“I was one of eight children. My father was janitor and mother cleaned houses for a living. I dropped out of school to join a traveling carnival at 14, and later upgraded to a street gang. While homeless I lived under bridge viaducts and in haylofts, and ate out of dumpsters. I became alcoholic by age 17. The Marine Corps rejected me due to poor hearing. One night while drunk I fell down a flight of stairs, crushing parts of my spine. I became paraplegic and my doctor told me in no uncertain terms that I would never walk again. It’s a long story but I ended up walking out of the hospital on my own two feet. I soon got a job on the “kill floor” at a hog slaughterhouse. While there I organized a wildcat strike to demand benefits for us part-timers, and was successful. Also while working at the slaughterhouse, I ran into the principal who earlier had kicked me out of high school. He inspired me to get my GED, which I did. It’s another long story, but I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree, and eventually got my law degree. I immediately went into private practice, specializing in consumer bankruptcy. Later I got involved in real estate investing, and became quite successful, whereupon I got involved in oil drilling and lost my shirt. While broke, I was asked to take over an oil pipe company and I again became a millionaire–until Saudi Arabia flooded the market with oil and the price crashed. “
– Bill Bartmann
He personally experienced being a millionaire three times, being bankrupt twice, and being a billionaire once. Bill’s successes have been the subject of more than 470 news articles in publications ranging from “Forbes,” “Fortune,” “BusinessWeek,” “Inc.,” “People,” “The Wall Street Journal,” and “USA Today.” Bill’s unique journey from poverty to being the twenty-fifth wealthiest person in America, with several ups and downs along the way, has given him an amazingly unique perspective from which to share his experiences and the lessons he learned.