For most of us, being a billionaire is a dream that seems to be too distant to reach for.
But for these self-made ultra-successful men and women, they started out pretty much like us and worked their way up. They are proof that we can dream big dreams and actually fulfil them but only if we are willing to put in the work.
They learned myriad lessons on their way to the top. These lessons soon became part of their belief system so much so that they have generously shared them in the hope that we, too, will be inspired to reach for our own dreams as they did.
Here are some of the most enlightening words coming from the world’s richest folks.
Net worth: 86.6 billion USD
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffet underlined the importance of one’s values and principles that should also translate in the way we conduct ourselves and our business. Building our reputation takes years and years but it takes a snap of a finger to tarnish it. This is why we have to take care of the values and principles we and our business stand for. We have to make the conscious effort to protect our reputation knowing that damaging it might spell the end for our business. Always remember that people gravitate towards a solid, reliable name. Once we gain their trust, it would be easier to grow our business with them.
Oprah Gail Winfrey
Net worth: 2.7 billion USD
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance – and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has always driven this point home: that purpose should guide our desire to succeed and not the other way around. By understanding our purpose, it would be relatively easier to persevere when the going gets tough or be resilient when we are inundated with challenges to the point of breaking. A clearly defined purpose is fuel for the spirit, the heart, the soul. It will push us to keep on going despite the odds.
Net worth: 39.5 billion USD
“Once in your life, try something. Work hard at something. Try to change. Nothing bad can happen.”
Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma did not have any background in computers but that did not stop him from taking the risk of creating Alibaba, a tech-driven e-commerce platform that is presently bigger than Amazon and eBay combined. If we believe in something, we should take the leap and try it out. If we fail, then we fail. It is better than having not risked anything in our lifetime. The most successful people in the world are those who took the chance and innovated. Their purpose was certainly more than their fear of failure. So go ahead and take the leap!
Net worth: 7 billion USD
“Talk to successful entrepreneurs. Learn about what they’ve experienced so you can avoid some of the pitfalls that come with wealth.”
ABC Supply Chairperson Diane Hendricks emphasizes the need to be aware of the pitfalls that come with wealth. Who else knows these better than those who have grappled with them at one point or another? By talking to successful entrepreneurs who have come before us, we get to grow as budding entrepreneurs ourselves while also endeavouring to avoid the mistakes that they have made in their journey to the top.
Net worth: 107.4 billion USD
“Patience is a key element of success.”
Success is a marathon. We have to keep at it, persist, persevere. Microsoft founder Bill Gates reminds us that we have to be in this for the long haul. The most prolific entrepreneurs are those who know their purpose and are committed to seeing it through. If we want to reach for our dreams, we have to be consistent in putting in the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. If not, then we are bound to fail even before we have begun.
The stories of these self-made billionaires should serve as our motivation to set out in pursuit of our dreams. In their desire to fulfil their dreams, they even exceeded their own expectations. Now it’s our turn to tell our own story. Let us go get going knowing that the sky is the limit. All that is needed now is our willingness to soar.