I can’t stand Bloomberg’s big government, pro-fiat-currency, pro-central-bankster perspective. But it still sometimes prints really good stories. Consider two physicists who had the blessing of learning about roofing:
Sergey Kolesnikov and Igor Rybakov spent their summers in the early 1990s fixing rooftops around Moscow, a job that paid them about $500 a month.
The work gave the aspiring scientists, who were roommates at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia’s top research university, a chance to become entrepreneurs after the fall of the Soviet Union.
We earned two degrees, one in physics and one in roofing,” Kolesnikov said in an interview at his central Moscow office.
The roofing degree paid off. Closely held Technonicol, the company they founded while in college, is now the country’s largest roofing-supply company, with a network of 700 distribution outlets across the country, 180 of them wholly-owned. The business had revenue of 59.4 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) in 2012, up 25 percent from the prior year, according to financial statements provided by Kolesnikov.
The company is valued at $2.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, making the equal partners two of the youngest billionaires in Russia. Neither has appeared on an international wealth ranking.
“I always liked to solve puzzles, and to me business is a kind of puzzle,” Kolesnikov said. “Neither of us ever thought about earning money of such scale.”
Not everything about their story inspires me. In addition to private homes that they helped with, the two entrepreneurs also made big money from government contracts to do repairs on public buildings. Perhaps there is an crony story that Bloomberg is not telling us. But maybe not.
The bottom line is that, if people can be successful in the rocky and often hurting economy of Russia, surely we can still strive to produce wealth in the United States. With all the discouraging economic news, it is easy to assume that nothing good can happen.
But economic movements don’t tell you the future of each individual. People have made money during recessions as well as busts.
Of course, no one can plan to become a billionaire really. That requires that you catch a wave that is not of your own making. But you can’t catch any wave if you don’t keep surfing. “Luck” may or may not find you, but if it does find you it will need to find you working hard for you to benefit from it. Of course, you should do work that you find somewhat intrinsically rewarding. If the game interests you more than the number of points you want to score you will be better off either way.
And even if it misses you, you will be better off striving to support yourself and make a better life for your loved ones than you will be if you give up.
May God bless your endeavors.