Although some people have the advantage of being born into extremely wealthy families, most millionaires are self-made, rising from humble beginnings to create massive amounts of success – and wealth – for themselves. While today they may be known for their business ventures and vast holdings, all of these highly successful people began their careers with menial and unglamorous first jobs.
While not everyone who starts out working at a grocery store will make a million – or a billion – dollars, these successful individuals managed to work their way from the bottom to the top of their respective career fields, going on from their humble first jobs to become world famous titans of industry.
Born in a small town in rural Mississippi, this future talk show host and multi billionaire moved to Tennessee as a teenager to live with her father, where she landed her first job. Although her first job was working at a local corner grocery store down the street from her father’s barber shop, at 16 she was hired by a local radio station. She began reading the news on air, and after graduating high school she attended Tennessee State University, where she studied broadcast journalism.
Now world famous for her talk show, television channel, magazine, and philanthropic work, you’d never guess this media magnate got her start at the local corner store.
Best known as the mega-successful businessman behind the Virgin group, not all of Richard Branson’s business ventures have always gone as planned. At age 11, he and a classmate tried their hand at breeding and selling small birds, only to find that the birds reproduced faster than they could sell them. His second childhood business had equally dismal results; after buying small fir trees to sell for the approaching Christmas holiday, his entire stock of trees were eaten by rabbits.
Not to worry – Sir Richard has gone on to bigger and better business ventures. Now knighted, he is worth a reported $4.6 billion.
Warren Buffet’s keen business eye was apparent even as a teenager. The founder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway got his own newspaper route at the tender age of 13, yet was still savvy enough to write off his bike as a business expense on his taxes that year. In the years to follow, Buffet would continue building his empire through various investments and business ventures, including buying property and starting a pinball machine business.
Now estimated to be worth as much as $60 billion, Warren Buffet is a prime example that good business sense starts early in life.
An example that college dropouts can go on to do incredible things, Bill Gates famously left Harvard University to found his own technology company. What started as the less catchy Traf-o-Data became Microsoft on April 4th, 1975, and has been making Gates a very wealthy man ever since. Before he began founding his own technology companies, however, Gates did odd jobs – mostly technology or coding based – such as creating the class scheduling program for his high school. He also served for a short time as a congressional page.
Gates has once again reclaimed the title as the richest person in the world, worth an estimated $76 billion dollars.