WHO IS SHELDON ADELSON?
As of July 2014, Sheldon Adelson was listed by Forbes as having a fortune of $36.4 billion, making him the 8th richest person in the world.
HOW’D HE GET RICH?
Adelson was born in 1933 in a poor section of Boston. His father drove a taxi and his mother ran a knitting shop. At the age of 12, Adelson borrowed $200 from an uncle in order to buy a license to sell newspapers in the city. That amount today would be approximately $2,600 – so apparently his family wasn’t too poor, but he still managed to turn $2,600 into almost $40 billion in 70 years, so it’s worth listening to his advice.
- “We lived in a Jewish ghetto in Boston. I used to call it the slums. The best you could say about it was that it was a dense, impoverished area.” – Sheldon Adelson
- “My parents had few material things and the moneylender came to the house so often that I thought he was an uncle, like he was part of the family, because he would show up at every family affair.” – Sheldon Adelson
- My first business was at the age of twelve. I bought and sold two newspaper “corners.” The “corner” was like a franchise to be able to sell the local newspapers. It was a right, and I had to buy that right from somebody. – Sheldon Adelson
After selling newspapers, Adelson went on to own a candy vending machine business. His next business sold toiletry kits and then his next, De-Ice-It, sold a chemical spray to help clear frozen windshields. In the 1960s, he started a charter tours business in Boston and that’s how he became a millionaire.
By his 30s – Adelson had built and lost a fortune twice, so his path to the top wasn’t a straight line. Over the course of his career, Adelson created more than 50 businesses. He currently owns the Las Vegas Sands corporation, one of the leading developers of destination properties in the world.
This is clearly a man you want to listen to when it comes to being successful. Here’s some of his best business quotes from interviews he’s given over the years.
- “I’ll tell you the secret but nobody ever follows it. Just do things different, do things in life the way other people don’t do them. Change the status quo, and then you’ll succeed. I’ve said that a 1,000 times, nobody listens.”
- “An entrepreneur is born with the mentality to take risks, though there are several important characteristics: courage, faith in yourself, and above all, even when you fail, to learn from failure and get up and try again.”
- “I look at every business and ask, How long can this last? How can I identify the status quo and change it?”
- “Entrepreneurship is essentially identifying the path that everyone takes; and choosing a different, better way.”
- “For me, businesses are like buses. You stand on a corner and you don’t like where the first bus is going? Wait ten minutes and take another. Don’t like that one? They’ll just keep coming. There’s no end to buses or businesses.”
- “You take care of the customer with the best product and service you can make and profit follows you like your shadow.”
- “I formed an opinion that if I did things differently than the way everybody did it that it would add value to every effort I made.”
- “For me, any business decision means that I need to have a decent profit margin. Hospitality sector, in itself, is not inviting enough. I deal in big money. Without gambling, setting up any resort doesn’t make sense… I deal in big money. I am not looking for a few dollars here and a few dollars there.”
- [When asked for the most important quality of entrepreneurs] “The courage of your own convictions. Create a vision. Identify it and go for it.”
The majority of his advice boils down to studying your competition, and then doing it better than they do it. See what works, think of a way to make it work even better, and then apply it to your business.