The 10 Best Entrepreneurs and Their Journey to Success

Illustration of grey-haired man in a blue suit and a younger woman, with a  background that includes an enlarged money bag and stock figures

The best entrepreneurs are the ones who can see beyond the end of the working day and the next quarterly earnings report. Over the years, we have witnessed great leaders leaving their mark in the business world, which many budding startups look up to during their endeavours. 

Indeed, the list of successful businessmen and businesswomen continues to grow and evolve. There are people in many professions that have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, but this road to prosperity is not always guaranteed. For every incredible enterprise, hundreds and thousands fail. But for those that remain motivated, focused and dedicated, victory is an achievable target. It is why we are so fascinated by these people’s daily habits or skills – inherited or developed.

We have compiled a list of ten successful entrepreneurs who have accomplished not only brand recognition but also changed the world we live in through their skills and dedication.

1. Steve Jobs 

Steve Jobs was born at a time when the world of computing was just being developed. With a fierce working style that took no prisoners, Jobs went on to make Apple what it is today. After leaving school, he joined Steve Wozniak, and together this partnership resulted in a company that today enjoys an excellent reputation and global brand recognition. 

After quitting Apple temporarily in the 1990s, Steve then moved on to NeXT computers and then bought The Graphic Group. He later returned to Apple as a permanent CEO and, in 2007, was said to be worth nearly $7 billion.

Jobs passed away at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer, but his fierce management style and creative mind are trying to be emulated by everyone everywhere. Even in his passing, Jobs is offering helpful entrepreneurial tips!

2. Sir Richard Branson 

Sir Richard Branson is a British businessman, author and mega investor who is known for possessing a skill that most of us can only dream of having: risk-taking.

At a young age, he wanted to start a business. In the 1970s, he opened up his mail-order record business called Virgin Records, and within two decades, he started Virgin Atlantic airlines. His brand grew rapidly, and he went on to invest in the space programme called Virgin Galactic. 

Over the years, Branson has invested in the telecommunications business, internet services, hotels, healthcare and tourism. Branson is not only a successful entrepreneur but an individual who commands a great deal of respect and admiration for his non-entrepreneurial activities as well. His taste for adventure has made him a popular global figure; his philanthropy and other work led to his knighthood in 2000. 

3. Mark Zuckerberg 

Mark Zuckerberg is a major league social media billionaire who is probably one of the most famous entrepreneurs among the younger demographic. Zuckerberg revolutionised both the world of social media and the internet through his innovative ideas and attention to detail. He knew what the people, particularly youth, wanted – and that is why Facebook is now worth billions.

In 2019, he was worth approximately $68 billion. However, his road to success began in his dormitory in 2004, while he was at Harvard; He developed the idea of building a platform where people could connect online across geographic boundaries. He has continued to build his brand, and despite controversies that have plagued the social network, Zuckerberg is included in the list of the world’s top ten wealthiest people.

4. Jeff Bezos 

Here is something that you can aspire to: Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person. As the founder of Amazon, Bezos has a net worth estimated to be over $150 billion.

Bezos was born in New Mexico and went to Princeton University, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering. He founded Amazon while working in Seattle in 1994. The company at that time was an online bookstore that gradually progressed to selling computers and other relevant equipment. Within a decade, Bezos turned Amazon into the world’s biggest online store, selling almost every product in the world. With excellent customer service and rapid delivery, it is expected that Amazon will make Bezos the world’s first trillionaire within the next few years.

How did Bezos become so successful? For one thing, he came up with a service that millions of people worldwide wanted. The other crucial skill is his well-known entrepreneurial mindset and leadership style, which Brad Stone describes as infectious and demanding. 

5. Bill Gates 

Bill Gates is the second richest man on the planet. With a personal net worth of $98 billion, his road to richness glitters with persistence and a spirit of entrepreneurship. Despite having made it to Harvard with a top SAT score, he decided to quit halfway as he saw a business opportunity, which eventually paid off. 

Gates was interested in computers since childhood, and he decided to start a computer company called Microsoft. Within just a decade, he became a household name across the globe by perfecting software that would change our lives forever.

Today, Gates is retired but remains heavily involved in vaccine research and other healthcare initiatives. He continues to play an essential role in teaching and talking about entrepreneurship, business, management and success. He is also one of the world’s most renowned philanthropists.

6. Lawrence Page 

Lawrence Page is an American software engineer who co-founded Google with his business partner, Sergey Brin. While completing his PhD at Stanford, he went from researcher to entrepreneur. With a little help from friends and family, he founded Google in 1998, and within a decade, he was one of the world’s richest persons.

The key to his success was having a couple of skills that are mandatory in business: hard work, commitment and an open-minded outlook that was very different from the traditional concept of bureaucracy. He is also the inventor of Google’s page ranking system. 

Today, Page has turned his focus into renewable energy research. With an estimated fortune of $62 billion, he is also a top philanthropist.

7. Arianna Huffington 

Arianna Huffington is a Greek American businesswoman who has seen her claim to fame as the co-founder of The Huffington Post. She has been ranked as the world’s topmost influential women and is a powerful name in the world of business and publishing. 

Huffington moved from Greece to London when she was 16, working her way up in the media industry for a few decades. In 2011, she acquired Huffington Post and overnight became a global sensation. With her devotion and cutthroat management style that left no room for errors, she has earned respect and kudos from politicians, Wall Street, and the media.

In 2016, she stepped down from her role at Huffington Post and, since then, she has devoted her career to health and wellness.

8. Oprah Winfrey 

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential women in the world of business, entertainment and media, often referred to as the queen of the media. 

Brought up in extreme poverty in rural Mississippi, Oprah was a hard-working student who earned a full scholarship ride to college. While at university, she slowly worked her way into the local evening news in Chicago, and within a few years, Winfrey’s charm and impressive work ethic helped her became a household name.

Recognising that she had what it takes, Winfrey launched what would become one of the most popular and longest-running talk shows in history, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ended during its 25th and final season.

Today, she runs her own multimedia production company, Harpo Productions. With an estimated net worth of nearly $3 billion, Winfrey is also one of the most charitable people in the United States. She is also very vocal about social issues, always being at the forefront when it comes to taking a stand for those who are underprivileged and discriminated against by the establishment.

9. Carlos Slim 

Carlos Slim is a Mexican businessman who has made a fortune in the telecommunication business. At a young age, he ran his family store and then soon ventured into real estate. Later, he tapped into the restaurant business, tourism and transportation industries. But thanks to his intuition and vision, he realised that telecom was where the money was.

Slim is now heavily invested in the internet and mobile phone business in Mexico. In fact, almost all the landlines and mobile phone companies in Mexico are linked to his companies. His fortune stands at nearly $50 billion.

10. Martha Stewart 

Martha Stewart is an American businesswoman, former model and a TV personality. Once she entered the media, she created a major league e-commerce business that grew rapidly. Along the way, she wrote many books and has enjoyed great success in several business ventures. 

Stewart has been known to be a cutthroat entrepreneur, which could be described as a necessary characteristic if you wish to see your idea come to fruition.

With an estimated net worth of $800 million, Stewart has also proven that with hard work comes success.

There is no doubt that these are some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. They have become billionaires – or almost billionaires - for a reason. Sure, a lot of businessmen and businesswomen have earned millionaire status, but it takes a lot of effort to become a billionaire. 

All it takes is a single idea to suddenly make a dent in the world and maximising your skillset to morph into one of the most famous people on the planet. Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? With a great startup, perseverance and a little bit of luck, the sky is the limit!

What other entrepreneurs serve as your inspiration? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!