I saw the article on Sara Blakely, the creator of the Spanx underclothing line on Nightline last night (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/spanx-sha...IZYb4Lmc).
The lead up to the article irked me because she was billed as the first "self-made" female billionaire. I've researched some of the great entrepreneurs, and found that a lot gets left out of the articles.
I noticed that they left off Oprah, whose success story is a more literal interpretation of "self-made" billionaire, but I digress.
NO ONE does it alone, EVERYONE has help. In Sara Blakely's case, the article left out how she borrowed $50,000 from her grandparents to have her first order of Spanx made. In the case of Bill Gates, it's left out how he grew up as one of the Top 1% (Bill's father was in the 6-digit salary range) and went to prep schools and was well-prepared for his future career.
Most important of all, this myth should be shattered because, most of the billionaires and those in the Top 1% got their money the old-fashioned way: they inherited it. Like the lottery, many will play, very few will win, even fewer will win big. In the meantime, for the rest of us, stay in school, study, prepare, and be ready to work hard. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes, by Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”