(This article was first published in The Economic Times.)
It wasn’t luck or chance that made them billionaires. It took hard work, discipline and resilience, among other traits. Saurin Parikh compiles the vital lessons to imbibe from the world’s eight richest men.
Co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft
Rs 5,11,125 crore
LESSON: Focus on a goal.
Gates believes in setting a clear goal and working hard towards it. The process includes finding the right measure to track the goal. His genius lies in his ability to identify the right aim and his relentless pursuit of it.
Founder and former Chairman of Inditex, the company that owns Zara
Rs 4,56,605 crore
LESSON: Don’t be content, strive for more.
Ortega feels becoming self-satisfied is the worst thing one can do to oneself. Grow or die, he once famously said. He did not allow himself to be content with what he had and instead worked to innovate and achieve more.
Investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
Rs 4,14,352 crore
LESSON: Excel in your area of expertise.
Buffett’s value investing strategy is often considered old-fashioned and stodgy, because it takes years to pay off. But that doesn’t deter him. He believes and trusts his approach, and that has made him the world’s most successful value investor.
Owner of Grupo Carso, Mexico
Rs 3,40,750 crore
LESSON: Be frugal.
Known as the “frugal billionaire,” Slim lives in a modest house and drives himself around. He funnels his earnings back into his businesses, rather than spending it on himself. Wealth is like an orchard that you have to reinvest and grow, he says.
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com
Rs 3,08,038 crore
LESSON: Innovate without fearing failure.
People must have the courage to fail, believes Bezos. He experiments without worrying about failing. He looks at each failure as an opportunity to gather data and improve and never obsesses over instant success.
Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook
Rs 3,03,949 crore
LESSON: Adapt quickly, don’t try to control everything.
When faced with criticism, Zuckerberg reacts swiftly and changes according to the situation. A lot of innovation at Facebook happens without his influence, which has allowed the company to be built on user interaction.
Co-founder and former CEO of Oracle Corporation
Rs 2,97,134 crore
LESSON: Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Ellison believes that success doesn’t come without risk. Most people fail to start something because of risk. But the ones like him who do take on risk manage to reach pinnacles of success.
Founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP
Rs 2,72,600 crore
LESSON: Come prepared and be confident.
Whenever Bloomberg faces a storm, he shows up confidently and comes prepared. His ability to do so instills confidence in the people around him. As a leader, he influences the response of others in challenging situations.
Net worth source: Oxfam International;
Exchange rate: $1 = Rs 68.15