These 3 Key Traits Separate Billionaires From the Rest of Us

Alyssa Atkinson

These are the ones you need to know about.

Photo by AB on Unsplash

One billion dollars is a lot of money. So much, in fact, that your odds of winning an Oscar are greater than your odds of becoming a billionaire.

However, just because you may never acquire the kind of wealth that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet have, doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable lessons to be obtained from these kinds of individuals. In reality, learning from the most skilled people in any field of work is one of the absolute best ways to find greater success in your own life. 

I studied electrical and computer engineering in college because I have always loved technology, innovation, and creative problem solving. I regularly read up on the latest and greatest new products from companies like Tesla and Microsoft, and their CEOs just so happen to be two incredibly well-known billionaires. 

Interestingly enough, there are a few key traits that separate the billionaires from the rest of the world, including the millionaires, which places them in the top 0.0002 percent of the planet’s population

While I don’t expect that I will ever become a billionaire, I have tried to apply some of their key habits to my own life to build up my savings, and I think they are worth sharing. The following are three traits that separate the billionaires from everyone else in the world, including the millionaires. 

1. They aren’t afraid to do this. 

Most people who have reached billionaire status haven’t done so without taking some pretty big risks. 

Warren Buffet played the stock market. Elon Musk invested his PayPal earnings into Tesla and SpaceX. These were huge risks that ultimately paid off. 

The truth is, if you never take risks in life, you could miss out on a lot of great opportunities, especially in the financial world. 

As a constant worrier, this billionaire trait has been one of the hardest for me to adopt. However, I have made a goal for 2021 to get my feet wet with investing. I plan to do so at a small scale since I have very little experience investing in stocks, but it will still give me some experience when I finally do decide to take the plunge and invest

The main takeaway here is that taking risks is necessary to make financial gains, and billionaires have shown us that big risks truly can lead to big rewards. 

2. They don’t climb the corporate ladder. 

When I was nearing the end of college, I was torn on what to do next. I had some job interviews lined up in my field of study, and I did pursue a few to keep my options open. 

However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it just wasn’t the right path for me at this time. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that both my parents work from home and my father has been self employed for almost twenty years. I have seen first hand some of the perks of working remotely, building your own brand, and being your own boss. 

Ultimately, I decided to take a leap of faith and pursue freelance writing and online re-selling, and it has made me happier than I ever could have imagined. 

As it turns out, the billionaires of the world also build their own brands. Bill Gates, whose net worth is estimated at $107 billion, founded Microsoft. Brian Chesky, who co-founded Airbnb, has a net worth of about $3.7 billion. On the other hand, Tim Cook, who runs a tech company worth almost $1 trillion (Apple), is worth far less, at around $625 million

The point is, those who make it to billionaire status don’t do so by working for someone else’s large corporation. Instead, they create their own company with innovative products that fill a gap in society. 

I have applied this strategy to my own life through building my online business and establishing my brand, and you can do the same. It doesn’t even have to be your main source of income. My freelance writing started off as a small side hustle, and grew from there. The key takeaway here is to find your passion, and make time to pursue it. 

3. They are shockingly frugal. 

This one surprised even me. After all, billionaires have more money than they could ever possibly spend. 

However, many of them are actually known for being frugal, because they share the following key trait:

“They get pleasure making money, but don’t enjoy spending it…Take for example, Warren Buffett, the fourth-richest person in the world with a net worth of around $87.3 billion. Despite his massive wealth, the 88-year-old still lives in the same modest Omaha house he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 (which is around $277,000 in today’s dollars).”

Now, to the average person, $277,000 dollars is a lot of money. For a billionaire, it is essentially pennies. So, it appears that some of the wealthiest people truly are quite frugal with their money. 

In recent years, I have tried to adopt the same habit, and minimize my own spending as much as possible. I know the rush that I get purchasing a pair of jeans I don’t need or new shoes that I will hardly wear won’t last, and that money would be better off saved or invested for future returns. 

The takeaway here is to be frugal with your money. Fancy cars and designer clothes will depreciate over time, but long term investments have the potential to grow your wealth immensely. Plus, you never know when an emergency could pop up, and you will be glad to have extra cash saved up when it does. 

Final Thoughts

While most of us will never reach it to billionaire status, we can learn a thing or two from people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. 

My ultimate goal is to achieve financial security so that I can live a comfortable life and not have to worry about making enough money to pay for rent, groceries, utilities, and other necessities. 

If you work hard, take calculated risks, devote time to building your own brand in some capacity, and are frugal with your money, success will eventually find you. 

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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