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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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                    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                    Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                    Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                    A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                    You know how this looks:

                    • Parents constantly comparing children.
                    • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                    • Domestic violence.
                    • Adultery…
                    • And many others.

                    For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                    Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                    Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                    This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                    In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                    If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                    How to fix a dysfunctional family

                    In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                    And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                    Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                    It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                    Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                    Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                    There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                    Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                    Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                    The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                    You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                    A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                    Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                    Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                    • Unrealistic expectations
                    • Lack of interest and time spent together
                    • Sexism
                    • Utilitarianism
                    • Lack of empathy
                    • Unequal or unfair treatment
                    • Disrespect towards boundaries
                    • Control Issues
                    • Jealousy
                    • Verbal and physical abuse
                    • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                    You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                    If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                    Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                    How to turn it around

                    When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                    But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                    One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                    We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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                    As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                    What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                    Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                    Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                    Correction is possible

                    In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                    Verbalize it.

                    All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                    Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                    This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                    But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                    So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                    Putting it to work in real life

                    In real life it would be something like this:

                    “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                    Or:

                    “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                    Or:

                    “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                    As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                    This is what you have to remember:

                    1-Stop.

                    2-Why it’s wrong?

                    3-What you need.

                    And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                    It’s a family thing

                    A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                    Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                    In other words, you will need cooperation…

                    So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                    Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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                    We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                    You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                    It’s not a free-for-all battle

                    In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                    No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                    Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                    And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                    The method

                    1. Drop the ego

                    Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                    You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                    Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                    What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                    It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                    After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                    Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                    Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                    Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                    And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                    You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                    2. Not blame, but responsibility

                    When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                    But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                    When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                    What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                    Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                    As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                    You will do something like this:

                    “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                    I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                    You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                    I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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                    It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                    What happened here?

                    We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                    We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                    We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                    And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                    You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                    This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                    3. Doing the work

                    What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                    This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                    Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                    If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                    It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                    “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                    I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                    But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                    You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                    Love is all you need

                    You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                    That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                    And what happens if it simply is not there?

                    What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                    What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                    There is only one thing you can do:

                    To break away.

                    Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                    There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                    “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                    If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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                    Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                    You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                    Putting distance

                    So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                    What do I mean?

                    Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                    Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                    Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                    Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                    They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                    Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                    I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                    I choose my peace of mind.

                    And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                    Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                    Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                    How to prevent it

                    There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                    • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                    • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                    Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                    You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                    Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                    Priorities and clear thought

                    You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                    You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                    You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                    Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                    If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                    And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                    Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                    But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                    Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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