P.T. Barnum

P.T. Barnum was born way back in the early 1800s. He started out by running a small business. It was a weekly paper. It was called the Herald of Freedom. He ran the paper for about five years. He then moved to New York City where he began his career in the entertainment business. His first troupe was a variety group, which he called “Barnum’s Grand Scientific and Musical Theater”.  Then he soon bought the Scudders American Museum. In this museum, he started doing shows to promote hoaxes that would draw people in. these were things like “General Tom Thumb”. Before to long he was drawing in over 400,000 people a year.

But do to some bad investments that he made, he was in litigation for about four years. He quickly recovered. It did not take him long to get completely out of debt and built himself a mansion. He then added the first aquarium in America to his museum. He also added more to the wax department. Yes, he was most known for his circus but he did so much more. His museum housed many famous exhibits, like Chang and Eng, the two famous Siamese twins, the giantess Anna Swan and many more. Over the years he added more and more different “freak “ exhibits but when a fire destroyed the museum in 1865, he retired from the museum business completely.

Over the years he built four mansions. The Iranistan, Lindencroft, Waldemere and Marina. All four of these mansions were splendid and well known. He also wrote several books. These books were The Life of P.T. Barnum (1854) The Humbugs of the World (1865) Struggles and Triumphs (1869), and The Art of Money Getting. (1880). These books sold amazingly well and at the time there were more books printed of his books then any other book except for the New Testament.

What a lot of people may not know about him that he was elected into office in Connecticut and served two terms. He tried two times to run for The United States Congress but did not succeed. He was also mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut for a year. He was responsible for enforcing prostitution and liquor laws.

When he was 61, he started the circus. Which soon was known as the “Greatest Show on Earth” he was not the first circus, but he was the first person to move a circus by train, and the first to buy his own train. His circus soon joined with James Bailey’s circus and became known as a three-ring extravaganza. He then bought the largest elephant ever to be had in captivity, Jumbo. This upset the English a great deal, but this only made Jumbo and the circus a greater hit. It took off like wildflowers and was soon popular all over the United States. And still is today, over a hundred years after his death.

Uday Kotak

There are quite a few more billionaires in the world than you may think.  Every country seems to have their fair share.  Even though this is the case the economy has been rough on everyone, including the billionaires.  They lost money as well but perhaps they did not feel it as much.  India boosts a very successful entrepreneur who drudged up the determination and passion to take a business and turn it into a billion dollar operation.  His name is Uday Kotak.  He is 50 years of age and he is a self-made billionaire.  He made his money in one of the most risky businesses of all, investment banking.  He became the pride of Mumbai and turned finance in India upside down and inside out.  This young man who grew up in India living on hopes and dreams became a magnate in banking and achieved success beyond his wildest dreams.

He attended Bombay University where he obtained his four-year degree.  He also received a Masters in Business Administration from UOB Science.  After college he joined with a tycoon who made his fortune in tractors and created a finance company.  Over the years the company would adapt to offering new financial options such as bill discounting and auto finance.  In 1991 his company took control of FICOM a major marketing network in retail.  The very next year they jumped into Funds Syndication.  By 1995 the company began to divide into divisions.  The Banking division for investments became Kotak Mahindra Capitol Company.  Many more separate branches were to follow.

In 1998 he begins the mutual market fund in an asset management company.  A few years later and they were in the life insurance business as well.  The same year they launched their first brokerage site online.  In 2003 the finance company changes over to a commercial bank.  He holds the honor of being the first company in India to accomplish this.  The next year he creates the India Growth Fund.  This is a private equity program.  In 2005 a real estate fund is incorporated.  He continues to maintain a wide range of financial options for those who desire it.

Along the way he was able to get married and have a few children.  His dedication and persistence has won him admiration throughout the Indian financial society.  His financial empire has won numerous awards over recent years.  Some of the awards were for being one of the best employers in India.  Others were for being the best local bank.  He took a small finance company and turned it into a financial conglomerate.  That is why he is considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation.  He was part of the financial change in India and he paved the way for many of the alterations.  His passion for finance was equaled for the last quarter of a century in his country.  He introduced the world of investments and financial options to India in an entirely new way.  In the end he is the true definition of success.

Alvin Ailey

There is more than one way to become a millionaire and Alvin Ailey discovered it all on his own.  They say that when he came into this world back on that cold January day in 1931 that he came out ready to dance. Now although that may very well be an old folks tale one thing is for sure, dancing was to become his life.  The pride of Rogers, Texas was witness to the world of dance at an early age when he was privy to catch the famous dance company featuring Katherine Dunham.  Of course when the youngster first began attending classes offered by Lester Horton he couldn’t have had a clue that he was taking the first dance steps towards a million dollar future.

As he grew he began to put together a dancing style that was all his own.  He was able to do this by reaching deep into his past and pulling out the visions of his youth when Sunday night spirituals filled the Texas air.  That music just made you want to move.  He also found a way to work his love for the blues, the music from the soul that had inspired many before him.  The blues had a way of taking a body to places it had never been.  All of this mixed with his gospel upbringing allowed him to produce a dancing style that set him apart from many dancers of his era. This combination of inspired musical styles came together to form ‘revelations’ and set the motion for his dance work that has been hailed and highly praised for decades.

During his lifetime he managed to put together 79 of his own dance ballets.  He always made it clear that he did not create his own dance company to display his dance only.  One of the biggest days in his life came in 1958 in the month of March.  He and his ensemble cast of African-American dance subjects put on a show that would forever shed a different light on the artistry known as American dance.  His dance company took off and he never had to look back, except for inspiration.

For decades his dance company grew and with it so did his reputation as a goodwill ambassador.  His fortune grew right with it.  The dance company that bore his name toured all over the world.  In 1969 he opened a dance school as well.  On the first day of December in 1989 he was taken from the dance world way too soon at the age of 58.  However, his legend lived on.  His long time associate Judith Jamison took over the helm.  His dance company has went on to entertain close to 22 million dance lovers in states all over the nation as well as 71 countries around the globe.  His dance company continues to present the best in modern dance while savoring the excellence of the past.

Darren T Kimura

There are many stories out there about how people made their millions. They made good investments. They invented something that really worked and sold millions. Or maybe they just had a good idea that worked really well. But the best stories of how people made their millions are those that went from rags to riches. Those that worked their tails off to get where they wanted to be. Darren T. Kimura is one of these people. He started with nothing and is now worth millions. But he is not done yet. He feels like he has still yet to reach his full potential.

When he went from high school to college, he had to work three jobs just to pay his way through. So he has never been one afraid of hard work. Those work ethics have got him where he is today.

Before he could start his business, he had to some maturing. He got rid of his surfboard and his earrings and even tried to speak more professionally. He knew that in order to make it and be respected in the business world, he had to act and speak the part.

He started his first business out of the back seat of his car. He had to sell shoes to supplement his income. He had to finance his business completely with credit cards. Even though, today many people see he as a visionary, who has the ability to make his visions come true, years ago they seen him as crazy. Fourteen years ago, people were not into the environment as they are today, so it was harder to convince people that they needed his help then it is today.

The business that he started fourteen years ago was Energy Industries. A company that is E focused on efficiency and renewable energy solutions. They help commercial and industrial clients drastically reduce their energy consumption. The company has already made millions and is continuously growing and making more.

The company has grown from one employee to 90 dedicated employees. He has already expanded the business across the United States and into Asia and plans to push it even further across the globe. He believes that time is in the essence. That because it’s a global kind of business that they need to go as global as they possibly can. He has a business that is not going to go away. Energy conservation is here to stay.

The very first job made over 50,000 dollars and now the business is just a little below the 50 million mark in yearly gross revenues. But that is not enough for him. He wants to see it hit the two hundred million mark. He will get there no doubt. With energy prices on the rise all the time, everyone is looking for a way to cut back. He wants to be the one to help them.

He is no doubt a self-made millionaire, if he keeps going at this rate, he will most likely hit the billionaire mark before it is over.

Richard Egan

The story of Richard Egan is not one of all fame and glory. It has its highs and its lows, but it ends very sadly. But is a story of a man who was raised by a man who he would later say was a drunk and a loser to a man who made billions.

He was born in Dorchester, Mass. Though the exact date is not known, it is known that it was in the years of the depression. He lived in an average middle class neighborhood. His father was a butcher in the local grocery store. Not much else is known about his family except that he claimed his father was a drunk.

He got his degree from a high school called Boston Technical. And went on to serve in the Armed Services. When he got out of the services he used his G.I. Bill to attend Northwestern University and got a degree to be an electrical engineer. He went on to work at several fast growing-high tech industries. He then founded EMC Corporation. The business started out selling office equipment to New England’s industries and colleges, and before long gave to other memory and things needed for computer systems. Before to long, they were running right up against some of the biggest industries out there. There were a few things that were very big sellers like the 64kb memory board and the 1mb RAM memory upgrades.

EMC solved many computer owners dilemma for storing data by creating Symmetrix 4200 Integrated Disk Array. It was products like this that put them over the top, better then IBM, or any of the other major companies. The company flourished. In 1999, EMC bought Data General corporations although they were having a hard time keeping their heads above water.

There were two sides two him. He was a fiery rival and was known for his wanting compliance from his employees. But at the same time he had a soft side. Who took a lot of interest in his employees and their families. EMC today, still employs over 40,000 people worldwide.

He was known to raise a lot of money for the Bush – Cheney re-election campaign. He was a great supporter for bush and the republicans.

He was worth over one billion dollars at the time of his death this year. He was 701 on Forbes list of billionaires. He was found shot to death in his home this year. He had committed suicide. He had cancer and some other illnesses. He had all the money a person could want, but it could not save him from this untimely death.

He left behind his wife of 52 years and five children. He also had 15 grandchildren. The Egan Engineering and Science Center at his Alma mater, Northeastern University, is named in his honor. He also left behind his passion for success that set him apart from those less determined.

Brad Deal

No, Brad Deal did not become a millionaire on a television game show and he is not some famous actor or athlete.  This fellow, a 39 year old from the state of Illinois, is simply a father who knew a good thing when he saw it.  He had earned an economics degree from the University of Illinois while his wife Jera had a communications degree from Augustana College.  They had a beautiful daughter named Julianna.  When Julianna was a toddler He and his wife loved to play games with her.  There was one special game that really stood out.  He and his wife wanted to teach their daughter how to learn different letters of the alphabet.  They could have done this in many ways but chose to think outside the box.  Little did they know that their out of the box thinking would lead to a multi-million dollar fortune.

He and his wife would take their daughter on long walks where they would enjoy nature and the architecture around them.  In architecture and nature they began to point out letters to their daughter that seemed to pop out of everywhere.  You could find various sticks in the shapes of letters.  You could find letters formed in the stones and rock formations.  They found letters everywhere and began to take pictures of them.  Then they would use the pictures later to teach their daughter.  It was a neat idea and slowly their stockpile of pictures of stick and stone letters grew.  Little did they know that it would grow into a gold mine.

His daughter Julianna was enrolled in a preschool and his wife Jera helped out there quite often. During this time it became known that Julianna’s teacher was getting married.  He and his wife really appreciated their daughter’s teacher and wanted to present her with a gift that she would keep close to her heart forever.  He and his wife struggled with gift options until finally it hit them.  What if they framed some of those photos of letters and formed the teacher’s last name?  They decided that it would make a very unique gift.  They were right, the bride loved it and so did all the wedding party.  He knew they had stumbled upon something quite special.  The entrepreneur spirit kicked in.

He and his wife felt comfortable with the idea that if they could get this gift idea marketed properly it would sell.  There was nothing else quite like it out there.  In 2005 they created the ‘Sticks and Stones’ website.  They gathered up all their pictures of letters made out of sticks and stones, framed them and put them into a catalog.  These made wonderful keepsakes and everyone that saw them fell in love with them.  However, he knew they needed a boost.  He and his wife decided they wanted to give someone they admired a whole lot one of their keepsakes as a gift.  That person was Oprah Winfrey.  They visited her show until Brad finally got her attention and delivered the unique gift.  Oprah was so impressed she ordered one as a gift for Tom Cruise.  That endorsement was all he and the family business needed to take off.

Today there are Sticks and Stones in the Obama White House and millions of other houses as well.  He and his 34-year-old wife Jera became millionaires.  They continue to grow their business.  They have 3 daughters now and they still play a little game called letter finding.  Only this time it is part of the family business.

Doris and Donald Fisher

Some of the entrepreneurs that are out there, the millionaires, you may not recognize them by name, but definitely by their company or products. This is the case with Doris and Donald Fisher. Their name may not be familiar to you but the company they started is Gap. Gap is a clothing line that is as familiar to everyone as Nike or Reebok.

He came into this world in 1928. He married her and together they had threes sons. He attended the University of California at Berkeley. He obtained a bachelor degree in Science. He went into real estate after finishing school at the university, starting out with his father then later as a president of Fisher Property Investment Company. This may have been his life work but an act of fate intervened. He was returning a pair of jeans, when he discovered that the stores did not have much to offer and were not organized. That is when him and his wife had a brainstorm and soon opened up the first Gap store in 1969. He was chairman and CEO.

The Gap started to be for college kids, who could come and try on as many clothes as they wanted, until they found something they liked or that fit well. The store stocked jeans in many different kinds and sizes. They also had a record department but they discontinued it and concentrated on just clothing. A few years later they began to build Gaps outside of California and started using their own labels. They also added clothes like sportswear to the Gap. And soon added some active wear. But by 1991, the Gap declared they would only be carrying their own brand.

By 1983, there were 550 stores. He then bought Banana Republic. Soon he had a chain of these stores also. By 1998, there were almost three hundred of these stores also. At about the same time that he started Banana Republic, he started Gap Kids also. Solely focused on kid’s lines of clothes. In 1990 Baby Gap came along as part of Gap Kids. They opened Old Navy in 1994.

Even though there has been a lot of competition come out though the years. Business continued to boom. And in 1996, the Fishers were featured in Forbes 400 as one of the richest citizens.

In 1995 he stepped down as CEO of Gap. His wife and sons continued to keep a hand in the business. Business and profits of all their different stores continued to prosper, with only a slow period in the early 1990’s. This is when they lowered their prices and business boomed again. Their stores are still known as stores that have great quality clothing at affordable prices.

He passed away just recently in September 2009 of cancer. He left behind his wife, his three sons and ten grandchildren, and 1478 branches of Gap stores.

Du Shuanghua

There are many different reasons that people find themselves in the millionaire or billionaire category. Sometimes they are just fortunate enough to be born already rich. Sometimes they inherit the money. But mostly they are self-made entrepreneurs. What sets entrepreneurs aside from the average person? They have determination. They are determined to make their dreams come true. They have faith, faith in their dreams and ideas. They have persistence. They know their ideas will work and they do not give up on them. They have belief in themselves and do not let anyone tell them they are crazy or it will not work. All of this is why a lot of entrepreneurs find them self in the category of worlds richest people. This is definitely the reason that Du Shuanghua is one of the world’s richest billionaires.

He was born and raised in China. He received most of his riches by being the founder of a steel company in China called Rizhao Steel Holding. This company did not take long to bring in the money.  If there was one thing that he knew it was steel and the business surrounding it.  He had an eye for business that set him apart from others in the trade.  That passion would one day make him the one of the richest men in the world.  He began the private enterprise in 2004 that would set him on his way to fortune in a country where private enterprises are not as common as in some countries.  China was getting serious about their steel production and wanted to compete with the rest of the world.  They needed dedicated men to make this happen.  He was more than happy to oblige.

He built his company in Rizhao in the province of Shandong.  This city beside the sea is located near the Eurasia continental bridge.  The product that gave him the edge was the H-beam.  But that was not all that he had to offer.  He also manufactured cold-rolled steel strips.  In addition he produced steel pipes and galvanized steel.  His company became one of the privileged companies that were first given permission to import iron ore and then export it as well.  Over time he managed to sign some very lucrative deals with some of the largest iron ore companies in the world.  In his 40’s he was in the position of Chairman of the Board.  The money was pouring in.

He proved to be very concerned about China and her people.  In 2008 when the big Wenchuan Earthquake occurred he donated almost 22 million dollars to the cause.  He tried to do it quietly but it gained much media exposure.  It was a huge amount of money and more than any private firm before him.  Recently he sold more than two thirds of his company to the Shandong Iron & Steel Group.  It was not what he wanted to do but it had to be.  It is not exactly known how much he sold the greater share of his company for but common sense tells us it was a lot.  He kept control of a third of the company.  Last year he was named the second riches guy in China with a reported net worth of somewhere around five billion dollars.  The future is uncertain for him but one thing is for sure he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

Lin Rong San

There are a lot of people in this world who have had the good fortune to become millionaires or billionaires. These people have made their money in a lot of different ways. They may have been just born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They have made some good investments. Or maybe it was that great idea that they had for a product. Some have started businesses that took off like lightening and made them rich. And some have none several things to earn their riches. Lin Rong San is one of these people. This is probably the reason why he was named the seventh richest person in Taiwan.

So what makes him and other millionaires and billionaires different from other people? Why do they get rich and others do not. Because entrepreneurs like this one, have something different then the average person does. They have determination. They have persistence. And they have faith in their dreams. They have the ability to go out there and make their dreams a reality. They do what it takes to get things done. Entrepreneurs like this billionaire from Taiwan do not listen to the words, not possible, or your crazy. They believe in themselves and take that belief and run with it. Exactly what this entrepreneur from Taiwan did.

He came into this world in 1939. His family was living in Taipei.  He was a child destined to do great things. He began by producing vegetables and selling rice to make a living. But it did not take him long to move on to better and bigger things. He started generating property before he was thirty.

He founded the Union Bank of Taiwan. He still has holdings in the bank today.  He also published the Liberty Times and the Taipei Times. Both of these are newspapers that focus on the Pan-Blue coalition. This is a political alliance of the Republic of China. These were all very successful business ventures. He was soon known and recognized all over Taiwan and even into the United States.

He eventually found himself involved in the political side of life. He eventually became a legislator for Taiwan. He was an advisor for two past presidents. He also gave money to different foundations and actually started the Lin Rong-San Foundation of Culture and Social Welfare.

He is married and has 4 children. But what is most known about him is, today, at the age of 70, he is worth over one billion dollars. Definitely a pretty good chunk of money for a man that started out working selling vegetables and rice. Obviously he made a great choice when he decided to go into real estate.

Because if he had not went for his dreams, where would he be today. Maybe still selling vegetables, just getting by. Would he still have been happy, maybe, but he would not have filled his destiny or lived his dreams.

Michael Federmann

Michael Federmann is a 65- year old billionaire from Israel.  Billionaires are rare in this world of ours.  They don’t come a long everyday.  It is obviously not impossible to become a billionaire.  There are avenues out there that can make it happen.  You could be a famous actor who has had a long and prosperous career.  You could be an athlete that has lasted many years and earned numerous endorsement deals.  Then of course you could invent some crazy item that takes the world by storm and makes you rich beyond your wildest imagination.  It does happen.  You could start a business that produces a valuable commodity that brings you great wealth or like this fellow you could inherit it.

Yes, he inherited his fortune from his uncle and father Yekutiel and Shmuel.  Although he was left a great fortune do not be misled.  He had to keep it on his very own ability.  Not only did he keep it but he grew it as well.  His father and uncle started it all for him in 1947.  It was then that they purchased a small boarding house with 21 rooms on seashore in Tel Aviv.  It was then that Dan Hotels Corp was born.  His father and uncle had a dream that they passed down to him.  He took that dream and ran with it.  Like many entrepreneurs he had a persistent itch that just had to be scratched.  He and his cousin took the bull by the horns and turned the company into a gold mine.

He managed to squeeze in a degree in both political science and economics.  Both have served him quite well.  He has spent 4 decades in management with the company and in that time he and his family built an empire.  The small boarding house that gave birth to a dream just after World War II has grown into no less than 13 grand hotels that sport more than 3,300 rooms.  That is a far cry from the 5 hotels and 1,000 rooms that existed when he took the helm.  Only this year he was nominated for the prestigious ‘Hotelier Of The World’.  He had worked hard to earn it.

But all of his fortune does not rest in the hotel world alone.  He and his family also have a little less than 50% interest in a major defense hardware company called Elbit Systems.  They now own two-thirds interest in the Dan Hotel Corp.  He has acquired more than a fortune along the way.  He also managed to obtain a wife and three children.  He is the Board of Director Chairman for the hotel chain.  He will one day pass his wealth on to his children as his father had done for him.  His continued persistence and passion for business has earned him much admiration over the years.  He inherited his fathers business but it was his entrepreneur spirit that made it what it is today.