The world houses some of the wealthiest people ranging from musicians to business moguls. While some like David Thomson came from rich families, echoing the popular saying ‘you need money to make money,’ others came from very humble backgrounds. These individuals had to overcome all odds to build an empire and make their name. That is why to date, their stories have been used to inspire young entrepreneurs, students, and even entertainers who are striving to make it in different sectors. Here is a compilation of the top 5 inspiring rags to riches stories that will inspire you to reach for your dreams.
1. Jim Pattison
Jim Pattison is a Canadian business magnate known for his unicorn company Jim Pattison Group, one of Canada’s largest privately held companies. With over $10 billion in net worth, Jim Pattison undoubtedly ranks high on the list of richest people globally. However, most people don’t know that Jim Pattison was not always rich. If you compare him to renowned individuals such as Mattamy Homes, Thomson Reuters, and Serge Godin, none of the inspirational stories of these Canadian billionaires is more touching than Pattison’s. Jim Pattison was born to a low-income family who resided in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
By the age of six, he was already toiling to make ends meet. When he was not playing the trumpet at a church camp for children, he picked fruits. Pattison even sold doughnuts at school and delivered newspapers. By the time he was graduating high school, Jim Pattison had already gathered the necessary entrepreneurship skills. However, he found his true passion in 1948 when he started working at Richmond Motors in British Columbia. The company majored in selling used vehicles. After years of hard work, Jim Pattison took a loan from a bank and General Motors and started a Pontiac Dealership. By 2018, Pattison had around 25 dealerships for used vehicles. He maintained his work ethics and ended up on the Forbes list. He is currently one of the richest people in Canada with a billion-dollar fortune.
2. Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison is yet another billionaire with a very humble background. The co-founder of Oracle was born in 1944 to a Jewish mother. At nine months, Ellison contracted pneumonia leading to his adoption by his Aunt and Uncle. According to Ellison, his adoptive mother was very supportive, but his father was often absent. He attended South Shore High School and later went to the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign to study pre-med. Ellison dropped out of the pre-med program soon after his adoptive mother died. During the summer of 1966, Larry Ellison attended the University of Chicago to study mathematics and physics. During that one term at the University of Chicago, Ellison encountered computer design and quickly fell in love with the discipline.
Computer design taught him the basics and all the crucial features to consider about computers, so by 1970, he was already working at Ampex – an established electronics company. He later co-founded Oracle, one of the biggest companies on the planet. Being a key figure in Oracle, Ellison received a substantial salary and amazing bonuses. In 2009 alone, he earned $56 million. In 2010, Forbes ranked Ellison as the sixth richest human on the planet with a net worth of approximately $28 billion. Ellison continues to grow his net worth through investments and his position at Oracle Corporation.
3. François Pinault
If you know Kering and Artemis, then you must know François Pinault. The French billionaire was born in 1936 to a timber trader. François Pinault spent most of his childhood helping his father with his timber business in the countryside. At 16, François Pinault attended Saint-Martin College, where he dropped out because he was laughed at for his accent and peasant family. He enlisted in the French military and even fought the Algerian war. His father later died, forcing him to sell the family business. François Pinault married in 1962 and divorced his wife five years later. He then married Maryvonne Campbell, who initiated him into trading. After gaining enough skills in the trading industry, Pinault opened his initial wood trading business in 1963 using a bank loan and personal savings.
The business grew strong, and once it was established, he used the money he made to purchase other businesses. Pinault’s company went public in 1988 and rebranded to Pinault-Printemps-Redoute in 1989. François Pinault diversified his business portfolio and started venturing into luxury goods. In 1999, Pinault acquired a 42% stake in Gucci Group. That was before the Gucci wife and the hitman news hit the media and even purchased Yves Saint Laurent. He went ahead to buy other luxury companies such as Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Boucheron. The once laughed at peasant ended up becoming the owner of a multibillion-dollar empire with a significant net worth.
4. Li Ka-shing
Li Ka-shing is the chairman of Li Ka-shing Foundation and the senior advisor for CK Asset Holdings and CK Hutchison Holdings. The Hong Kong investor and business magnate was born in 1928 in Guangdong Province. In 1940, his family fled from their home country due to the Sino-Japanese war. Later on, his father died from tuberculosis, forcing him to drop out of school to fend for his family. By 15, Li Ka-shing was working up to 16 hours a day in a plastic company. Later on, he founded Cheung Kong Industries, a plastics manufacturing company that later diversified into real estate. In 1972, Cheung Kong Industries went public, leading to its Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing. In 1979 Li Ka-shing’s company acquired Hutchison Whampoa. Six years later, he purchased Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited.
Li Ka-shing continued to expand his business empire, diversifying to different sectors. For instance, he bought Facebook shares two different times. Right now, Facebook is one of the biggest social media apps with a massive worldwide audience compared to other apps, such as Foxweather Com Apk which is just a weather forecast platform. Also, through his company, Li-Kashing owns shares in some of the most established companies, such as doubleTwist and Spotify. He also financed Siri and even ventured into BitPay, a Bitcoin payment company. Li-Kashing retired in 2018, leaving his entire $100 million empire to Victor Li, his son.
5. Sam Walton
Sam Walton was an American businessman and one of the most renowned figures worldwide. Walton founded Walmart, a multibillion-dollar retail company with stores all over the US. However, Sam Walton was not always rich. Walton was born in 1918 to a low-income family in Oklahoma. Walton and his family spent most of their time moving from one town to another throughout his childhood. He worked odd jobs like milking cows and dropping newspapers. These jobs saw him become well versed in different fields and was even considered the most versatile boy in high school.
He later enlisted for the military, where he made up his mind to do business. That saw Sam Walton work at J.C. Penney, where he was paid a salary of $75 a month. He later used his savings and a loan from his in-laws to open his first-ever retail shop. One of his methods to conquer other retail stores was offering fair prices and ensuring the stores were always full. In 1962, Sam opened the first Walmart store. However, it went by the name Wal-Mart Discount City store. He expanded the stores and became one of the richest people in the USA, with Walmart becoming a popular, convenient store in the US.
These are so far the most notable people who came from nothing to owning billion-dollar empires. The list shows how they worked hard to overcome poverty. While some majored in technology, others shined in the business scene. Despite their differences, they all ended up on the list of wealthiest people worldwide.