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Four of the Wealthiest and Most Interesting Self-made Entrepreneurs in 2014
Since the economic crash of 2008, the United States and global economy have been struggling to recover. From government programs to new technological and industrial innovations, nothing yet has been able to really rev the economy back into a booming overdrive. This has led to seemingly perpetual levels of underemployment and lackluster economic production and innovation. Fortunately, the entrepreneurial spirit that has defined the United States for centuries is still alive and well. Every day, companies are putting more and more people to work in productive and profitable businesses. While the growth in jobs is not as fast or as robust as it should be, there is no doubt that the jobs being created by new and growing businesses is dramatically improving the lives of countless individuals and families every day.
While the bulk of existing jobs come from established companies, the vast majority of new job opportunities come from entrepreneurs who put their own money and capital at risk to start or invest in a business. These entrepreneurs, most of whom have come from non-wealthy families, have made themselves rich by employing countless individuals in their various business ventures. While many of them have interesting stories, some entrepreneurs stand out so much that they deserve specific mention. The following are four of the most interesting and successful self-made entrepreneurs as of 2014.
Robert Herjavec is the embodiment of the American Dream. As the son of blue-collar Croatian immigrant parents, Robert had essentially zero networking or financial benefits through his family. Nevertheless, he has amassed a wealth of well over $100 million through hard work, ingenuity, and sacrifice.
As a young man, Robert agreed to work for computer startup Logiquest as an unpaid intern for 6 months in order to secure a position he was technically under qualified for. Using the experience he gained there, he created an Internet security company called BRAK Systems in 1990, which he then sold to AT&T a decade later in 2000. In 2003, Robert founded the Herjavec Group, which primarily sold IT security technologies. The Herjavec Group experienced rapid growth and has done over half a billion in sales since its inception. Today, Robert primarily focuses on investing in ideas he believes will be successful, and is perhaps best known for his role as one of the “sharks” on the popular show, “Shark Tank”.
Richard Branson is a self-made billionaire best known for his Virgin airlines, his private space program Virgin Galactic, and his cellular service Virgin Mobile. However, many are not aware of Richard’s humble beginnings selling Christmas trees at the age of 12. Even from this young age, Richard had a penchant for being industrious and entrepreneurial, and his early ventures included a student magazine, a mail order record business, and eventually the opening of his first brick and mortar business, a record store.
Although Richard’s parents were very supportive of him from an early age, they were unable to assist him very much financially, yet he was able to build his early businesses into the massive Virgin Group, which currently holds over 400 businesses under its umbrella and employs around 50,000 individuals around the world.
Mark Zuckerberg changed the world when he created Facebook. This dramatically influential website has come to redefine social networking, and the way in which people around the world can communicate with one another. In the decade since Facebook’s launch, the company has generated billions in revenue and employs almost 6,000 individuals. However, it is important to note that Facebook played a crucial role in the development of a robust ancillary industry involving the management and proper use of social media platforms for businesses and even some individuals. While estimates vary wildly depending on who you ask, there is no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg’s innovation and successful development of Facebook has easily resulted in tens if not hundreds of thousands of people being employed as a result of the secondary industry surrounding social media.
Mark Cuban is one of the best-known billionaires, thanks to his role as one of the sharks on Shark Tank as well as his cameo appearances in the hugely popular television series “Entourage”. Mark Cuban came from a middle-class family, and started making money early on by selling garbage bags and teaching disco lessons. Eventually, Mark successfully created an online sports streaming service Broadcast.com in 1998, which he sold just before the dot-com bubble burst for $5.9 billion in 1999. Since then, Mark has become known for his no-nonsense business style and lack of respect for traditional rules. He is the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, and has been involved in many other ventures including Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures, and various sports and technology companies. Mark has also invested millions of dollars in Shark Tank entrepreneurs, investing in 14 deals totaling $1.895 million in Season 3 alone. By doing so, Mark is making money while helping create the next generation of job-creating entrepreneurs.
Written by Eamon Arnett
Co-founder of Elite Prevention
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