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John D. RockefellerInspirational Business Story: The Richest Man Ever


What one person can do with a big enough vision & mighty action.


John D. Rockefeller wasn't perfect, but he ...

Previous Story: Still Pending Publication

"The rich are different," Rosh said. "To become rich, one must become different first. Do things differently from the majority. Think differently. See differently."

"It takes vision to see what others can't see yet. And faith in one's vision to convert it into a reality. And resources, and courage, and passion to make it happen."

"To carve a new path, one must leave the security of a crowd and walk alone. You need courage to do that, to follow your muse, to believe in yourself. Success is still not guaranteed."

"To succeed big, to make it into the big league, you also need some luck."

"In 1866, a young bookkeeping apprentice set up an oil refinery in Cleveland, Ohio. At the time, oil was an unpopular fuel. It was messy and dangerous, but he believed it had great potential."

"He was right!"

"In just a few years, business was booming. However, instead of squandering his profits on drinking, gambling and women, he reinvested them in his vision. He bought out competing oil wells."

"His strategy worked. By the 1880's, his company was a monster. Its vast American empire included 20,000 domestic wells, 4,000 miles of pipeline, 5,000 tank cars, and over 100,000 employees."

"It became the largest oil refiner in the world. Its share of world oil refining was more than 90%, and it had become the largest monopoly in recorded history."

"In fact, it was so powerful the US government was terrified. They eventually used the Supreme Court to dissolve the energy behemoth into 34 smaller companies in 1916."

"Not bad for a company founded by an apprentice! To date, it remains the most valuable oil company in the world. It is also the second most valuable company on the world stock markets, beaten only marginally by Apple. Guess which company that is?"

"Exxon Mobil," Josh tried.

"Correcto!" Rosh smiled. "It was called Standard Oil then, and the young founder was John Davison Rockefeller, the richest man ever."

"Rockefeller (1839 - 1937) was America's first billionaire and tycoon, and a controversial figure during his lifetime. Many saw him as a villainous 'robber baron'. However, regardless of what people think of the man, he left a tremendous legacy."

"He thought big. And went for the great. His idea of joining multiple companies under one roof formed the basis of the modern day 'corporation'. He also founded great educational institutions like the Chicago University."

"In 1913, he created his philanthropic organization, The Rockefeller Foundation, to focus on solving problems at 'the root of individual or social ill-being and misery'."

"His Foundation later helped establish the first ever 'medical research' institutes like the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Health, two of the first such institutions in USA, and the School of Hygiene at the University of Toronto."

"Wilbur Sawyer Papers state that the Rockefeller Foundation helped develop the vaccine to prevent yellow fever. I have also read somewhere that Rockefeller scientists virtually eradicated hookworm in the Americas south of USA, and saved millions of people from the intestine eating menace!"

"To this day, his family continues his good work. They pour billions into medical research, education and humanitarian causes."

"After a certain point, you see, money just becomes a number in the bank account. You get no more happiness by having more of it. But it can still be used to bring health and happiness to others. There is, afterall, no greater happiness than in giving."

"So, get rich. Build up your wealth. Craft your destiny. But do it not just for yourself and your family, but also for your community and country. Leave a legacy behind!"

"John D. Rockefeller wasn't perfect, nor is 'big oil' an angelic industry. But it is clear what one person could do, with a big enough vision and mighty action."

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." - John D. Rockefeller

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