Billionaires Who Started With Nothing At All
The majority of people who fall into the middle-class dream of one day ‘hitting it big.’ Some of us might look to winning the lotto to finally become millionaires. As convenient as it would be to get rich of a single ticket, the majority of billionaires in the world got to where they were through hard work.
Some of the most successful businesspeople in the world started out dirt poor. Here’s a list of people that literally started from the bottom and made their way to the top:
1. Russian Business tycoon Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich
Born into poverty, Abramovich was raised by his uncle after being abandoned at age 2. Growing up with his uncle’s family in a subarctic region of northern Russia, Roman attended the Auto Transport Institute. In 1987, while attending the college the businessman started a company that made plastic toys.
The toy company raised enough capital for Abramovich to establish an oil business. Sibneft, the oil company, was part of a merger that helped it become the fourth largest oil company in the world. It was eventually sold to Gazprom in 2005, a state-run gas titan that netted the tycoon a whopping $13 billion.
Roman Abramovich has a net worth of $8.2 billion.
2. Starbucks’s Howard Schultz
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is no stranger to poverty, as he once told the Mirror:
“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, and 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 what it’s like.”
Schultz did well enough to earn himself a football scholarship to the University of North Michigan. After graduating, he worked for Xerox a short time before taking over Starbucks, which had only 60 locations at the time.
Schultz becoming the Starbucks CEO in 1987 is what helped paved the way for its now 16,000 locations worldwide.
Howard Schultz has a net worth of about $2.9 billion.
3. Oprah Winfrey, TV Personality and Talk Show Host
Once the host of a popular talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, it ran for 25 seasons before it ended.
Winfrey grew up poor in Mississippi and despite her circumstances, was successful in nabbing a full-ride scholarship to Tennessee State University. One of her most notable accomplishments was becoming the state’s first African-American TV correspondent before she turned twenty.
It was in 1983 when Oprah Winfrey moved to Chicago and began working for an AM talk show that eventually led to her appearing on TV with a show named after her.
Oprah Winfrey’s net worth is about $3 billion.
4. Leonardo Del Vecchio, Eyewear Mogul
Because it was so hard for his widowed mother to care for him and four other children, Del Vecchio was sent to an orphanage. Not allowing his circumstances or past to define him, he landed a job where his tasks involved making auto part molds and eyeglass frames.
Taking life by the horns, so to speak, Del Vecchio had enough money at the age of 23 to open his own molding shop, the birthplace of Ray-Ban and Oakley. Today his companies are the world’s largest producer of sunglasses and prescription eyewear.
Leonardo Del Vecchio has a net worth of about $24.1 billion.
5. Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands
Adelson spent the majority of his childhood sleeping on the floor of an apartment. Growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Adelson got his first job at the age of 12 delivering newspapers.
A Forbes profile of that billionaire said that Adelson “built a fortune running vending machines, selling newspaper ads, helping small businesses go public, developing condos, and hosting trade shows.”
Adelson was hit hard during the last recession but managed to escape with enough to get back on his feet. He established and now runs Las Vegas Sands, the largest casino company in the world.
Take a look at the people on the list and think about what they did to get to their current position. With the starting point they all had, you have to admire the hard work and dedication they put in to acquire their fortunes. If they can do it, you can too.