If you've ever been jealous of anyone who's rich, you might have begun to question whether they'd truly earned their fortune, mostly to make yourself feel better.
"They didn't really work for it. Their parents had the money to set them up for success. They had it so easy."
It can be easy to assume these things at times, especially when it helps to internally excuse your own shortcomings in life.
Well, your assumption might get crushed after considering the words of Entrepreneur staff writer Catherine Clifford, who says the one trait billionaires all share isn't a head start, but the guts to roll the dice:
"Self-made billionaires have one business strategy in common: They took enormous risks," she said. "There is no careful, cautious path that leads from humble beginnings to Bloomberg’s list of the richest people in the world."
Of course, some billionaires were lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in their month, 27 of the top 100, according to Bloomberg, to be exact.
But others had to fight their way to the top and do something that took stones: making a leap of faith.
The path to success doesn't always involve comfortably getting good grades, to comfortably getting through college, to comfortably getting a good job to live comfortably on your way to, comfortably of course, getting a big promotion.
Just think about what a select group of billionaires in the top 100, eight of whom do not have a college degree and came from modest homes, did on their way to the top:
"Five of this elite group invested during hard times, four bought companies that were all but ruined at the time of purchase, three had one lucky deal that changed the course of their life, seven were early adopters of trends that had yet to be recognized, and for half of these self-made billionaires, their successful venture was not their first business," said Clifford.
These people did not only take risks, some of them took risks after failing.
Of course, plain old hard work and doing the right things from beginning to end will always pay off. But if you want to make it bigger, if you want to be greater than great, if you want to be Elite, it seems that the formula is simple.
Be bold and take risks.