Every living being dreams, hopes and aspires to earn fame and fortune during his/her lifetime. That explains why many are in an enthusiastic race to make their desired fortune – whether legally or otherwise. Although some rise to the top by taking the ‘crooked’ path, many others come about their fortune through good old-fashioned hard work.
Some others however, hit the ‘wealth plus fame’ button in the most unique and remarkable way. They paired their hard work with really great ideas that catapulted them into their dream fortune. Formerly ordinary, these people became extra ordinary by going the extra mile (legally!) and they were rewarded for their efforts.
Below is a list of billionaires across the world who came about their riches in the most unbelievable, albeit amazing ways.
1. Aliko Dangote: Selling Rice and Sugar
Who would have thought that selling rice and sugar will earn you a spot as the richest person in Africa? I am certain Dangote didn’t know that when he began his business over 30 years ago. Dangote started up a small trading firm with a capital of Five Hundred Thousand Naira loaned to him by his uncle, which he used to begin importation and selling of rice and sugar. With unrelenting hard work, dogged determination and unwavering passion, this business eventually grew to become the Dangote Empire and earned him a ranking by Forbes as the richest African in the world.
2. Folorunsho Alakija: Quitting Job to Start a Fashion House
It would interest you to know that Folorunsho Alakija was doing well as a staff of a financial institution where she worked for 12 years, so she really had no pressing need to quit her job. However, passion for fashion took over and she found herself leaving her job to start up a fashion company which catered for the fashion needs of the high and mighty. That was just the beginning of Folorunsho’s rise to fortune until her venture into the oil industry brought her even more fortune. The risk she took by investing in an oil bloc and the courage she displayed when faced with legal tussle with the government over her oil bloc, made her a success story and an epitome of African doggedness.
3. Mark Zuckerberg: Quitting College
If you had an opportunity to attend Harvard University, would you drop out? I guess not. Well, Zukerberg dropped out of the prestigious school to start a company of his own. Today the legendary Facebook founder is worth $56 billion and enjoys the No. 5 spot on Forbes' list of The World's Billionaires. For this entrepreneur, dropping out of school seriously paid off. But mind you, he didn’t just drop out of school without a dream. He had an idea (a remarkable one) of what he wanted to do. So before you go quitting school, make sure you are loaded with a billion dollar idea.
4. Bill Gates: Reselling an Existing Product
Before Bill Gates became the legendary success he is today, the tech genius was a small-time businessman who operated tiny Microsoft in the early days of the PC revolution. After convincing IBM — the industry-leading PC maker at the time — that it needed to buy an operating system from Microsoft, Gates opted to buy an existing one called DOS, according to BloombergBusinessweek. He then licensed that system to IBM for a lucrative royalties deal. Afterward, Gates had the capital and clout to create Windows, which launched him into the annals of all-time greatest businessmen. With a fortune valued at $86 billion, Bill Gates enjoys the distinction of being one of the world's richest men.
5. Michael Bloomberg: Losing a Job
Getting fired from a job can be depressing, but usually, it means hunting for a new one. Although most individuals go on to find gainful employment after getting laid off, it';;s rare that getting fired will open the door to true greatness. However, getting fired was probably the best thing that happened to Michael Bloomberg as it catapulted him into wealth. After being fired from former Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers in 1981, Bloomberg went out and launched his own financial technology company. After years of hard work, Bloomberg is now the 10th richest person in the U.S. with a net worth of $47.5 billion. So, losing one’s job isn’t always a bad thing, it could be the beginning of better things – or even the best things!
6. J.K. Rowling: Writing a Book
Some authors write as a profession, some write for leisure and some write for the love of writing. Whatever the reason, J.K Rowling probably never anticipated striking gold when she started writing stories about a boy named Harry Potter. Simply writing about Harry Potter – an idea she had on a train ride, Rowling went from being a single parent on welfare to a best-selling author and one of the world';;s richest women. Her tales about the supernatural and adventures have captivated millions all over the world and many of her works have been made into movies, games and inspired amusement park rides. So, the next time you have an idea in a bus or even on a motorbike, don’t discard it. It could make you billions.
7. Uber Co-Founders: Having Trouble getting a Cab in Paris
We are all aware how frustrating when we can't get a taxi but most of us didn’t know it could be an idea for a lucrative business. The challenge of getting a cab actually made Travis and Garret rich. How? Back in 2008, Uber co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had trouble hailing a cab on a snowy Paris evening. Realising that a lot of people also encounter such challenge, the duo founded Uber, a taxi service which is currently valued at approximately $70 billion. Now in nearly 600 cities worldwide, Travis and Garret no longer have to worry about finding a cab. The ride-sharing app's co-founders each have a net worth of $6.3 billion.
You may argue that these people were lucky, but they weren’t. They simply had great ideas like everybody else and turned these ideas into ‘gold-spinning machines’. You can as well if you only follow up on your ideas, pursue you passion and work relentlessly to make your dreams come true.