1/10/2011 4:43 PM ET|
7 billionaires' first jobs
Each of these wealthy people got started on the road to riches by performing entry-level tasks like bagging groceries, delivering newspapers or parking cars.
We're all familiar with these famous billionaires and how they amassed their fortunes -- we even dream of similarly making it big ourselves.
But did you ever wonder how rich, successful people got their starts? Here is a look at some famous billionaires' first jobs.
Net worth: $47 billion
First job: Newspaper delivery
Warren Buffett (pictured above) started working on his billion-dollar empire when he was a teenager. His first job, at age 13, was running a newspaper delivery business. Already a budding businessman with an eye on the bottom line, Buffett took a deduction that year for the use of his bicycle on his paper route.
He went on to start a pinball-machine business while in high school. Always looking for business opportunities, Buffett had $10,000 from his business ventures when he graduated from college.
Today, Buffett's net worth is estimated at $47 billion. It's no wonder that so many people today look to him for investment advice.
Net worth: $2.7 billion
First job: Grocery store clerk
Oprah Winfrey, who seems to get better and richer with everything she does, got her start in a menial job at the grocery store next to her father's barbershop in Nashville, Tenn.
She quickly made a move into broadcasting; at age 16 she was reading the news for the local radio station and on the road toward becoming a national media powerhouse.
Net worth: $18 billion
First job: Parking lot attendant
Michael Bloomberg was born to middle-class parents and worked his way through college, eventually earning a master's in business administration from Harvard University. After graduating he went to Wall Street
Bloomberg is now the mayor of New York and one of the nation's wealthiest citizens.
Net worth: $53 billion
First job: Computer programmer
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to follow his passion for technology. His first job was as a computer programmer for TRW during his senior year in high school.
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So what is the point? If you work hard in America you can become a billionaire? If that's the case, most people in America would be. It is insider contacts and luck. Oprah's break came when she took the advice of a white male insider to buy her own show. She banked on it and won. The other three had money and expertise behind them so they could take advantage of business opportunities. We are not naive out here. We know these kinds of profiles don't tell the whole story. They just make you angry - not at those being profiled- but at a system that relies on privileged information. They are all talented people -and I respect them and their accomplishments-but they did not start from nothing. Show me a minority woman, living in the projects - or a young woman with kids living in a trailer with NOTHING-working two jobs who rises to billionaire status without winning the lottery or being seduced by Multi-level marketing schemes. So many people are out here working harder than ever - trying to seek a way past living from paycheck to paycheck - and not finding it. Get real and give us some realistic role models. We're sick of celebrities. Focus on helping those of us who LABOR from day to day with little respect from culture that says billionaires are the only ones worthy of it. The entrepreneurial spirit is, however, alive and well - and you can start with nothing if you're willing to sell drugs in America.
It depends on what you focus on during your time here on earth.
"What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"
"No one can serve two masters. He will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon"
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuosly each day. and lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. and from the netherworld where he was in torment he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out 'Father Abraham have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering in torment in these flames.' Abraham replied 'my child remember that you recieved what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.' He said, 'Then I beg you , father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place or torment.' But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.' He said 'Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"
God continuously warned about the lure and desire for wealth and it's trap. I can't think of a better advisor
Good Luck because you will have to win the lotto to satisfy your dreams.
So cynical and so envious of the rich many of you are. And there you will remain. Stop crying. Start doing something and invent yourself. Nobody makes it that was "invented" by others. It's sheer ignorance to think that. Like Bill Gates said. We must invent ourselves. This article should be uplifting. Not angering. I don't care what you think your position is. I was born in Washington Heights, NYC. On the backside of Harlem. We started with nothing. We made it out... So don't cry about positions in life, and where people come from. I don't. We can all complain.... And it keeps us from doing something about it... Hearing you all make ignorant comments about any of these people is like nails on a chalkboard. Just do something. Be something. None of these people complained in life or about others. Go ahead. Site a "complaint" from any of these super wealthy people mentioned. I will stop talking now, because one thing I learned in life is that you can NEVER win a battle against ignorance...
Of course, all of us are jealous of these super-rich. It is only human. But let us not feel too bad or go out of our minds about it. Most who are super-rich pursued money as their prime motive from a young age. Fame was perhaps a close second. Many who are not rich may have pursued something else in their youth. Many who are poor may have been idealistic in their youth. But their lives are not inferior. Many of the super-rich often start giving away money as they grow older and become aware of the importance of endeavors other than wealth building and perhaps to make up for their youth spent on pursuing money and either being unaware or avoiding more idealistic pursuits.
In any case let us appreciate the rich but let us not go crazy about money, just enough of it is enough (both money and going crazy about it). Just enough money and good health of mind and body for everyone will trump any number of billions anytime.
Note: Its funny that in the past thirty years, measuring success has been more a product of how much money you have and not by how smart you are or what contributions you've made, not necessarily monetarily, to society. I can admire Oprah Winfrey not for her fame or her show, but actually creating a business from that show, branching out from the show and her philanthropic adventures. I can also admire Steve Jobs for just being very smart and intuitive; to me I consider him much smarter than Bill Gates. Just to give you an idea of what I mean: Computers have revolutionized the way we do everything in life; more so than any other invention or discovery dating back to when Neanderthals discovered how to retain fire. Now, in order for computers to work, you need to be able to have the technology to produce transistors to switch the voltage of electronic signals; which is the basis for gates; not Bill Gates; on integrated circuits. Can anybody name these people that revolutionized our daily lives; from cars to cell phones to t.v's; yes even the tubed ones; to the airplanes glass cockpits to the space shuttle to water control technology for farmers to casinos to medical technology? Even though many people were involved in inventing the transistor, Gordon Teal was the mastermind in fabricating a working transistor. We basically owe our livelihood to this one man!!! And, by the way, he never became rich off of his invention. I remember a while back when they had done a documentary of how the transistor revolutionized the world, they were able to find out that Gordon Teal was still working and they called him up, he came to the phone and they were shocked!!! That's beautiful!!!
More damage done to the leftist mythology about how helpless and doomed you are if you're not born rich.
The truth is the really rich guys were hardly ever born rich, usually middle class or poor because not having things gave them the drive to succeed above everybody else. This is as opposed to the spoiled brat millionaire's kid whose chances of creating his own massive company without daddy's help or daddy's money are slim to none.
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