One of The Privileged Rich
At first glance, Bill Bartmann seems to be one of the privileged rich, a guy who got it all served on a silver platter. In many cases you simply don't consider looking any further unless you have a vast sum of money to invest and want to know where to put it. The very wealthy are not often studied by those who have a great deal less. Be it envy, or skepticism, or simply disinterest, we often neglect an opportunity to view their past, seeing only their privileged present.
Took Control Over His Own Destiny
The reality of Bill Bartmann's life is quite different, once you take a closer look, comparing the beginning to the present day. Bill Bartmann is a study in people who have literally lifted themselves up by their bootstraps and taken steps to control their own destiny.
Typical Midwest Work Ethic
Bill Bartmann is a self made billionaire and in his case, the self made is true in every detail. Beginning in the midwest, an area that typically has a work ethic that the rest of the country envies, Bill Bartmann made his own way during what were arguably some of the most economically depressed years in recent times.
Debt And Bankruptcy
Bartmann's life is a study in humble beginnings, in debt and bankruptcy, turned around to come back from major losses in a big way. He took what was a defeat many people could not have recovered from and made it his path to wealth that many people only dream of.
Homeless At The Age of 14
From his beginnings in Iowa, Bill Bartmann's life is an incredible trek through adversity, with each loss giving him an opportunity for new gain. Homeless at the age of 14 and soon after becoming a high school dropout, he made his first money traveling with a carnival. A rejection for the Marine Corps due to hearing problems was his next setback, and by seventeen years of age, Bill Bartmann was a bona fide alcoholic.
Paralyzed By A Fall
Inebriated, Bartmann fell the entire way down a flight of steps one night and was paralyzed by the fall. He was told unequivocably that he would not walk again. This was his most major setback, and seems to be the impetus for change. Bartmann began is own physical fitness routine that saw him eventually walking again. Each evening he would exercise and build strength. The final result was that he stood and walked on his own two feet in a big way.
From Slaughterhouse To A Law Degree
From a slaughterhouse to organizing strikes, to a law degree, Bartmann continued to grow and to change his own stars. A move to Oklahoma and investment in an oil company was a positive one, offering him a new and better life. The company turned around and became amazingly profitable. It also folded several years later during the mid 80's when oil prices fell, leaving him over a million dollars in personal debt, since he had guaranteed the corporation.
The Most Innovative Billionaire Business Known
Even this major loss Bill Bartmann parlayed into a new horizon. Taking out a small loan he began to buy up bad debts from the bank, starting a debt collection business, collecting on those loans in a way that permitted the lenders (his customers) to keep their dignity. This business soon had 4,000 employees with revenues over a billion dollars. It was the most innovative billionaire business known to be around at the time and Bill soon became one of the most highly-honored entrepreneurs in history. In 1998, tragedy struck again, when Bill's former business partner committed fraud and sent the company into bankruptcy.
A True Rags To Riches Story
Bill Bartmann today is again a wealthy man. Through trials and against all odds, Bartmann has come out stronger making him a true "rags to riches" story. With a reputation for caring for his employees and those who helped him along the way, Bartmann offers a shiny example of fighting the good fight -- and winning.