418 voters

15 Millionaires Are Telling Us How They Got Rich And We're Shook

May 21, 2021 2.0k votes 418 voters 36.8k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most shocking millionaire stories.

The path to wealth for most people is more complicated and difficult. While some people’s wealth was given to them from an inheritance, there’s a lot of people who weren’t born rich, sometimes even struggling, but worked their way to the top. We've rounded up some incredible stories from the ladder, check them out!

  • 1

    From Nothing

    From Redditor /u/[deleted]

    I'm a child of immigrants who was raised by the state. I grew up in a mix of foster and group homes. Once I turned 18 I was given a packet with my important documents and released on my own.

    I had nothing to my name and nowhere to go so I joined the Marines. I spent 6 years deployed and saved every penny that I could. I lived in the barracks, ate at the galley, and drove an '86 jimmy I bought cash.

    After getting my dd-214 I took my savings and bought a small shop and printer. For the next two years, I literally lived in my shop and ate rice and ketchup. I built my sign shop from the ground up. Now I employ 12 full-timers and 4 part-timers.

    My net worth is close to 8 figures. I still work every day though.

  • 2

    Far More Lucrative Than You Think

    From Redditor /u/Arkelias

    I became rich when I stopped thinking linearly and started thinking exponentially about money.

    Most of us grow up believing that you go to high school, maybe college, then get a job. The more this job pays you per hour, the better you are doing.

    While still believing this, I self-taught myself to develop apps for the iPhone. My goal was to land a six-figure job as an engineer, even though I didn't have a degree. I did that and was elated...until I realized that six figures don't go that far in Northern California.

    I'd been writing on the side, and released my first novel as an eBook. It started selling thousands of copies. I'd wake up and realized that while sleeping I'd made money from people all over the world.

    I could take a two week vacation, and my book would keep selling. On Christmas? My book was still selling. I'd discovered the power of passive income quite by [mishap].

    So I released a second book. And a third. Tomorrow I release my 10th book. I've since jettisoned the software engineering gig, even though I loved programming. I will never again work for someone else, or be paid for hours of my life.

    Passive income will free you. I don't care if you invest in real estate, develop apps, write books, or teach an online course. Create something that can sell globally while you sleep. It can be far, far more lucrative than you'd ever believe.

  • 3

    Grandpa’s Story

    From Redditor /u/talashira

    My grandfather -- a millionaire many times over -- went the "niche" route: after WWII, he moved his family out to California and opened a shoe shop that specialized in shoes made for women with tiny (i.e., size 5 and under) feet. At that point in time, no other shoe shop catered to sizes that small. He imported the best shoes from Europe and had a lot of high-profile clientele.

    The easiest way, it seems, is to fill a demand that no one else is filling. A lot harder to do today, I'll admit, but still something that can be done, with a lot of ingenuity.

  • 4

    Investing In Property

    From Redditor /u/Hamoct

    I live in Eastern Europe. In 1990 I took out a huge loan and bought 10 apartments and furnished them. I rent them out to people and with the money I earn from them I pay off the loan payments. I do this every 10 years.

    I have now 30 apartments and 1 employee who I pay to maintain and make sure payments and maintenance are handled.

    The key is finding good tenants and maintaining a good relationship with them. It is not that hard but a key to this strategy.