When it comes to wealth creation, many people want to learn from the most successful, the billionaires around the world. According to Forbes, there are as much as 2,043 billionaires in 2017, with 233 increased compared to the previous years. The total net worth of all the billionaires rose 18% to $7.67 trillion, which has also broken last year’s record.
The number of billionaires seems to continue to increase and the wealth they accumulated seem to be on the rise as well. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Ellison are the famous few that made to the very top of the list. What is interesting to note is that each of these billionaires has different pearls of wisdom to share with the public.
Take Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as examples, they both love to share with the public and distill their so-called “billionaire secrets”. So what can we all learn from these ultra-rich individuals who have accumulated massive wealth where most can only dream about?
In this article, you will discover the 7 wealth creation and success lessons from these billionaires. Forget about the get-rich-quick scheme or getting lucky, becoming a billionaire is a real deal and it requires tremendous effort to get there. And first, you need to adopt the right mindset, habits, and characters to join the league.
1. Formal Education is Important, But Not Compulsory
When you study the billionaires who have made it, you will discover that majority of them, about 90%, owned a college degree. However, that does not mean that it is compulsory for success. Among the world’s super-rich today, people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, etc, they did not graduate from college. And people like David Murdock and Richard Desmond did not finish high school.
What this means is that becoming a billionaire takes a lot more than formal education. The personal development guru, Jim Rohn, said it well, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
Formal education and degrees from college and university are important, but they are not the main factor that is going to determine your success in life. It is what you do with your vision that will decide your life, not your qualifications. Often, it takes more than just qualification to produce amazing results in life, especially to become a billionaire.
If formal education is the key to success, then every librarian and people who have a Ph.D. would rule the world and become rich, but this is not the truth. The truth is that people who are highly educated usually ended up working for entrepreneurs who have never finish schools. This is an irony, but it is the hard truth that you must accept.
This does not mean to say that billionaires do not pursue knowledge, in fact, they are the ones that are the most committed to constant and never-ending learning. According to Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich”, he wrote in his book that rich people believe in acquiring and continually seeking out specific knowledge, while the average people think the road to riches is paved with higher education.
It is a mistake to think that you can stop acquiring more and better knowledge when you are out of schools. Formal education can only equip you with so much of the common knowledge, but it is the specialized knowledge that will make you ultra rich. Steve Siebold, the self-made millionaire who has studied more than 1,200 wealthiest people over the past three decades said that when you walk into a wealthy person’s home, the very first thing you will notice is an extensive library of books they have educated themselves on how to be more successful.
2. Work Extra Hours
Billionaires work harder and longer compare to ordinary people. Bill Gates, the richest man in this world once said, “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one. And I’m still fanatical, but now I’m a little less fanatical.”
And just like Bill Gates, Jeff Skoll, the dot-com legend and eBay’s first president took no vacation for years while their businesses were growing. Forbes once conducted a survey and asked 50 billionaires how many hours a week they worked and the results will blow you away.
About 30% of the billionaires said that they worked about 60 hours a week and another 30% said that they worked about 40 hours a week. What is more interesting to note is that these people are already billionaires and they do not need to work full-time if they wanted to. In fact, they can retire and enjoy the wealth they have created and still able to live a lavish lifestyle. However, they choose to continue to work on their dreams.
This is why you need to do what you loved and follow your passion. Steve Jobs delivered a very famous and meaningful speech at Stanford. He said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” And he is absolutely right.
When you love what you do, you can devote most of your time for it with a willing heart. When you dislike and hate your job, there is no way you are willing to spend long hours working on it than others.
3. Billionaires are Not Driven by Money
A lot of people have the wrong perception and think that in order to become rich and successful, you have to work for it. While the working hard part is right, but billionaires are not driven primarily by money. Rich and successful people have bigger dreams and visions than just earning money.
Think about it, if money is their primary aim, many of the billionaires would have quit to enjoy their wealth when they have accumulated millions. Raphael Amit, the Wharton School management professor said that no one hates to be rich, but what truly matters is the innovation, the intense commitment of an idea, and the difference the ideas can make. He also said that money is a byproduct.
When you put your focus on money, you will lose your direction when you made the money. On the other hand, rich and successful people put their focus on their visions and they are motivated by the challenge. Highly successful people wanted to prove something, anything. They want to prove that they are smart and their ideas are remarkable or their critics are wrong. They want to show their parents and friends that they can do it. More importantly, they believe in their products and services in making the world a better place. These are what motivate successful people.
It is just like what Arnold Schwarzenegger said in his book, Total Recall. He said that when someone told him that something is impossible and no one has done it before, he will be excited to prove the naysayer wrong because if he did, he would be the first person that has ever done it.
4. Constantly Looking for Opportunities
Billionaires are always looking for opportunities. One of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs is none other than the Virgin Group’s founder and billionaire, Richard Branson. The story of how billionaire Branson started his airline business portrayed perfectly that rich people are always looking for opportunities.
When one of the flights to the British Virgin Islands from Puerto Rico was canceled, hundreds of other passengers stranded at the airport. At this point, most people would succumb to their fate and wait for the airline to arrange for the next flight, but not the entrepreneurial Richard Branson.
What he did was that he picked up a phone and tracked down a chartered plane. He then divided the cost of the plane by the number of seats, borrowed a blackboard and wrote down, “$39 – One way to BVI”, and walked around the airport. After a while, the seats were fully sold. After this incident, it gave Branson the idea of starting his own airline and this was how Virgin Airlines found its way to reality. The rest was history and Branson became a billionaire because he dared to take action and seize the opportunity.
Many people did not dare to take the shot when the opportunity comes. They choose to sit and do nothing and let the opportunity slips. So spark your entrepreneurial spirit and keep asking yourself regularly, “How could I profit from that?”
5. Billionaires Don’t Fear Mistakes
All highly successful people are not afraid of making mistakes. They view the problems as learning opportunities to grow to a higher ground. James Sorenson, the late pharmaceutical billionaire once told Forbes, “I don’t remember any mistakes, only opportunity to overcome problems.”
The majority of people are afraid of mistakes and failures. When they think that they are going to fail, they stop taking action. As a result, this paralyzes them from getting ahead. Billionaires, on the contrary, don’t fear mistakes. While it is true that they make a lot of mistakes, but they take it as a feedback for learning and improving.
Sony, a multi-billion dollar company co-founded by Akio Morita did not start out perfectly. The first product was a rice cooker, but it burned the rice. However, this did not stop them from improving and continue to innovate for bigger and better things. The same principle applied to Henry Ford who failed at his first two car companies and made him broke. That did not stop him from founding Ford Motor that revolutionized the whole automobile industry and became one of the most famous and richest men in the world. So embrace failures and learn from them.
6. Dare to Think Big and Bold
The billionaire and President of the United States, Donald Trump has a powerful quote, “I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” And thinking big and bold is the first step to achieve the impossible. Your thinking shapes your life. If you think small, you limit your activities and you will act small. So if you want to be rich and successful, think big.
There is no way you can be successful if you put a limit in your thoughts. What you think about most of the time will determine your life. Therefore, choose to think big and visualize your dreams. When you are able to see yourself realizing your dreams, you will be able to do it in reality.
7. Practice the Art of Saving
Warren Buffett once told Forbes, “I think the biggest mistake people make is failing to learn the habits of saving properly early. Saving is a habit and anyone looking to get rich must learn and act it.” Most people get the wrong idea of savings, they thought that if they want to be rich, they need to earn and not to save.
And according to many billionaires, the act of saving is a great habit and mindset to adopt. Warrant Buffett also said, “Money doesn’t fall like manna; it takes a long time to build and anyone looking to save should have a long-term mindset.” Basically, you practice the habit of saving to learn about long-term thinking. It is the habit and thinking that count, not the act of saving itself.
Li Ka Shing, the billionaire from Hong Kong said that people should never save for the sake of saving. He said this during an interview, “Save your money in your bank and grow it as your very first start-up capital. Then after saving it, engage it in entrepreneurial exercises that will double it. Even if you lose money while growing it, you will not lose as much as you would have you not saved.”
Thus, start saving from now on. It is not for the sake of saving, but more importantly, it is to build up the mentality and good habit of delay gratification. And when you have saved up enough money for investment, go for it. This is how most billionaires started.
These are the 7 wealth creation and success lessons one can learn from the billionaires. Becoming a billionaire is not going to be easy, but that does not mean that you should not unleash your full potential and aim for it. Apply these 7 lessons and use them to get you to a higher level in life.