Who wants to be a billionaire?

After watching Channel 4’s How to Be a Young Billionaire – a documentary following three young British entrepreneurs that are trying to make it big in Silicon Valley – we were inspired to find out how other well-known entrepreneurs made it to the Big £B.

Of the World’s 1426 billionaires, 67% are self-made, working hard from an unusually early age to make it big in business. What’s also clear is that the route to success isn’t straight forward – it rarely comes from a single idea: nearly 90% of self-made billionaires made money from several businesses to achieve their goals.

Look at James Dyson, for example. Whilst he was still at college Dyson helped to design the Sea Truck before going on to create the Ballbarrow, his first invention which was featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. There were a few other inventions after this which ultimately led him to his most successful which is of course the Dyson vacuum cleaner! Dyson currently has a net worth of £3 billion.

Like Dyson, Bill Gates continues to be an inspiration to any entrepreneur hoping to make it big. Gates only started to show an interest in computers at the age of 13 (which by today’s standards would make him a late starter!) And, after he dropped out of Harvard, most would be hard pushed to predict his future success. Yet, he became the youngest billionaire aged 31, before going on to achieving the title of the Richest Man on Earth at just 39.

Another college dropout who has been written about countless times and even had a movie made about his success is of course Mark Zuckerberg. With a net worth of around $34 billion from creating Facebook, he didn’t wait to finish his studies before seizing the opportunity he saw before him. 

So, if you’re wondering how to strike it rich, perhaps there are two lessons that we can take from our inspirational entrepreneurs. First, time waits for no man or woman! Qualifications and experience aren’t necessarily the key to success so if you have an idea, go for it now!  Secondly, don’t expect to achieve your financial ambitions with your first business idea. Rarely do people make money from their first business, and, as this infographic which summarises the journey that five of the most influential serial entrepreneurs took, the road to success can be complex.


Got a business idea that’s worth exploring? Why not get involved in the Catalyst Centre 2015? http://www.usspcatalystcentre.org.uk/#apply