The Story of the 50 Billion Dollar Man. Entrepreneurship Report on Carlos Slim Helu

Essay, 2016

14 Pages, Grade: 73



Executive Summary

What is an Entrepreneur?
An Entrepreneur´s Key Characteristics
Forms of successful Entrepreneurs

Main Part
Carlos´s Life
Business Career
Carlos Slims road to success


Reference list

Executive Summary

50 billion US$! The figure Forbes magazine estimates Carlos Slim´s (4th richest person on earth) wealth at the moment (09/03/2016). The Mexican phone Mogul was the person chosen for this paper to explain the essential characteristics for becoming a successful entrepreneur.

As mentioned this essay is going to explain how Carlos Slim´s most important characteristic influenced his career and his success. To enter into the topic, the essay will compare different views from several experts on what an entrepreneur is. These views range from a risk taking person to someone who seeks opportunities and makes the best out of situations to create wealth. After discussing what an entrepreneur is, the paper will again compare subject experts´ views on the characteristics needed to be successful in starting and running a business. Here many different traits are mentioned, including; learning from mistakes, being action-orientated and having an open mind. The three sources examined show 15 different characteristics as each of their unique Top 5 needed to be successful. Staying focused on your chosen goal is Carlos Slims’ major characteristic that makes him so successful. After showing a brief insight into his life, the focus will be worked out further and then linked to events and people influencing him in his life. Carlos Slim was educated from young age by his father Julian Slim, who was an entrepreneur himself opening a dry goods store after fleeing from Lebanon at the age of 15. He taught his son the importance of keeping finances organized, updated and easily understandable. Carlos Slim then studied civil engineering in Mexico and later on Economics in Chile. He started to develop his trait of being focused throughout all his early life. His dream was to be rich enough to grant his family access to the best life possible and to not have any financial worries. He followed this goal from the beginning of his career until present day. His goals and the value he put towards them changed throughout his time, but that did not affect his focus on them in any way. He always tried to get as much money out of his investments and work as possible, whilst thinking about how this supports his family and affects his family life. Carlos Slims´ will to get rich was very clear to see, while he worked at the Mexican Stock Exchange where he made a personal profit of 400,000$ over 4 years. During this period he was not married yet and had no children. With his wife he founded “Grupo Carso”, controlling around 40% of the stocks in Mexico today. When his wife died in 1990 he started weekly traditions to extend and enjoy his family time more than he used to. His whole life is dedicated to getting rich and living a good family life. This is the reason the focus on goals is the most important characteristic to acknowledge when describing Carlos Slim.

The most important thing to take away from this paper is that there is a lot more than just a single personality trait that leads to success. One needs a good combination of characteristics, including; a good portion of luck, along with seeing the opportunity at the right time and having the right idea to start off your success. You need to be the right kind of person, in the right place at the right moment to achieve the highest of your goals.


What is an Entrepreneur?

The word is described differently in different occasions, websites and dictionaries. In´s definition an entrepreneur is “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money” (, 2015). This view on the being an entrepreneur is the easiest to relate to, as it would come in everyone´s mind that an entrepreneur starts a business. An example for this would be Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat and one of the richest persons in his age group. If we look at the Business Dictionary “an entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities” as well as he “exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how and how much of a good or service will be produced.” (, 2016) An entrepreneur in this case is someone seeing and taking an opportunity or chance and handles the situation to his/her own best. Despite small differences in wording and in the arrangement, the definitions agree on the fact that an entrepreneur risks something and is trying to get a benefit out of the risk he takes. Joseph Alois Schumpeter described entrepreneur and their aims not necessarily motivated by financial profit. It can be an achievement of goals set by the entrepreneur himself that counts as his success or benefit (Alois Schumpeter, 1883-1950). As experts and definitions do not give a clear idea of what an entrepreneur actually is, there is a need to look at the topic from another perspective.

An Entrepreneur´s Key Characteristics

This other perspective looks at characteristics. So to try to find out what an Entrepreneur is or does, we look at the traits an Entrepreneur needs to be successful in any way. Of course we heard about risk taking already. An Entrepreneur has to take risks in order to make profit, but is there more? Is there anything else important what Entrepreneurs do or think of? For this topic it is hard to find an agreement between experts, scientists and entrepreneurs as mentioned above already. There are millions of ideas and combinations of what an Entrepreneur should be like. One source will have the point of view that the top five traits are,

1.staying focused
2. Learn from mistakes
3. Action-orientated
4. High stamina, of mind and body
5. Seek help from the outside of their mind (Enterprising Oxford, 2016).

The Entrepreneur published an article naming Passion, Perseverance, Resourcefulness, open-mindedness and spongelike-nature as the top traits needed (Nathan Resnick, 2014). The third source checked shows a complete different pattern. The modern webpage is aimed at the youth. They name Discipline, Calmness, Attention to detail, Risk Tolerance and Balance as the most important characteristics to be successful as an Entrepreneur (Bram Thursday, 2016). If you step back and look at all the different characteristics one can see that there are similarities in all of them. Staying focused, Passion and Discipline can have the same description when they are in the focus of a discussion. Learn from mistakes, sponge-like nature and Calmness can be seen as similar as they all try to express to stay on your path even if something goes wrong.

Forms of successful Entrepreneurs

To focus on one major characteristic of an entrepreneur is pretty hard and needs a lot of evaluation of research done on this topic. Firstly there are many traits that could be seen as the most important one and it is hard to set one of them higher than the others. Secondly the Entrepreneur´s traits differ from the three major entrepreneurial forms. The first one here is `The Proprietor´, who stands in the middle of a company forming it and controlling it on his own. This man puts all his passion and ambition into the business to make it grow. It is hard for Proprietors to hand over control to anyone else but them. This business form often has less to survive after the point of the owner stopping to work for it to survive, than a family business or a shared ownership. ´The Conductor` is the next form. For him control is still key, but he hands control over to others and is proud to let family get engaged in what he does. He encourages his children and delegates tasks to family and other close employees. The last form is ´The Technician´, who himself has no or not many skills in the management sector. This form of businessman has brilliant technical ideas or creative skills to start of a business. With the lack of a business education he gets himself help from his family or outsiders to make the best out of the ideas he has. To go ahead and make use of these comparisons, descriptions and definitions the paper is now using these traits to analyze the life and career of Carlos Slim Helu. He is a Mexican phone mogul and second richest man on earth. His traits are connected to the ones already mentioned but he has his own unique combination of characteristics and the way he started his business. Before describing his main trait and the form of businessman, firstly a short insight into his life to relate the traits found back to his life and how he developed them over time.


Excerpt out of 14 pages


The Story of the 50 Billion Dollar Man. Entrepreneurship Report on Carlos Slim Helu
Business Management
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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601 KB
Business, Business Management, Management, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Money, Richest Men Alive
Quote paper
Marcel Strangmueller (Author), 2016, The Story of the 50 Billion Dollar Man. Entrepreneurship Report on Carlos Slim Helu, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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