Monday, February 21, 2011

Are you interested in becoming a billionaire?

Are you interested in becoming a billionaire? I am! But, who doesn't want to become rich? I am not talking of people who are rich by birth, or wealth is passed on from generation to generation. I am amazed about certain people who amazed wealth to come up top on the richest billionaires' lists, and such people started their lives from meager middle class, even the poorest or humble beginnings. Such people and the new riches are often referred to as Nouveau Riche (French for "new rich").

To quote from Wikipedia, there are many famous Nouveau Riche people, some of the most adored celebrities, who have personally experienced a rags-to-riches life stories. You might be familiar with the stories of Dhirubhai Ambani, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Eminem, Erin Brockovich, Jim Carrey, Bill Clinton, Tom Cruise, Cher, Celine Dion, Napoleon Hill, Ralph Lauren, Eddie McGuire, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Murray, Sidney Myer, Eva Peron, Elvis Presley, Sidney Poitier, J.K. Rowling, etc. They all have one thing in common! None of these great personalities were born rich. They planned, designed and fashioned their destinies. They did not leave anything to chance or luck, but their talents, hard work and used effectively their intelligence and talents to spin their way up the ladder to become celebrated billionaires lists.

Some people have the talents and intelligence to amass wealth, while others can look for educating themselves from reputed institutions that can help people become successful. Being in touch with Nouveau Riche persons, students who learn about entrepreneurial skills and reading the life histories of famous and rich people and how they could reach the present levels from the scratch is highly helpful for those who want to become rich and successful in life.

Can you believe that a person who was a street vendor once and started his business with a meager US$350 (Indian Rs.15,000) could amass a fortune of 100 billion US dollars? Well, it is true, and that is the unbelievable story of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Group. By 2007 the combined fortune of the Ambani family made the Ambanis the richest family in the world!

Oprah Winfrey, American television host, media mogul, and philanthropist of the syndicated talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, was the world's only black billionaire between 2004 and 2006. According to reports, Oprah retained her top spot # 1 on the Forbes' Top 100 Celebrity List bringing in $275 million in a year. Her earning power has remained fairly constant, with Harpo Productions garnering such hit shows as "Dr. Phil" and "The Rachael Ray Show." Oprah is now the second richest black with $2.7 billion (according to the 2008 Forbes International Billionaire List, Aliko Dangote, with a net worth of $3.3 billion is the richest black person in the world) after being listed as the only black billionaire for three straight years. She too had humble beginnings.

Going back to the Nouveau Riche billionaires list of 1991, I find Leslie Wexner, who amassed $3.6 billion, starting with a small Columbus (Ohio) sportswear shop and went on relentlessly to build a chain of some 4,000 stores, including the Limited and Victoria's Secret, earning himself the reputation of a merchandising genius. He and his family owned then 32% of the Limited and 7.5% of Sotheby's Holdings. It was remarkable considering his beginning. Wexner was a philanthropist who loved humanity, as he gave an eye-popping $250 million to the Ohio Higher Education Trust. There are so many other interesting persons in every period of history who could amass huge wealth in their own life time, starting from the poorest conditions.

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