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Habits of Self-Made Billionaires [infographic]


The vast majority of super-rich people had some help along the way. In fact, Entrepreneur points out, 27 of the world’s 100 richest people are heirs. The 73 remaining richest mostly had either education or reasonably well-off parents to boost their chances. But what about the eight who had neither a college degree nor money to support them?


(Photo Credit: jDevaun/Flickr)

Here are a few things they have in common:

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1. They made mistakes.

Four of the eight rags-to-riches billionaires bought and ruined companies, according to Entrepreneur. That goes along with what we know about very successful people, which is that they tend to fail, and fail a lot, before they make it big.

2. They took big risks.

See previous, re: making mistakes. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, tells the magazine that taking chances is an essential part of his formula for success:

“One of the great benefits of taking on challenges in your working life is that you and your team learn to confront risk together – and also to lose sometimes, because when you make a good wager, the odds are not going to be in your favor. The calculated risks you and your team take should be strategic judgments, not just blind gambles: Protect the downside by figuring out the odds of success, working out what the worst possible consequences would be, then deciding whether to accept.”

3. They invested during hard times.

This almost goes along with taking risks — and almost goes without saying. How else can you make a big profit, if you’re not willing to make a gamble?

Which isn’t to say that you should gamble your rent money on the stock market in the hopes of joining the self-made billionaires, of course. But taking calculated risks can be an important ingredient in success.

(Want to lose the rest of your day? Play around with Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, one of the sources for the infographic below.)


(Infographic Credit: Entrepreneur)

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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