Life isn’t fair. Some earn their billions; others are born into them.
Most of the world’s youngest billionaires fall in the latter category, but not Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.
The 31-year-old hoodie clad programming prodigy is without a doubt a standout self-made billionaire, striking it beyond rich with a social media game-changer that forever transformed how humans communicate – one billion of us and counting.
The Facebook co-founder and CEO once again claims the top spot on Singapore-based consultancy Wealth-X’s annual list of the wealthiest individuals younger than 35, released in August. Two of his co-founders – one of whom joined the cocksure techie in dropping out of Harvard to work on Facebook full time – also made the list.
Three of Facebook’s original five founders aren’t the only power tech trio on the roundup. Airbnb’s founding trio – Brian Chesky, 33, Nathan Blecharczyk, 32, and Joe Gebbia, 33 – also grace the mindbogglingly wealthy who’s who.
The youngest mogul to make the list is Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, only a tender 25 and sitting on a colossal fortune of an estimated R19 billion. Must be nice.
For a look at Wealth-X’s top 10 young billionaires, check out the envy-inducing roundup below.
Company: Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)
Estimated net worth: R27 billion
Swedish heartthrob Thomas Persson is living the luxe life thanks to a popular cheap chic retailer you know as H&M. While its image is hot, young and current, the story of the Swedish company behind the brand dates back to 1968, when Persson’s grandfather merged two European apparel shops by the names of Hennes and Mauritz Widforss. Now you know.
The billionaire bachelor’s father is Sweden’s richest person, and his brother, sister and aunt are all billionaires, too. When Persson’s not busy globetrotting, gracing glitzy red carpets and painting the town red, the London Met Film School grad dabbles in film production.
Estimated net worth: R30 billion
Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s bowtie-wearing co-founder and chief product officer, founded three businesses before launching Airbnb with his former Rhode Island School of Design classmate Brian Chesky.
An avid inventor, he designed and patented a buttox-shaped portable seat cushion called CritBuns. He also founded two now-defunct graphic design-focused web ventures.
The avid mid-century modern architecture fan helped drive Airbnb deeper into the business travel market this year, expanding to new markets in Cuba and Africa.
Estimated net worth: R30 billion
Back in 2007, Brian Chesky and his roommate Joe Gebbia were too broke to pay rent on their San Francisco apartment.
To avoid getting booted by their landlord, the enterprising industrial designers decided to rent out three air mattresses on their floor for $80 bucks a piece. The sharing economy forefathers hobbled together a basic website advertising their crash pad for rent and the rest – a few setbacks along the way included – is history.
Eight years and a none-too-shabby leg up from Y Combinator later, the scrappy little Internet start-up that almost never was puts an estimated 800,000 people up every night in some two million listings in 190 countries, reigning supreme in the coveted Silicon Valley unicorn club.
Chesky said his mom thought the premise of Airbnb – letting strangers sleep at your pad when you’re out of town – was “the worst idea ever.” Who’s skeptical now, Deborah Chesky? Not only does your son have the health insurance you wanted him to have, he also has more money than he knows what to do with.
Estimated net worth: R30 billion
Airbnb isn’t Nathan Blecharczyk’s first major entrepreneurial endeavour. The Harvard computer science grad founded a pioneering Internet marketing business while still in high school that served clients in 20 countries. Before co-founding Airbnb in 2008 and overseeing the R250 billion-dollar online accommodations rental hub’s tech strategy as CTO, he worked in various software engineer posts at Microsoft, Batiq and OPNET Technologies.
Estimated net worth: R45 billion
Like Mark Zuckerberg, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of an Ivy League university during her sophomore year to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams.
At age 19, the ambitious chemical engineering major quit Stanford and bootstrapped Theranos, a revolutionary Palo Alto, Calif.-based blood diagnostics start-up, mainly with money her parents saved for her college education.
The now-$9 billion company, poised to upend the $73 billion dollar diagnostics industry, was recently rocked by an explosive Wall Street Journal exposé.
The tell-all alleges that Theranos has struggled with and neglected to use its proprietary fingertip-prick blood test technology. Holmes has hit back at the criticism, saying the company is awaiting FDA approval it will “absolutely” get.
Company: Enterprise Product Partners
Estimated net worth: R50 billion
Scott Duncan is living proof that you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley tech wizard to be in the billionaire club these days. The golden spooner inherited his father’s astronomically successful energy pipeline company in 2010, alongside his three sisters. And you bet they’re billionaires, too.
The Houston-based big game hunter may have grown up rich, but his entrepreneur father, Dan Duncan, hailed from humble beginnings. The son of an impoverished farmer, he launched Enterprise with R100 000 and two propane trucks. From there, he slowly, steadily amassed a monumental oil and gas fortune that his children reap the benefits of today.
Net worth: R53 billion
Brazil-born Eduardo Saverin met Mark Zuckerberg during his junior year at Harvard and quickly became best friends with him.
The Facebook co-founder – and first investor and chief financial officer – was famously jilted by Zuckerberg just after the social network took off.
Brutally screwed out of his original 30 percent stake in the company, the serial angel investor sued Zuckerberg, eventually settling out of court for an undisclosed amount. We will likely never know how much Zuck forked over, as Saverin, like the Winklevoss twins, was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal.
The accomplished economist and serial angel investor is now on the board of directors of 99.co, a Singapore-based real estate buying and selling platform. Had Saverin kept his original stake in Facebook, he’d now be worth somewhere near $34 billion. What a pity.
Company: Country Garden Holdings
Estimated net worth: R59 billion
China native Yang Huiyan received much of her real estate magnate father’s fortune when he transferred his property development company, Country Garden Holdings, to her in 2007.
The momentous change of hands made her the youngest female billionaire in the world at the time. The reportedly low-key Ohio State University grad is now believed to be the richest woman in Asia.
Estimated net worth: R93 billion
Dustin Moskovitz, nicknamed “Destroyer” during his four-year founding run at Facebook, lucked out as one of Mark Zuckerberg’s dormitory roommates at Harvard.
Facebook’s first chief technology officer also dropped out of the Ivy League institution after moving to Palo Alto, Calif., to springboard the social behemoth to the next level. The self-taught coder, who learned to program specifically to launch Facebook, later left the company to co-found Asana, an app that enables coworkers to collaborate without email.
Estimated net worth: R461 billion
Mark Zuckerberg, aka “Slayer” to his former frat bros, launched “thefacebook.com” from his Harvard dorm room on Feb. 4, 2004.
He was just 19 at the time and “didn’t know much about business back then.” Two years before that instant-hit stroke of genius, when he was still in high school, the coding wunderkind turned down a R10 million offer from Microsoft.
Along with AOL, Bill Gates’ software company wanted to scoop up Zuckerberg’s Synapse Media Player, an innovative music streaming app he invented. Zuck was wise and held out.
Later, MTV wanted to buy Facebook for R750 million. Again, he didn’t budge. After all, that’s chump change to the high roller now.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life
There’s nothing worse than a rich person who’s chronically angry or unhappy. There’s really no excuse for it, yet I see it every day. It results from an extremely unbalanced life, one with too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what’s there.
Without gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, you’ll never know true fulfilment. But how do you cultivate balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance?
For nearly four decades, I’ve had the privilege of coaching people from every walk of life, including some of the most powerful men and women on the planet. I’ve worked with presidents of the United States as well as owners of small businesses.
Across the board, I’ve found that virtually every moment people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives. If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like the majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and often financially stressed. But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.
Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.
Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.
Which area do you tend to focus on more: What you have or what’s missing from your life?
I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?
Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.
Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional wellbeing and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to feel deeply grateful for your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfilment can be found.
Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?
If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.
When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:
Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.
Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.
When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?
If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?
Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?
Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.
I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85% to 90% of those assembled raise their hands.
How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side-effect.
But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like ‘life is not worth living,’ that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.
Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.
When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit to what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.
So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.
Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.
If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.
Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.
Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.
Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behaviour on those they respect, enjoy and love.
The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.
Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by. It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad, or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.
Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.
It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.
7 Steps To Achieve Financial Freedom
Achieving financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean becoming filthy rich – not that that hurts.
In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy explains the seven steps you need to take to achieve financial freedom. Now, financial freedom doesn’t mean becoming filthy rich – lottery winners go bankrupt all the time. Instead, financial freedom is about becoming disciplined and using your money in a way that ensures you can live the sort of life you want both now and in the future.
That’s why the first step isn’t about getting a lot of money. Instead, it’s about teaching yourself to think positively about money. That way, you’ll be in the right mindset to move forward.
Click play to learn more.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little
It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.
The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.
1First focus on learning, not big gain
Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.
They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.
2You can learn loads about any topic online
I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago. Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials.
Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog. When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.
3Focus on the niche you love
These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about. This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.
You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.
4Prove your expertise by creating free content
Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.
It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.
You can do lots with a little
The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.
Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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