Home Business Rags To Riches: Real Millionaires Reveal How They Got Rich From Zero

Rags To Riches: Real Millionaires Reveal How They Got Rich From Zero

Darren February 20, 2023

Everybody dreams of being a millionaire because they want enough money to do whatever they want. They also don’t want to worry about the stress of the daily and monthly grind. It’s exhausting to try and pay bills amid rising inflation and a cost of living crisis. But some real millionaires made their fortunes from the ground up.

These people revealed on Reddit the truth about how they made their fortunes. Many started without a lot of cash but worked hard, which paid off in the end. Now they want to teach other people how to become real-life millionaires. Most of the time it’s not easy, but if it were everybody would be rich.

Right Place

The following account reveals what happens when somebody keeps grinding. A young tech worker wasn’t making a lot of cash but this didn’t dissuade him from doing what he loves. He probably didn’t expect much after his struggling company paid him in stock. But then they exploded and became one of the biggest powerhouses in tech history.


It’s unlikely that everybody will achieve this kind of dream, but there’s a lesson. The point is not to stop working because then there’s no chance of winning. Many real-life millionaires started from nothing but they had the strength of character to keep going. That’s exactly how this individual gained riches beyond his wildest dreams (via Reddit).

House Flipping

Another Redditor advocates flipping houses because the only way is up. They acknowledged that some capital is necessary to kick it off. Then it’s about milking it ruthlessly and gradually pushing up the amount of income and expenses. There are risks because recessions can affect property prices and it’s wholly possible to lose money.


They also revealed that they worked with their father throughout their college career. Many young people don’t even consider working with their parents in a business partnership. It could be a great idea because they’ll have a stress-free retirement while the younger person has greater life prospects (via /Reddit).

Riding Bubbles

Many real-life billionaires are in the right place at the right time. There’s no denying that there’s an element of luck in these scenarios because it’s difficult to predict. This Redditor made their first fortune from riding the internet bubble. Then they made more money from real estate investments.


It’s crucial to get off the wagon before a downturn because that’s when fortunes disappear. We’ve seen this in recent years with cryptocurrency and property crashes. But there’s a fine balance because the best investors know that everything is cyclical. Some of them will grit their teeth and hang on even when disaster strikes (via Reddit).

Talent Wins

Sometimes talent is enough to help people live their dream. A Redditor explained how they got a record deal at the age of 24. But they already had an incredible 21 years of practice behind them. It’s no wonder that they had the skills to impress music executives. Improving and enhancing skills is a phenomenal life investment.


They also advise their fellow Netizens not to waste money on frivolous purchases. Many real-life millionaires don’t spend a lot of money in their daily lives. They recognize that the quickest way to lose money is by making big luxury purchases. Sports cars, yachts, and private jets are massive dollar drains (via Reddit).

Blue-Collar Skills

We live in a consumer-driven society where everybody buys new items when something breaks. However, one of Reddit’s real-life millionaires argues that it’s smart to learn blue-collar skills. This is an easy way to save money and learn something new. It didn’t make them their fortune but it’s a phenomenal mentality.


A thrifty attitude toward life will help people save thousands per year. Simple things like bringing a flask of coffee instead of buying a Starbucks cut costs. It’s also key to maintain a savings account and never touch it. This will make the future a lot brighter for everybody with the right work ethic (via Realworld/Reddit).

Lucky in Love

One Redditor made the best decision of their life when they married their partner. That’s because their new love had a massive net worth and guaranteed them a great future. This won’t be possible for everybody because there aren’t enough real-life millionaires to go around. But’s a bonus if someone meets a good person and everything goes well.


Movies like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ show what happens when rich people hide their wealth. They do this because they don’t want a potential spouse to marry them for their wealth. That’s because they could eventually file for divorce and it will all end in tears. Nobody wants to go through that trauma but it’s a sad reality in many cases (via Permadrunkk/Reddit).

Right Investments

This Internet user grew up poor and says that’s the secret to their success. He made some smart investments that paid off but he also had the right attitude. Many real-life millionaires don’t forget where they came from and never want to return to that level. However, the other issue is that he occasionally takes this too far.


Many nepotism babies and wealthy heirs don’t appreciate the challenges of accumulating wealth. They take it for granted and think that dollars grow on trees like leaves. However, most people in this world barely have enough money to get by. It’s crucial to keep this in mind to keep a healthy bank balance (via nmosc9/Reddit).

Baseball Star

Another Redditor explained that they played professional baseball and made a small fortune. He didn’t mention the level that he plays at or the team because there are staggering differences. Major League athletes make a minimum salary of $700,000 per year. The biggest stars earn tens of millions but these are a minority.


Meanwhile, Minor League players don’t make lots of money at all. Most of them earn less than $15,000 per year and barely survive. However, this post shows that athletes can become real-life millionaires if they devote themselves. This road isn’t available for everybody but it’s a dream for talented youngsters (via whitestkidyouknow77/Reddit).

Investment Bank

Some young graduates become real-life millionaires because they revitalize their businesses. This Redditor told fellow Internet users how they made their money. It didn’t take long for them to convince their boss about their value. Luckily, their employer agreed and followed their idea. In the end, this paid off for everybody.


It also proves that college isn’t a complete waste of time if students approach it with the right attitude. If they focus on gaining new skills and knowledge, they can use these in the real world. Furthermore, many younger workers are more adept at using new technologies and understanding market changes (via bonds7/Reddit).

Work in Oil

Another way to make a lot of money is to work in a high-risk field. Oil workers earn a lot because they put their lives in danger and require appropriate compensation. Underwater welders also make a fortune because lots of things can go wrong. Most jobs don’t carry the potential for death if there’s a bad day but this is one of them.


This is why many young men travel to places like Alaska or Australia and work in mines. They do shift work that sees them spend a long time away from their families. But the financial rewards are great so the lifestyle becomes addictive. It’s not for everybody and it’s important to know when to get out (via DemeaningSarcasm/Reddit).

Don’t Waste Money

One recurring theme from this thread is that it’s crucial to save money. Embrace a frugal lifestyle and question if it’s necessary to buy an expensive item. Sometimes it’s good to buy something as a long-term investment. For example, a good pair of shoes can prove cheaper over time than buying several cheap ones that don’t last.


This Redditor reminded people that many real-life millionaires lost everything because they didn’t contain their spending. Hundreds of NFL and NBA stars went bankrupt because they bought too many supercars, houses, and gold chains. Making money is one problem but keeping it is another (via Reddit).

Property Investing

Real estate is one of the most popular and traditional forms of investment. The idea is that a house will always hold its value so there is less risk in buying one. However, the problem with this is that potential buyers need the money for a downpayment. This is the struggle for many people who can’t afford the initial mortgage.


The Redditor admits that they and their partner have good jobs. This makes it easier for them to enhance their net worth and pour money into other ventures. The dream is to have multiple passive income streams because they’ll keep making money. Many real-life millionaires allow their businesses to run themselves (via Reddit).


Unfortunately, it’s much easier to make money when someone has a bit of capital behind them. The following Redditor explained that they inherited some stocks that increased in value over time. Never underestimate how lucrative they can be because prices fluctuate and demands change.


This person says that they’re rich but most readers will disagree because they’re in a very good situation. Yes, the value of money is decreasing but it’s still a nice way to live. There’s nothing better than receiving money for doing nothing. Make as many dollars as possible for as little effort as possible (via Reddit).


Some people are excellent at grafting and will keep working. Real-life millionaires have a brilliant work ethic that helps them to generate more cash. Nobody is going to make anything if they’re sitting on the couch all day. That’s why it’s crucial to take the finger out and get started before it’s too late.


Their work ethic is incredible and that’s why they’ve experienced multiple successes. Nobody handed them anything but they made it happen for themselves. It’s inspiring because it shows that it’s never too late unless they never do it. This is a great lesson for anybody who dreams of making it big (via Reddit).

Plum Farmer

There are many ways to make millions of dollars but it’s important to be in the right place. Most farmers have valuable assets but they don’t have a lot of disposable income. It’s possible to make agriculture lucrative if they take the right approach. The following plum farmer is a real-life millionaire.


The farmer likely produces plums and prunes on an industrial scale. They probably supply these to companies like juice or jam factories as well as selling the fruit to grocery stores. Making connections is crucial because it helps to create new opportunities for everybody (via Reddit).


Some of the richest people in society could walk down the street but nobody would know them. That’s a great way to be because they don’t court fame. It’s easier to sustain wealth when others aren’t aware of their success. Most real-life millionaires don’t have this privilege but the following Redditor enjoys it.


They’re lucky because their friends probably don’t expect another young person to be so rich. One problem is that the dynamic might change if somebody discovers the truth. However, it seems like they’re good at managing their assets and don’t make flashy purchases (via Reddit).

Do What You Love

The following person has a piece of excellent advice for everybody. They recommend that people should do what they love because then they’ll enjoy their work. It’s easier to be a success if they like what they’re doing. This means that they’ll pursue their tasks with greater passion than if they hated them.


They also advise people to learn from others with more experience or a better skill set. It’s important to be humble because many real-life millionaires started from zero. This applies to every industry because there’s always a lesson. Unfortunately, many folks have chips on their shoulders (via Reddit).

Hard Work In Finance

Some people are lucky because they inherit a substantial chunk of money. But most of us aren’t in this situation so there’s no substitute for hard work. This Redditor explained that they had a lot of self-drive from the very beginning. They pursued their education with relentless focus and made millions of dollars.


Unfortunately, there isn’t a cheat code to get rich quickly unless someone wins the lotto. That’s very unlikely so it’s necessary to have a lot of motivation. Most children don’t think about their future when they’re in high school. They’re more interested in girls or the latest fashion but real-life millionaires have started their journeys (via Reddit).


One man says that his cheapskate wife ensures that they maintain their wealth. Interestingly, he says they’re real-life millionaires but also stresses this money doesn’t go far. He explained that when they entered a higher tier it drove up their spending costs. This includes education and all of their regular bills.


Most people don’t think about this when they dream of making billions. But as we said before, the biggest issue is keeping the money and ensuring that it doesn’t disappear. Many real-life millionaires went bankrupt because they didn’t monitor their spending and made dumb purchases (via Reddit).

Software Engineers

These days most people associate big tech with extreme wealth. It’s not that simple but it’s certainly one of the most lucrative fields. That’s also how the following Redditor and his wife made their money. He admits that it took them a long time to get there but their hard work paid off in the end.


The person also said that they prize their long-term financial independence. Once again, they’re not interested in wasting dollars on fancy jewels or supercars. These goods don’t improve the overall quality of their lives because they’re toys. But it also means they can retire in their forties and enjoy the remainder of their days (via Reddit).

Stock Exchange

Another person made a fortune on the stock exchange. The craziest aspect of this is that it appears that they’re young because they say they’re doing a Ph.D. This means everybody can become real-life millionaires if they know what they’re doing. But we wonder what they mean when they say that they have a goal that isn’t ‘kosher.’


It’s interesting that they also describe the stock exchange as a game. Many brokers disagree with these and may find this term offensive because they dedicate their lives to it. However, others would support this assessment because they think it’s worth treating with contempt. It’s a contentious area but potentially very lucrative (via Reddit).

Street Smart and Intelligent

All of the degrees in the world don’t replace common sense. This is something that people can’t learn from a book. Only life experience and the right upbringing can make them streetwise. The following story describes how a person’s uncle achieved massive success in a field unrelated to his degree.


It didn’t matter that he had no insurance experience because he had the brains and the nous to do the work. In the end, many companies see degrees as proof that people committed to a task for three or four years and completed tasks on time. This is a valuable asset to take into the workplace (via Reddit).

Market Value

Most investors agree that property is a brilliant asset because it holds its value. It’s all about selling at the right time and understanding how the neighborhood is changing. This person’s mother bought a house in lower Manhattan when she inherited a million dollars. Now it has tripled in value because of inflation and increased demand.


They admit that she doesn’t have many liquid assets but if she ever sells she’ll make a fortune. She could buy a massive place in upstate New York or Connecticut and enjoy a better quality of life. Even if she loves living in the city, it’s a great asset for her children to inherit one day (via Reddit).

Hedge Fund

Hedge funds are very risky and many people fail miserably. This means that they lose everything and it can damage their life prospects. However, some of them achieve incredible success and this creates real-life millionaires. One hedge fund heir says that his parents succeeded in their business endeavors.


Now they have a staggering net worth after they started with nothing. It’s safe to say that most people won’t reach this level but it’s inspiring. They also recommend that people do what they love because happiness is crucial. If we don’t enjoy our daily lives we won’t push ourselves to reach our full potential (via Reddit).


Here’s another example of a person making money because they already had dollars in the bank. Sadly, the easiest way to achieve success is to have some capital ready to go. They enjoy a lot of privilege because most working-class folks can’t dream of this financial security.


They managed to double half a million dollars through some smart investments. Meanwhile, they live within their means like most wise real-life millionaires. Time after time, we hear that rich people keep their cash because they don’t waste it. This is a valuable lesson for everybody reading this list (via Reddit).

Learn A Valuable Trade

This is one of the most cynical posts on this list but it shows the ruthless side of real-life millionaires. The Redditor says that there’s no secret to success except for hard work and drive. It’s crucial to master an in-demand skill because this will create opportunities. There’s no point waiting for others to hand them out.


They also say that co-workers aren’t friends but competition for future opportunities. Many employees won’t like reading this because they’ve many great office friendships. But there’s a time to be cutthroat and to focus on personal growth. Unfortunately, sometimes this means sacrificing some relationships (via Reddit).

Online Poker

Many people dream of winning a million dollars but it’s not possible for most of us. However, some real-life millionaires achieved their wealth from online gambling. This Redditor played poker in internet tournaments and enjoyed massive success. New government regulations ended his journey but it was very lucrative.


He also says that he didn’t waste his money, unlike many of his fellow players. It’s important to know that money doesn’t grow on trees even if it sometimes feels that way. He played the game intelligently and ensured that he saved or invested his newfound money. This separated him from his competition (via Reddit).

Stocks and Bonds

It’s important to show humility and to understand that some people know more. The following Redditor describes how they turned their inheritance into a massive fortune after they took financial advice. They didn’t try to go on an individual journey because they came to terms with their lack of knowledge.


Now they’re in an incredible position because they have massive fortunes that should provide security for the rest of their lives. It’s a position that the average Joe on the street would envy. Most of us don’t have millions of dollars waiting when a family member dies. We’re lucky if we don’t have to clear their debts (via Reddit).

Liquid Assets

The person in the following story may not be alive now but it’s a fascinating case study. According to the Redditor, they know someone who grew up during the Great Depression. This was one of the most financially-fraught periods in American history. If anything would teach someone about the importance of an emergency fund, it’s this.


However, we wonder if he was happy because it seems like they didn’t use their money much. If he enjoyed a simple life and the freedom to go where he wanted then that’s good. But if he had a pathological fear of spending his dollars, that’s a different story. Money is a poisoned chalice if that’s the case (via Reddit).

Top Tips

This Redditor explained how his parents are real-life millionaires. He wrote their six tips to become rich and successful in the modern world. It’s amazing how unattractive these will be for many people. We wonder how many readers would want to work 100-hour weeks or pinch their pennies.


The final tips also reveal the ruthless mindset of many real-life millionaires. It’s not easy to stay wealthy or to experience success in a competitive environment. Everybody is fighting for opportunities and they want to get the upper hand. This can be mentally exhausting and unhealthy but it’s the world we live in (via Reddit).