What is it that self-made billionaires have that most people don’t apart from money? What is so special about them? How are they able to create such massive value? This book dives into these questions. Dr. John Sviokla, head of Global Thought Leadership at PwC, and Mitch Cohen, vice chairman at PwC, decided to investigate these questions by interviewing a random sample of 120 out of 600 self-made billionaires to connect the dots and find out what exactly they all have in common. People usually think that they all tend to be in one specific industry, however, there are billionaires in essentially every industry. The points taken away are:
1. Luck has nothing to do with the success of a self-made billionaire. As the billionaire Charlie Munger has once said, “To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.” This statement holds true as the “data convinced us that luck alone does not explain the success of self-made billionaires, given that more than 90 percent of them have launched multiple successful businesses.“
2. The age at which self-made billionaires started at plays a huge factor. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, he proposes that those who are at the top of any given industry aren’t necessarily naturally talented, but rather, that they have put in roughly 10,000 hours in to fine tuning their craft and thus became successful due to their practice. “[Billionaires] often exhibit early entrepreneurial drive: more than 50 percent had a first job before age eighteen; nearly 30 percent had launched their first entrepreneurial venture before age twenty-two; and almost 75 percent before age thirty.“
3. Self-made billionaires have a unique sense of imagination and ability to think. They’re able to imagine the impossible and turn it into the possible. Just as Einstein has once said, “imagination is more powerful than knowledge”. It would appear that self-made billionaires have the boundless capacity to imagine.
4. Self-made billionaires have an insatiable curiosity and to take action to find out the answers to their questions. “In our research we observed a direct connection between a habit of curiosity in the billionaire population and the discovery of an idea that created a billion-dollar business.“
5. There are two types of self-made billionaires: producers, and performers. The producers are the ones with the ideas. The performers are the ones who are able to make it happen. In the beginning they partnered up with their counterpart and thus created an unstoppable team. One would produce, while the other would perform. Examples would be Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, and Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight of Nike.
By Ryan Lee
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