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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

                    Trending in Communication

                    1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

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                    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                    Example 1

                    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                    Example 2

                    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                    Example 3

                    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                    Example 4

                    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                    • Understand your own communication style
                    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                    • Communicate with precision and care
                    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                    1. Understand Your Communication Style

                    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                    3. Exercise Precision and Care

                    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                    The Bottom Line

                    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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