Money

Billionaire: Buying a jet by age 35 was how I knew I’d made it

Chances are you or one of your friends has dined at a restaurant owned by Tilman Fertitta, owner, chairman, and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, the hospitality powerhouse that includes, among others, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton's The Steakhouse, and The Rainforest Cafe.

Today, the restaurateur and entertainment mogul is worth about $3 billion. And, for Fertitta, there was a specific moment when he felt like he had made it.

"I always had a goal to buy my first plane at 35 years old," Fertitta said. And he did.

Tilman Fertitta, entrepreneur and host of Billion Dollar Buyer.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tilman Fertitta, entrepreneur and host of Billion Dollar Buyer.

The purchase of the plane also served as an investment in his business.

"When I was growing my company in the beginning, having that plane made it so easy to look for locations across the country," Fertitta says.

Being able to travel easily is a must when growing a national brand, according to the billionaire.

"It's how I do everything I do, being able to leave when I want to leave, go home when I want to go home," Fertitta says. "I could not cover near as much ground [without it]."

For more insights into how Fertitta built his business empire, check out his opinion on the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make.

"Billion Dollar Buyer" airs Tuesdays at 10:00 PM ET.