Self-made billionaire, John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937) approached life with energy and ambition. Born in Richford, New York, he was raised to work hard, save, and be generous.
Called the world's greatest philanthropist, in his lifetime he gave away over $530,000,000.
"I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty," said the successful entrepreneurs.
Like his contemporary Andrew Carnegie, Rockefeller started with little. In 1859, with $1,000 saved and another $1,000 borrowed from his father, Rockefeller formed a merchant partnership with neighbor Maurice Clark.
In 1863, the duo added partner, Samuel Andrews and turned to oil production. "I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity," Rockefeller explained.
Two years later, Rockefeller bought the refinery business outright for $72,500 and expanded. He formed Standard Oil in 1870, which at its peak controlled 90% of the U.S. oil industry and according to Rockefeller, "revolutionized the way of doing business all over the world."
"If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success," said the successful capitalist icon.
Put your whole soul into it.