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Old 12-15-2010, 08:35 PM
 
18 posts, read 30,921 times
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Hello,

While I do happen to know one wealthy family, who I admire much, who has been wealthy for generations, I have been wondering the following thing about the thousands and thousands of very wealthy entrepreneurs ( 10 million plus) you see every month in business magazines:

What caused them to end up their particular business/industry?

What were their motives for doing so?

In other words, say you read about some guy who just sold his textile manufacturing plant for 100 million or skyscraper Janitorial company for 60 million or makes 6 million dollars a year running a small hedge fund specializing in South African Bonds, or has a gold mining company in China.

While, you may be able to find out what they did to succeed in the business, how did they choose their specific industry/ business in the first place? After all, no child says they want to grow up to run a textile mill or Skyscraper Janitorial company, yet how did people who might not even as college students known they would be in such companies end up in them?
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:15 PM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,428,170 times
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Interesting thread, thanks.

(Granted lately in this forum a new thread that isn't the same poster mindlessly regurgitating the same type of inane internet diarrhea over and over is a refreshing thread!)

I had always assumed that most grew into what they knew, but I have no idea if that is the case. As in a guy with a plumbing company needed a job one day way back when so learned to be a plumber, and some blend of hard work, risk, wise decisions, and a little luck have him a plumbing company. I don't think many kids want to be plumbers either, it just happens. The plumber isn't going to open a dress shop, and seamstress isn't going to open a plumbing business.

I've got little experience on the subject though, am looking forward to hearing responses from others.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:04 AM
 
2,409 posts, read 2,851,274 times
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There are 6+ billion people in the world. 80% of the world's population lives on less than a dollar a day. Remember that little tid bit of information when you go idolizing the rich and wealthy. You wanna be rich? You gotta know someone for the most part. You gotta do things most other people would find morally reprehensible or unnecessary. This is the cold hard truth most people don't want to admit. The world is not this squeaky clean capitalist, altruistic economy paradise where if you keep your head down, do what you are supposed to you might become a millionaire by the time you retire or in the people you are describing a multi millionaire. You think the owner of GazProm in Russia got to where he is because he cares about humanity, helping the poor, and works hard? LMAO!

Just look at the average big company..you trace it's roots back far enough and you will find a very shady, seedy, corrupt, evil past. Look at the Rockefeller family. Look at the Vanderbilts, the Harrimans, etc. Most of the wealthiest families in the world i.e. Mittals from India.......have very sordid, corrupt pasts. That's the real way the world works. All the other people just fight over the scraps of the rich, powerful, and evil.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:28 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,428,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalCroozer View Post
There are 6+ billion people in the world. 80% of the world's population lives on less than a dollar a day. Remember that little tid bit of information when you go idolizing the rich and wealthy.
I believe the class envy forum was merged with politics, please check there for whatever comment you are responding to.

Quote:
The world is not this squeaky clean capitalist, altruistic economy paradise where if you keep your head down, do what you are supposed to you might become a millionaire by the time you retire
This is completely false and easily proven so, there are many people who are millionaires by the time they retire from doing exactly that... going to work every day, living under their means, investing wisely.

Quote:
All the other people just fight over the scraps of the rich, powerful, and evil.
What do you mean are there people having tug-of-wars over the last pair of shoes on shelves where you live or something?
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:57 AM
 
3,852 posts, read 12,209,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalCroozer View Post
There are 6+ billion people in the world. 80% of the world's population lives on less than a dollar a day. Remember that little tid bit of information when you go idolizing the rich and wealthy. You wanna be rich? You gotta know someone for the most part. You gotta do things most other people would find morally reprehensible or unnecessary. This is the cold hard truth most people don't want to admit. The world is not this squeaky clean capitalist, altruistic economy paradise where if you keep your head down, do what you are supposed to you might become a millionaire by the time you retire or in the people you are describing a multi millionaire. You think the owner of GazProm in Russia got to where he is because he cares about humanity, helping the poor, and works hard? LMAO!

Just look at the average big company..you trace it's roots back far enough and you will find a very shady, seedy, corrupt, evil past. Look at the Rockefeller family. Look at the Vanderbilts, the Harrimans, etc. Most of the wealthiest families in the world i.e. Mittals from India.......have very sordid, corrupt pasts. That's the real way the world works. All the other people just fight over the scraps of the rich, powerful, and evil.
Yea, evil rich people always destroying everything and plundering everything. They never do anything good for humanity!!!

Also in terms of gazprom, you also have to look at the other side of the story. Just look at all the products they have sold. People clearly bought these products because it makes their lives better. Natural gas to heat their homes. Natural gas to produce fertilizer. Petroleum for cars etc etc. No one was forced to buy those products. They bought them because it makes their lives better.

and yes, not every company is perfect, but at the end of the day all those wealthy people have sold products and services that makes people's lives better.

Also if the world is so bad then do something about it. Lots of people are starving. What are you doing to feed them? Lots of people don't have access to water. What are you doing to solve that problem? Figure out solutions to those problems and perhaps, one day, you too will be rich.

Hence one of the reasons I love business so much. When you look at history its ALWAYS been some entrepreneur, inventor, or businessman who has lifted people out of poverty. We are now at a time where nearly 2 billion people will move into the middle class, thats remarkable. The world is getting better, not worse.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VdMqmVtnOM

Last edited by killer2021; 12-17-2010 at 03:07 AM..
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,596 posts, read 10,716,555 times
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I know a few wealthy entrepreneurs and all of them came from wealthy families to begin with (but that's another thread). They also took advantage of opportunties that they saw around them. Almost all of them sell something--usually services or a process. I don't know any that are selling tangible items that have to be made/stored/transported. I think entreprenuers, by definition, are opportunity-seekers and maximizers. They see an opportunity--usually one that others have missed-- and take advantage of it. Also, I don't know any wealthy entrepreneurs who hit big on their first...or fifth....try. They seem to be willing to keep taking risks and have an unshakable faith that the next idea will work.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:12 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,428,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
Also, I don't know any wealthy entrepreneurs who hit big on their first...or fifth....try. They seem to be willing to keep taking risks and have an unshakable faith that the next idea will work.
Now that is an interesting point, and to further sometimes it is things in completely different directions. Guy fails at vending machines, fails at a restaurant, then hits it big installing security doors. Weird.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:21 PM
 
Location: SARASOTA, FLORIDA
11,501 posts, read 14,311,370 times
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I know several millionaires and they are all first generation built from scratch millionaires.

One of them did not complete the 5th grade and his company is now worth billions.

Started from scratch with little to no money. His first employees worked with a promise they would get paid if the product sold.

At the peak they had more then 5000 employees.

Not bad for a 5th grade dropout.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:16 AM
 
1,963 posts, read 5,090,607 times
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I personally know of 3 ppl from my hs and college years who've gone on to have big payouts when their companies were either merged/acquired or recapped with PE money. 1 pursued biotech, another developed software specializing in logistics/inventory flow, and the other manages a REIT dealing with commercial agriculture tracts. I remember the biotech dude (who's a biochem engineer by training) being very focused, nerdy & driven, and obnoxiously opinionated. He was president of the honor society & Phi Beta Kappa and you knew he was destined to discover the cure for cancer or something great.

The other 2 actually have their MBA's from Kellogg and Stern, so they've had some advantages in terms of getting top internships, post-grad placement & raising startup capital that others don't. They never had to slave away doing menial chores like preparing pitch books & lame powerpoint slides that I've done. The software guy was my RA and he switched out of comp sci to econ when the dot.com bubble burst a decade ago, eventually landing a spot with Accenture/Andersen, the huge tech consultancy.

The RE guy is a friend from high school who lives for the Hustle. Way back he was flipping Alpine & Blaupunkt car stereos that were uh of questionable provenance. Another time when planning a school winter dance I caught him trying to negotiate a kickback for himself from the party equipment rental agency in exchange for revealing bids from competitors. And then there was this time he paid a lady $1500 for right of first refusal to buy her old Porsche, which he flipped to a Japanese car collector for $2500, pocketing the difference. Although he only went to UCSD as a communications major he managed to wheedle his way into an analyst position at a regional investment bank. He's a certifiable pro at networking & really agressive at cold-calling to mine any & all opportunites, banging on doors until they open.

There's also one other guy from hs who worked in marketing/promotion for a Vancouver online gaming company that morphed into Flickr, the photosharing site. I heard he got a big bonus when it was bought out by Yahoo a few yrs back, but I'm not sure if we're talking 6 figures or 7. Back in the beginning of the 2000's here in Cali, everyone & anyone who wasn't studying to be a doctor or lawyer or flipping/rehabing properties went to work for startup internet companies, not because of the pay but rather it was better than shifts at Macy's or Trader Joe's. Many startups burned through their cash & fizzled out, so I attribute a lot of his success to simply dumb luck.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,498,863 times
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There are a lot of possibilities...

-Some attend seminars or trade shows. And they get introduced to new ideas. No one thinks they'll grow up and run a Janitorial company, but they might fall into it. It might be offered at the right time. Someone is tired of it.

-Entrepreneurs hang out with other entrepreneur types. Young presidents organization, college alumni, or networking groups etc.

"Boring" businesses can be more profitable than "exciting" businesses. Simply because there's less competition and less hype, and more soundness to the enterprise. Biotech or nano tech sounds exciting, but its not as certain as scrubbing floors everyday. How many hundreds of dot coms went out of business in the late 90's? I bet if you plotted a graph of textill mills, janitorial companies, etc vs dotcom selling groceries to your door, the graphs go in two different directions.

-People get ideas and read. Warren Buffett owned farm land and a pinball business when he was a teen.

-Some people follow their passion. Jim Rogers was a hedge fund manager with George Soros in the 70's. Back when investing in south african bonds wasn't really the in thing to do.

I agree that there are sorrid, corrupt pasts in some cases. What about Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?

80% of the worlds population lives on a dollar a day because most are uneducated. And some just aren't capitalistic, like we think in the west. It doesn't mean the other 20% are necessarily evil or bad.
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