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10 Work Strategies You Can Learn from These Billionaires with a Humble Past

10 Work Strategies You Can Learn from These Billionaires with a Humble Past

Work strategies are the means and ways of every person who strives toward greater success. But what of those who ‘made it’? The ones who went from rags-to-riches? Are there such people? Or are the rich simply born with luck or a silver spoon?

Certainly, productivity techniques learned from some of the greatest authors of all time are one key to success. But there are other strategies that, while surprising, can be learned from those who made it big after starting with nearly nothing.

1. Howard Schultz: Stay Curious

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    Howard Schultz, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks and who now has a net worth of over $1.5 billion, started as a lowly salesman for the Xerox Corporation. Out of curiosity, he joined Starbucks as their Director of Marketing, as he was duly impressed with the then small coffee shop. On a trip to Italy, Schultz learned of the social aspects of coffee. He brought back the idea of coffee being social, as well as introducing espresso to the small company. The company grew from only 60 shops to over 16,000 outlets worldwide.

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    Schultz grew up in one of the housing projects in New York City. Of his humble beginnings Schultz says, “Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families. And for some reason, I don’t know why or how, I wanted to climb over that fence and achieve something beyond what people were saying was possible. I may have a suit and tie on now but I know where I’m from and I know what it’s like.”

    2. Oprah Winfrey: Believe In Yourself
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      Today, Oprah Winfrey’s net worth is $3 billion. But she grew up in abject poverty in Mississippi, and later Michigan and then Tennessee. At the age of 16 she started in the radio business, and at only 19 become a co-anchor on the local nightly news. She now owns her own network as well as a magazine, and is a generous philanthropist. Oprah was awarded the President’s Medal of Freedom and received an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. Oprah Winfrey notes of her success, “You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.” She went on to add, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” Rather Oprah remained singularly focused on her goal to succeed, driving herself onward to greater and greater success.

      3. Kenneth Langone: Live Your Success

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        Kenneth Langone, has a net worth of over $2.1 billion. Langone is best known for co-founding The Home Depot. Yet, he too began his journey born into poverty. He worked as a ditch digger, a butcher’s assistant and as a golf caddy. He attended the New York Stern School of Business part time in the evening, while holding down a full-time job. The Stern School is now referred to as the “Langone Program” at NYU. After a successful business venture with Ross Perot, Langone went on to study business involving home improvement. He is also well known for his philanthropic works that involve helping children, universities and more.

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        4. Shahid Khan: Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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          Shahid Khan moved from his Pakistani home to the United States at the age of 16. He became a dish washer at only $1.20 an hour and lived at a local YMCA. Khan’s net worth now is over $3.8 billion. He’s the owner of Flex ‘N Gate, a manufacturing company with company headquarters in Urbana, Illinois. Khan became an American citizen in 1991. He is also the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the English soccer club Fulham. Khan has been recognized for his generosity to various charities.

          5. Kirk Kerkorian: Keep Fighting For Your Dream

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            Kirk Kekorian quit school in the eighth grade to help his Armenian-immigrant family financially. He dreamed of becoming a boxer and was known as “Rifle Right Kerkoria.” He won the Pacific amateur welterweight championship, but then went on to fly planes to Britain during World War II. Near the end of the war, he flew over Las Vegas and began to dream a different dream. Along with Martin Stern Jr. (touted as the ‘father’ of the mega-resort), he went on to build Las Vegas as it is today. Kekorian has a net worth of over $3.9 billion.

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            6. Kenny Troutt: Where There’s A Will There’s A Way

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              Kenny Troutt was born into poverty and his father was a bartender. Troutt went on to pay for his college tuition through selling life insurance. He founded Excel Communications, using the then innovative Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) technique. Troutt became a billionaire when he sold the company in 1998 for $3.5 billion.

              7. Beth Comstock: Know The Value Of Teamwork

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                Beth Comstock learned the value of teamwork while working at a Rubbermaid Factory. Upon graduation from the College of William and Mary, she took a job in local television production in Virginia. Currently, she is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer with General Electric. Comstock also helped found the popular Hulu network. Comstock credits her earlier hard work for driving her ever onward in her highly successful career.

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                8. Warren Buffett: Earn, Save, And Give Back

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                  Warren Buffett sold newspapers at the tender age of 11. Since then he has accomplished a great deal, primarily due to his skill in making investments. With a net worth of over $58 billion, Buffett is widely known for his philanthropic efforts. Of his wealth Buffett has said, “I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It’s like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GDP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don’t do that though. I don’t use very many of those claim checks. There’s nothing material I want very much. And I’m going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die.” He and his wife still reside in their humble home in Nebraska, which he bought for $31,500 in 1957.

                  9. John Paul DeJoria: Don’t Stop Trying For Your Success

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                    John Paul DeJoria lived in a foster home and even lived in his car. He created the John Paul Mitchell Hair Care System with a loan of a mere $700. He also founded Patron Tequila and today has a net worth of over $4 billion. DeJoria joined with Nelson Mandela in the Food4Africa effort and helped provide over 200,000 meals for children.

                    10. Ralph Lauren: Stay Focused On Your Dream

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                      Ralph Lauren began his career in clothing as a clerk at Brooks Brothers. It was there that Lauren started dreaming of more variety and colors in men’s ties. In 1967, he sold $700,000 of those types of ties. The next year he started the Polo line of clothing. His net worth today is over $7 billion.

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                      50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                      LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

                      Job Search Experts

                      You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

                      1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

                      2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

                      3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

                      4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

                      5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

                      Management Experts

                      They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

                      6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

                      7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

                      8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

                      9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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                      Productivity Experts

                      By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

                      10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

                      11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

                      12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

                      13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

                      Marketing Experts

                      14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

                      15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

                      16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

                      17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

                      18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

                      19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

                      20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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                      21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

                      22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

                      23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

                      24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

                      25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

                      26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

                      Personal Branding Experts

                      Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

                      Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

                      27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

                      28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

                      Other Notable Experts to Follow

                      29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

                      30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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                      31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

                      32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

                      33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

                      34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

                      35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

                      36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

                      37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

                      38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

                      39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

                      40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

                      41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

                      42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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                      43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

                      44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

                      45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

                      46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

                      47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

                      48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

                      49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

                      50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

                      These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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                      Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

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