Carnegie, Gates, Jobs, Wozniak, Holmes.
All entrepreneurs and inventors who became fabulously wealthy. Holmes? Elizabeth Holmes? Haven’t heard of her? That’s because she’s only 30, but she’s well on her way to join her illustrious predecessors.
Today’s post is intended to illustrate the fact that anyone at any time can get on the road to invention and prosperity with the right internal incentives.
But, back to Holmes. Just who is she? About a year ago, Fortune magazine published a profile of her entitled, “This CEO is out for blood,” by Roger Parloff. [see picture at bottom.]
“Elizabeth Holmes founded her revolutionary blood diagnostics company, Theranos, when she was 19. It’s now worth more than $9 billion, and poised to change health care,” Parloff wrote.
We can’t all achieve the heights these standouts did, but their life-loving, hard-working, intelligence can be our inspiration and they can stand as our distance-mentors.
What IFO wants to stress for young (ages 20-40) investors is that your fortune isn’t likely to stem from a college education (all of the above entrepreneurs had no college degree), or family money, or luck.
It starts with intense interest in an idea, discovery of how to extend that idea, and willingness to surround yourself with people smarter than you to achieve your overall goal, which is most often to bring a brand-new product to a huge market willing and able to pay for that product because it is a huge benefit to them.
If you don’t have such an idea, you may join a company which has a goal you share and the idea or products you recognize as good for the world. Drug company, railroad, grocery store.
If you can’t find that someone or company, you can look for a company that has made life easier and better for millions of people for decades: Caterpillar or W. W. Grainger, for example.
You can go to college if you want. Andrew Carnegie never went and the others all dropped out, but William Hewlett was a super-educated engineer who joined David Packard in founding Hewlett-Packard. HP has fallen on some hard times lately, but younger companies that no one has heard of, YET, could work for you.
One point: how do you get that first job? One time-honored way is to get a low-level, low-pay, low skill job and work up from there or jump over to where you want to go after you figure out what you really want to do. Start as soon as it is legal. Although you can start your own company at any age.
There is absolutely no excuse for working in a dead-end, boring, soul-destroying (for you, other people might love and admire the same job!) wage-slave job. Ever.
Here’s a link to a TedMed talk by Ms. Holmes: http://www.tedmed.com/speakers/show?id=308981 Here’s a link to Theranos, her company website. Take a look at who is on her Board of Directors! Inspiring, eh? And here she is \/ below: