Patrick Bet-David is best known as the founder and CEO of PHP, an insurance agency. However, you might have watched him on YouTube as he shares his nuggets of wisdom for the up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
What may surprise you is that Patrick Bet-David’s net worth of $150 million despite not going to college. He grew up in war-torn Iran and fled when he was a young boy. After a few years of being employed, he took a chance at being an entrepreneur. Below is the story of how he achieved his millions.
Always Aspiring to be a Father
On his Instagram, Bet-David recounted that when he was six years old, his teacher asked him what he wanted to be upon growing up. The little boy said he aspired to be a father.
To Bet-David, his father was his idol. Since he was born and raised in Iran, the entrepreneur’s family followed the traditions involving working from Saturday to Thursday. Bet-David always cherished Fridays because his father would spend time at home.
Contrary, his uncle was not worthy of looking up to, considering that he sold alcohol in a country where it is prohibited. He also was a womanizer whose marriages kept failing till the family could no longer keep track.
Still, Bet-David’s uncle introduced him to caviar which the entrepreneur loves to date. As a child, Bet-David was exposed to lots of evil in society until he wondered how people could believe in God.
The entrepreneur opined that if there was a higher power, how could He allow the many societal evils to continue? He had witnessed his friends being killed, and his entire family also came close to dying when a bridge collapsed.
Luckily, his father drove their white Renault as fast as he could, and Bet-David looked back to see the bridge where they had parked a few seconds earlier tumble down. Such are the memories that the entrepreneur holds, but his destiny changed when his mother decided to flee the country.
Bet-David was only ten years old, and his mother thought it best to seek refuge elsewhere. According to American Snippets, Iranian boys cannot leave the country after turning twelve because they must serve in the army once they come of age.
His First Taste of Entrepreneurship
On July 15, 1989, Bet-David, his mother, and his sister moved to Germany. It was the first time for him to be without his father, and he had to make do without a father figure for the two years they lived in the refugee camp.
While there, he became friends with other refugees who had escaped from Yugoslavia, Czech, Poland, and Albania. Bet-David’s crush was Katarina, a beautiful girl who was the sister to Jan Staff, the entrepreneur’s best friend.
Since Super Nintendo was coming out, Staff wanted the game, and Bet-David figured that if he could get his friend the game, Staff would allow him to date Katarina. The easiest way to afford the money was by cleaning the swimming pool.
Bet-David had observed lots of people hanging around it, drinking beer and leaving the place trashed. He, therefore, approached the owner for a job to pick up the bottles, asking if he would be paid.
The owner offered the enterprising boy five pfennige ($0.0059) per bottle. Within a month, Bet-David had collected 5,000 bottles earning 250 Deutsche Marks ($148). He bought a Super Nintendo to Staff, and in return, the friend allowed him to play with Katarina.
Becoming a Financial Advisor
His pool cleaning days ended when Bet-David’s family moved to the United States and settled in Glendale, California. He joined high school, but after attaining a low GPA of 1.8, he did not want to go to college. According to Business Ideas Lab, he barely had any friends in high school hence the lack of motivation for further studies.
He joined the army instead and served for seven years. Upon leaving the military, Bet-David hoped he would be a movie star, his inspiration being Arnold Schwarzenegger. Besides, without a college degree, he could not find a job.
So, he joined a gym hoping to be the next Schwarzenegger but still hoping that things would change for the better. At 21, he was dating a girl who worked at an investment bank, and her salary got Bet-David thinking about becoming a financial advisor.
He applied for a job at Morgan Stanley and included a joke at the top of his resume, then at the bottom said that if the person reading it was smiling, that would be the same smile clients would wear if they hired him.
Bet-David got the job the day before the 9/11 attacks and began earning a better salary; the average salary of a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley is $65,000. He then worked at Trans America for nearly eight years but had the itch to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship Pays Off
His experience as a financial advisor enabled him to start his own life insurance company, PHP agency. According to Nice Job, Bet-David began the agency with his own money. He then recruited 66 agents in Northridge, California. By 2012, the insurance agency had grown to employ around 500 agents, and in 2019, Bet-David boasted nearly 10,000 agents across 49 states.
The highest-paid CEOs in the insurance industry rake in millions in salaries; for instance, Michael Neidorff, Centene’s CEO, earned almost $25 million as total compensation in 2020. With PHP growing by leaps and bounds, it is safe to conclude that Bet-David takes home millions of dollars every year as the firm’s CEO.
Besides, he has Valuetainment, a media brand that he started in 2013. The entrepreneur said it was by accident because he was not interested in creating content for social media, but friends encouraged him to start a YouTube channel in November 2012. The platform has gained popularity and now boasts over 3 million subscribers as it prides itself as the top YouTube channel for entrepreneurship.
He told Grit Daily that when he started PHP and Valuetainment, the annual revenues were $2 million, but by 2019, the businesses were bringing in $100 million. He has also authored several books regarding entrepreneurship whose sales have helped increase his net worth further.
You can also read:
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee