8 RAGS-TO-RICHES BILLIONAIRE’S STORIES THAT INSPIRE
According to the Forbes magazine, as of 2016, there are only 1810 billionaires in the world. They sure seem like a lot more, no? Anyway, we all know a few of them already, like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder), and Mark Zuckerberg (founder of that procrastinating website). There are many others we have not really heard of, even though we might be using their products and services on daily basis.
While some on the list came from a well-to-do families and even inherited a good lot of money, there are many others who came from really poor families- as in homeless, and/or lived on welfare- and made it to the list only by their determination, relentless hard work, and some amount of luck. Below is a list of some of them who overcame all challenges, and ended up achieving a status we all strive for. Read on and be inspired.
1) RALPH LAUREN: Current net worth- $6.8 billion.
You know who he is, we all do. Today, his name flashes in almost every mall in every city of every country in the world. It wasn’t always that way though. Did you know his father, an immigrant, worked as a painter and often found it impossible to fetch a two-course meal for the family. It was in 1967 when Ralph listened to his heart and set out to sell broader and brighter neckties than was the trend, and ended up selling up his designs to Bloomingdale’s for $500,000. In 1968 he set up the brand Polo (RL) with that money and the rest, as they say, is history.
2) OPRAH WINFREY: Current net worth- $3.5 billion.
Who doesn’t love Oprah? It would be easy to say that she had a rough childhood, but that would be the understatement of the decade. Born to a single, teenage mother, who later worked as a housemaid to raise her, she was abused as a child, got pregnant and then miscarried, Oprah has lived through hell and emerged. She became the first-ever African American TV correspondent and later went on to take over the AM Chicago TV talk show that got renamed as the legendary, The Oprah Winfrey Show.
3) LAKSHMI MITTAL: Current net worth- $17.5 billion.
The CEO and Chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading integrated steel and mining company, was born in a middle class family in Rajasthan, India. It took him two decades of hard work to reach where he is today. Did you know he had spent a whooping $100 million on his daughter’s wedding and gifted her the former Philippines embassy in Kensington Gardens, London that he had specially bought for her for ₤70 million? Impressed much?
4) SHAHID KHAN: Current net worth- $8.5 billion.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan in the year 1950 to a middle-class family, Shahid Khan (or Shad khan, as he is popularly known) moved to the U.S in in 1967, when he was barely 17. His first job there was to wash dishes in an hotel for $1.2 per hour. He soon got a job in the automotive manufacturing company, Flex-N-Gate, and later went on to buy it from his once-employer Charles Butzow in 1980. Today, the company takes in approximately $4.5 billion in annual revenue.
5) LARRY ELLISON: Current net worth- $61.2 billion.
Born to single mother in 1944, Larry was raised by his maternal aunt and uncle in Chicago. He had to drop out of college and move to California when his aunt passed away, and do a number of odd jobs to make the ends meet. He finally went on to found a software firm there in 1970, which is today the world’s largest IT company. Heard of Oracle? Yeah, that one.
6) JK Rowling: Current net worth- $1.2 billion.
Although born as Joanne Rowling in the year 1965 in Gloucestershire, England to an Engineer father and a Science Technician mother, Rowling had a decent childhood, it was her youth and her marriage that changed her life. She is known to have faced abuse and violence by the hands of her husband, and the marriage ended in 1993, when her daughter was still an infant of four months. She was later diagnosed with clinical depression, and even contemplated suicide at one point. She, along with her daughter, had to live on welfare benefits for a long while, before she decided to sit and finish writing the book she had started long time back. That book was the first of the Harry Potter series. Her net worth might be the lowest in the list, but that is because she decided to donate almost 95% of her money to charity. Salute!
7) JACK MA: Current net worth- 40.2 billion.
If his story does not inspire you, we are not sure if anything can. What would you have done if you had- failed a primary school exam twice, failed a middle school exam thrice, failed the college entrance exam twice, scored 1 out of 120 in a math exam, been rejected from Harvard not once but 10 times, turned down from 30 jobs in a row, been the only one out of 24 applicants to be rejected by KFC? You know what Jack did? He persisted. He is the founder of Alibaba.com., and a living proof that no series of depressing failures can keep you from achieving your dreams.
8) LIA KA-SHING: Current net worth- 34.2 billion.
Ka-Shing, as he is known fled the mainland China for Hong Kong. Fate made him responsible for the entire family at a tender age of 15, when his father suddenly passed away. In the year 1950, he set up his first company Cheung Kong Industries from borrowed money. Having stared with plastic and later diversified into several fields including real estate, Ka-Shing is one of the wealthiest people in the world.
All of these stories are an inspiration and makes you realize that you have no excuses whatsoever for not running after your goals. As Jack Ma says, ‘The only defeat is when you give up’, and Oprah says, ‘The big secret in life is that there’s no secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work for it’.