11 Things We Can Steal from The Most Successful Businessmen In the World

Ever look at the world’s most wildly successful people– you know, like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and wondered what made them that way? Well, they have a few tips and tricks up their sleeves, and good news! We know what they are!

think and grow rich

Think and Grow Rich

by Napoleon Hill

⏱ 16 minutes reading time

🎧 Audio version available

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Jeff Bezos – Be a Missionary, Not a Mercenary

Take it from the current richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, whose wealth is around $190 billion. Any word of advice from the Amazon founder has to be beneficial. He went from founding a company a little over two decades ago to growing it into one of the most successful companies in the world.

One strategy we can steal from Bezos is this: be a missionary, not a mercenary. Bezos firmly believes that missionaries will always beat out others when it comes to building something successful. He says,

“The missionary is building the product and building the service because they love the customer, because they love the product, because they love the service. The mercenary is building the product or service so that they can flip the company and make money.”

That means a missionary will stick around when a mercenary jumps ship. It means they have a vision and a passion where others don’t. It also means they end up making more money, so there’s that too.

Warren Buffet – Be Passionate About What You Do

People look at Warren Buffet, known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” the billionaire founder of Berkshire Hathaway, and who’s made his reputation about being risk-averse, and think that all the advice he has to offer is to not take too many risks.

While that is a lesson we can steal from him, there’s another nugget of advice up his sleeve. He famously said,

“At 85, I tap and dance to work every day.”

His trick to sustaining success for so long is to “find the job that you would hold if you didn’t need to have a job, so that every day is fun.”

Larry Ellison – Be Driven By the Fear of Failure

While all successful business people are driven, those who achieve mindblowing levels of success are driven by something deeper.

When Larry Ellison, the genius behind the technology behemoth Oracle, spoke about what drives his success, he surprised his followers by saying that it’s not necessarily the “pursuit of success” that pushes him to try his hardest. Rather, he’s all about the “fear of failure.”

It’s not the fear of failure that paralyzes a person, but the fear that pushes you to work harder and strive beyond your limits.

Richard Branson – Listen More Than You Talk

When people think of the world’s most successful people, they tend to picture the outspoken, extroverted type– the ones shouting in meetings and overruling the opinions of others.

The truth actually couldn’t be further from that assumption. Even Steve Jobs, who was notorious for being difficult to work for, had a team of trusted employees he always consulted.

Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is famously known for his belief that listening is one of the three most important principles of leadership. He believes,

“Listening enables us to learn from each other, from the marketplace, and from the mistakes that must be made in order to get anywhere that is original and disruptive.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Don’t Just Do It For the Money

A lot of people may scoff at Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and founder, for saying that it’s not all about the money. But have you ever realized this may be exactly why he’s retained success for so long?

Every day when he wakes up, he doesn’t think about the profits he’s set to make that day. Instead, he asks himself, “Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?”

Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs – Avoid Choice Fatigue

When you have a billion-dollar company and thousands of employees under your management, choice fatigue becomes a real problem.

When you look at someone like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who famously wears the same or variations on the same t-shirt and jeans combo every day.

Or look at the late Steve Jobs, who always wore the same plain black turtleneck and blue jeans.

Someone like those two have more than enough money to buy out an entire street of designer stores, but they’re more interested in minimizing the number of choices they have to make every day. By removing unnecessary decisions, such as having to pick out an outfit every day, they leave more time and energy for achieving success.

Richard Branson – It’s Okay to Admit That You Don’t Know Everything

Richard Branson knows and admits that he’s not a “know it all.”

Successful business people, especially when they reach the millionaire stage can often fall into the trap of becoming arrogant. Successful and truly self-made entrepreneurs are more than happy to keep an open mind when it comes to learning something they don’t know.

So they never stop learning from others– no matter how successful they become. Branson says, “Learning and leadership go together… the successes happen from working and learning with some of the world’s most inspiring and inspired people.”

Bill Gates – Never Stop Moving Forward

There is a reason why Bill Gates is still one of the top 10 richest men in the world, even years after Microsoft launching and after he gave up the CEO chair.

Gates is careful about staying on his toes. He makes sure he makes decisive decisions and then moves as quickly as possible. The same goes for Apple and Steve Jobs, who also continuously releases updates and newer versions of their product.

Being a “one-product wonder” is something Gates is terrified of becoming, so his solution is seizing every business chance he can.

When speaking about his competitors and why he’s been able to stand out for years on end, he answered,

“Most of our competitors were one-product wonders … They would do their one product, but never get their engineering sorted out. They did not think about software in this broad way. They did not think about tools or efficiency. They would therefore do one product, but would not renew it to get it to the next generation.”

Steve Jobs – Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Did you know that Steve Jobs reportedly almost made an Apple car back in 2008? However, he scratched that idea in favor of focusing on the iPhone.

This comes back to business people having too much on their plate. When the entire world is demanding things from you, it’s easy to burn out or have your business crash because of the overload.

The most successful entrepreneurs know a good opportunity when they see one. But they also know when it’s time to turn an opportunity down.

Being selective is how they reached the top. Steve Jobs is also famous for reducing the amount of products Apple makes from 350 to just 10 in order to stay focused.

It comes down to keeping yourself from burning out. No matter how successful you are, no matter how smart, how business or tech-savvy you are, you’ll run yourself to the ground if you try to take on everything.

Related: Why Successful People Never Stop Developing New Skills

Warren Buffet – The Best Way to Spend Money is to Invest It

We couldn’t resist another piece of sage advice from the Oracle of Omaha. Warren Buffett– the same Buffett who’s one of the top ten wealthiest people in the world– spends millions a month.

Only, he doesn’t spend them on mansions, designer clothes, or sports carts. He believes the best way to spend money is to invest it. Buffett likes to reinvest his money into business ventures.

That’s why he became arguably the world’s best and most intelligent investor.

Jeff Bezos – Have High Standards

Jeff Bezos doesn’t just believe it’s important to have high standards– he’s a firm believer that they’re contagious.

Once you hold yourself to high standards, that mindset will attract other high performers. As an example, he brings up how bringing someone new into the fold of a high standards team will make them adapt quickly.

The same goes for teams with low standards, as those are just as contagious. Look at the most successful companies in the world– Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Reliance Industries Ltd, et cetera– and you’ll find that a person who sets high standards for themselves and for others is the one leading them. Be like Jeff Bezos. Never settle for mediocrity. Surround yourself with people who hold themselves to the same high expectations.

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