Skip to content

How the World's 15 Richest Men Got That Way

Secrets of success from the real-life masters of the universe.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Who: CEO of Microsoft
Net worth: $75 billion
Secret to success: Surround yourself with smart people
Quote: "I like my job because it involves learning. I like the fact that if people really try they can figure out how to invent things that actually have an impact. I don't like to waste time where I'm not hearing new things or being creative." For more words of wisdom from Gates and others, check out these 25 Life Lessons from Super-Successful Men!

Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega

Who: CEO of Spain-based clothing retailer Zara
Net worth: $67 billion
Secret to success: Born in poverty, the now-richest man in Europe founded Zara on two principles: Give the customer what they want, and give it to them faster than anyone else. "The company is in a race with themselves rather than anything else," said Barclays analyst.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Who: Berkshire Hathaway holding company
Net worth: $60.8 billion
Secret to success: Follow your passions. Do something you love. Work your ass off.
Quote: "The truth is, so few people really jump on their jobs, you really will stand out more than you think. You will get noticed if you really go for it." Putting the pedal to your career medal is only one of these 25 Best Wealth-Building Tips Ever!

Carlos Slim Helu

Carlos Slim Helu

Who: Mexican telecom magnate and investor
Net worth: $50 billion
Secret to success: Slim gave his top 5 rules for business success as: 1. Have a simple organizational structure; 2. Maintain austerity; 3. Focus on growth; 4. Minimize non-productive things; 5. Work together.
Quote: "Do not allow negative feelings and emotions to control your mind. Emotional harm does not come from others; it is conceived and developed within ourselves."

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

Who: CEO,
Net worth: $45.2 billion
Secret to success: Try more things. "If you double the number of experiments you do per year you're going to double your inventiveness."
Quote: "Frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out." Take Bezos's advice about thriftiness and figure out How to Cut $10,000 From Your Annual Expenses!

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Who: Founder of Facebook
Net worth: $44.6 billion
Secret to success: Make mistakes and learn from them. "If you're successful, most of the things you've done were wrong."
Quote: "What ends up mattering is the stuff you get right. [If you get a few big things right] you can make some pretty important changes in the world."

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison

Who: Co-founder, Oracle
Net worth: $43.6 billion
Secret to success: Take risks and have confidence of steel.
Quote: "People will be critical of you if you do things a little bit differently. It takes a certain amount of strength not to succumb to fashion." Staying secure in your vision is just one of the 25 Things Rich People Always Do!

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

Who: Founder, Bloomberg LP
Net worth: $40 billion
Secret to success: Work your ass off.
Quote: "My key to success is make sure you are the first one in there every day and the last one to leave. Don't ever take a lunch break or go to the bathroom, you keep working."

9 & 10
Charles and David Koch

Charles & David Koch

Who: Founded Koch Industries, which makes products ranging from paper cups to plane fuel (Charles pictured above)
Net worth: $39.6 billion
Secret to success: Hire and retain people who jibe with the company culture, and empower employees to make decisions
Quote: "Best part of my job is fulfillment. When I see that, we're helping improve people's lives, and we benefit from it, so it's a system of mutual benefit. Our philosophy's working. That's what turns me on. That's what keeps me going." — Charles Koch

For the keys to personal fulfillment inside and outside of work, check out these 25 Ways to be Happier Now!

Larry Page

Larry Page

Who: Co-founder, Google; CEO of Alphabet Inc.
Net worth: $32.5 billion
Secret to success: In an interview with Wired, Page said he believes he must makes products that are ten times better than their rivals. The magazine called it "the gospel of 10x."
Quote: "We have a mantra: don't be evil, which is to do the best things we know how for our users, for our customers, for everyone."

Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin

Who: Co-founder, Google; President of Alphabet Inc.
Net worth: $34.4 billion
Secret to success: Focus. "We saw that a thousand results weren't necessarily as useful as having one good one."
Quote: "You always hear the phrase, money doesn't buy you happiness. But I always in the back of my mind figured a lot of money will buy you a little bit of happiness. But it's not really true."

Want to genuinely love your life? Start with these 25 Ways to be Happier Now!

Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault

Who: Chairman and CEO, LVMH
Net worth: $34 billion
Secret to success: Focus on bringing newness, "creativity that's pragmatic," and always take the long view
Quote: "As Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge."

Wang Jianlin

Wang Jialin

Who: CEO, Chinese real estate firm Dalian Wanda
Net worth: $28.7 billion
Secret to success: Differentiate yourself and innovate.
Quote: "No matter whether you are in a traditional or an emerging industry, as long as you're capable of innovating the existing business model, you can reap super profits." You can add to your personal wealth in a matter of months! These are 25 Ways to Get Even Richer by Christmas

Jorge Paulo Lemann

Jorge Paulo Lemann

Who: Co-owner, Anheuser Busch/InBev, Burger King and Heinz
Net worth: $27.8 billion
Secret to success: Always look for ways to keep expanding.
Quote: "Any organization, to be successful, must grow."


Filed Under