The world may be made up of billions and billions of people at a time but only a handful truly succeeds in life. Alongside prominent leaders and influencers of our time, the rich also take the spotlight for their superiority above the rest in terms of the amount of money they have in their bank accounts and how many assets they personally own with very little to almost non-existent liabilities. Many envy them since most of us equate happiness with having lots of money. Yet there is one perennial question that many of us keep asking ourselves, is a billionaire born or made?
Well, it is a hard question to answer and we may need to look into the lives of previous and current billionaires and find out how they were as children and what those born without a golden spoon did to amass such success and richness in their lifetime. The Forbes list is a great place to start as it compiles the wealthiest in the nation and from there one can further their research as to these people’s background. And the results aren’t surprising either. It only confirms that while some are born wealthy, they still had to work their way up still by investing in a quality education and most of them took post-graduate classes to further their mastery of business. This, of course, is another example of the power of education. And they did not just go to any ordinary school but the best of the best there is in the land – ivy league universities.
What does it take to become super rich in America? Do you actually need an Ivy League degree or an MBA from a top school? Does starring on a varsity team, being president of your fraternity or majoring in a particular subject help? Forbes collected data on as many Forbes 400 members as possible, asking them all these questions as well as grilling them on how they paid for college. All but ten responded.
While there are billionaires from all education backgrounds, most of the 400 got nothing more than an undergraduate degree. Forbes found that 84% of the richest 400 Americans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with just 33% of American adults. America’s wealthiest are also far more likely to have graduated from a super-elite university. More than one-fourth of the college grads, or 23% of all Forbes 400 members, got their degrees from an Ivy League institution. While not exactly comparable, as it measures just one year, that same feat was achieved by less than 0.8% of the U.S. class of 2015.
Hence, we come to the realization that education is crucial to achieving not just academic success but as well as simply success later in life. Along with their academic background, some also did put in all the work and started from scratch before they climbed up the ladder and founded successful companies that bring them both recognition in the business circle and financial freedom. Some of these billionaires had to juggle work and school in order for them to afford their pricey tuition fees, so that makes them self-made billionaires rather than those lucky enough to be born to rich parents. With that being said, do you think you have what it takes to become a billionaire yourself?
Many billionaires never stop learning and certainly don’t require a formal setting to build their skills. They are students of trends, current events and personal development. They seek to understand the problems they see around them and are constantly curious — how does that work, how can we be more efficient, what’s that and how can we make it better?
When you commit to learning something new in your industry every day, your action emulates what successful people do.
Many billionaires from Oprah Winfrey to Warren Buffet to Bill Gates are voracious readers. Winfrey leads a book club, Buffett spends up to 80% of his day reading and Gates reads about 50 books a year. This helps them with the learning habit as well, to constantly hone their skills, keep current with industry developments and learn from others.
Perseverance is also the key to success and joining the billionaire’s club. You don’t become one overnight and grit is something that kept them going until success is in their hands. While a good education is a must, many of the things they learn are practical in nature and have helped them cope with the many changes in the world today so they remain relevant to society. They never cease to learn something new and don’t slack in reading because if you can’t go back to school, you can always read about ideas and concepts you can try from books.
Failure is usually their biggest motivation and it’s what keeps them striving to get going early in the day while many are still asleep and daydreaming rather than working on their dreams. If you can do most of these things and are gutsy enough to venture into the risky world of business, there might just be a big possibility for you to make it big in business and make lots of money like billionaires do.