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A brief introduction to…Amancio Ortega

Ortega is a Spanish businessman and the wealthiest retailer in the world. He is the founder of Inditex which is perhaps best known for its Zara brand. It was from an early age that Ortega gained his hand in the fashion business when, as a teenager, he began a job for a shirtmaker in A Coruña, making shirts by hand, learning the hard way. Zara began from a single shop base, which he opened with his wife in 1975. Unbelievably since then his business has grown to over 6000 stores and he employs 92,000 people worldwide.

Ortega is famous for being incredibly private and has reportedly only ever given interviews to three journalists. He is said to be a very humble man who eats with his employees as well as working alongside them as much as possible.

Ortega has been so successful probably because he focuses on the simplicity of business aims: giving customers what they want as quickly as possible. Indeed, Zara stores change their stock twice a week and they monitor what their customers like and really want.

This model is likely to continue to prove successful as Ortega grows older. He is showing no signs of retiring with sales booming and the company ever growing. Truly the billionaire mindset.

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A brief introduction to…Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault is currently featured in third place on the rich list and is the wealthiest European on the list, currently worth over $85 billion. He is the Chair and CEO of LVMH and his business empire stretched to 70 different brands, including having bought nearly all of Christian Dior, which stretched his fortune significantly.

Arnault started off in business on the right footing, working first for his father’s successful construction company, although it was Bernard who convinced the family to switch the business from construction to property more generally, specialising in holiday accommodation and growing the company as a result.

It was in the mid-1980s that Arnault began to get involved in the luxury goods that he would become known for. In 1984 he acquired Financière Agache, a company specialising in luxury items and in turn, as CEO, got involved with a struggling company called Boussac Saint-Frères which owned Christian Dior.

LVMH was formed in the late 1980s, merging two separate companies. Arnault was the first shareholder, spending $600million on 13.5% of the business. Not a small amount! Under his leadership over time he has transformed the company and it is now one of the largest luxury goods companies in the world.

Some of Arnault’s other investments

You might not know that Arnault owns a percentage of Netflix, bought in 1999; as well as 10.69% of France’s largest supermarket Carrefour. He also owns a yacht business: Princess Yachts.

Arnault is a notable collector of art and owns pieces by Picasso, Andy Warhol and Henry Moore. He is married to a Canadian pianist called Hélène Mercier-Arnault and they have three sons. He also has a son and a daughter with his first wife Anne Dewavrin.

5 Steps towards your first million dollars

Not everybody puts having money at the top of their priority list. Many of us simply want to find contentment in what we do and we don’t need riches and riches to be satisfied. However, money is still important in everyday life and if you don’t have it this can be a problem. If you asked 100 people what would be on their list of things to achieve in life if they could do or have anything ‘having a million dollars’ or ‘becoming a millionaire’ would surely feature on the lists of many.

What do you need to do though to stride towards your first million dollars?

1) Invest, don’t spend

How tempting is that pair of shoes, or that fancy new phone or that new car? Very? Are you the kind of person who will spend regardless? Think again. If you want to build up your cash reserves you need to save and invest in sensible things that will hold their value. This will move you towards that million dollar aim far more quickly than you might get there otherwise.

2) Understand what other people want and help them achieve that

Often if you help others get what they want they will want to help you in some way and fortune will come your way in the end.

3) Choose one thing, master it and do it better than anyone else

Those who are the most financially successful tend to be a master in that one thing that they have specialised in. They do it better than anyone else and therefore their skill set or product is in demand. Fortune takes time to build up. Use that time wisely.

4) Build a routine and plan towards success

If you find a strategy that works and do it again and again and again then you will see progress. Fortune takes time and hard work but if you stick at it in a particular way then success will soon be with you.

5) Understand your progress

In order to improve your financial situation you need to understand what it is that you are doing well (and do more of that) and what you are doing not so well (and do less of that). It’s like going to the gym and tracking our weight. We then know how to improve our situation and when we do well it also spurs us on to do more.

A brief introduction to…Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person in the world at the moment. As the founder, Chair and CEO of internet giant Amazon, Bezos is the first person to be worth over $100 billion, and is currently worth a good deal more than that. It is perhaps no wonder that of all the entrepreneurs in the list it is Bezos who’s wealth has skyrocketed as much as it has. Millions of us, myself included, use Amazon daily to buy anything from books and films to garden furniture and health and beauty products. In fact it has become as much a ‘go to’ website for most of us as Google or Facebook. When we want to buy something it is perhaps one of the first sites on our minds. After all, it’s easy to buy from, the service is good (most of the time) and it’s quick as a process.

Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up in Houston, Texas. He studied physics at Princeton but later changed his degree to Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

It was following an eight year career in Wall Street that he founded Amazon, which initially focused on selling books. Like many businesses it started on a small scale in his garage, but Bezos was determined to attract investment, even though he warned investors in the early days that there was a pretty good chance that the venture would fail. The early days of the company were in fact meteoric and within 2 months sales had reached $20,000 every week! Clearly Bezos was on to something (by 2011 this would be $17 billion a year!). The Amazon story is one of swings and roundabouts, with for example 14% of the company workforce being laid off in the early 2000s. However, without doubt it is a powerhouse today.

He is married to MacKenzie Bezos (nee Tuttle) who he first met at the investment firm D.E Shaw where Bezos was a senior vice president, in the years before Amazon was even thought of as an idea. They got married in 1993. His wife has been with him throughout the journey and they now have four children, including an adopted daughter.

Some things you might not know about Bezos and Amazon…

  • Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 for a cool $250 million.
  • The first employee of Amazon was Shel Kaphan in the days when they worked from Bezos’ garage.
  • Amazon wasn’t called Amazon from day 1. It was also called Cadabra, or ‘Relentless.com’ at times.
  • Bezos was involved in a helicopter accident in 2003.
  • In 2000 Bezos started a space company – Blue Origin.

 

In the next ‘brief introduction to…’ we’ll be taking a look at Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

 

What makes people successful?

Welcome to the first proper blog post on the Rich List Blog. As you are reading it, I want to say thank you. As a new blog it’s always difficult to get things off the ground and build your readership. Trust me, I have started many blogs in the past. Some have worked and some haven’t worked so well. There are many things that make a good blog post and usually readers want to discover something that they didn’t previously know, find out a fact or short piece of information they can recall to their mates or build a connection with the blogger. As you’re here you, like me, you are probably fascinated by what has made the richest people in the world as wealthy as they are. What is it about their mindset that has driven them to succeed? Yes, many of them have lost along the way but they remain determined to carry on and succeed.

Why are some people in life simply more ‘successful’ (and we’re talking money and power here) than others?

In my view, and I expect this to maybe change and develop as I (and you) discover more about the wealthy elite, there are several key things that lean people towards success.

Drive and determination

Successful people are driven to succeed and remain determined to fulfil whatever their aim is.

Focus

Successful people focus on a goal and work towards that goal without distractions or doubts.

Desire

There is always a certain amount of wishing to be, do or have something slightly more than at present.

Passion

Passionate people often drive success as they get really in to what they are doing and thus usually bring people along with them. We all want to be around passionate people.

Self-confidence

Successful people have an inner flame within them. Sometimes this leans towards arrogance, and you can still be successful and arrogant, but truly successful people usually fire this confidence in such a way that people gravitate towards it and success comes their way.

Great communication

It is often the good communicators in this world who get what they want. They are able to see a vision and attract people towards it. We all want to listen to great communicators. It is something unwritten that draws us towards them. We also pay a good deal of attention to what is not being said as well as what is coming out of their mouth.

They have a balanced life…most of the time

Now, this isn’t always the case, but generally their personal, work, spiritual and physical lives are all in pretty good shape which enables them to push further and succeed in all areas. They are determined to push forward and achieve what they want to achieve in all areas.

They surround themselves with other successful people

It’s true. Success often emanates success and when we are around others who work for success that drives us to succeed as well.

There are of course other things, but these I think are core to what drives success. If you can work on any of them you are likely to become more successful in life as well. Thanks for reading. As it’s going to take a while to get this blog off the ground I’d really appreciate if you could follow it, suggest it to your friends and networks and also please let me know if there are any topics or people you would like me to research and write about?