You would be surprised to learn that more than 90% of millionaires and billionaires do not have higher education. Some of them don’t even have secondary education.

If you think you will never become rich and successful without formal education, you are clearly wrong. Read the stories of the m(b)illionaires listed in this article and you will see that what matters more is non-conformism, persistance, and self-education. As Jim Rohn has said, “Education gives you a job, self-education makes you rich”.

Let’s have a look at those “uneducated” millionaires:


Roman Abramovich – USSR born billionaire. The owner of Chelsea football club and oil magnate has a truly fascinating life story of a self-made man. His mother died when he was 1 yr old and father when he was 4 yr old, and he was cared for by the family of his uncle, and then another uncle living in Moscow. Roman has entered an Industrial institute (Forestry faculty) but haven’t graduated from it.

Now it sounds funny, but his career was starting from selling rubber ducks on the streets of Moscow and later dolls and other toys. Between 1992 and 1995 he founded 5 companies specialising in retail, production of customer goods, and finally landed in oil business.


Steve Jobs who gave Apple and Pixar products to the world, dropped out of College after only 6 months of training and never came back to formal education. You can guess that he quit not because he was not able to keep up with studies.


Quentin Tarantino dropped high school at the age of 15 and went to work as an usher at a porn theatre called the Pussycat theatre. To get the job, he lied that he is older than he is. That’s how passionate he was about movies.


Mark Zuckerberg has dropped out of Harvard University in his sophomore year to complete his Facebook project. You know the rest of the story.


James Cameron: Did you know Cameron worked as a truck driver? That was after he dropped out of Fullerton College, a two-year community college, where he started studying physics and later English none of which actually matters. After watching Star Wars film in 1977, he quit the job of truck driver to enter the film industry.


Richard Branson – a founder and owner of Virgin Group multiple businesses – Branson suffered dyslexia (reading disorder), and therefore had poor academic performance. When Richard was graduating, his school’s headmaster told him, “you would either end up in prison or become a millionaire”.


Amancio Ortega – a founder of Inditex Fashion Group which includes such brands as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull and Bear, etc. Amancio left school at the age of 14 due to the job of his father, a railway worker. He started working as a shop hand for a local shirtmaker called Gala and learnt making clothes by hand. In 1972 he founded his own company sewing quilted bathrobes and started growing from there.

amancio-ortega zara

Walt Disney dropped out high school at the age of 16 hoping to get to army but was rejected because of young age (at school he was drawing patriotic topics on World War I). He then joined Red Cross and later sent to France to serve as an ambulance driver. After the war Walt tried to pursue his artistic career (dreaming to be an actor) but no one would hire him neither as an artist nor as an ambulance driver. His brother – who worked in a bank – helped him to get a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio where he met a partner with whom they later founded “Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists”.


Ingvar Kamprad – a founder of IKEA. As a kid, Ingvar was launching himself into all sorts of micro entrepreneurial adventures: from selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle to selling fish, Christmas decorations, seeds, etc.

He has never attended a University (school teachers struggled to teach him read). However, while his peers were playing football and dating girls, Ingvar was earning and saving money. At the age of 17, pulling in his saved money and borrowing from his father (who, however, was convinced that he’s giving money his son for his studies) he has founded IKEA.


Coco Chanel (Gabriel Bonheur) a leading French designer and the founder of brand Chanel. Gabriel learnt to sew at the age of 6, and at the age of 12 she became an orphan. By firmly deciding to succeed in life, she started working on a revolutionary idea of masculine-like fashion for women which would allow them to be more comfortable and chic.



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