This post is in response to a CNBC article that features 9 quotes from 9 self-made millionaires and billionaires who are predominately white males; I use the word predominately because I hate making assumptions about diversity and people’s backgrounds. So I will let others be the judge. After reading the comments on the previous posts, I wanted to create a similar post using diverse millionaires. However, this post will stay away from using the word self-made. This is because, at the end of the day, no one is going to get to that level of success without the assistance of others. My very successful and humble Granddad taught me that from a young age.
Prepare yourself to be inspired today by these 8 quotes from highly successful millionaires from all walks of life.
Although on the surface, Tim Cook may be seemingly another white male, he is openly a member of the LGBTQ community running one of the most profitable companies in the world. In an essay published in Bloomberg, Cook stated, “So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”
Known for being the youngest woman in the world to make $1 billion “on her own”, Sara Blakely is the founder of the shapewear brand that has changed countless woman’s looks, Spanx. Her advice on finding success, “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”
As an Indian-born American, Sundar Pichai has become well-known for his struggle and rise to the top of one of the world’s most well-known companies. Although known for his many successes at Google including the toolbar and Google Chrome, it is his failures that he is most proud of. His advice, “Wear your failure as a badge of honour.”
As one of the highest paid women’s basketball college coaches in the history of the women’s game, Dawn Staley has not disappointed South Carolina fans. Staley’s team brought home the school’s first National Championship in the sport in 2017, a title which was held by the UConn Huskies for 4 consecutive years. Her mission is to remind all her players and fans, “A lot of people notice when you succeed, but they don’t see what it takes to get there.”
As one of the co-founders of Birchbox, Katia Beauchamp is known for starting a subscription box revolution and for being one of the most influential people in the beauty world today. Raised in El Paso, Texas (yes the El Paso Texas from Glory Road) by a Greek father and Mexican mother, she is known for cold-emailing some of the most famous CEOs in the world including Steve Jobs to which she received a response the same day. Her advice, “Whatever it is that you think you want to do – whatever it is that you think stands between you and that – stop making excuses. You can do anything.”
Raised by a single mother after the age of 10 years old, Daymond John is best known for his role as an investor on the popular NBC show, Shark Tank. But that is not John’s only job, no, actually far from it. As a best-selling author, business owner, speaker, investor, and philanthropist, his life is far from dull. But success didn’t come without hardships. One of his many keys to success is, “Learn from as many mistakes and what not to do while your business or product is small. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow your brand. Make sure that you and the market can sustain any bumps that may occur down the road.”
Not only is Kim Pegula, shaking up the business world, she is also shaking up the professional sports world as well. As co-owner of both the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres (with her husband, Terry Pegula), she is helping revitalize the once forgotten city. As President and CEO of Pegula Sports & Entertainment, she is passionate about the “One Buffalo” message but will never forget her roots. Pegula was born in Korea and abandoned by her family, left to be raised in an orphanage until the age of 5 when she was adopted by a family in Fairport, NY. “Everything you do in life gets you to where you are now,” she said to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “I would definitely say my beginnings and my in-betweens and everything else are how I am.”
As American actress, Marlee Matlin proves everyday looks can be deceiving but being different doesn’t stop you from achieving your dreams. At just 18 months old, Matlin had lost all her hearing in her right ear and was 80% deaf in her left. But being deaf did not stop her. In fact, she has received several major award nominations for her work in TV and Film including a Golden Globe for Best Actress and an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Children of the Lesser God. On being different, “Everyone of us is different in some way, but for those of us who are more different, we have to put more effort into convincing the less different that we can do the same thing they can, just differently.”
Diversity in Our Workforce
Diversity is a key part of what makes our country and our world great. When we fail to learn from the successes and failures of people who look differently from us, we often fail to change. For the purposes of this article, I wanted to highlight a sample of people from very different backgrounds, diversity groups, and professions who have found success through various channels. This is not by any means saying these are the only successful people, not at all but a sample and example of how there are so many amazing people who have become successful millionaires.
I am fortunate to work for an organization that strives to continue the conversation around Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and hope that more companies continue to value this as a key priority so that one day, we reach the point that diversity is a non-issue, we are all just people. That is a future I hope that someday we can reach in the professional world and the general community as well (ironic as currently, I had to write an article searching for diversity).
Who else would you add to this list and what are your favorite quotes from them?