Its very hard to conceive the fact that Billionaires (self-made ones) actually started from nothing. Some of them even dropped out of school and some were born into poor homes. How possible is it to come from nothing and attain a “Billionaire status”, the big B? From humble beginings to being at the right place, at the right time.
In this post, we will be sharing the stories of 5 Billionaires, how they started and their advice on starting from the bottom.
Elon Musk. (Networth 19.8 billion USD )
Elon Musk’s background wouldn’t make you think he would become one of the most powerful figures in the tech world, talkless of a Billionaire.
Born in South-Africa to a Canadian mother and a South African father, Elon Musk spent his early childhood with his two siblings South Africa. At the age of 10, around the time his parents divorced, the introverted Elon developed an interest in computers. He taught himself how to program, and just at age 12, he sold a game he had made called Blastar for $500.
Bullied as a child in school to the point that sometimes he got hospitalized, Musk’s background wasn’t that full of roses. In South-Africa at that time, it was mandatory for every male member of a family to join the military, so when Musk finished high school, he moved to Canada with his mother’s relatives at the age of 17.
His first break came from Zip2, a company he co-founded with his brother which stemmed from a loan gotten from his father. In just 4 years, Zip2 was sold to Compaq for a whooping $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock and Elon got $22 million for his 7% stake from the sale.
The then went ahead to start X.com and later turned it into Paypal which later got sold to eBay for $1.5 billion, he made $165 million from that deal.
He took a bet on Tesla by investing about $80 USD even when the company was at the edge of bankruptcy, to ensure the company became a success, he took over as CEO and outted the co-founder. Now, Tesla is synonymous with Electric Cars.
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.” – Elon Musk
“There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? If the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing.” – Elon Musk
“People can choose not to ordinary, they can choose not to conform to the ideals that were thought to them by their parents. Its possible for “ordinary people” to become “extra ordinary” – Elon Musk.
“When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.” – Elon Musk.
Elon Musk Best Advice:
(1) Take Risks Before Life Gets In The Way; the best time to become an entrepreneur and hustler is when you are young, as you get older, obligations get in the way! Elon Musk can be quted saying “So, I would encourage you to take risks now, to do something bold, you won’t regret it.”
As you get older, your risk level becomes very low because decisions you make will not only affect you but also affect your family, kids and people who depend on you. The best time indeed to take risks is when you have little to no obligations. This is very important.
(2) Burn The Midnight Oil; You have to be willing to go the extra mile, Musk is notorious for working over 100 hours a week between his various companies, if normal people work 40hours a week and you work 2 times that, you will be able to achieve in 4 months what will take them a year to achieve.
Push yourself to the limit – if there’s any! When next you feel exhasuted and tired, remember Elon Musk.
(3) Create instead of Complain; Instead of complaining, why not create? The average person will complain about situations and things in their life but the smart ones (like Elon Musk) will create solutions instead of complaining. Building the future for yourself is the best way to achieve the outcomes you actually want.
Oprah Winfrey (Net worth: 2.6 billion USD (2019).
Growing up in a toxic environment where she was sexually abused by a number of male relatives and friends of her mother, no one would have guessed that the little girl born in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi would grow up to be worth multiple billions.
While she was living with her Grandmother, they were so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, and local children made fun of her. Her Grandmother’s taught her how to read from the age of 3 and used to take her to church where she was nicknamed “The Preacher”, due to her ablity to quote numerous bible passages. He attributes her ability and flare for piblic speaking to her Grandmother, she said “it was Hattie Mae who had encouraged her to speak in public and “gave me a positive sense of myself”
Working her way up the ranks as a black female journalist in a field which was, at that time dominated by white males, in 1986 she started her own nationwide sybdicated talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show” which brought in double numbers compared to Phil Donahue, who at that time was number-one daytime talk show host in America.
Oprah started with nothing anf failed numerous time especially being a african She became a millionaire at the age of 32 when her talk show received national syndication. At the age of 41, Winfrey had a net worth of $340 million and replaced Bill Cosby as the only African American on the Forbes 400 and by 2008, her yearly income had increased to $275 million
“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.” ― Oprah Winfrey
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ― Oprah Winfrey
“You can have it all. Just not all at once.” ― Oprah Winfrey
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.” ― Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey Best Advice:
(1) Do Your Best, Always; Oprah says “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment, puts you in the best place for the next moment,”. Most people believe in luck and think things happen to people randomly but Oprah defines luck as when preparation meets opportunity. You can only get lucky if when opportunity comes, you have something to offer.
(2) Find What Fits; When she was giving a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, she “Align your personality with your purpose, and no one can touch you.”. This right here is key and I totally agree with it. If you are in a field or career path that is aligned with your personality, there is indeed no touching you.
(3) Follow Your Intuition; When outlining some of her best advice, she said “You cannot hear the still, small voice of your instinct, your intuition, what some people call God, if you allow the noise of the world to drown it out,” she said. “So, shut out the haters and the well-wishers and the sales clerk who thinks that dress is “so versatile.” Follow your instinct!