Author: Peter Matthews
A number of famous millionaires have overcome tough hurdles before hitting the jackpot, including writer J. K. Rowling, who was a single mother living on benefits in Edinburgh when she wrote the first Harry Potter book.
For Rowling, it took the end of a bad marriage – after which she says she hit ‘rock bottom’ – for her to find the courage to finish her manuscript, which in turn led to her becoming the most successful children’s writer Britain has ever seen.
Similarly, chef Gordon Ramsay’s ambition sprung from his difficult childhood, which resulted in him leaving home at 16 and working in the kitchens of master chefs Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon when he was in his 20s.
Although Angelina Jolie had a good start in life because of her famous acting father Jon Voight, the Hollywood scarlet faced her fair share of obstacles on the way to stardom, too – including going off the rails and dropping out of school at 14. Today, she uses her millions to help people in third-world countries.
For others, however, determination to succeed began at an early age, including IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, who built up his furniture empire from his garden shed, and Ralph Lauren, who had already made a name for himself as a sharp salesman by the time he left high school. Similarly, Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden set up her first business while she was still in her teens, before selling her holiday park for £77 million.
Neither of Sir Richard Branson’s first business ventures (growing Christmas trees and breeding budgerigars) ended well, but they set him on the path to becoming the most successful entrepreneur in the UK.
In the case of Mark Zuckerberg, however, becoming one of the youngest billionaires in the world wasn’t part of his plan. Following the launch of Facebook in 2004, he was propelled from being a Harvard drop-out to one of the richest men in technology.
Read on to find out how these famous millionaires went on to make their fortune.