The term “self-made billionaire” has become a buzzword in the entrepreneurial world, and for good reason. These individuals started with nothing but their vision and worked hard to create businesses that generated billions of dollars in profit. Bloomberg’s Top 200 Billionaires lists over half of these billionaires as being self-made. This fact showcases the possibility and realism of making your way to the top without outside help.
The list itself is fascinating — 137 of the top 200 billionaires are self-made, which is a testament to the fact that entrepreneurship is the key to wealth creation. Furthermore, the percentage of self-made billionaires is increasing each year, and this provides an incentive to those who are just starting out their entrepreneurial journey.
Self-made billionaires share a common set of traits that helped them achieve success. Most importantly, they have an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit, a strong work ethic, and the ability to take calculated risks. Additionally, they have a passion for what they do, and they are not afraid to put in the hard work necessary to make their vision a reality.
Below, we’ll take a look at 10 lessons that anyone can learn from self-made billionaires to help them achieve success.
1. Learn to Hustle Early in Life – Elon Musk
Elon Musk, the South African-Canadian American billionaire technology mogul, started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 12 when he sold his first video game for $500. Today, he is known for SpaceX, Tesla Motors, PayPal, and zip2. He believes that, “If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” Such lessons from Musk’s life teach us the importance of self-belief, perseverance, and going all-in on our dreams.
2. Learn to Give to Those Who Truly Need It – Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely, an American intimate apparel billionaire and philanthropist, started her business from her apartment in Atlanta when she was just 27 years old. She is the founder of Spanx and has committed to donating most of her wealth away. Her Sara Blakely foundation is dedicated to helping women through education and entrepreneurship. Her beliefs inspire us to give back to the society and help those in need.
3. Learn to Grow your Investments – Warren Buffet
Warren Buffett, the American investment wizard and businessman, started investing in stocks at the age of 11 and real estate investing at 14. He is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most valuable companies in the world. His philosophy is to “invest what you know” and to invest in undervalued businesses for the long term.
4. Learn to be Comfortable with the Uncomfortable – Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté, the Canadian entrepreneur, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil and a professional poker player, started his billionaire journey as a street performer playing the accordion, walking on stilts, and eating fire. He is used to being uncomfortable and taking big risks. He teaches us to embrace uncomfortable situations and to take risks to achieve our goals.
5. Learn that Circumstances Don’t Matter – 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 and experienced physical abuse, molestation, and the death of her firstborn child. Her story teaches us that our circumstances don’t define us, and the power of positive thinking and working hard can help us overcome any challenge.
6. Learn the Real Value of Money – Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and Chairman of AXS TV, is an American business guru and investor. He learned to stretch his dollar by couch surfing, living off ketchup and mustard sandwiches, and living on the cheap. His books and philosophy on living below your means and investing in business opportunities are an eye-opener for those starting their entrepreneurial journey.
7. Learn to Be Mentally Tough – Jack Ma
Jack Ma, the Chinese internet entrepreneur and billionaire, failed numerous school exams, including university entrance examinations twice. He also faced rejection from jobs, including a managerial position at KFC. However, he remained resilient, determined, and passionate about his goals. He teaches us the importance of never giving up and being mentally tough.
8. Learn to Solve Complex Problems by Turning Them into Something Simple and Beautiful – Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes, an American entrepreneur and the founder-CEO of Theranos, dedicated one-third of her life to her biotech blood testing company. Holmes is also the youngest female self-made billionaire. She believes in discovering something new and making it a reality. Her philosophy inspires us to take complex problems and turn them into simple and beautiful ideas.
9. Learn to Take Risks and Innovate – Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is considered one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of our time. He believed in the early days of the internet and took countless risks, using his intuition to make bold moves. His belief that you should “be patient and take risks and be relentless” is the foundation that inspires most entrepreneurs.
10. Learn to Persevere – Walt Disney
Walt Disney started with a single concept: a mouse that spoke and wore clothes. His now multi-billion dollar company, The Walt Disney Company, was built through years of hard work, setbacks, and perseverance. Disney serves as an inspiration for most entrepreneurs, as his resilience and determination in the face of adversity was nothing short of remarkable.
In conclusion, self-made billionaires teach us to be fearless, to take calculated risks, and to never give up on our dreams. They are living proof that with hard work, perseverance, and the right mindset, one can achieve success beyond what was ever thought possible.