8 Things That Self-Made Billionaires Do Differently

Michael Simmons
Jan 6, 2016 · 19 min read

Is there some unique way of thinking that gives self-made billionaire entrepreneurs an edge?

1. Charlie Munger (billionaire investor): Analyze what can go wrong instead of what can go right.

Photo Credit: AP Photo-Nati Harnik

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

“Invert, always invert: Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward. What happens if all our plans go wrong? Where don’t we want to go, and how do you get there? Instead of looking for success, make a list of how to fail instead — through sloth, envy, resentment, self-pity, entitlement, all the mental habits of self-defeat. Avoid these qualities and you will succeed. Tell me where I’m going to die so I don’t go there.”

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

2. Warren Buffett (billionaire investor): Use checklists to avoid stupid mistakes.

Photo Credit: Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

“We try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric.”

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

3. Ray Dalio (billionaire investor): Learn how to think independently so you can be smarter than everyone else.

Photo Credit: World Economic Forum/Moritz Hager

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

“Whenever you’re betting against the consensus there’s a significant probability you’re going to be wrong, so you have to be humble.”

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

“These are little things I do that cause me to feel uncomfortable and socially awkward, but have no real negative impact.”

4. Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder): Invest in what will NOT change instead of only what will change

Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

“It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ or ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’”

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

5. Steve Jobs (Apple co-founder): Use storytelling to make your vision more compelling; not mission-speak.

Photo Credit: Matthew Yohe

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hacks:

6. Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn founder): Build deep, long-term relationships that give you insider knowledge.

Photo Credit: Joi Ito

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

“Ten extremely informed individuals who are happy to share what they know with you when you engage them can tell you a lot more than a thousand people you only know in the most superficial way.”

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

7. Elon Musk (SpaceX and Tesla co-founder): Use decision trees to make better decisions.

Photo Credit: Michelle Andonian

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

“If you hand me a gun with a million chambers in it, and there’s a bullet in one chamber, and you said, ‘Put it up to your temple. How much do you want to be paid to pull it once?’ I’m not going to pull it. You can name any sum you want, but it doesn’t do anything for me.”

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

8. Sara Blakely (Spanx founder): Train yourself to love failure rather than to fear it

Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:

Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:

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