Life is hard and most of the people in the world can hardly afford their day to day, leave alone save enough money to invest. Many of those who manage to save enough and invest end up only making small profits, or losing their little investments. The many hurdles that exist between poor people and billions are so discouraging, which is why most of us find it hard to believe rags to riches stories. Everything is possible though, and whether it is through luck or wearing your skin down on your fingers like Sheldon Adelson, things can always change for the better. Here is a look at the most inspiring rags to billions stories in the world.
Many people call him king of casinos because he is the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, which owns some of the biggest casino chains in the world. Adelson is worth over $29 billion thanks to his genius mind as a businessman but he didn’t start anywhere near the top. He was born to Jewish emigrants who had to share a one-room house in Boston with Sheldon’s three siblings. He said in an interview that his parents died in 1985, just 11 days apart and there wasn’t even $100 to their name. He said he worked his skin down to his fingers to earn his fortune the old-fashioned way and according to him, there is no business that a smart hard working business person can’t do.
John Paul DeJoria
John Paul Dejoria was homeless twice, and he grew up with a single mother because his father had abandoned them. He grew up not knowing what it meant to be rich because his mother worked herself sick to make ends meet. He was homeless again in his 20s after joining the navy before he became a salesman. He said he sold everything from vacuum flasks to bibles. His breakthrough came when he used the last $700 in his account to open the Paul Mitchell salon and hair products company with his friend Paul Mitchell. The rest is history, but his testimony and philanthropy is so inspiring that everyone that has a humble beginning would definitely love to be like him.
From a delivery boy to one of the richest men in the world, the founder of Zara and the Inditex group is one of the most inspiring stories of billionaires in the world. Ortega was born in a family of four where the father was a road worker while the mother worked as a housemaid and life was hard. Mr Ortega confessed that he was sad watching his mother beg shopkeepers to give her groceries on credit so she would pay when her bosses paid her at the end of the month. He quit school at age 14 and went to look for a job at a shirt company. He then started his company GOA which sewed designer clothes at affordable prices and the rest is history. He keeps a private lifestyle and rarely talks about his wealth.
George Soros is a billionaire that seems to be linked with every political and financial predicament in the world but he does have a very humble beginning. His PR is not the best in political corners but everyone agrees that he is one of the greatest investment managers ever born. He is worth less than $10 billion because he has given away over $30 billion to charity over the years. That is just his MO.
Soros was born in Hungary, and being a Jew in the heart of the Nazi occupation of the country, his family struggled and lost everything. The family took up the name Soros to avoid persecution and Soros had to pretend to be a relative of the then finance minister of Hungary to escape to the UK where he finally won a scholarship and hence his knowledge of the financial markets.
Oprah Winfrey is now one of the most influential media personalities in the world, and with a net worth of over $3 billion, she is also one of the richest people in the world. Her mother was a housekeeper and a teenager who could hardly afford to feed her so she was sent to live with her grandmother where she wore potato sacks as clothes sometimes.
She was assaulted both sexually and emotionally by members of her family and neighbours, causing her to run away from home aged just 13. She got pregnant aged just 14, but the child died because it was born prematurely. That is when her father encouraged her to take a second chance at life and go to school in Milwaukee from where she discovered her interest in media. Her talent as an orator won her a college scholarship that made the Oprah we know today.
Pham Nhat Vuong
Pham Nhat Vuong was Vietnam’s first-ever billionaire, and now the richest man in the country worth over $8.1 billion. However, this is Vietnam and if you know that country’s history, then you understand that nothing there comes easy. He was born to a poor family where the father served as a soldier while his mother owned a tea shop. He was good at Maths though, and being from North Vietnam, got a scholarship to Russia. His first business was a Vietnamese restaurant in Ukraine which he and his wife doubled as waiters. He also started making instant noodles and delivering and that became his first big business.
Shahid Khan’s rags to riches story are known by nearly everyone but there is no harm in hearing it again. Khan came to the US to study but he didn’t know anyone in the country and he didn’t have enough money to survive. He was just 16 at the time when he earned admission to the University of Illinois.
He got a job as a dishwasher at the YMCA to pay his way through school. His life took a turn for the better when he got the job as an Engineering supervisor at Flex N Gate and ended up buying the company a few years later aged 28. He is now one of the most influential businessmen in the world and the richest Pakistani as many call him.
Polo is now one of the most famous fashion brands in the world which is why it is hard to imagine that its founder couldn’t afford clothes at one point. He grew up in a middle-class family of Eastern European Jews who migrated to the US seeking a better life. He and his brother were forced to change their sir names to protect themselves from the bullying associated with their Jewish surnames.
They didn’t have enough money for expensive clothes but that didn’t diminish his love for fashion. He didn’t have to suffer as much as the other billionaires here but he did struggle until he finally got a company that could help him manufacture his necktie designs which became the foundation stones of the Polo Brand.
The genius mind behind Starbucks, the world’s most popular coffee brand has always embraced his humble past. His family had no money, so they moved to a subsidized housing project in Brooklyn where his father worked as a bus driver and he was the breadwinner of the family. When he broke his leg in an accident, and without insurance, medical bills drove the family to extreme poverty. He got a football scholarship that allowed him to go to the University of Michigan from where he got his first job. That is when he noticed a little Starbucks coffee shop that he later bought and is now one of the richest men in the world.
This is one of the most controversial billionaires in the world since he was arrested for stealing government assets and then used contacts high up in the Russian government to buy a half a billion oil company for just $100 million. He now owns Chelsea FC alongside other big brands that have given him a net worth of $15.2 billion.
His family was from Lithuania but he lost his parents at a young age and being an orphan at 4, had to be raised in Siberia by relatives. He quit school at 16 in Moscow before becoming a mechanic, then a plastic toy seller before records got murky and he emerged as a billionaire.