What special traits do the billionaires of this world possess that others don’t? Is there any special skill or uncommon trait I must possess before I can become a billionaire? What trait propelled the school drop out billionaires to success? Were people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg born to be billionaires? Well, read on to find the answers you seek.
In this article, I will be revealing to you 17 uncommon traits of billionaires. So if it’s your dream to become a billionaire, then you might as well start developing these billionaire traits gradually. Without wasting much of your time, below are 17 uncommon traits of billionaires.
Becoming a Billionaire – 17 Uncommon Traits of Billionaires
1. Billionaires start small
Most self made billionaires were not born billionaires. They were born like every other human but they desired to be exceptional. Sometimes, most people believe that billionaires such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg emerged overnight to become billionaires. That’s definitely not true.
Most of the billionaires today were nobody’s sometime ago but they started small and kept at it. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Jerry Yang and David Filo, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started from the Dormitory of their various schools.
Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs started small in their garages. Ray Kroc started as a salesman; Larry Ellison started as a freelance programmer; Li Ka Shing also started small while Dhirubhai Ambani started as a petrol station attendant. The illustrations above prove that most billionaires had a humble beginning; they started small.
2. They think Big
“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” – Donald Trump
Another uncommon trait of billionaires is that they think big. They refused to allow their creative imagination be hindered by race, age or background. Though they started from scratch; they dreamed big and worked towards that dream. They didn’t just emerge billionaires overnight; they desired it, they hungered for it and worked towards making that desire a reality.
“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” – Warren Buffett
3. Billionaires take calculated risk
“To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.” – Bill Gates
Most people abhor taking risk but billionaires know how to take calculated risk. Instead of shying away from taking risk; what billionaires do is to put up a strong risk management strategy and then go ahead to take that risk. Their ability to take calculated risk is the reason they emerged billionaires.
“You must take risks, both with your own money or with borrowed money. Risk taking is essential to business growth.” – J. Paul Getty
4. They are competitive
“When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.” – Donald Trump
“And obviously from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.” – Richard Branson
The fourth trait of billionaires is competitiveness. Most people dread competition but billionaires thrive in competitive environments. They believe that competition brings out the best in them so they seek it out.
“You don’t have to be the biggest to beat the biggest.” – Henry Ross Perot
“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all but goes on making his own business better all the time.” – Henry Ford
“We have always had a pretty competitive ferocious battle with British Airways. It lasted about 14 years and we are very pleased to have survived it.” – Richard Branson
5. They are focused
“The wise man put all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.” – Andrew Carnegie
Take a look at billionaires and you will observe they are focused in their dealings. They don’t try to do many things at once; they focus on one. When it comes to business; billionaires are focused. Bill Gates and Larry Ellison focused on software; Aliko Dangote, the richest black man in the world focused on commodities. Ray Kroc, Dave Thomas and Carl Linder focused on fast foods.
“Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense to those who know what they are doing.” – Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett, George Soros, John Templeton and Peter Lynch focused on stocks as their preferred investment vehicle. Donald Trump is focused on real estate. Michael Milken focused on junk bond and that’s why he was referred to as the junk bond king. Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani focused on fashion while Anita Roddick and Mary Kay Ash focused on beauty care (cosmetics).
Michael Dell and Ted Waitt focused on computers while John D. Rockefeller and J. Paul Getty focused on oil. Andrew Carnegie and Lakshmi Mittal focused on steel. Sam Walton, Philip Green, Ingvar Kamprad and J.C. Penny focused on retailing. Walt Disney, David Geffen, Martha Steward and Oprah Winfrey focused on entertainment while Henry Ford focused on automobiles. The list goes on and on.
“The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.” – Andrew Carnegie
6. They are driven by passion
“Passion is what drives me forward. Passion is what makes me go to bed at 2am and wake up at 6am.” – Aliko Dangote
Listen to billionaires speak and you will sense a kind of passion in them. Billionaires are passionate about their calling and they pursue this calling with vigor. It’s this passion in them that keeps them going; despite their wealth, their passion keeps them working for long hours.
“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” – Warren Buffett
7. They are goal getters
“I intend to be, the richest man in the world.” – Howard Hughes
Billionaires are goal getters. They spend time to set goals that are high and challenging but realistic and attainable; and they don’t rest on their oars until their set goals are achieved. To them, life without goals set and achieved is life wasted.
“We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you are aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, ‘she cared.” – Mary Kay Ash
“I think I am very goal oriented. I’d like to win the America’s cup. I’d like Oracle to be the No 1 software company in the world. I still think it is possible to beat Microsoft.” – Larry Ellison
“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise, it makes you stretch.” – Mary Kay Ash
8. They thrive on criticism
“Dare to risk public Criticism.” – Mary Kay Ash
I have never seen a billionaire that hasn’t at one time or the other been criticized. Bill Gates, John D. Rockefeller, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, J. Paul Getty and other billionaires have been heavily criticized. Henry Ford was even called an ignorant man by some scholars.
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” – Larry Ellison
But billionaires don’t get weighed down by criticism; instead, they get inspired by criticism. Billionaires welcome criticism because they see criticism as a feedback to improve themselves.
“Never be ashamed! There’s some who will hold it against you, but they are not worth bothering with.” – J. K. Rowling
“Embrace bad news to learn where you need the most improvement.” – Bill Gates
Becoming a Billionaire – 17 Uncommon Traits of Billionaires
9. They have strong self imposed standards
“I am stingy and I’m proud of the reputation.” – Ingvar Kamprad
Get close to a billionaire and you will see a strong willed individual with tough self imposed personal standard. Billionaires don’t compromise their standard; they stick to their self imposed standard no matter what it takes.
“Remain true to yourself and your philosophy.” – Giorgio Armani
“People say I am cheap, and I don’t mind if they do.” – Ingvar Kamprad
10. They believe in themselves
“You are nuts and you should be proud of it. Stick with what you believe in.” – Trip Hawkins
Strong self belief is an uncommon trait possessed by billionaires. Billionaires display a high level of self confidence. They have little belief in fate, they strongly believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their set goals. Billionaires take charge of their destiny; they don’t leave it to fate.
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash
11. They are persistent
“Sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure.” – Donald Trump
Billionaires are tough and unyielding. They believe that when the going gets tough, the tough should get going.” Billionaires are known for being persistent and tough; they press on even in the face of hardship and failure. Billionaires know that without persistence, nothing can be achieved.
“Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Ray Kroc
“When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.” – Mary Kay Ash
12. They are committed
“I’m not afraid of turning 80 and I have lots of things to do. I don’t have time for dying.” – Ingvar Kamprad
Unyielding commitment is another uncommon trait of billionaires. Despite acquiring tremendous wealth, billionaires remain committed to their call. An example of this uncommon display of commitment is that of Warren Buffett and Ingvar Kamprad; these two men have pledged commitment to their companies until death. What a tough commitment.
“It’s my job for Oracle, the number two software company in the world; to become the number one software company in the world. My job is to build better than the competition, sell those products in the marketplace and eventually supplant Microsoft and move from being number two to number one.” – Larry Ellison
13. They learn quickly from mistakes
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” – Steve Jobs
Billionaires make mistakes, just like every other human and their mistakes sometimes lead to business failures but billionaires don’t get bugged down by mistakes; they don’t bow their head in defeat. Instead, they quickly acknowledge their business mistakes, correct them, learn from their failures and move on. They fail but they don’t quit. Instead, they get inspired by their failure and use their failure as a stepping stone to success.
“Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
14. They thrive on pressure and uncertainty
“You must not only learn to live with tension, you must seek it out. You must learn to thrive on stress.” – J. Paul Getty
Billionaires thrive on tension; they thrive on uncertainty. When the billionaires started the entrepreneurial process with nothing, there was no security for their initial investment or guarantee for success. Though they made it through the process; they still thrive on uncertainty despite their wealth.
When Bill Gates dropped out of school to build Microsoft; there was no guarantee of success. There was also no guarantee of success for other drop out billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Larry Ellison and Li Ka Shing. Yet, they emerged successful.
“Without the element of uncertainty, the bringing off of even, the greatest business triumph would be dull, routine and eminently unsatisfying.” – J. Paul Getty
Becoming a Billionaire – 17 Uncommon Traits of Billionaires
15. They use money as a means to keep score
“I don’t make deals for the money. I’ve got enough much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it.” – Donald Trump
Billionaires are driven by passion; not money. They use the money acquired from their businesses as a landmark; a target and a sign to move on to other business challenges. Billionaires use money as a means to keep score; they are not driven by the quest to make money.
“Money was never a big motivation for me except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.” – Donald Trump
“If only your goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.” – John D. Rockefeller
“Being first is more important to me. I have so much money. Whatever money is, it’s just a method of keeping score now. I mean, I certainly don’t need more money.” – Larry Ellison
16. They are opportunists
“The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.” – John D. Rockefeller
Billionaires are opportunists. They are always on the look out for people’s problems because they always want to be the solution to people’s problems. Billionaires move in when others are moving out; they see opportunities where others see problems. Billionaires are like the ancient alchemists; who try to turn lead into gold. Billionaires will always attempt to turn problems into value; they believe in creating value out of nothing.
“Buy when everyone else is selling and hold when everyone else is buying. This is not merely a catchy slogan. It is the very essence of successful investments.” – J. Paul Getty
“A good businessman must have nose for business the same way a journalist has nose for news. Once your eyes, ears, nose, heart and brain are trained on business, you sniff business opportunities everywhere.” – Orji Uzor Kalu
17. They use debt to their advantage
“If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” – J. Paul Getty
Debt is a double edged sword that can make or break you but billionaires have mastered the art of debt management. In fact, there is no billionaire that is free from debt. However, while others advocate staying away from debt; billionaires use debt as a financial leverage to get richer. While others use debts to acquire flashy liabilities such as cars, houses, etc; billionaires use to to invest and acquire income producing assets. The keyword here is “income producing.” To become rich in life and stay rich, you must be able to know the difference between good debt and bad debt, assets and liabilities, capital gain and cash flow, etc.
“Be careful when you take on debt. If you take on debt personally, make sure it is small. If you take on large debt, make sure someone else is paying for it.” – Rich Dad
“Financial leverage is the advantage the rich have over the poor and middle class.” – Rich Dad