Billionaires are different from the rest of us – clearly in terms of their enormous wealth. Now the big question is this – how did they achieve exceptional financial success? Are they exceptional because they are born that way, or did they consciously develop some habits and best practices that made them so wealthy?
Her are 5 extraordinary traits that are common across billionaires, contributing directly to their incredible success. And the best part, these traits can be consciously developed in any one of us! Let’s take a look.
1. They are unafraid of the grind
Now we all love to work smart. But if you look in, there’s a subtle resistance to working hard, constantly and continuously, in order to achieve our desires. Billionaires are successful because they have crossed this hurdle.
Take the case of Bill Gates, perhaps the most famous billionaire – even despite some hiccups in the last few years. But what you cannot ignore, is the sheer amount of work put in by Mr. Gates himself to create his billion-dollar company.
- Working after office hours? Always!
- 60-hour weeks? Huh, this is child’s play, 90-hours is more like it!
- Working every weekend including all holidays? Absolutely! That’s the American spirit. Take care of yourself – pay your own way! Can I work from home when I am not at work? For sure!
In fact, his own team has shared how they struggle to keep pace with his hours, despite putting in 80+ hours every week at work!
Then there’s General Electric, which still deserves respect after some NBC hiccups many years ago. GE’s own CEO Jeffery Immelt has always lead from the front, as he slogged through 100-hour weeks for 24 straight years. Think about it, many of us don’t even last 40-hour weeks for 24 years!
2. They embrace renunciation
Don’t let this word scare you away. Renunciation is not about giving up on your family or your personal wellbeing. But can you renounce the need for frequent vacations, like Mark Cuban of Dallas Mavericks did, as he stubbornly chose to work through every vacation for 7 supremely productive years? This is also true of many a young Billionaire who’s doggedly worked through his/ her entire 20’s.
If you aren’t ready to take this plunge yet, you can still make significant progress with tiny steps. Defer settling down with your favorite bestseller book and choose to work instead. Give up a few hours of TV every week, so you can spend this time amplifying your productivity. Spend less time partying in the 20’s, so you can sit rich and pretty in the 30’s.
Like that old adage goes, “A little pain can go a long way in creating tremendous long-term gain”. True that!
3. The buck stops with them, especially during failure
In order to be successful, it is key that we learn to be successful at failure. Yes failure, that terrifying possibility that most of us deny. Ironically, billionaires welcome this possibility, proactively planning for it, so they know how to gracefully address it.
We try to work forwards, towards our goal. So, we end up getting frustrated and disheartened when we’re surprised with failure.
Billionaires work backwards, from their ultimate goal, including the possibility of failure, so they feel less confronted when they inevitably have to deal with it. Here, financial investor Charlie Munger offers a brilliant suggestion. If we understand all the possible ways we could fail, we could create a fool-proof plain to avoid them. Nice!
4. They don’t give up, ever
Here’s a secret that billionaires know: failure isn’t as devastating when you decide not to give up. They decide, again and again, to keep going. So, should everybody who desires wealth and financial success.
A classic illustration of this is the extremely resourceful Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and present owner of Tesla who’s expanding his empire into Texas after having some issues with California’s polices. Furthermore, he did not become a billionaire or a household name by accident, and faced many a hurdle in his journey to success.
For instance, when his team failed in their 2008 attempt to launch their first rocket, obviously costing him millions of dollars, he did not get overwhelmed or blame anyone else. He hit the grindstone, inspired his team with the promise of additional funds required to try again, and ultimately made it successful.
Having a resilient leader who can inspire even during failure is a boon to any company. Billionaires consciously seek to become that worthy.
5. They pick their battles
This may be shocking, but billionaires cannot afford to engage in pointless ego-driven battles. They consciously pick their battles, and for this, they are unafraid to respond with an “NO” – to pleasant yet time-consuming habits, to every-day distractions, to self-victimization, to blaming others. They are unapologetic in their quest for success, and thus undoubtedly blessed with it.
Some people want to bash billionaires but that right to pursue success helps elevate so many other people. The countries with the most billionaires seem to have the highest quality of life.
In closing, remember these words of soccer legend Pele: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, LOVE of what you are doing or learning to do”. Touché!