Suddenly Zuckerberg has become the poster child of filthy rich in the world today and yet he still does not figure in the top 20 richest persons in the world. But everyone aspires to become him. So what makes him the pin up for prosperity? Maybe it’s not the end but the way he made his riches. It is this thought that inspired me to pen this article. Let us try and explore what are the jobs that we can think of as individuals to make our first billion (because million is so last decade!).
If you are reading this then probably I just pocketed a five dollar bill. Writing for the internet is today a very lucrative mode of earning. It is estimated that Michael Arrington founder and former co-editor of TechCrunch makes just about $200,000 a month, that’s roughly 2.4 million a year. Another guy Pete Cashmore reportedly makes about $180,000 a month with his mashable.com and the list goes on and on. So once you’ve made your first million with the right kind of investments that magic number of a billion starts looking real. Time to first Billion: Just by blogging probably 300 years… but if you manage your money well (by investing it right) then I’d say about 150 years.
The profession of modeling if not the most rewarding is definitely the most glamorous of all the jobs. The highest paid model that I have come across is also the one I used to drool over at the Victoria’s Secret show every year—Gisele Bundchen with an estimated NW of about $290 million. Overall however it is argued that Kathy Ireland has a net worth of about $350 million although a lot of it came from her own clothing line. Time to first Billion: 2 years, and probably the shortest in this list cause even if you’ve just made your first million the rest 999 million will be provided by your super rich husband!
We all idolize our favorite sports star. Although their performances in the game are a source of inspiration for all of us, that’s why probably are more than keen to use the soap they ask us to use, the drink they want us to drink or the car they want us to drive. It is estimated that Tiger Woods alone has a net worth of 600 million with about $65 million just coming by way of endorsements every year. In fact this guy already made a billion if we consider the taxes he’s paid to the government. Roger Federer who roughly makes the same amount as endorsements is estimated to be around NW $150 million. Other big names are Michael Jordan (just about $650 million NW) and Michael Schumacher ($400 million NW). Golf, American Football, Baseball, Soccer and Basketball are the biggies. Time to first Billion: Give or take 10 years if you are at your best performances and have picked the right sport.
Well, being a movie star has its own perks — the fame, the fans, and the freedom of creative expression. Then of course there’s the money. Actors make money and they spend money to make some more. Liz Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood top the list for Hollywood. Liz is estimated to be around 600 million NW, while Gibson and Nicholson are roughly 400 million USD each. Beyond Hollywood Shah Rukh Khan from the Indian film Industry (Bollywood) is also right up there with a whopping 600 Million USD. Other include French Gerard Depardieu ($200 million) and yet another Indian actor Salman Khan ($ 200 million). Time to first Billion: Roughly a career span of 30 years if you are willing to do the role of son, lover and the father in movies.
We may call it the idiot box but nevertheless stay glued to it for good. I mean who doesn’t like to watch the not-so-talented guy next door being humiliated by Simon Cowell or our favorite movie star being verbally brandished by David Letterman. If you are emotionally hung up then all you need is a dose of Oprah. If you are the right mix of personality for hosting the next big reality show you are on your way towards your first billion. Oprah alone commands a NW of 2.9 billion USD, making her probably the richest African-American celebrity in the World. Ironically her very own protégé Dr. Phil McGraw has a whopping NW of 200 million USD. Cowell is estimated around $320 million NW. So start practicing in front of the mirror and if you are funny naturally you already have a step up. Time to first Billion: Roughly 8 years, if you can keep reinventing yourself, with a multi-faceted approach or if you are simply Oprah!
Frankly you just need to be an inventor, doesn’t matter what you invent. If you get the patent that’s worth the squeeze, you will find investors who will pay you so that they themselves can squeeze the last bit of profit out of it. Google beanie babies, the guy who made it, Ty Warner is worth $4.1 Billion (WTF). If you thought Red Bull tastes disgusting, well Chaleo Yoovidhya and Dietricht Mateschitz won’t care because both of them combined is worth $8 billion USD. Mario Polegato made shoes with holes (sounds like it kind of defeats the purpose but apparently it’s like an air conditioner which prevents stinks) and that got him a NW of 2.9 billion USD. So put your thinking hats on cause if you can see a light bulb on your head then probably you just thought up your first billion. Time to first Billion: Well it really depends, if the product is right I would say anything from three years to 8.
Noblest of the noble professions, governed by the oath of Hippocrates, also seems to be quite a cash rich profession these days. Yes doctors were always well off and it was the safest profession to be in (people will fall sick). But is a lifetime of medical studies worth it – well it apparently is, even more if you are Patrick Soon Shiong. The guy completed high school at 16 and got his medical degree at 23 and after that there was no stopping. Estimated at a net worth of $7.3 billion his wealth majorly came from two of his pharma companies he sold in 5.6 billion and 2.9 billion each. And he is not alone. Rhonda Stryker, an orthopedic surgeon estimated 2.5 billion USD NW, made her first billion through manufacture of replacement joints and other such devices. Other billionaire doctors include Phillip Frost (dermatology; NW 2.4 billion USD) and Gary Michelson (Orthopedics, 1.4 billion USD). I guess by now you are already googling for the nearest Pre Med School. Time to first Billion: I’d say let’s not put a timeline to such a noble profession, I mean I hardly think anyone is in it for money (pun intended).
You definitely pay a price for looking good, and this is obvious from the fact that in the top 20 richest persons list five are from this arena not including Wal Mart. In fact the third richest person in the world is Amancio Ortega (NW $57 billion) owner of Inditex (Zara, Bershka). 9th and 10th on the list are Lillian Bettencourt (L’Oreal) and Bernard Arnold (Louis Vuitton) followed by Stefan Persson(H&M). So if you are slogging at an internship at Gucci or Prada working for free trying to get experience you know what kind of success you are looking out for. Time to first Billion: A sound reputation and a loyal clientele is key, my take a lifetime for the first billion.. roughly 30 years.
Money is like a virus, if you put it in the right environment it will keep multiplying itself. As Warren Buffet says and I quote “You do smart things, you eventually get very rich.” I guess Buffet must have done a lot of smart things because he’s the 4th richest man on the planet today with a whopping 53.5 billion USD to his credit. Carl Icahn( NW $20 billion) and Prince Alwaleed ( NW $20 billion) are a couple of others who have amassed their wealth by investing what they already had. Time to first Billion: If you already don’t have your first billion my guess is once again a lifetime( 30-40 years).
This century only looks bright for all the tech geeks of the time. With visionaries like the late Steve jobs and Bill Gates setting the tone, other computer geeks have just learnt the chorus. While Gates who reigned as the richest man on the planet throughout the late nineties and early two thousands, he is still the second richest man on the planet with a NW of 67 billion USD. Not far behind are Larry Ellison of Oracle(NW 43 billion USD) and Larry Paige and Sergei Brin of Google with NW $23 billion each. Come to think of it the very inspiration for this list came from another billionaire techboy Mark Zuckerberg with a NW 13.3 billion USD. So make up your mind, if sitting hours on end on the computer writing codes is your game then you might just be inching towards your first billion. Considering the Geek you are occasional porn breaks are also on the cards!