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How to Become a Billionaire: 8 Characteristics of the Wealthy

Billionaires are the wealthiest of the wealthy. And the world is seeing many of them. As of 2021, there are approximately 2750 billionaires in the world.

Over 100 of billionaires are millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). United States has more billionaires than any single country.

According to Forbes, it has 30% of the world’s billionaires and the world’s wealthiest billionaires.

It is, in fact, many people’s dreams to reach this financial milestone.

But the question many are asking is that how do you become a billionaire? What is a billionaire?

Plain and simple, a billionaire is someone who has a net worth of over $1 billion dollars.

Becoming a billionaire is not easy. For most of us, it is merely a dream.

Whether they are self-made or inherit their money, or taking over their family business, billionaires share certain characteristics that make them so successful.

Let’s take a look at a few. But for professional help, use SmartAsset’s free matching tool to find a financial advisor near you.

8 Common Characteristics of Billionaires

1. Billionaires are not afraid to fail.

One of the common traits of billionaires is that they are not afraid of failure. In fact, no great success was ever achieved without failure. The world’s top billionaires have faced massive failures.

Take for example, Donald Trump who faced bankruptcies. The list goes on… The key is the tough times they endured, their willingness to not give up, and what they learned from these failures that make them successful.

2. They don’t quit too soon.

Individuals who became billionaires understand that success does not just happen.

They understand that it takes time, failures, hard work and discipline to create something of value. They understand that one idea might not work, but the next might.

So if you want to become a billionaire, don’t quit just because one idea did not work. Time is on your side. So, do not rush it.

3. Billionaires accept responsibility.

They don’t blame others for their actions. Or, play victims. Instead, they accept the blame when it is due. 

4. They outwork others.

Wealthy people work hard. In fact, their work ethic contribute significantly to their billions.

5. Billionaires take actions. 

A key trait of all billionaires is that their ability to take action. In order words, they are decision makers. T

hey do not procrastinate and realize that making a bad decision is better than making no decision at all. Billionaires understand that the real power comes from taking action.

6. They have a positive mindset.

Becoming a billionaire starts with your mindset. That means, they have a right attitude about money.

And they understand that if they have the belief that they accumulate wealth, they will. Billionaires are also open-minded, active listeners, and not quick to judge others.

Also, they are not afraid of criticisms. In fact, they pay attention to criticisms that have merit and learn lessons from them.

7. Billionaires control their emotions.

Billionaires exhibit self control. They know how to control their emotions.

They don’t let disappointments, failures crush their spirits. Billionaires know that self control is a muscle that gets stronger when exercised.

8. They admire other successful people.

Billionaires are not jealous people. They are comfortable with themselves and do not seek validation from others or become jealous. In fact, they admire other successful people.

Keys to becoming a billionaire

1. Take risks and work hard.

Almost everyone wants to be a billionaire. However, they are not willing to make long-term sacrifices.

Becoming a billionaire requires working long hours and taking big risks such as starting a business. A great majority of billionaires make their money this way.

Granted, some people who achieve that wealth receive some help either by being born into a rich family or by inheriting their money from a parent or uncle. 

Or, they might have been lucky by winning the lottery. However, they still have to work hard to maintain that billionaire status.

2. Be persistent.

Take for example, the billionaire Elon Musk – the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. In 2008, Elon Musk, like most people, face a lot of difficulties. He was going through a divorce.

His company, SpaceX was on the verge of bankruptcy. His Falcon rocket failed to reach the orbit for the 3rd time in August of 2008. He was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Despite these obstacles, Elon Muck, did not give up. He persisted. His Falcon 1 rocket finally reached the orbit on the fourth try in September of 2008. He succeeded.

The lesson here is that no matter the hurdle, the disappointment, they do not give up. What keeps them going is their persistence and their passion for what they are doing.

3. Invent a product.

If you have an idea of a product that does not already exist, you can be an inventor.

However, your invention should be able to solve a problem on a large scale, which can lead to your billions.

Take for example, Thomas Edison, who invented the lightbulb and who introduced the modern age of electricity.

4. Be an entrepreneur.

Most of the world’s billionaires are entrepreneurs. Take for example, Jeff Bezos who started Amazon, Inc.; Mark Zuckerberg who founded Facebook; Elon Musk who founded Tesla and so many others.

The common characteristic is that they all started their own business. Working for someone else is unlikely to make you a billionaire.

A surgeon who makes half a million a year would have to see thousands of patients a day to become a billionaire. It would take a CEO of a major corporation a long time to achieve the billionaire status.

But if you have a good business sense, starting your own business is a great vehicle to make your billions.

5. Invest, but in the long term.

It goes without saying that investing, whether in stocks or real estate, is a proven wealth-building vehicle.

In real estate, your properties generate current income and significant tax benefits as well as build equity from appreciation. With stocks, you make money through earning dividends, appreciation, and compound interest.

Most billionaires build their wealth through investing in stocks and real estate. Take for example, billionaire Warren Buffet who made his fortune in stock investing.

However, to make it big in stock, it has to be long term. In other words, for compounding to work, you must give it time. For beginners, you can start investing no matter how little money you have to invest.

6. Work with a financial advisor.

An important part of becoming a billionaire is knowing that you cannot be an expert in everything, and that there are times you need to hire others with the right expertise.

For example, investing in stocks can be complicated. Therefore, instead of spending a lot of your time trying to figure it out, you might be better off hiring a good money manager.

However, before you hire that professional, educate yourself first and do your homework to make sure you’re hiring the right individual.

Doing so will allow you to ask the right questions and better able to determine if that person is the right fit for you.

7. Save money.

As mentioned above, the best, time-tested, investment vehicles to build significant wealth, hands down, are stocks, a small business, and real estate. However, you still need money to invest in these wealth-building vehicles.

And one way to that is through saving. Billionaires understand this. Saving money is not difficult as you may think. The key is to know what steps to follow. One of the steps to know how to save 100k.

Now that you know the common characteristics of billionaires and the keys to become a billionaire. Now it’s up to you to apply them to your life and become one yourself.

Working With The Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

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