Traits of Billionaires

by Adrian Childers on March 6, 2010

Richard Branson and Donald Trump are a couple of entrepreneurs that many would consider successful.  They have each earned billions of dollars, Donald from real estate and Richard from several industries including, music, airplanes, trains, mobile phones, and many more. 

I just finished reading books from each author this past month, Branson’s “Business Stripped Bare”, and Trump’s “Think Big”, co-written by Bill Zanker.  I recommend both.  Both books talk about the ups and downs they have experienced in business, (no… neither were born billionaires) and surprisingly they share similar traits I thought adrianchilders.com readers would be interested in learning. 

Ironically, both claim that they did not go into business for the money.  They say it has never been about the money.  It’s about doing something that they love and doing it exceptionally well.  Donald says he loves to work so much he wishes he didn’t have to sleep.  The satisfaction he gets from constructing a building that he knows is well built is what makes him happy.  Richard says that he has never been interested in business.  He has simply been interested in creating things and being the consumers champion through his Virgin brand.     

Another trait of these billionaires that I wouldn’t have thought from either one, is that they both believe in luck.  Of course they both acknowledge that luck itself will not get you anywhere.  They both quote Gary Player, one of the best professional golfers who says, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.  So while both acknowledge luck has been a factor of their success, it is really those that seize the opportunity when luck is on their side that are successful in what they do. 

Other traits they share are that they realize that they cannot accomplish their ambitious goals by themselves.  Many of their businesses are joint ventures.  This demonstrates the importance of surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests to accomplish mutual goals.  Both have obviously had to take big risks to achieve the success they enjoy today, but they never make foolish bets.  They always carefully consider what they stand to loose and protect the downside as best they can.

Finally, as most individuals who have earned more money than they would like to spend on themselves, they give back to causes that are important to them.  They do not simply let their kids inherit the money.  I think they believe they should earn their own money.  Just like any vacation, half the fun is the trip to the top.

Richard and Donald both have their definitions of success.  Neither believes it is fame or money.  If you die with $1 billion or $1, in the end you are still dead.  I think a successful person is one who has the guts to work on what they enjoy, is able to do that for as long as they choose and ultimately has a positive effect on those around them.  Richard has a great definition of entrepreneurship which he says that, “It is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it”. 

Both entrepreneurs have traits of billionaires, but they each have their own style.  These books are great to read to see the ups and downs that everyone experiences in business and that money is not handed to most on a silver platter.  In the rare cases that it is, it is usually gone in just a few years.  These successful entrepreneurs have found what works well for them and hopefully some of the ideas they share in their books, will help you find what works for you. 

You can order Donald Trump’s book by clicking the following link, Think Big and Richard Branson’s book by clicking this link, Business Stripped Bare

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

d3so June 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm

that adds on to the belief: Do what you love 😉
I love being on the internet and designing & building sites.
Hopefully, someday I’ll make enough $ to live because I hate my day job 😉

Adrian Childers June 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Yeah everyone should follow what they love to do, you just have to make sure there is a demand from people who want your products or services. And there def is a demand for designing and building sites.

Try freelance sites “Elance” or Guru”.

Manny July 22, 2010 at 3:05 am

This reminds me of when you showed me the virgin records website and all the businesses this guy had. Great article Adrian.
It is very important to do something you have a passion for. Something that you don’t feel forced to do.

L B V PRASAD July 16, 2011 at 5:48 am

Dear All,

Donald Trump’s books have always inspired me in my life. It has helped me in wealth building certainly.
Now i’m about to start off with Sir Richard’s books too.

May god bless these 2 billionaires & their families & may the red carpet be always be under their feet
My advice to all is always read biographies of billionaires all through life.
Best regards
LBV Prasad

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