5 Best Pieces Of Advice From Billionaires In 20177 min read
2017 has been another year of challenges and breakthroughs. As we reflect on our year, it’s also a great time to remind ourselves of some of the best advice we’ve heard about life, business, and pursuing our own definition of success.
We’ve compiled five of the best billionaire advice of 2017. These people have given sound advice ranging from entrepreneur tips and strategies, to achieving success in your career or business, to finding one’s purpose, and living an authentic life. It’s not about wanting to be crazy rich like them, but it’s about being inspired by the lives they lead and use that to become better versions of ourselves every day.
1. Making big decisions in business
Jeff Bezos beat Bill Gates twice this year to the title of “richest man in the world.” He’s best known as the Founder and CEO of Amazon, but he also owns The Washington Post and founded space-travel company Blue Origin, among others. He’s currently worth USD 96.9 billion and is still competing with Bill Gates due to the fluctuations in their net worth.
As far as entrepreneurial advice goes, we can all learn from Jeff Bezos’ bold attitude in making big decisions. In his 2017 annual Amazon shareholders letter, he brought valuable insights into the importance of the phrase he coined, “disagree and commit”.
“If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.”
“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions.”
Bezos elaborated, “[“disagree and commit”] will save a lot of time. If you have conviction in a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, “Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?” By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.
2. Finding Your Purpose
At only 33 years old, Mark Zuckerberg is now worth USD 71.1 billion as of this writing. He made a remarkable Harvard graduation speech in May 2017 which speaks to us millennials. At a time when there’s so much distraction, competition, and a bigger need to earn more money, we set finding our own purpose aside. Here’s how he can inspire you to get back in pursuing your passion in a bigger way:
“We’re millennials. We’ll [find our purpose] instinctively. Instead, I’m here to tell you finding your purpose isn’t enough. The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.”
“We can all make time to give someone a hand. Let’s give everyone the freedom to pursue their purpose — not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because when more people can turn their dreams into something great, we’re all better for it.”
Zuckerberg encourages us to build our community, and give our time to help other people in the many different ways we can. His speech was a refreshing reminder that it’s not just always about money, but also about “[finding] the courage to make our lives a blessing”.
That purpose of making an impact, of having a bigger vision outside of himself, brought him to where he is now, a made more resilient by all the challenges that he’s faced with decision-making and running his company, Facebook.
3. On Getting Things Done
Everyday challenges tend to distract us from doing things we really want. Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group of Companies, wrote a step-by-step guide on his blog on turning your plans and ideas into reality.
- Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small
- Always carry a notebook
- Find a list method that works for you. Doodles, bullet-points, charts what suits you best
- Make a list of small, manageable tasks to complete every day
- Mark off every completed task you’ll find making each tick very satisfying
- Make your goals measurable so you know if your plans are working
- Set far off, outlandish goals. What do you want to have achieved by 2020? How about 2050?
- Include personal goals in your lists, not just business
- Share your goals with others. You can help motivate each other further
- Celebrate your successes then make new lists of new goal
“Each day I work through these lists. By ticking off each task, my ideas take shape and plans move forward.” Branson wrote.
Now is the time to start writing your plans for 2018 and the years ahead. Making your goals measurable and realistic will motivate you to tick them off one by one, and, by living a life with purpose and direction, you’re off to become a better version of yourself every day.
4. Living True to Yourself
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most popular women billionaires in the world. This year alone, she’s given three commencement speeches in different universities. In this section, we’re going to share some of the remarkable messages she shared with the 2017 graduates.
About authenticity and living true to yourself: “You’re nothing if you’re not the truth. I’ve made a living, I’ve made a life – I’ve made a fortune, really – all good! – from being true to myself. If I can leave you with any message today: The biggest reward is not financial benefits, though it’s really good, you can get a lot of great shoes! Those of you who have a lot of shoes know having a closet full of shoes doesn’t fill up your life. Living a life of substance can. Substance through your service.”
“I want you to enter every situation aware of its context, open to hearing the truth of others and most importantly, open to letting the process of changing the world change you,” she said. “That is the spirit of constructive engagement.”
“What I’ve learned is when you create your work and your life based on an intention to serve with a purpose, you will have a blessed life,” she added, “Shift the paradigm to service and the rewards will come.”
5. The Billionaire Factor
Elon Musk is, without a doubt, one of the most successful business magnates of our time. His Twitter is full of advice and ideas, and there’s much talk about his brilliance all over the press. We chose to share this valuable and rare insider information that his former wife, Justine Musk, wrote on the Quora thread: How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson? which we can all learn from.
“Be obsessed.” She emphasized.
“If you’re not obsessed, then stop what you’re doing and find whatever does obsess you. It helps to have an ego, but you must be in service to something bigger if you are to inspire the people you need to help you (and make no mistake, you will need them).”
“Don’t pursue something because you “want to be great”. Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic, so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.”
“Follow your obsessions until a problem starts to emerge, a big meaty challenging problem that impacts as many people as possible, that you feel hellbent to solve or die trying. It might take years to find that problem, because you have to explore different bodies of knowledge, collect the dots and then connect and complete them.”
In terms of personal improvement and taking care of oneself, she added, “It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina. If you are not blessed with godlike genetics, then make it a point to get into the best shape possible. There will be jet lag, mental fatigue, bouts of hard partying, loneliness, pointless meetings, major setbacks… Keep your body sharp to keep your mind sharp. It pays off.”
“[Successful people] are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths. They do not fear failure — or they do, but they move ahead anyway. They will experience heroic, spectacular, humiliating, very public failure but find a way to reframe until it isn’t failure at all. When they fail in ways that other people won’t, they learn things that other people don’t and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.”
What’s a billionaire advice you try to live up to every day? How has it motivated you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Sources: The Cheat Sheet, Tech Crunch, Tekedia, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Quora