Sunday, September 21, 2008

From One Billionaire To Another

What does a plastic flower seller and a school magazine publisher have in common?

1. They lead a very boring life.
Plastic flower seller sounds so oh-so-uninteresting, and school magazine publisher doesn't have time other than for editing/writing articles.
2. Both are dead profession.
Who wants to buy plastic flower nowadays? They are so outdated! Student nowadays doesn't read anymore. They prefer internet more than picking up a school magazine.
3. Both are on their way to be a billionaire.

The answer is (3). Don't believe? Well, read on then.


One started off as a plastic flower seller during his young days, and then moved onto property. With his magic touch, the price of his property rise, thus making him richer along the way. From the wealth he raised through property flipping, he managed to take over an ailing hong (large companies; conglomerate), Hutchison Whampoa, whose business ranges from port, retail and pharmacy (Telecommuncation, entertainment industry were included in later years). His business ventures oversea, in particular China and Canada, had created a mass fortune. Through his own flagship public listed company, Cheung Kong, this reputable entrepreneur eventually owned one of the largest business empire in the world. Known to be a very honest and humble person, he won praises. Integrity were the part of him and this has won respect from people around him. He was also instrumental in bridging the gap between Hong Kong and mainland China (prior to 1997) for he has strong political connection with the latter. Though he has immense wealth, he was very down to earth and he despised wealth floundering; the same discipline he instilled in his two sons.

He was listed as 11th richest man in the world in year 2008, with wealth of USD$26.5 billion (source: Wikipedia).

"If you want to be successful, whatever you business or position, you need to accept different opinions and different people. Why did the Yangtze become a long river? It's because it can accept smaller rivers and become big. If you're too powerful and reject the smaller waters, you cannot become a long river"
- Li Ka Shing


The other, a dyslexic and impossibly poor in mathematics, dreamed of being a journalist. To realize his dream, he started off as a school magazine publisher. Gathering funds to kick-off his pet project at the age of fifteen by convincing companies to put up advertisement in the magazine, he managed to start his first edition. Other than securing funds, he was also involved in interviewing public personalities such as Mick Jagger and John Lennon for articles for his magazine. A few years later, he started off a brand which eventually become one of the well known brand in the world - Virgin. Business ranges from entertainment industry, airlines, rail transportation, retail, broadcasting, hotels, properties, telecommunication and many more. This brilliant entrepreneur is well known for his crazy attempts when it comes to adventures. Sailing across the Atlantic ocean in record time, hot air ballon attempt in later years, and fastest time in crossing the English channel using an amphibious vehicle were his definition of "adventure".

He was listed as 245th richest man in the world, with wealth of USD$26.5 billion
(source: Wikipedia)


For you guys who daydream/aspire/ambition to become a billionaire, I strongly suggest to read the following autobiography of the two above. I personally find them very interesting, especially the one on Richard Branson. It's funny and entertaining.

By the way, I am starting my own business of plastic flowers and magazine publishing. Anyone want to chip in?

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