There has been a bit of a ping pong between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk for the title of “Richest Man in the World“ in recent times. It would be the pleasure of many to have the dilemma of pondering each morning if they are first, second, or even five hundredths on Bloomberg’s Billionaire index. Becoming a self-made billionaire is no easy task but it is attainable. In this article “How to Become a Billionaire-A Guide Using the Life of Ten Billionaires 2021“, you will learn important principles and practices to achieve this status. The lives of ten billionaires are examined. Some had similar paths to success and a few took some roads less traveled.
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Table of Contents
- Who Is a Billionaire?
- Common Characteristics of Billionaires
- Bloomberg Billionaire Index 2021
- Elon Musk- How to Become a Billionaire
- The Billionaire Traits of Elon Musk at 10
- Growing Stages-Taking Less Than Attractive Jobs and Journeying to America
- Searching for Opportunities to Learn From Start-Up Experts
- Making Hard Decision, Taking Risk, and Deciding on Knowledge Relevancy
- The Rocky and Sacrificial Road to Success
- Glimmers of Hope on the Horizon
- Time to Move On- Success Is Pockets of Goals Achieved Over Time
- Chapter Closed- a New Chapter Begins, Let’s Dream Again
- Success Takes Shape Again With Another Dream but the Road Is Still Rocky
- A Dream That Is Out of This World- I Have Dreams Bigger Than This Earth
- Back to the World- Another Dream, From Spaceships to Car
- The Pursuit of Success Never Ends
- So Wealthy That You Can Buy What You Lost in Sentiment
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Elon Musk
- More Billionaire Lessons From Elon Musk
- Jeff Bezos-How To Become a Billionaire
- The Billionaire Traits of Jeff Bezos at an Early Age- a Fascination With Space
- A Billionaire Who Worked as a Chef at McDonald’s
- Jeff Bezos Displayed Academic Excellence at Princeton University
- Moving Up the Corporate Ladder
- Conceptualizing Amazon on a Cross Country Drive
- Billionaires Need Investors for Their Start-Up
- Amazon Succeeds and Expands Portfolio
- Amazon Almost Goes Bankrupt
- The Pursuit of Other Interests
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Jeff Bezos
- Bill Gates–How to Become a Billionaire
- The Billionaires Traits of Bill Gates at an Early Age
- Bill Gates Creates His Own Path to Success
- Devise a Back-Up Plan for Failure
- A Hands-On Approach to Building an Empire
- Changing Roles in Your Business- a Time to Be a Manager and an Executive
- The Challenging Boss- Complacency Unacceptable
- A Time to Change the World-Philanthropist at Heart
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Bill Gates
- Bernard Arnault–How to Become a Billionaire
- Early Beginnings and Learning Business Acumen From His Father
- The Pursuit of Passion-Fashion, Beauty, and Luxury
- Acquisition and Seeing a Failure as an Opportunity and Creating a Vision of Success
- Many Assets but Only Two Have Potential-A Diamond in the Rough
- Acquisition After Acquisition-The Ambitious Billionaire
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Bernard Arnault
- Mark Zuckerberg- How To Become a Billionaire
- The Billionaires Traits of Mark Zuckerberg at an Early Age
- The Academic and Programming Genius
- An Innovative Idea Developed for Fun- Conceptualizing Facebook
- Losing One Dream to Prioritize Another-A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
- Identifying a Global Need and Creating a Solution–the Mind of a Billionaire
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Mark Zuckerberg
- Larry Page–How to Become a Billionaire
- Billionaires Traits of Larry Page Fostered at an Early Age
- The Path to Success Is Different for Each Billionaire
- The Search for Google
- The Spirit of Competitive-Only the Best Is Good Enough
- Self Change Is Important for Growth
- Build Your Business, Step Aside and Pursue Other Interests
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Larry Page
- Zhong Shanshan–How to Become a Billionaire
- Warren Buffett–How to Become a Billionaire
- Warren Buffett, The Young Entrepreneur
- Not Everyone Will See Your Potential- Rejection Abounds for Warren Buffett
- A Failure Leads to an Opportunity to Meet an Influential Mentor
- The Terrified Billionaire
- The Investor Fails at Investing
- Honing Skills and Making Accurate Market Predictions
- The Value of Compounding-Small Steps Moves Mountains
- Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Warren Buffett
- Sergey Brin-How To Become a Billionaire
- Steve Ballmer- How To Become a Billionaire
Who Is a Billionaire?
A billionaire is an individual who has a net monetary value of $1 billion or more. This net value is calculated by determining how much money an individual would have if all their debt was paid and all their assets were liquidated to cash. If someone has $2 billion in assets but $1.5 million in debt, they would not be a billionaire as their net value would be $500,000.
A simple equation to determine net value is (Monetary Value of Assets Liquated to Cash + Cash in Savings or Otherwise -Debt Owed).
Common Characteristics of Billionaires
- They take time to achieve their status.
- Billionaires usually require capital to start their business, this capital can be small.
- Billionaires are educated but this education is acquired through academic and non-academic channels e.g work experience.
- They are solution finders who analyze the world and its needs. They are curious about the world.
- Billionaires invent, create and patent innovative products.
- Billionaires dream big and seek to revolutionize industries.
- They are not afraid to fail and even in the face of losing it all, they try again until they succeed.
- Billionaires have keen attention to detail and can see the tiniest of errors.
- They build teams and partnerships that complement their skillsets.
- Billionaires are customer-centric and always seek to satisfy customers’ needs and wants.
- They are risk-takers but take risks in a smart way.
- Billionaires are passionate, determined, and focused.
Bloomberg Billionaire Index 2021
Elon Musk- How to Become a Billionaire
Elon Musk grew up in an upper-middle-class family in South Africa to a dietician mother and an Electro-Mechanical Engineer father. His parents divorced in his childhood and he had a strained relationship with his father.
The Billionaire Traits of Elon Musk at 10
Musk displayed business savvy and genius from an early age. At the age of 10, he learned computer coding and developed a video game code, and sold it for $500. Being a bright child did not protect him from life’s challenges as he was bullied and even ended up being hospitalized after being thrown down a flight of stairs.
Growing Stages-Taking Less Than Attractive Jobs and Journeying to America
As a young adult of 18, Musk had a desire to move to America. This journey required that he use his mother’s Canadian citizenship to apply for a Canadian passport even though he was born and lived in South Africa. He determined that he could reach America by going through Canada. Whilst going to a University in Canada he worked odd jobs at a lumber mill. After two years of studies at a Canadian university, he applied for a transfer to the University of Pennsylvania in America. Here he achieved a Bachelors degree in Economics and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Physics in 1997.
Searching for Opportunities to Learn From Start-Up Experts
Whilst at University, he did not take his summers and laze around as some college students do, he found himself doing an internship at two start-up energy companies, Pinnacle Research Institute, and Rocket Science Games.
Making Hard Decision, Taking Risk, and Deciding on Knowledge Relevancy
After University and successful completion of Internship at Silicon Valley, Elon Musk got a scholarship to Standford University to pursue a Ph.D. This would allow him to reach the peak of his educational attainment. After starting his Ph.D., he chose to drop out of university and ride the wave of the internet boom and create his own start-up.
The Rocky and Sacrificial Road to Success
He successfully got investors for his business, but finances were still very tight. The road to success can be paved with “did I make the right decision?” or “look what I gave up and I am now suffering.”. These are the thoughts I believe could have gone through Elon Musk’s mind when struggled to the extent of having to nowhere to live and had to sleep in his office and bathing at the YMCA.
Glimmers of Hope on the Horizon
Elon Musk’s start-up company Zip2 created and marketed an internet City Guide. His company started to gain traction when it landed two big contracts from the biggest newspaper companies in the world, the New York Times and Chicago Tribune.
Time to Move On- Success Is Pockets of Goals Achieved Over Time
Elon Musk had a mere 7% ownership in his start-up, this limited his control over his vision. The challenges and experience of his first start-up included:
- Not being appointed CEO based on a decision of the board.
- His start-up being sold for $307 million and him receiving only $22 million for his 7% share in 1999.
Chapter Closed- a New Chapter Begins, Let’s Dream Again
Having the chapter of his first successful start-up closed. It was now time for Elon Musk to move on to his next chapter. In the same year of the sale of his first start-up, he founded X.com, an online financial services company. This company experienced a merger one year later. As a result of the merger, an online money transfer service called Paypal was inherited from Confinity, the company that X.com merged with.
Success Takes Shape Again With Another Dream but the Road Is Still Rocky
The merger of Elon’s Musk’s start-up with Confinity resulted in focus on Paypal. Musk was appointed CEO but this role was not for long as he was removed but still holding a place on the company’s board. Eventually, Paypal was sold and Musk got a huge payout, this time in the amount of $165 Million. Paypal was sold to Ebay for $1.5 Billion.
A Dream That Is Out of This World- I Have Dreams Bigger Than This Earth
Elon’s next dream started with vision for a greenhouse on Mars. This lead him into the realm of space exploration and the building of rockets under his SpaceX brand. SpaceX was the first private company that was able to launch a flight in space that was able to have a person on flight in orbit.
Back to the World- Another Dream, From Spaceships to Car
In 2004, Elon Mush joined the company, Tesla, through a huge investment. This company was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk led Tesla to furthur success. He is the longest-tenured CEO of any automotive company worldwide. Tesla makes electric cars that are powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The Pursuit of Success Never Ends
Elon Musk had Telsa and SpaceX on his plate. He also had SolarCity which is a solar power supplier, which is the second largest in the USA. He is also the co-founder of Neuralink which specializes in integrating artificial intelligence with the human brain. The end product is devices to be implanted in the brain to improve human functioning e.g memory and eyesight. There is also the Boring Company that he founded which focuses on tunnel construction. There is the famed Hyperloop which is focused on high speed transportation. So many endeavors, including a stint in music.
So Wealthy That You Can Buy What You Lost in Sentiment
The heights of success in the case of Elon Musk can indeed be measured by the fact that he was able to purchase his brainchild domain “X.com” from Paypal for a sum that has not been disclosed. A sentimental purchase.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Elon Musk
- Passion and inspiration to learn skills start from an early age.
- The path to success requires temporary periods of doing jobs that are below your talents and skillsets.
- Attaining knowledge is very important to achieving success. Elon Musk chose the formal route of institutional education rather than being self-taught.
- Elon Musk used his”free time” wisely. His university summers were spent working at start-up companies. What better way to know how to start a business than working with those who are actually going through the process.
- Successful people take big risks. Elon was on the path to academic success but choose to forego higher educational achievement that would have almost guaranteed a comfortable and certain path. This is the art of weighing opportunity cost. He chose an opportunity that he believed would position him to achieve his dream.
More Billionaire Lessons From Elon Musk
- The path and difficulties experienced may seem like the wrong decision to others. Elon Musk had perseverance despite the challenges and naysayers who may have thought his decision to drop out of school to struggle with a start-up may have not been the best one.
- To achieve a goal, Elon Musk has to give up a large percentage of ownership of his brainchild company to investors. In the end, he did not get the CEO position and the company was sold as per the decision of the board of Directors, but he got $22 million. This may have seemed like a failure but he was instrumental in building a successful company, that valued over $300 million when it was sold and he was able to earn enough to then venture into another business.
- Elon Musk evaded successful CEO tenure in his own start-up but was able to achieve the milestone at Telsa, a company that he did not start. A lesson of building on other’s dream and reinventing it and making them your own.
- Elon Musk is constantly in the pursuit of new and innovative ideas. He has a diversified set of business investments, some more successful than others.
Jeff Bezos-How To Become a Billionaire
Jeff Bezos was the product of teenage love. His mother was pregnant with him whilst in high school. Jeff’s mother was able to complete high school, however, she had to attend evening school thereafter with Jeff in tow. His mother and father relationship was strained and when he was 4 years old his parents divorced. His mother subsequently married Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant whom he considers his father and whose name he carries.
The Billionaire Traits of Jeff Bezos at an Early Age- a Fascination With Space
Similar to Musk, Bezos displayed a passion strong interest in technology and science. With a high aptitude and many scholastic achievements, Jeff Bezos became his high school valedictorian. Ironically, in his speech valedictorian speech, he said he wanted to colonize space. So can we then say that “billionaires have a fascination with space as many invest in this area?” If so let’s buy some books on space on Amazon.
A Billionaire Who Worked as a Chef at McDonald’s
Again like Musk, Bezos also took less than stellar jobs. In this case, Bezos was a line cook at McDonald’s during his high school years. It is not certain if this job was about the necessity to earn or if it was a display of love and passion for working during his free time.
Jeff Bezos Displayed Academic Excellence at Princeton University
Bezos graduated from the Ivy League, Princeton University with summa cum laude, Jeff Bezos was an academic achiever.
Moving Up the Corporate Ladder
Jeff Bezos was sought after by big companies like Intel after graduating from Princeton. His path was more structured than Musk, in that he spent 7 years building his professional career before launching out to create his start-up. His first job was at Fintel, a start-up telecommunication firm. It is interesting to note that both Bezos and Musk decided to accept job offers at a start-up company rather than accepting offers from big companies.
Conceptualizing Amazon on a Cross Country Drive
Jeff Bezos created a business plan for Amazon during a cross-country trip with his then-wife MacKenzie Bezos. Amazon was to be an online store that sold books. He also had plans to eventually expand to sell other products.
Billionaires Need Investors for Their Start-Up
Not everyone can get Angel Investors to invest in their start-up like Elon Musk, sometimes your first investors are your family and friends. In the case of Jeff Bezos, his first investors were his mommy and daddy who invested $300,000. One may figure that Jeff Bezos was a realistic dreamer as when he further sought more investors for Amazon, he would point blank tell them that there was an over 60% chance that the Amazon business would fail or go bankrupt.
Amazon Succeeds and Expands Portfolio
With Jeff Bezos business plan executed, he was on his way to success. Amazon went public in 1996. Thereafter Jeff Bezos expanded the portfolio of Amazon from books, to music to other consumer products.
Amazon Almost Goes Bankrupt
In 2002 Amazon almost went bankrupt as a result of high expenses. It took almost a year for the company to rebound and start earning back profit.
The Pursuit of Other Interests
Like Musk, Bezos did not have all his eggs in one basket. He pursued other business interests. Similarly, there was an interest in space. Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, which had a focus on space travel. In 2013, he purchased the popular American newspaper, the Washington Post.
As of February 2021, Jeff Bezos was worth over $191 Billion and has topped Forbes’ list as the richest person in the world for the last 3 years in a row.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Jeff Bezos
- He displayed a strong work ethic from his younger days. Using his free time to engaging in something productive was important, even if it meant sweating as a line cook at McDonald’s.
- Jeff Bezos learned about starting a business by gaining experience at a start-up company even though he was offered jobs at recognized and established firms.
- Billionaires like Jeff Bezos take jobs that require them to contribute to building a company and never sought complacency in their work life.
- The Billionaire’s dreams need capital to start, whether from friends, family, or other investors.
- Jeff Bezos was realistic and organized in his pursuits in a detailed business plan. He advised his investors on the risk profile of his business venture. A honest and practical approach.
- The Road to being a Billionaire is lined with failures.
Bill Gates–How to Become a Billionaire
Bill Gates was born into a well-to-do family, his father was a lawyer and his mother was a businesswoman and civic activist who had experience as a school teacher.
The Billionaires Traits of Bill Gates at an Early Age
Similar to other billionaires like Musk, Zuckerberg, and Bezos, Bill Gates had a passion for technology from an early age. At age 13, he created his first software program. As a teen, he was actively involved in creating software that aided the schools that he attended. His efforts were not without reward as he was paid in some instances. Here we see displays of entrepreneurship from his early days. Based on his high aptitude, he got accepted into Harvard.
Bill Gates Creates His Own Path to Success
Bill Gates’s parents desired for him to be a lawyer. As such when he enrolled in Harvard, as a pre-law major but decided to do computer and math courses as a way to learn within his passion. Two years into his tenure at Harvard, he decided to drop out and pursue creating his own company Microsoft which specialized in personal computer software.
Devise a Back-Up Plan for Failure
When Bill Gates decided to leave Harvard, which he explained to his parents, they gave him support since they saw that he was extremely passionate about starting a software company. This decision was not without promises as he told his parents that if his business venture failed he would return to school and complete his studies.
A Hands-On Approach to Building an Empire
Bill Gates was not one to sit back and let other experienced persons take on the tasks in his company during its infancy. In the first 5 years of Microsoft, Bill Gates wrote codes and also reviewed every line of code produced by his company.
Changing Roles in Your Business- a Time to Be a Manager and an Executive
Some businesses remain stagnant because when a company has reached a particular level of growth, the CEO still tries to have a hands-on approach when the company’s portfolio has grown so large that having an eye on everything is impossible. In the case of Bill Gates, he knew that in the infancy of Microsoft, a hands-on approach was required. However, as the company grew he stepped into his role as Manager and Executive.
The Challenging Boss- Complacency Unacceptable
Bill Gates has been described as being blunt with his staff. He is said to not spare the emotions or feelings of his Managers. Some may deem this as a bit aggressive but his “honest truths” have been a driving force in pushing his team to create their best. Mediocrity is simply unacceptable.
A Time to Change the World-Philanthropist at Heart
As a billionaire, Bill Gates recognized that outside of the world of technology, there are social issues to be resolved. Having led the path to Microsoft’s success, he has retired from active roles in day-to-day operations. He now focuses his efforts on global solutions for developmental issues such as health and climate change.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Bill Gates
- Never let others even your family determine your career path, instead pursue your personal dreams and passion.
- Even if you decide to do something outside of your passion to please others, use your free time to work on your passion.
- Some billionaires went full speed ahead to pursue their dreams and passions, but some are more pragmatic and weigh their decisions and determine a back-up plan in case of failure.
- In the infancy of a start-up business, billionaires are usually very hands-on in every aspect of their business.
- A billionaire knows when it’s time to step up or step down in their business to allow others to lead and help their company to grow.
- Bill Gates has been described as someone who speaks his mind and does not accept mediocrity. He constantly challenged his team to be and do better.
- Billionaires like Bill Gates, expand their scope of interest and try to solve social and environmental problems. Bill Gates has become actively involved in philanthropic efforts such as global health, education, climate change, and other developmental issues.
Bernard Arnault–How to Become a Billionaire
Bernard Arnault did not start from a humble beginning in France. In fact, he got capital for his first start-up business acquisition from his father’s business, where he used 15 million to purchase a company that held the brand, Christian Dior. Despite this family injection, his father’s business was a medium size construction company and is nothing in comparison to the empire that he built. So he is a self-made billionaire with life chances that enhanced his opportunity to become a billionaire
Early Beginnings and Learning Business Acumen From His Father
Bernard Arnault acquired an engineering degree at École Polytechnique in 1971. After leaving school, he immediately started to work for his father’s construction company. He was appointed President in 1978. His tenure lasted for 6 years after which he started to delve into the area where he had a strong interest.
The Pursuit of Passion-Fashion, Beauty, and Luxury
In 1984,Arnault focus shifted from construction to luxury goods where he acquired Financière Agache with $15 Million capital from his father’s company.
Acquisition and Seeing a Failure as an Opportunity and Creating a Vision of Success
After acquiring Financière Agache, Barnaul acquired Boussac Saint-Frères, a textile business that was ailing financially. Boussac Saint-Frères had the brand, Christian Dior.
Many Assets but Only Two Have Potential-A Diamond in the Rough
Future Billionaires have that uncanny ability to focus on potential. When Arnault acquired Boussac Saint-Frères. He sold all the company’s assets and kept only two brands which included Christian Dior. Here we see that he was willing to buy a failing company for two brands that have potential.
Acquisition After Acquisition-The Ambitious Billionaire
Arnault was very ambitious and had an aggressive acquisition and development plan. Today, he leads the LVMH empire which has over 70 brands including Sephora, Tiffany & Co Limited, and Louis Vuitton. His acquisition outside luxury consumer brands includes the acquisition of French economic newspaper, Les Échos, and many art collections.
LVHM Press Release January 2021
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Bernard Arnault
- Managing a business requires learning whether academically or practically, Arnault spent years working in his father’s company before branching off into his own passions and endeavours.
- A failing company can be revived with the new direction and the right management.
- Success requires change which includes getting rid of assets or businesses that are no longer viable.
- Future Billionaires can see the worth in something that others may see as a going concern. Arnault bought an entire company just to sell almost all of its assets and kept only two promising brands including Christian Dior.
- Billionaires are brand builders.
Mark Zuckerberg- How To Become a Billionaire
A self-made billionaire who grew up in a middle-class family from New York. His parents had professional jobs, his mother was a Psychiatrist, and his father a Dentist.
The Billionaires Traits of Mark Zuckerberg at an Early Age
Zukerberg was similar to other Billionaires like Bezos and Musk, he had a strong interest in science and technology. His “billionaire” potential was identified by his father from an early. His father had a great level of technological intelligence and taught him basic programming. Zuckerberg was developing computer programs from middle school. When Zuckerberg’s father realized that his ability went beyond that which he could teach him or had time to teach him, he employed David Newman, a software developer to have private lessons with him.
The Academic and Programming Genius
Zuckerberg was not a typical teen, he spent his free time developing and working on different technological projects. By the time Zuckerberg gained entrance into Harvard, he had already deemed a “programming genius.”
An Innovative Idea Developed for Fun- Conceptualizing Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, had youthful exuberance at Harvard, which lead him to face some reprimand for his developments. He created a popular interactive program that his fellow Harvard colleagues started to use to the disruption of the University internet server. After realizing the receptiveness of these internet platforms by his peers at Harvard, he started to conceptualize Facebook.
Losing One Dream to Prioritize Another-A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
When Zuckerberg started to work on Facebook, he decided to drop out of Harvard. A hard decision, however, by that time he was getting into trouble including legal wrangling over programs he made that was supposed to be for student connectivity at Harvard.
Identifying a Global Need and Creating a Solution–the Mind of a Billionaire
Have you ever sat and thought ‘what is something different or innovative that I can create?” or “What is missing in the world of technology?” This is the mind of a Billionaire, they are constantly examining the world and trying to come up with solutions or something that can meet a need. Mark Zuckerberg felt Facebook was a service that the world needed. Facebook became the number 1 social media platform making Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire. Zukerberg like his fellow billionaires spread his wings and is involved in spacecraft development projects amongst other things.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Mark Zuckerberg
- Time should not be wasted. Use your spare-time developing your talents and skills.
- The path to success is hard work but if passion and fun are added to your pursuits that provides a leverage for excellence.
- Billionaires are not made from the drive for money but the identification of passion and love of something and then working on it.
- High-level risks are taken to achieve success. These risks include foregoing higher academic achievement to pursue a vision much greater.
- Billionaires usually examine the world, identify a need or product that does not exist, and create it.
Larry Page–How to Become a Billionaire
Larry Page grew up in a home where his parents were academics and professionals in the computing field. His father had a Ph.D. in Computer Studies and his mom taught computing at a College.
Billionaires Traits of Larry Page Fostered at an Early Age
The academic atmosphere created by Page’s parents laid the foundation for his success in the field of computing, artificial intelligence, and software development. From the age of 6, he started to invent gadgets and explore the world of computers.
The Path to Success Is Different for Each Billionaire
Unlike Zuckerberg and Gates, Larry Page did achieve academic qualifications up to the Master’s level. His achievements and academic achievement were intertwined. He reached the highest level of academic pursuit when he entered a Ph.D. program at Stanford in which he wrote a paper with Sergey Brin which was titled “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”. This paper became the highest downloaded scientific document in the history of the internet. As he was pursuing his Ph.D., he met his Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Both decided to drop their Ph.D. studies to focus on developing Google.
The Search for Google
Page’s circle was academic so he sought financial help for his collegues, as he dreamed of establishing a search engine with millions of indexed URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). He was successful in his effort at raising capital.
The Spirit of Competitive-Only the Best Is Good Enough
As Larry Page led Google into success, he was highly competitive. Page felt that every millisecond counted as it related to Google’s search results. His mantra was that his team ought to create better than his competitors.
Self Change Is Important for Growth
As a young leader, Page’s management style was described as harsh, intense, and debative. This resulted in him stepping down as CEO in 2001 He assumed the position of President of Products at Google. This decision was made after consultation with other leaders in the industry such as Steve Jobs and Andrew Grove. These influential colleagues in the business were impactful in convincing Page to step aside and let a better manager lead in the interest of the company. In 2011, after some years, Page back the role of CEO. He had a new mindset and a different leadership style. His new approach included the creation of a zero tolerance approach to fighting policy with an emphasis on team dynamics of communication, inclusiveness, unity, and harmony. Quite a different leader than his earlier days.
Page has been known to step up and down in roles to the benefit of Google, in December 2019, he spoke about his perspective in a Google blog titled ” A Letter from Larry and Sergey” written by himself and Sergey Brin, they state:
Build Your Business, Step Aside and Pursue Other Interests
Larry Page has reached the stage where he has built an extremely successful company, and is now relaxing and letting others handle management. At 47, he is in retirement mode. A visit from Larry Page to Google is very rare, he has not participated in any press conferences since 2015. He has however pursued investments in other interests including Telsa, the development of electronic cars, Singularity University-a think tank, and other endeavours.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Larry Page
- Competing to be the best is the key to success.
- Acquiring knowledge is important and immersing oneself in this pursuit is the foundation to excellence.
- The value of a superb product outweighs leadership conflicts and flaws in personal management style. Bad leadership does not necessarily lead to company failure.
- Billionaires change and grow in their management styles, often consulting with others in their industry on the best approach to take for their business.
- Billionaires know that pride has to be put aside when it comes to building their company. If they are not good at something, they take time away to develop their skills and let others assume management roles to cover areas in which they are deficient.
- Billionaires are intense when it comes to building an empire but when they have actualized their vision, they relax and pursue other efforts which include philanthropy.
Zhong Shanshan–How to Become a Billionaire
There is not much literature that is available on Zhong Shanshan–How to Become a Billionaire, the wealthiest man in China. We however can take some valuable lessons from the little that is known about his life.
Dropping Out of Elementary School-Failures Along the Journey
Zong Shanshan dropped out of elementary school during the Cultural Revolution, this did not deter his efforts to succeed.
Trying Many Things Until You Find Your “Personal Competitive Advantage”
In economics, the concept of competitive advantage refers to those things e.g factors of production that makes your business achieve superior sales or produce cheaper and rank higher than competitors. Billionaires have found their ” Personal Competitive Advantage”, PAC. In the case of Zuckerberg, Page, and Gates, their PAC, was in the field of technology. Comparatively, they are better than most in what they do. In the case of Zhong Shanshan, he tried his hands at a number of things before finding his success. After dropping out of school he tried his hands at construction, then he studied Journalism, then he sold mushrooms. He sold health supplements. It is no surprise that he invested in Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy and is a majority owner.He then became a sales agent at a beverage company. This is where he found his PAC and decided to enter the bottled water business.
Elementary School Dropout to the King of Bottled Water to the Richest Man in China
Learning is very important to the process of growth, one could imagine that after working at a beverage company, that is where Zhong Shanshan maybe thought “I could own a business like this”. He indeed could, as he went on to open Nongfu Spring, a bottle water company on which his wealth was built.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Zhong Shanshan
- Low academic achievement and failure do not determine your future success.
- Success comes through a process of trial and error. There is something that each person is good at, once you find your “Personal Competitive Advantage” and work on it, success can be achieved.
- Sometimes we find out what we are good at by trying different things.
Warren Buffett–How to Become a Billionaire
Born in 1930, Warren Buffetgrew up in a well-to-do home, where his father was a Politician who served four terms in Congress.
Warren Buffett, The Young Entrepreneur
Warren Buffett had immersed himself in reading literature on investing and business from as young as 7. By, the age of 14, he had investments that allowed him to buy a 40-acre farm. When he graduated from college, he had today’s equivalent of over 100,000 US in savings.
Not Everyone Will See Your Potential- Rejection Abounds for Warren Buffett
Despite building himself as a financial genius, Warren Buffett’s life was not without rejection. After being rejected by Harvard Business School, he enrolled in Columbia Business School.
A Failure Leads to an Opportunity to Meet an Influential Mentor
After being rejected from Harvard, Buffett decided to enroll in Columbia Business School after learning that Benjamin Graham was a professor there. Graham was a market mangnate, leading Economist, known as “the father of value investing”. After leaving Columbia with a Master’s Degree in Economics, he sought jobs in the field of investment. Having met Benjamin Graham, who saw his abilities, he sought guidance on decisions making from him at time.
The Terrified Billionaire
Warren Buffet was terrified of public speaking. He however knew that success in his field hinged on having great communication skills, so he pursued a course in public speaking.
The Investor Fails at Investing
No one is immune to failure, even an economic genius. Whilst holding a job as a stockbroker in Omaha, Buffett taught investment at nights at a University. At this time, he invested and purchased a gas station which proved to be an unsuccessful endeavor.
Honing Skills and Making Accurate Market Predictions
Warren Buffett’s failures did not deter him, he continued to make investments and built many successful partnerships. Today, he is one of the richest men in the world. At age 90, he is a market guru who has been strategic in his business acquisitions. The best way to describe him is that he is a “market psychic”
The Value of Compounding-Small Steps Moves Mountains
The economic principle of compounding shows that interest is earned on interest in economics. This simple principle when applied to life shows that if we take small steps daily towards a goal we can move mountains.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Warren Buffett
- Success does not emerge overnight, even with a genius mind, learning is necessary.
- The value of mentorship- Billionaires have mentors who have many years of experience in the field. This is not only evidenced by Graham’s and Buffett’s relationship but as mentioned earlier that Larry Page sought guidance for direction from Steve Jobs when he stepped down as CEO of Google.
- Success requires overcoming fears. This requires taking proactive steps to remove fears whether its a course or getting professional help.
- Economic Principles can be applied to our lives and not only financial decisions.
- Success is built on lifelong learning.
Sergey Brin-How To Become a Billionaire
Larry Page and Sergey Brin have similar stories of success, after all, they are good friends and co-founders of Google. Born in Moscow in 1973 to academic parents, his father is a retired Mathematics professor, and his mother is a researcher at NASA.
Early Beginnings and Migration to the Land of Opportunity
Brin’s parents sought a better life for their children, as such, his father sought to acquire a job as a Professor in the United States. In this process, Brin’s parents got fired from their academic jobs in Moscow when it was found out that they had applied for visas to exit Moscow. In light of this, the family fell on a bit of a rough patch whilst they waited 8 months until they got full approval. During that time, his parents had to take odd jobs to feed their family. The Brin family migrated to the USA when Sergey was six and his father took up a professorship at the University of Maryland.
Sergey Brin excelled in his studies. Following in the academic footsteps of his father, he received a bachelor’s degree with honors at the University of Maryland in the field of computer science and mathematics.
A Meeting of Great Minds- The Power of Partnership
Sergey Brin met Larry Page when they both enrolled to do graduate studies at Standford. The two became friends but in a very disagreeable way, often debating and arguing on intellectual matters. Combining their brilliant minds which had similar and differing knowledge, they started to began to conceptualize their brainchild “Google”. An internet search engine where information was indexed and stored for fast retrieval. The rest was history and this chance meeting and friendship lead to them becoming Billionaires and listed amongst the most powerful men in the world. Google basically revolutionized the internet and created a technology renaissance.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Sergey Brin
- The road to success requires an active pursuit of opportunity. It may require moving from a place that is your comfort zone to moving your entire family to a different country.
- Whilst waiting on an opportunity, one may have to take less than pleasing jobs to survive until doors are open.
- Success is often achieved through partnership. Networking and meeting others who know more than you or have strengths in a different area can serve to complement efforts at creating something innovative.
- Dream big, think “revolutionary ideas”
Steve Ballmer- How To Become a Billionaire
Steve Ballmer grew up in an affluent community in Michigan. A child of immigrant parents, his father was a Manager at Ford Motor Company.
The Confidence in Your Child–the Foundational Upbringing of a Billionaire
As early as the age of 8, Steve Ballmer’s father was instilling in him that all dreams can be achieved. He even porfessed from then that his son would have been a Harvard graduate. With this nurturing from his parents and high expectations, Ballmer excelled from a very young age, often winning many academic accolades. As envisioned by his father, he graduated from Harvard, manga cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Applied Mathematics.
The Power of Partnership- Gates Meets Ballmer at Harvard, the Merging of Intellectual Minds
Whilst pursuing graduate studies at Stanford in 1980, Ballmer’s friend Bill Gates offered him a job as the First Business Manager in Microsoft. He then had an 8% share in the company. Baller was instrumental in the growth of Microsoft as he headed several divisions. From 2000 to 2014, he was CEO of Microsoft whilst Gates remained as Chairman. The complementary nature of their partnership saw Ballmer being responsible for finances and the day-to-day operations of Microsoft whilst Gates assumed the role of technological visionary.
Interestingly, there are two pairs of intellectual partners on the list of the 10 richest people in the world. The dynamics of friendship and partnership between Ballmer and Gates, resulting in the creation of revolutionary products and the positioning of Microsoft as a leading developer of personal computing software. This propelled both partners, to be named amongst the richest men in the world. Such was the pairing of Larry Page and Sergey Brin in developing Google and Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates in the building of Microsoft.
Lessons to Become a Billionaire From Steve Ballmer
- Success is often achieved through partnership and having a shared vision and goal with others.
- Leaders often find others who complement their skillsets. These working relationships maximizing the possibility of attaining goals.
Aim as high as possible in your pursuits. The road to being a billionaire is not easy, however, we have the best direction from the lives of those who are discussed in the article.