There seems to be a prevalent notion that to be a true power player, you need to be old enough to be eligible for social security but wealthy enough to never need it. However, gone are the days of American dynasties where only those who are born into wealth become the influential. Instead, we live in an era where young entrepreneurs have more opportunity than ever to not only become “rich,” but to become truly wealthy.
Even someone with the bluest of blood would be intimidated by Mark Zuckerberg, for example. As depicted in the film “The Social Network,” Mark didn’t even bother with trying to parlay a Harvard degree into some boring 9-5 in the business world. Instead, he took an idea to create a platform where Harvard students could share messages and photos and created this little ol’ website we now know as Facebook. Now he’s worth nearly 14 billion dollars and has created an empire that even the wealthiest among us would envy.
While a lot of the truly wealthy people on this list are technology visionaries, you don’t have to know your way around all of that boring computer to stuff to become a power player. From Lady Gaga to Frank Ocean, the true culture makers are no longer the standard rock stars of yesteryear. Both Lady Gaga and Frank Ocean are advocates for LGBT people and other disenfranchised groups and have proven that you can be powerful and progressive.
From Lena Dunham to Congressman Jared Polis, this list proves that the new gold standard for rising to the top has dramatically changed. The name of the game is no longer old money or more of the same; rather, the true game changers are the ones who think outside the box and create change. No matter what your talent or skill, the ultimate way to rise to the top is to stick to your guns and be an original.
Graphic courtesy of College Degree Search