If you want to achieve great things in your professional life, you’ll need to make some sacrifices in your personal life. One of the hardest but most impactful changes you can make is accepting the challenge of sobriety — and there are dozens of sober billionaires demonstrating the amazing income you can achieve when you spend less time drowning your sorrows.
Famously, wealthy people drink more frequently than their less wealthy peers. Less famously, they aren’t drinking less overall — they simply drink moderately, or only on occasion, while less wealthy people tend to binge-drink and use alcohol as a crutch or coping mechanism.
Some of the most famous billionaires go beyond the benefits of limited drinking and practice “teetotalism,” meaning complete abstinence from all alcoholic beverages.
The practice may have started in the small town of Preston, England in the 19th century, but it’s followed by some of the biggest, and the richest, names in the world. Here are the top eight most recognized names among their ranks:
Net worth: 2.5 billion USD
Arguably the most controversial man on the planet right now, Donald Trump, the incumbent President of the United States, completely abstains from alcoholic beverages. This may come as a surprise to most people, especially considering that most of Trump’s pictures outside of his presidency are from parties and exclusive events.
However, he actually says that it’s quite easy for him to not drink, in a discussion with Forbes. Trump actually decided not to drink because of his brother, who always had issues with alcoholism. For Trump, his brother was an example. Fred Trump actually died from alcoholism too, and perhaps this is the main reason why he completely abstains from alcohol consumption.
Net worth: 84.4 billion USD
The Oracle of Omaha, as he is affectionately known, is perhaps one of the biggest names on this list. As The Independent reports, Buffet does not consume alcohol or smoke. In fact, Buffett says that he has never drank alcohol or smoked in his life. The reason? He simply wants to preserve his health.
Buffett has often talked about the importance of remaining physically and mentally fit and has gone on record to say that it is one of the reasons why he is able to perform a cut above the rest. For those who don’t know, Warren Buffett made his fortune in stocks.
He entered the investment world at a mere 11 years old, using the cash he made while delivering papers. His fortune continued to grow due to his astute trades, and in 1962, he purchased Berkshire Hathaway, a textile company at the time. Today, Berkshire Hathaway owns stock in some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Buffett owns $80 billion worth of Hathaway stock.
In a popular speech, Buffett asked college students to think of a genie granting them a car of their choice when they were only 16 years of age. However, the genie also tells them that this is the only car they are going to have for the rest of their life. He said that’s exactly how you have to treat your body and mind.
Funnily enough, Buffett isn’t that concerned as much with other foods. “I eat like a 6-year-old,” he says.
Want to boost your chances of becoming a billionaire by dropping booze? Signing up for the One Year No Beer Challenge is a great place to start.
Net worth: 10.2 billion USD
At the time of his death, Steve Jobs was worth $10.2 billion. He died in 2011 at 56 years old. If he was alive today, he would be 65. Despite the fact that he was the CEO of Apple and owned stock in the company, most of his fortune actually came from Disney.
It’s a fun fact that most people simply don’t know. For example, only $2 billion of his net worth came from Apple, whereas the remaining $8.2 billion was due to his shareholding in Disney. He received those shares from his sale of Pixar back in 2006. With 138 million Disney shares, he made it to the billion-dollar club in no time.
But, if he was alive today, his small shareholding in Apple would have ballooned to $17.7 billion. His Disney shareholding would be worth $17.7 billion as well
This guy does not need an introduction. He was the CEO of Apple and is famous for the many keynote speeches that he made, with the iPhone release in 2007 being one of his most iconic moments. Under his leadership, Apple transformed into a global leader in technology, and made great strides in innovation.
What most people don’t know is that Steve Jobs actually never drank alcohol. He actually had very peculiar eating habits, no doubt influenced by his liver problems. In his biography, Jobs mentioned that he learned he could induce euphoria by not eating for prolonged time periods.
While he remained a vegetarian for a majority of his life, he also chose to switch to the vegan lifestyle from time to time. Despite this, he was extremely picky about what he ate. Owing to a history of liver problems, he completely abstained from drinking.
While he never publicly announced his disdain for alcohol, there is a very famous photo of him toasting Barack Obama with a glass of water at the Technology Summit dinner. However, he made up for this by consuming an insane number of psychedelics throughout his life.
Perhaps the clearest proof that exists of Jobs abstaining from alcohol comes from his FBI file, which was obtained by Wired and a part of it released. On a form which asked him to describe his use of alcohol, Jobs simply wrote “NA.”
John D. Rockefeller
Net worth: 400 billion USD (adjusted for inflation)
John Davison Rockefeller was an American industrialist and a philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which ruled the oil industry across the globe, and became the first United States business trust. This guy was so rich that he actually helped the United States get out of an economic depression in 1907.
He deposited millions in Stillman’s National City Bank, and he also phoned the manager of the Associated Press to pledge half of his wealth to maintain the country’s credit.
In the book Titan by Ron Chernow, it is stated that Rockefeller did not smoke or drink once. He even abstained from going to the theater or the opera until he turned sixty-seven. Why? He was strictly devoted to the Northern Baptist Church. Being a God-fearing individual, the Baptist church played an important role in his life.
He never smoked or drank because he considered those things harmful and destructive to his health.
In fact, Sunday services were likely the only social function that he attended of his own accord. Rockefeller died in 1937 but left behind a legacy that is hard to beat. Even today, Rockefeller’s stature is revered amongst businessmen.
Net worth: 6.74 billion (adjusted for inflation)
This isn’t a rags to riches story. Howard Hughes was born with a golden spoon in his mouth, one that was worth almost a million dollars. However, when you talk about billionaires with unusual or eccentric habits, it’s hard not to include Howard Hughes on that list.
Hughes suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder that continually worsened over his lifetime. He was a film tycoon who gained considerable fame in Hollywood in the early 1920s. He produced several big-budget films like Hell’s Angels and The Racket.
He also purchased Trans World Airlines and was one of the most pioneering aviators of his time. Aviator, a film starring Leonardo da Vinci, was based on the life of Howard Hughes.
Despite his eccentric nature, Howard Hughes never drank or smoke. He was actually addicted to prescription drugs and suffered of syphilis. By the end of his life, Hughes had turned into a total recluse, and was deeply addicted to prescription drugs. It is said that he died of a codeine overdose.
While he may have died as a paranoid recluse, Howard Hughes was a true enigma of his time.
Net worth: 83 billion USD
The cofounder and CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, is another billionaire who doesn’t drink. In his words, it simply “clouds his mind.” He says that he has no problem with people drinking, but he can never do those things himself. Some may think that being sober can cost a person valuable business, but that’s certainly not the case for Ellison and the other guys on this list.
Ellison grew up poor and dropped out of college twice in his life. He cofounded Oracle in 1977 and was often regarded as one of the most hyper-competitive entrepreneurs in his time. He owns islands, and flies between them in his own jet. He’s also a licensed pilot!
Net worth: +200 million USD
This might be a slightly controversial pick, but Vladimir Putin is perhaps one of the most influential men in the world. Putin is the leader of Russia, serving as its president. The “bad boy” of politics has a net worth of more than $200 billion ill-gotten gains, according to Bill Browder.
He made the statement at a 2017 Senate Judiciary hearing. Unlike most billionaires who like to wake up early, Putin has his breakfast around noon, and loves eating quail eggs. Obviously, there is no way to prove this egregious claim, but when you think about it, you’ll realize it might not be entirely untrue either.
According to most experts, and Politico Putin avoids drinking as much as possible.
The only photos of him drinking are at formal receptions. According to most, this is Putin’s way of taking a symbolic stand against Boris Yeltsin, his predecessor, and trying to lead by example against the crippling alcoholism epidemic that is gripping Russia.
Some also say that projecting this image is a purely political move.
Jon Huntsman Sr.
Net worth: 3.0 billion USD
Jon Huntsman Sr. was the chairman of the Huntsman Corporation. He was an American philanthropist and one of the most prominent businessmen of his time. His philanthropic endeavors are widely renowned, as he ended up giving more than $1.5 billion throughout his time.
He was also the US ambassador to China. Huntsman Sr. passed away in 2018, but his legacy still remains. A Mormon through and through, Huntsman abstained from drinking throughout his life. In fact, he also wrote a couple of books talking about values and moral strength.
Mormons are not allowed to consume alcohol, coffee, drugs, or tobacco. They also have to abstain from tea. Mormons are also strongly discouraged from drinking conventional soft drinks. While there’s no proof of Jon Huntsman abstaining from caffeinated beverages, his disdain of alcohol and smoking are well known.
He is the founder of the Huntsman Container Corporation in partnership with his brother, Alonzo Blaine Jr. To expel cash flow concerns in the beginning, Huntsman even mortgaged his own house and invested the borrowings into the company.
Most people might not have heard about the Huntsman Container Corporation, however, almost everyone is familiar with their creations. In 1974, the company created the classic “clamshell” cardboard container that is used by McDonald’s for its Big Mac burgers.
Huntsman Container Corporation is also responsible for creating plastic bowls and plates. Many other fast-food containers are also attributed to the company.
Moderate Drinking Can Enable Massive Results When You Reduce Intake
Some of the names on this list might surprise you, but it really shows that drinking — or at least, sloppy behavior — is frowned upon amongst the financial elites. Most billionaires spend heavily on their health, and they usually like to remain fit. Obviously, alcohol doesn’t help much in this regard, so they like to stay away. Many others, like Elon Musk, are also moderate drinkers who only partake in alcohol in small quantities when it’s socially appropriate.
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