Saturday, March 15, 2008


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The world's self-made billionaires certainly have vision in spades, spanning everything from how computers work to how people shop. But the ability to see around corners isn't the only quality that separates the very accomplished from the stratospherically wealthy. To crack the $1 billion barrier, you need total, unwavering belief in your vision--and an immutable will to pull it off.

Two-thirds of the 1,125 billionaires on our list are self-made, having built their immense empires from scratch. While earning a billion bucks is admirable under any circumstances, some billionaires have overcome especially daunting odds en route to their fabulous wealth. From academic struggles and family tragedies to substance abuse and extreme poverty, these modern-day Horatio Algers have lived a capitalist fairy tale.

In an article by Forbes, billionaires have an insatiable appetite for risk. "It's hard enough for many of us to muster the courage to abandon our cubicles and start a small company, let alone build an empire. And while the risks pile up as businesses expand, billionaires have a confidence bordering on arrogance that checks their fear and doubt, says Skarzynski."

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