosity: Zhou Qunfei (Founder of Lens Technology)

                  Networth: 5.4 Billion (Forbes)

                  “The secret of my success was the desire to learn” – Zhou Qunfei

                  Self- made billionaire zhou qunfei

                    Zhou Qunfei is a self made female billionaire from China who built her glass lens company from the ground up. Her company supplies touchscreen glass to a quarter of all smartphones in the world. When she was 16, due to financial hardship and a need to support her blind father, she dropped out of school to work as an operator in a watch glass company. She learned the ropes of the glass making business before launching her own company in 1993. She self-taught herself at night, relying on books to create different technologies. In 2015, her company went public and made her an overnight billionaire.

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                    “Only through determination can you succeed, you can’t give up just because of a little setback.” – Zhou Qunfei

                    10. Learn to share your knowledge

                    Here are 5 more self made billionaires that have written books to share their wisdom to grow your entrepreneur path and teach you how to build it the easier way.

                    More by this author

                    Tracy Ma

                    Investor, Project Management Consultant, Entrepreneur

                    10 Self-Made Billionaires In The World That You Should Learn From

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                    1 30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation 2 Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again 3 What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 4 6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master 5 5 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work

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                    Published on September 23, 2020

                    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                    I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

                    If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                    What is Negotiation?

                    First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

                    Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

                    In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

                    Places We Negotiate

                    I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

                    1. Work/Business

                    This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

                    When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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                    In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

                    Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

                    2. Personal

                    I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

                    I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

                    Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

                    3. Ourselves

                    You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

                    I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

                    Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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                    Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

                    Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

                    We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

                    My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

                    If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

                    As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

                    6 Negotiation Skills to Master

                    Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

                    Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                    1. Preparation

                    Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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                    It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

                    For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

                    After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

                    2. Clear Communication

                    The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

                    If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

                    3. Active Listening

                    Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

                    If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

                    4. Teamwork and Collaboration

                    To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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                    If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

                    When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

                    5. Problem Solving

                    Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

                    Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

                    From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

                    There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

                    6. Decision-Making Ability

                    Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

                    Conclusion

                    There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

                    Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

                    More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

                    Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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