There is a saying that “you need money to make money.” This is true for the vast majority of millionaires and billionaires who were born into rich families and started their own businesses.
However, there are a few wealthy individuals who truly did work hard to rise above their humble beginnings and become extremely rich.
Fans of Game of Thrones will know and love Peter Dinklage and might assume that he always had success in life. The reality is that after graduating, he had a huge amount of student loan debt. He couldn’t even afford an apartment and crashed in a friend’s apartment.
After two years of searching for work, he finally got a full-time office job doing data processing. The money he made was only enough to stay in an industrial loft without heat. He hated this job and when he turned 29, he promised himself that he would take the next acting job and leave his miserable data processing job behind. Even then, it took years of building his acting resume to land the lucrative role in Game of Thrones, which eventually paid him over $1 million per episode.
A young girl named Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born in 1883 but abandoned by her father at an orphanage in France at a very young age. At the orphanage, nuns taught her how to sew, and she was able to use those skills as a professional seamstress.
Determined to succeed, she met a rich man at the bar and began living with him as a mistress when she was 23 years old. Once she firmly established friendships in the upper class, she set out to create clothing made with “poor” fabrics. Her designs in Paris influenced fashion everywhere in the world. She opened boutiques, and soon enough, she never needed to seek the help of a man again.
Today, Chanel products are incredibly expensive and a symbol of total luxury. The current owners of Chanel are worth $19 billion.
Larry Ellison Co-founder of Oracle
Larry Ellison was born on the Lower East Side of New York during World War II, back when that district was still poor and teeming with immigrants striving to survive. Despite these obstacles, he was able to educate himself and join Software Development Laboratories, in 1977.This was a crucial move, because in 1982 the company became Oracle. This is a company that brings in $38 billion every single year, and along the way, Ellison — who stepped down as CEO in 2014 — managed to accumulate over $46.2 billion in net worth.
Do Won Chang
Do Won Chang and his wife, Jin Sook, moved to America from Korea in 1981. When they first arrived, Do Won was forced to work three jobs at the same time to support them, as a janitor, a gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop. Eventually, they were able to open their first clothing store in 1984. That one store grew into Forever 21, which pioneered fast fashion and is now a multi-national, 480 Store Empire that generates around $3 billion in sales a year.
Born to unwed teenage parents in Mississippi, this media mogul wore dresses that her grandmother made out of potato sacks. After being molested, she ran away at the age of 13 and became a mother at 14, but her son died in infancy. Sent to live with his father, a barber in Tennessee, she got a full scholarship in college, won a beauty pageant and was discovered by a radio station. Her empire is now worth $2.7 billion which she shares with the world through her philanthropic works.
Living on a farm most of his growing up years, this Swedish business magnate had always been known for being enterprising even at a young age as he bought matches in bulk and sold them individually to his neighbors. This expanded to fish, pens and Christmas decorations. He also used the cash reward that his father gave him for good grades and used this to create a mail-order business that became the retail company IKEA. Furniture became the company’s biggest seller, which made him one of the richest men in the world today having a net worth of $3 billion.
Li Ka-shing: The richest man in Asia
This Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist is the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $31.9 billion. He was born in Guangdong province, China. After his father’s death, he was forced to leave school to support his family before he turned 15. He found work at a plastics trading company where he labored 16 hours a day. After years of back-breaking work, he was able to start his own company, Cheung Kong Industries.
Our childhood would have been dreary without this genius of a man. Walt Disney was also another boy brought up in a farm – and used to draw pictures for his neighbors for money. He used to be the cartoonist for the school newspaper, Disney went through the jobless phase where no one hired him, and his brother had to help him out with his job search. He went from rags to riches by starting out with advertisements and going on to animating his own cartoons.