When people are born into poverty, they will do everything in their power to change their living conditions. They have no choice but to start working at a young age, sometimes even before they become teenagers.
It’s hard to make it when you don’t have any connections in business, or sometimes even the proper education to get a career in a certain field, but some people find a way to do it. It takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice to prove that you are worthy of a job at a firm that pays well. But, when that’s the only way you can change your life for the better, you have no other choice. The people on this list are no strangers to working more than 12 hours a day in order to make ends meet, and because of their extraordinary work ethic, these people were bound to succeed.
However, even when you manage to go from rags to riches, the memories of the past still haunt you. This is the one and only reason why people on this list have continued working even after they made their first million.
If you’re ever unsure whether pursuing your dreams is the right choice, or if you simply can’t find the proper motivation in order to work hard, then these stories are perfect for you. Often, by reading about the hardships of others and how they managed to overcome them, people get inspired to change their own lives.
10 Ursula Burns - Net Worth: $3.5 million
9 Chris Gardner - Net Worth: $60 million
8 J.K. Rowling - Net Worth: $1 billion
7 John Paul DeJoria - Net Worth: $2.8 billion
6 Oprah Winfrey - Net Worth: $3 billion
5 Richard Branson - Net Worth: $4.8 billion
4 Jan Koum - Net Worth: $6.8 billion
3 Li Ka-shing - Net Worth: $35.3 billion
2 Sam Walton - Net Worth: $21-23 billion (1992)
1 Andrew Carnegie - Net Worth: $475 million (1919)
Andrew Carnegie is the fourth richest man of all time (the fortune he managed to obtain during his lifetime is equivalent to $310 billion today). He was the man known for leading the immense expansion of the steel industry in America during the 19th century. However, he wasn’t always surrounded by wealth. After his father lost his job, Andrew had no other choice but to start working at a factory for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. He got this job when he was only 13! But, it was the only way his family could survive. During these years, Andrew said that he would make himself fall asleep at night just to forget the misery of hunger. After saving up some money, he made a series of investments in railroad and oil companies, and learned a lot about business in general, which later on influenced him to build the world’s biggest steel company at the time. He donated 90% of his fortune to various foundations and charities.
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