As of March 2010, the world had 937 billionaires to its credit, according to Forbes. That’s a pretty small club, and you have to imagine that these 937 people and entrepreneur would have a few things in common – besides their wealth, that is. In fact, they do.
There’s a lot of “new money” among billionaires, and many of them have similar habits that helped them amass their fortunes. Even if you’re personal fortune is miles away from the billion (or even million) dollar mark, trying these habits from our best business coaching program for size could provide a boost to your bottom line.
Seven of the Top 10 billionaires from Forbes’ 2010 list are self-made. This club of clever elites, includes Bill Gates (net worth, US$53 billion), who started the Microsoft company in 1975 while still in his junior year in college at Harvard University.
Gates may have been in the right place at the right time in terms of developing computer software, but he also made the decision to strike right away, rather waiting even to graduate. His timing and hard-driving pursuit of success in his business helped plant the seed for what would become one of the world’s largest and most successful companies.
You might assume that a billionaire’s drive stems from the luxurious lifestyle. However, some of the world’s richest people ascended to their positions thanks to their ability to watch the bottom line.
Take Warren Buffett, for example. His US$47 billion fortune put him at No.3 on Forbes’ 2010 list of billionaires, but this ultra-rich investor investor’s success can be partly credited to his frugal lifestyle.
From a very young age, Buffett was making and investing his money. By the time he was 26 years old, he had already made and saved the modern-day equivalent of more than US$1 million.
This allowed him to start his own investment partnership, which eventually allowed him to invest in and take control of Berkshire Hathaway. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Most billionaires have a vision of what they think the world will be like in the future – and how they can capitalize on it.
Take Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as an example. The 26-year-old launched what is now the biggest social networking site in the world from his Harvard dormitory room on February 4, 2004. Zuckerberg leads the Forbes top-10 youngest billionaires with his net worth of US$4 billion.
One thing virtually all billionaires have in common is that they are willing to take a leap of faith in their pursuit of success.
For some billionaires such as Bill Gates or Lawrence Ellison (software giant Oracle founder), this might be dropping out of college to pursue a business opportunity. But some billionaires have been known to push the stakes even higher – like George Soros (net worth US$14 billion).
This renowned investor and hedge fund manager is known as the man who “broke” the Bank of England by making a multibillion-dollar bet that the British pound would decline in value. It did, earning Soros more than US$1 billion in a single day.
Not only do billionaires tend to be able to pounce when the moment’s right, they also make patience a habit. After all, sometimes it takes a while for a good idea to pay off.
Ever heard of Amazon.com? It was founded by former Wall Street executive Jeff Bezos in 1994.
The now-major company started in Bezos’ garage, with only a few employees. Bezos is now the CEO of the largest online retailer in the U.S., with a net worth of US$12.3 billion in 2010.
However, it took seven years before the company turned a profit, which it eventually did in fourth quarter of 2001.
It was a major coup after the dotcom crash, which left many wondering whether an online business model was viable at all. Bezos believed it to be so, and persevered until the world was ready to embrace online shopping.
The Bottom Line
No one said that creating a billion-dollar fortune was easy. In fact, many of the world’s billionaires share key qualities such as vision, patience and an incredible fortitude in the face of risk.
Luckily, these billionaire habits are tools that are available to everyone, free of charge, and could help you move take a few more steps up your own wealth ladder.