What Makes Billionaires Different?

As a Life Adviser and consultant for over 200 of Asia’s richest families, Aur is often asked the question “How can I be rich too?” In response, she usually shares that there are only 5 things that make a billionaire different from others.

Aur: People often ask me how to be rich. Probably because I have advised, and befriended, many people who’ve made over a billion US dollars or more in their lives. I don’t mean those who’ve inherited money. All of my friends are have worked very hard to make their own millions and billions. Most of them came from poverty or unfortunate beginnings too. We call these people those who say: “We cannot choose to be born, but we can choose the life we live.”

First of all, when someone asks me how to be rich, I usually reply with a question. “Rich people and poor people, can you tell me the difference between these two? Forget about the money. What is different about who they are as people? Both have the same twenty four hours, both have the same physical and mental assets and tools. But why aren’t they the same? I ask the question to the person in front of me, “What is different between you, and a billionaire?”

Most of the time people will say that the billionaire has money and that they don’t. Or that the billionaire has opportunities that they never had. But if you look back to the childhoods of many of these now established billionaires, most of them started out just after World War 2. This was a very difficult time where money was incredibly scarce and there didn’t seem to be many opportunities for anyone. Many people couldn’t feed their families and some didn’t even have a place to stay. On top of it all the only jobs available were extremely low pay and hideous hours.

So if you think that those people had more money or better opportunities than you have, you’re wrong. The billionaires that I have personally spent time with had much less than you have right now.

5 Things That Make Billionaires Different

#1. They Make Opportunities


Firstly, they don’t wait for opportunities. Opportunities are already everywhere if you know what to look for. Everything in our lives has value. People with a “billionaire” mentality sees value in everything around them. One of my friends started collecting bottles off the streets at a young age, he learnt valuable business skills literally picking up garbage and being lucky to make pennies. Fast forward 50 years and he now owns one of the largest breweries in Asia, and the largest property development company in the region (+100 other companies). Another billionaire I know made the decision at age 6 that he would become rich. From that moment he taught himself every skill he could learn, from magic tricks, to decorating cakes. The wealth of knowledge and experience from these learning adventures built a passion for art that led to the creation of his now multi billion dollar beauty line empire. For people on their way to wealth, they see every moment as an opportunity to gain skills and create value for themselves and others.But they’re also relentless in their work attitude.

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#2. They Persistently Work Hard


If you want, you can take a day off. No problem. If you are sick, you can rest and stay in bed. Or worst case scenario, you can say “I QUIT!” and walk away. But if you own a company with hundreds or thousands of employees,  can you stop working? Can you take the day off? Business leaders don’t take days off. Actually, most rich people I know sleep only 3 hours a day, and mostly work the rest.

Do rich people really work that hard? Definitely! I personally know people like this, who own 250 or 300 companies and work almost every moment of every day. People think owning that many companies should be easy, because a lot of people would work for them, right? But, imagine this. You are the owner of a multi national company. One day, one of your executives finds a project and would like to invest $1 million dollars of the company’s money. There’s a good chance you will make money but the company may also loose the million.  But wait, the company is yours. So it’s YOUR money. If someone was going to risk your MILLION dollars, would you leave the decision to them? Not likely. And in big companies, the decisions happen every day.


#3 They Take Full Responsibility


If you own a company you can let people do a lot of jobs, but when it comes to decisions and direction in their business, the owners must take responsibility. Think about the weight of their decisions. To be rich in business you take full responsibility, not only for your own life, but for those of many others. For most people, if they make a mistake or fail, they can say sorry or shake it off and get up again. But when you’re responsible for the careers and livelihoods of some 100,000 staff members who work for you, a mistake YOU make can mean that all of those people may loose their ability to provide for themselves and their families. If you’re a billionaire, you can’t afford to make many mistakes. That’s why they usually don’t leave important decisions in their businesses to others. There’s too much at stake. Billionaires take full responsibility for their environment.

#4. Money isn’t the goal


This is counter intuitive, but the billionaires and millionaires that I have personally come to know, don’t care about making money. They care about finding and keeping the right people around them, because people can make money for them. Rich people focus on their people and relationship assets.  Actually if you’re rich enough, you don’t need money. Money is simply a form of credit. If you already have credit with others, you don’t need money.

For example, if many billionaires or millionaires want to trade on the stock market, they can call their brokers with whom they have created close trusted friendships with (this is a form of credit) and say “I want to buy so and so much of Share A”.  If they turn around and sell those shares within 72 hours, they’ll never have to actually pay for those shares. The sale will cover the purchase in settlement. The beauty is that they’ll still earn any profits gained from the trade. Rich people can literally make money without needing money. This is why credit, people, and relationships are much more important than money.

#5. The Contrast in Thinking

billionaires are different

Lastly, rich people often think along the lines of; “What can I create for others that they really want or better yet, need?”. Or “What makes me different from other people, and how can I use that to my advantage?”. Another question they often ask themselves is “Why do people have to do business with me and not someone else?”. Millionaires and billionaires think differently about their businesses and themselves. They focus their thinking on finding ways to make themselves irreplaceable and of undeniable value to others.

In contrast, poor people often think about how they are going to make money, or how to get something they want. For example a new car, or a nicer house, or clothes, etc. This is why you see many people who want to make more money or improve their lives, try selling things to others or do any side jobs that will give them more cash. I think that this is one of the reasons why MLM is so popular. So many people expect that if they try to sell something, people will naturally buy it. But they don’t usually think about why others should specifically buy from them and not from someone else. Or why the people actually need to have what they are selling. Instead, most poor people focus on cash. They just want the sale. Or the paycheck. They never think to make themselves irreplaceable, to truly master a valuable skill that helps others, or to create something that other people actually need. Instead they dream. Wishing and wondering “How can I get this, get that?” “How can I be rich?”.

If you want to ask me how to be rich, ask yourself; what’s different between you, and those who are rich right now? If you can just see what makes them different, you can be rich too.


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