Passion Hacking The Top 10 Conscious Billionaires

Passion Billioinaires

A close look on passion:

  • how to find your passion

  • live your passion,

  • & make an impact according to 10 conscious billionaires.

Followed by a summary of the Top 10 Lessons Learned. 

Richard Branson

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Investor

Billionaire Profile:

Known for his ability to succeed across multiple industries, adventurous spirit, and sporting achievements (including crossing oceans in a hot air balloon), Richard is known as a fun, life loving, passion filled spirit and his philanthropic endeavours include giving away half his fortune to charity as part of The Giving Pledge.

Life wasn’t all fun and games though. Early on, Richard struggled in school due to his dyslexia and became a high school dropout at age 16. Ironically his first business venture was a magazine called Student, where he made enough revenue from ad space that he was able to set up a small mail order record business. Two years later he opened up a chain of record stores known as Virgin Records . What started out as entrepreneurial projects in the music industry, eventually expanded into other sectors such as airlines and space tourism. Today Virgin Group holds more than 400 companies in 30 countries.

According to Richard, some of his most memorable achievements are:

  • Launching the radio station directly from the shop floor of Virgin Megastore in Manchester. “It was 12.15pm on April 30th, 1993, and I was the first voice to be heard, introducing the very fitting first song, INXS covering Born To Be Wild. We were the first independent national radio station to launch in the UK, alongside Classic FM and Talk Radio. I’m pretty sure, judging from the hazy memory I have of it, that our party was a little more raucous than the other two stations!”

  • Building Virgin Atlantic.

  • Creating The Elders, a group of passionate, inspirational people which included the likes of Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter with the mission to work together to improve people’s lives across the world.

On Finding Passion:

“The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life.”

On Living Passion:

“But which direction is right for you? Only you can answer that. You say that you have many different passions, but you will never know which one can be turned into a viable business until you start trying some out. Remember that most early ventures will, in all likelihood, fail -- but you will have plenty of opportunities to recover and bounce back.”

On Making an Impact:

"There is no point in going into a business unless you can make a radical difference in other people's lives."

Oprah Winfrey

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Media Proprietor, Talk Show Host, Actress, Producer

Billionaire Profile:

Known as the most most influential woman in the world, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and the first black female billionaire in history. Oprah’s passion has played a key role in shaping cultural trends, promoting causes, and breaking down invisible barriers. Here’s the thing though, she could've just been another talk show host...

Oprah’s past was a difficult one and not easy to overcome– she grew up poor, was sexually abused as a child, and got pregnant at 14 (later losing the baby to a miscarriage) – but she credits these events for giving her more capacity to relate to the pain of others, and took it a step further by turning her wounds into wisdom. As Oprah puts it, “every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”

Despite her struggles, Oprah’s life went on to reach great heights due to her passion and hard work. She was able to:

  • Have her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest rated show of its kind in history, dubbing her “The Queen of All Media”

  • Create her own television network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)

  • Start her own charity (Oprah’s Angel Network), Oprah’s given more of her own money to philanthropic causes than any other performer in America.

  • Create The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg in South Africa, investing $40 million of her own money and much of her time.

On Finding Passion:

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

On Living Passion:

“There is no greater gift you can receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born and how you become most truly alive.”

On Making an Impact:

“The surest way to bring goodness to yourself is to make it your intention to do good for somebody else.”

Bill Gates

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Investor, Computer Programmer, Inventor

Billionaire Profile:

Known as the founder of Microsoft (the world's largest software business), his philanthropic endeavors with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and being one of the most influential people in the world.

It was Bill's’ decision to take a big risk and dropout of Harvard University to chase his dreams and live his passion that ultimately led him on Microsoft’s journey. With a vision of “a computer on every desk in every home running Microsoft software,” and an internal company slogan of “we set the standard,” Bill and Paul (Allen) led the way to a new revolution.

After amassing massive wealth, and under his wife Melinda's influence, Bill soon felt an obligation to give more of his wealth to charity and studied the philanthropic work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. In 2010, together with Warren Buffet, The Giving Pledge was announced a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people in the world to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

On Finding Passion:

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

On Living Passion:

“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.”

On Making an Impact:

“Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity – the same kind of focus and skills that building a business requires.”

Elon Musk

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Engineer, Inventor, Investor

passion billionaire

Billionaire Profile:

Elon dedicates himself to passion projects that can change the world and seem straight out of a sci-fi movie.  He became a multimillionaire in his late twenties and was the second entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley to create three companies with a market cap of more than $1 billion which include– PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

A turning point for Elon was the valuable lesson he got after struggling with adolescent depression and reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. His lesson was this: the most difficult but most important thing to do in life is ask the right questions, after that everything else follows, but there’s a catch. In order to do that, humanity has to expand its consciousness. For Elon, this took the form of asking his own question, “what things would have great impact on the future of humanity’s destiny?” Living this question for Elon meant work dedicated in the fields of the internet, renewable energy sources, and space colonization.

On Finding Passion:

“When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.”

On Living Passion:

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

On Making an Impact:

“Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective of ‘What’s the best way to make money?”

Jk Rowling

Author, Philanthropist

Billionaire Profile:

Known as the creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series (one of the most popular book and film franchises in history) and as the first billionaire author, Joanne grew up surrounded by books as her mum and dad loved reading, “I lived for books”

At an early age, Joanne had a passion and inkling for writing. The idea for Harry Potter came while Joan was delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London. Over the next 5 years, Joan worked on the series and underwent multiple struggles: separating from her husband, losing her mom to MS, and being a single mom surviving on state benefits. Eventually, she finished her first copy of the Philosopher’s Stone but got rejected by 12 major publishing houses before a small one agreed to take the book on. Within a few weeks, book sales really started to take off.  As they say, the rest is history.Today, Joan continues to write and supports charities that include anti-poverty, MS and lumos.

On Finding Passion:

“We do not need magic to transform our world.  We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”

On Living Passion

“I’ll be writing until I can’t write anymore. It’s a compulsion with me I love writing.”

On Making an Impact

“Perfection is not necessary to make a real and lasting difference to other people’s lives.”

Sara Blakely

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

passion billionaire

Billionaire Profile:

Known for dressing women behind closed doors, with a smoothing line of undergarments known as Spanx, Sara is one of the youngest, self-made female billionaires. At 27 she was selling faxes door to door and had a total of $5,000 to make her dream into reality.

The idea came from buying a pair of cream pants she didn't feel comfortable wearing. Frustrated, Sara cut the feet off the pantyhouse, and hit up a party feeling fabulous, but they rolled up her legs all night and that was the birth of Spanx. When Oprah named Spanx as one of her favourite products, sales topped over $10 million that year. Despite her success, Sara is did it all without outside funding and retains 100% ownership of her company thanks to her passion and perseverance. Today Sara dedicates time to the the Sara Blakely Foundation which trains female entrepreneurs and also funds scholarships for young females in Africa.

On Finding Passion

"Most of the reason we don't do things is because we're afraid to fail. I just made a decision one day that I was not going to do things in my life because of fear.

On Living Passion

“I'd get kicked out of buildings all day long, people would rip up my business card in my face. It's a humbling business to be in. But I knew I could sell and I knew I wanted to sell something I had created. I cut the feet out of those pantyhose and I knew I was on to something. This was it.”

On Making an Impact

“We’re interested in so much more than making women's butts looks better. We’re focused on how to elevate women. If we all elevate women on the planet we will all be better off.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Tech Executive, Activist, Author

Billionaire Profile:

Sheryl went to Harvard for her bachelor's degree in economics and worked at the World Bank after graduating summa cum laude. She then attended Harvard Business School and worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration.

After moving to to Silicon Valley, she worked for Google for seven years where she was involved in launching google.org the philanthropic arm of Google. In 2008 she joined  Mark at Facebook as the COO and was instrumental in launching FB’s philanthropic vision. Sheryl's passion is greatly focused on empowering women, through the organization she founded Lean In, she sits on the board of Women for Women International, is part of The Giving Pledge and is the author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, which has sold more than a million copies.

On Finding Passion

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.”

On Living Passion

“I hope you find true meaning, contentment, and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater strength and resolve. I hope you find whatever balance you seek with your eyes wide open.”

On Making an Impact

“It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness.”

Warren Buffet

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Investor

passion billioinaire

Billionaire Profile:

Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren is one of the most successful and respected investors of the 20th century. He’s best known for value investing and his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Having a passion for investing at a young age (11) and later running a small business (13), Warren later started the firm Buffett Partnership in Omaha, with huge success.

In 2006, Buffett announced that he would give his entire fortune away to charity (estimated at $62 Billion at the time), the largest act of charitable giving in United States history. Warren is also a founder of The Giving Pledge along with Bill Gates.

On Finding Passion

“Find your passion. I was very, very lucky to find it when I was seven or eight years old… You’re lucky in life when you find it. And you can’t guarantee you’ll find it in your first job out. But I always tell college students that come out (to Omaha), ‘Take the job you would take if you were independently wealthy. You’re going to do well at it.'”

On Living Passion

“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.”

On Making an Impact

“When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”

Marc Zuckerburg

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

passion billionaire

Billionaire Profile:

Best known for founding Facebook out his college dorm in Harvard, Mark is the CEO and also one of the world's youngest billionaires.

Since then, Mark has used his fortune to fund a variety of philanthropic causes including donating $100 million to save the failing Newark Public Schools system signing The Giving Pledge, joining the ranks of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Sara Blakely.After his donation, Mark called on other young, wealthy entrepreneurs to follow in thier footsteps and share their wealth.

On Finding Passion

“When you find what you love, you do it. That's it.If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”

On Living Passion

“A lot of founding principles of Facebook are that if people have access to more information and are more connected, it will make the world better; people will have more understanding, more empathy. That’s the guiding principle for me. On hard days, I really just step back, and that’s the thing that keeps me going.”

On Making an Impact

“Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.”

Elizabeth Holmes

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

passion billionaires

Billionaire Profile:

Know as the world's youngest self-made female billionaire, Elizabeth was spurred to her passion on detecting disease earlier when her uncle passed away from cancer. She dropped out of Stanford University her sophomore year and founded Theranos in 2003 to make cheaper, easier-to-use blood tests. With a prick of the finger and a few drops of blood, 30 lab tests can be run at a fraction of the price and less invasively than commercial labs.


“I started this company because I wanted to spend my life changing our healthcare system. When someone you love gets really sick, most of the time when you find out, it’s too late to be able to do something about it. It’s heartbreaking.  We wanted to make actionable health information accessible to people everywhere at the time it matters most.”

On Finding Passion

“The minute you have a backup plan, you’ve admitted you’re not going to succeed.

On Living Passion

“I would much rather live a life of purpose than one in which I might have other things but not that”

On Making an Impact

“When I thought about having the greatest impact with my life, I thought about all the times people lose loved ones because diseases weren't detected early enough. I thought, 'I can play a role there. What we're about is the belief that access to affordable and real-time health information is a basic human right, and it's a civil right.”

Top 10 Lessons Learned from Conscious Billionaires

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Top 10 Lessons Learned from Conscious Billionaires

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