Secrets Of Self-Made Millionaires

Secrets Of Self-Made Millionaires

As kids, America's richest entrepreneurs dreamt of curing patients, flying jets, writing plays and bagging base hits for the Chicago Cubs. Instead, they started hundreds of companies, employed hundreds of thousands of people and bagged $1.06 trillion.

In the accompanying slide shows, 21 self-made members of the 2007 Forbes 400 list offer an exclusive, introspective and often playful peek into their best days, worst qualities and hardest lessons.

We also coaxed them into sharing their thoughts on how to invest $100,000 right now (a few said put it with them); luck's contribution to their success (95%, says Kenny Troutt, founder of Excel Communications); and the pitfalls of leaving too much to the kids (money man Richard Rainwater says $50 million is too much, while $1 billion each works for supermarket and oil titan John Catsimatidis).

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