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From Rags to Riches

We always say that ‘life is unfair’. Some of you may agree, while others may not. Sometimes when you watch a movie and TV show, read famous books, saw an amazing art piece, or played a great game; you wish that the main person behind it was you (or at least have the same talent as them). There are even instances when you think that famous person doesn’t even deserve to be in the spotlight enjoying the best of everything. There are actors who have bad acting skills, bizarre artworks that gain popularity, and even singers who have bad songs. Thus, some people think that life is really unfair. Some say that it was luck that helped these people to achieve their fame while others argued that it was due to hard work that paved off.

While it is true that rich people have a better start and opportunities due to their background, experiences, connections, and money, there are some people who proved that they can attain the same status or even better. You may not know it but some of the rich people in the world came from a poor background. Despite their previous circumstances, they didn’t let it get in the way of achieving their goals.

Rags to Riches

Here is the list of billionaires who have rags to riches stories:

  • Roman Abramovich

Can you imagine that the owner of Chelsea Football Club and the world’s largest yacht was poor from the start? Abramovich was born in southern Russia in a poor family. The worst part was he became an orphan at the age of two so it was his uncle and his family that raised him. He began to acquire his wealth when he started a small plastic toys company while he was a student at the Moscow Auto Transport Institute. It led to Abramovich’s success into the oil industry and he later became the leader of Sibneft Company. Due to his successful merger, it became the fourth largest oil company in the world but was later sold to state-run gas titan Gazprom.

  • Howard Schultz

Just because you are living in a disorderly neighborhood means that you will end up living in the same place your whole life. Schultz is the living proof that you can succeed no matter how unruly your environment is. Despite growing in a Brooklyn housing project where the crime is widespread and children go to the wrong path, he was able to win a football scholarship that let him attend the University of Northern Michigan. After getting his degree, he worked for Xerox but changed his career and took over a small coffee shop named Starbucks. He turned it into a global coffee chain with more than 20,000 stores. Thanks to Schultz that most of us are able to function properly in the morning.

  • Oprah Winfrey

Let’s admit it, in the past (and even today) there is a huge issue of racism. This is one of the biggest challenges that Winfrey faced. Add the fact that she came from a poor family in Mississippi and suffered abuse from them. In order to escape her situation, she pursued a scholarship to Tennessee State University. After getting her degree, she became the first African-American TV correspondent in the state at the age of 19. Winfrey was able to host her own show, produce a magazine, and start her own network.

  • John Paul DeJoria

John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell

John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell

In order to help his parents, DeJoria sold Christmas cards and newspapers at the age of 10. However, it wasn’t enough so he ended up being sent to foster care. Without proper guidance from his parents, he wound up being a member of a gang. He got a chance to turn over a new leaf when he joined the military. After finishing his training in the U.S. Navy, he worked as a janitor and gas station attendant and most of the time he found himself homeless. To end his poor living condition, he loaned $700 and created the John Paul Mitchell Systems. At first, he did door-to-door sales of shampoo while living in his car. Eventually, his investment gained huge profits that made him a billionaire. To expand his investment, he later founded the Patron Tequila.

  • Francois Pinault

Being bullied is hard but dealing with it together with a poor family status, which is also the main reason for being bullied, was definitely harder. This is the reason that led Pinault to drop out from high school. Every day his schoolmates will bully him for being poor. As a result, he decided to quit school and joined their family business – timber training. Without any formal education and equipped only with real-life business experiences, Pinault learned to buy smaller firms and making it into a giant enterprise. Today he owns the Kering – formerly known as PPR – a luxury fashion conglomerate that owns famous brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, YSL, and Stella McCartney.

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