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Motivation

The 10 Richest College Dropouts

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Failures


Who says you have to go through years of torture with study and hittin the books to reach Billions?

These Successful Billionaires prove society wrong and show you that it isnt all about the books & grades and that you to can reach your millions or billions if you just apply yourself and have a vision.

A college education is often touted as being a prerequisite to a good life and a high income. Unsurprisingly, college prospectuses promote the success of their alumni as a reason why you should choose to complete a degree at their particular campus. However, there are plenty of billionaires in the world who traded in their college degrees for a successful business life. In fact, the Forbes World’s Billionaires list 2011 actually identifies the most wealthy college dropouts on earth today. Proof if ever it was needed that slackers don’t always comes second, and that when it comes to business, the studious can’t always cut it.

 

10. Roman Abramovich

With $13.4 billion to his name, Roman Abramovich is joint 53rd on the list of the world’s richest people. Abramovich claims to have attended the Moscow State Law Academy, graduating in 2001, and has been linked with the Ukhta Industrial University and The Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas in Moscow. Both of the latter universities deny that he attended, and it is rumored, but unsubstantiated, that he dropped out of the Russian capital’s law school. With sources conflicted about the precise course of events it seems somebody may be trying to change the record here – only in Mother Russia! Still, with an oil fortune, diverse investments and England’s Chelsea Football Club in his possession, all the hearsay surrounding his education is unlikely to bother the Moscow business magnate.

 

9. Mark Zuckerberg

Still only 26, Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest self-made billionaire in the world and, with $13.5 billion in his pocket, the 52nd richest person on the planet. As immortalized in the Hollywood movie The Social Network, he dropped out of Harvard, where he studied psychology and computer science, to head west to California, overseeing the rise of the social media phenomenon that is Facebook. Even though Facebook was originally targeted at a college market, it was by dropping out and seeking venture capital that Zuckerberg gained such huge success.

 

8. Steve Ballmer

The 46th richest man in the world is following in the footsteps of the 2nd (of whom, more later). The current CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer did complete a college degree (in mathematics and economics) before working for Proctor & Gamble but dropped out of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business to join Microsoft as its 30th employee. We think that qualifies him as a failing student of sorts, so he makes the grade for this list. That said, the savvy timing of his employment meant that his salary included a percentage share in the company which he has since parlayed into $14.5 billion of personal wealth, placing him 46th in the world in terms of net worth. So, if you’re an OTT ball of energy with a certain amount of business nous, it seems you can afford to drop out…

 

7. Michael Dell

It is clear that Michael Dell valued education only as a route to business success. At the age of just 8, he applied to take a high school equivalency test so that he could enter business sooner. What’s more, while attending high school he invested money from part time jobs in the stock market and successfully targeted newlyweds for newspaper subscriptions while working for the Houston Post, such that he made $18,000 that year – more than his teacher’s salaries. As a pre-med at the University of Texas at Austin, he founded the company that would become Dell. Unsurprisingly, he never completed his studies, but now has a personal wealth of $14.6 billion, making him the world’s 44th richest person. ‘Nuff said.

 

6. Azim Premji

Azim Premji managed to skyrocket the Indian IT company Wipro Ltd. from a worth of $2.5 million to one that is now valued at $1.4 billion. His 78% stake in Wipro along with other investments have generated him a personal worth of $16.8 billion, making him 36th on the world rich list. He took over the family business, which later became Wipro, after his father died in 1966. This unexpected tragedy meant he had to leave his course in electrical engineering at Stanford University. Azim Premji is nothing if not persistent, however, and he completed the degree 30 years later.

 

5. Sheldon Adelson

Precocious tycoon Sheldon Adelson owned his first business at the age of 12, making a career selling newspapers on street corners, and moved on through finance and charter tours to found COMDEX, a computer trade show that was first held in 1979. He briefly attended City College of New York, but dropped out before completing his studies. It seems to have been a good idea, though, as his acquisitions of Las Vegas casinos and hotels has brought him a net worth of $23.3 billion, making him the 16th richest person in the world.

 

4. Mukesh Ambani

Entering the top ten richest people on Earth now – so you know dropping out can’t always be a bad thing! – meet Mukesh Ambani, ranked 9th in the world, with a net worth of $27 billion. He joined his father’s business, Reliance Industries, in 1981 and now owns a 48% stake in the company. Reliance industries is India’s largest private sector company and has diversified interests in everything from communications to petrochemicals. Ambani enrolled at Stanford in 1979 but dropped out of his business masters in order to focus on his father’s business, a focus that has clearly reaped dividends. And while he had earlier gained a degree from from the University of Bombay, a dropout is a dropout, be they a billionaire or no…

 

3. Eike Batista

The son of a Brazilian mining executive, Eike Batista spent much of his childhood in Germany and studied engineering in Aachen University. However, rather than completing his degree, he started a gold mining company in the Amazon in 1980 – a move that took the shine off his educational record but would soon fill his pockets. In 2000, he sold his share of the company for a cool $1 billion; but he didn’t rest on his laurels, instead investing these funds into further mining ventures and oil and gas exploration. His business savvy and ability to take advantage of market trends have allowed him to amass $30 billion in personal wealth, making him the 8th wealthiest individual alive and giving him the number one spot in Brazil.

 

2. Lawrence Ellison

The death of his adoptive mother prompted Larry Ellison to drop out of his second year at University of Illinois. He then spent a single term at University of Chicago before dropping out again and moving to California in 1964. These two attempts at college certainly were not signs of a lack of determination though. In 1977 he founded the company that would become Oracle, a software firm specializing in data systems. His abandonment of academia to move to California put him at the heart of software and computer innovation, a move that has led to him amassing a fortune of $39.5 billion as of 2011, making him the 5th richest person in the world.

 

1. Bill Gates

The richest college dropout in the world is also one of the most well known. At number two in the world’s richest rankings and with a net worth of $56 billion, Bill Gates is a household name. He was the world’s richest person from 1995 to 2007 and again in 2009, unsurprising when you consider how ubiquitous Microsoft products are in homes and businesses across the world. Gates enrolled in Harvard as a pre-law major in 1973, but kept up the computer programming he had begun in 8th grade. It was these extracurricular activities that made him his fortune after the release of microcomputer design the Altair 8800 computer prompted him to set up a software company with Paul Allen. In 1975, he took a leave of absence from his studies at Harvard, only to return for an honorary degree in 2007.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Stealth for Men

    Jan 27, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I can’t believe Steve Jobs isn’t on this list!

  2. mikerosss

    May 22, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Useful blog website, keep me personally through searching it, I am seriously interested to find out another recommendation of it.

    • Joel

      Joel

      May 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

      Thanks Mike!

      • Patty

        Jun 26, 2011 at 6:30 am

        Gosh, I wish I would have had that information erlaier!

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All my childhood, I studied hard and got good grades because I was motivated to escape my mother’s disappointment and wrath on failure. Others in my class were motivated by their desire to excel and get into a good college. Still, others were doing it to maintain their social status and to be recognized as excellent students. The word “motivation” holds a different meaning for different people, as what motivates you may not be sufficient for me and vice versa.  (more…)

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.

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