Eight Habits of Successful Billionaires

By Marcus Taylor | Small Business

Many people dream of striking it rich and living the life of the ultra-wealthy. And while it’s fun to imagine spending money the way the billionaires do, let’s take a look at some of the things the super-wealthy have in common.

Taking Smart Risks

The world is full of risk takers. Every day on the news we hear about people who face the consequences of reckless behaviour, often measured by the losses of life or property. But unlike the typical risk taker, successful billionaires weigh their decisions carefully and take the risks that are worth taking. They may start out by investing in an unproven market or gamble their funds on a failing business, but in the end, they make measured choices and never take a risk they can’t recover from.

Forward Thinking

Bill Gates didn’t become a billionaire simply by selling the most computer systems. He anticipated that people and businesses would need a personal integrated suite of office software in a multi-tasking operating system and then he created the product to fill that need. He was forward thinking enough understand what people would want before it existed to be wanted. This kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, the ability to create public expectation and then meet it, is how billionaires get ahead of the pack and establish themselves before competitors can get a foothold on new technology.


Billionaires tend to have fantastic ideas about the future. But unlike typical visionaries, billionaires have gone beyond just planning and talking about their ideas. They have long term goals and work steadily and consistently until their goals are achieved. They break down large problems into a smaller set of obstacles that can be eliminated one by one until the goal is reached.

Going Against the Grain

When the crowd starts following a new trend, billionaires are shrewd enough to take advantage of the financial opportunities that are being ignored by everyone else. Warren Buffet made his fortune by buying investments when everyone else was selling. Tech gurus like Zuckerberg and Gates could have taken conventional jobs and lived quite comfortably but chose to start their own businesses. Billionaire status is achieved by people who are willing to ignore the advice from those around them and pursue their goals.


Millionaires are often infamous for their big purchases and lavish lifestyles. Breaking from millionaire to billionaire status means holding onto money and cultivating it through wise investments. A frugal attitude towards money doesn’t disappear once wealth is achieved. Billionaires Warren Buffet and Carlos Slim are known for their frugal lifestyles, maintaining modest homes and doing without private yachts or planes. Ikea founder, Ingvar Kamprad actually made his fortune by developing a marketing plan for furniture based on his own frugal ideals. Despite his success, he continues to make economy class travel arrangements and drive an older model Volvo.

Healthy Lifestyles

Billionaires tend to be goal oriented and clear headed. This attitude extends beyond their business and into all aspects of their lives. Healthy eating and regular exercise keep billionaires in top shape so that they can run their empires with focus and endurance.

Rely on Others

Far from being the independent mavericks that we see in the movies, billionaires know that they can’t do it alone. They surround themselves with smart, reliable and honest people and value their skills and feedback.


Lastly, billionaires bring a positive attitude to everything they do. They believe in themselves and in their ideas and that obstacles can be overcome. Failure is accepted as a natural part of business and an opportunity to learn and improve.

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