Looking for Financial Success? Here’s the One Job Held by Most Millionaires Before They Became Rich
Sometimes it can feel like the Donald Trumps and Mark Cubans of the world got there without doing any kind of work. Especially when we see things like the government shutdown and the border wall construction happening! But for most multi-millionaires like Bill Gates and Oprah, they started small, often with a first job in sales. In fact, a lot of the richest people, with the highest net worth, started in sales jobs before they even knew what the stock market was.
According to sociologist and historian Rainer Zitelmann in his book The Wealth Elite, researchers “underestimated or totally ignored the critical role of sales skills” in the success of rich people – and he would know, he interviewed 45 people with incomes from 10 million to several billion euros. Those interviewed were not only some of the richest people in the world, but many also started out working in sales. In fact, many of the ‘wealth elite’ and best-known celebrities had, as the most common first job, something that relied on sales skills. These people include:
Another study later studied a number of CEOs from LinkedIn and discovered that “sales manager” was in the top 5 most common first jobs for CEOs. So it’s obvious that having a job in sales is not the worst thing to do for your long term career prospects and personal finance.
2 in three of the millionaires in the study reported that the talents they’d used as salespeople were “significant” in their financial success.
Why Are Sales Talents Valued So Highly by People With a High Net Worth?
Realistically, almost every company runs on sales. Having sales skills is always valued, because ultimately every company is selling something. Even if it’s a service or a charity, your own business or your local high school. Sales plays an important role in every single business organisation, regardless of what kind of organisation it is, and rich people from anywhere recognise the value of those skills.
Plus, understanding how to sell yourself is a crucial part of what makes wealthy people wealthy. Whether you’re wanting to work for a large company in marketing or a small business in finance, focusing on an excel spreadsheet, getting the a job if you don’t have parents with a hedge fund or your own trust fund, is a crucial part on the path to paying off student loans and getting yourself a net worth your proud of. And sales skills will mean you know how to sell yourself on resumes and in interviews
Here’s more on how to sell yourself in a job interview.
How to Get Started in Sales
Even if you’re studying interest rates or the laws of a public company and don’t think sales relates to your future, the history of the filthy rich suggests otherwise. Look for local companies that may not have a previous sales skills requirement, or alternatively, look at big chain stores that are used to taking on people without experience. Also consider hospitality, which often requires sales talents too through upselling and other methods. There are also a huge number of courses available to help teach you what you need to know in order to be successful in sales without becoming an economic slave to commission only job. Find the perfect sales course for yourself here.
A lot of people, especially the average American or Australian, often feel uncomfortable at first because having sales skills requires a level of outgoingness that many don’t come by naturally – it’s essentially a game of chicken with the customers, with you trying to convince them that they need to produce more than they need the money in their pocket. But once you have those sales skills, you can work anywhere, from England to the US, and for any organisation from Microsoft to the NFL!
1 in 3: the number of millionaires from the first study who reported that they owed 70% or more of their success to their sales background
Rich people all over the world, whether they’re CEO’s or celebrities, started in sales, because sales skills can be applied across the board to a huge range of jobs and situations. Working in sales will give you the best start to a lifelong career that you could wish for!
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