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3 Misconceptions About Self-Made Billionaires


I’ve had the honor and privilege to have worked with seven billionaires during my short life span - some in which I still call friend today. I say it’s a privilege because most people around the WORLD will never get the opportunity to have direct access to a billionaire nor will they become one. However, there are many misconceptions that exist about how they make money and how the average person can apply the same principles into their OWN lives.

In this post I want to dispel some of what I believe to be the common myths that the public think about the Billionaire Class. I want to emphasize these are only my OBSERVATIONS – not LAWS or RULES. I also want to say, I am speaking about the billionaires who are SELF-MADE, not those with inherited wealth. They have an entirely different set of struggles and misconceptions.

My hope is that after reading these 3 misconceptions about self-made billionaires that you will be able to discern the reality not just the celebrity.

Misconception #1: Most Billionaires are in Forbes Magazine

Reality: Most billionaires are NOT in Forbes magazine & don’t want to be.

I remember one of my Billionaire friends getting so upset because a Wealth Magazine had highlighted him and some of his family without permission. They sent a Cease and Desist Letter threatening to sue the publication. This was a very iconic publication and I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to be recognized for his accomplishment. I asked what the problem was and my friend looked back at me and quoted the poet Notorious B.I.G, “The more money people know you have, the more problems you seek.” At first this didn’t make sense to me because I thought about all the famous people I know who are rich! However, he then said to me, “They made/make their money from being famous or they are promoting their company or brand from being famous. Most of us want to stay unknown so that we can live a quiet life.”

Misconception #2: Being a Jack of all Trades Leads to a Billionaire's Success

Reality: Being a jack of all trades doesn’t get you to billionaire or even millionaire in most cases.

Being a jack of all trades doesn’t get you to billionaire. It’s good to learn many things, but stick to one thing. I learned it is important to be very good at one specific thing.

For example, take a look at these billionaires:

  • Mark Zuckerberg

  • Technology and Facebook

  • Oprah Winfrey

  • Many businesses, but is mainly a Self Help TV Host and an Inspirational Brand.

  • Richard Branson

  • Is a Maverick and Disruptor in a myriad of industries, but sticks to the Brand of VIRGIN – creating culture for the consumer experience.

  • Warren Buffet

  • Invest across numerous industries, but sticks to becoming a Value Investor.

Most billionaires make their money through concentrating on one industry. I have a phrase I use, “ Wealth is created through CONCENTRATION, wealth is preserved through DIVERSIFICATION.”

Misconception #3: Billionaires think everything through before beginning anything

Reality: Billionaires are bias for action (even after they’ve made billions). Action always trumps information.

I cannot tell you the amount of meetings I’ve sat in where some TOP 10 MBA is giving all of this analysis to the billionaire and they ask the question, “So, tell me what should I do?” Every time, most MBAs say, “Well sir, the decision is up to you.”

You see, what many times makes the winners in capitalism is not the smartest people, or the most capable, rather those who have the information and actually DO SOMETHING with it. Action always trumps information.

I don’t care how much you know or how smart you are – it’s about ACTION. Ironically, most billionaires I know are not the smartest people I know. They are simply the ones who took the most ACTION.

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