Remember the title of that popular game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Who doesn’t, really? In this post-recession world (in which the financial climate is not yet entirely stable), dreams of massive affluence still animate the imaginations of many. This interest in forging successful career paths is also apparent from the plethora of online articles which promise to disclose daily habits ‘X’ of these financially successful people.
You’ve probably stumbled upon and perhaps even read at least one such post. Most of them are speculative in nature and rely on two-bit psychology. A recent Forbes article, however, takes a look at the five approaches to career success specifically adopted by millionaires. Let’s take a look at what contributor Ken Sundheim considers to be the five key ingredients of all millionaires careers:
- Open minds and active imaginations. “Tolerance and openness to good ideas breed belief, faith, and courage,” says Sundheim.
- ‘Impossible is nothing’. It seems that one of the keys to millionaires career success sounds a lot like the slogan for a popular sports shoe brand. Indeed, their mindset is more often focused on solutions, rather than problems.
- Unparalleled determination. Millionaires are success-oriented, and they believe they can make their dreams come true (irrespective of the obstacles they need to overcome on the way).
- Sway and influence. This is not to say that all millionaires are conniving and manipulative. Rather, they are positive, enthusiastic, and far more likely to inspire and gain favor with others than the average employee.
- Optimism in the face of hardship. Truly successful individuals will fail, pick themselves up, and try harder. They understand that no one is failure proof and would never let one small setback deter them from their course in the long run.
That being said, let’s take a look at the career paths of millionaires. Here are some of the world’s most famous rich people. We’ll also discuss the ways in which they have been applying the aforementioned tactics over the course of their careers.
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad
The Swedish man behind the world’s largest furniture retailer is massively rich. He wasn’t always so wealthy. In fact, his personal history includes quite a lot of hardship along with some rather controversial episodes. The young Kamprad saw World War II sweeping across Europe. Legend has it that he associated with the Fascist movement. Without a doubt, Kamprad is a man of immense open mindedness: how else would he have grown a business that started out from the need to store a table in a car trunk? The build-it-yourself philosophy that became synonymous with Ikea is also a prime example of focusing on solutions, not on problems. Kamprad managed to convince the entire world that it’s better to assemble your own tables and chairs instead of buying them pre-assembled. His renowned frugality is further proof of his determination; he recycles, drives a twenty year-old Volvo and reportedly buys his gift wrapping paper in post-Christmas sales.
PayPal co-founder & Facebook investor Peter Thiel
Thiel is another millionaire with a famously open mind. Not only is he involved in two of the world’s most successful online businesses, but he continues to look even further off into the future. The Thiel foundation is a charity. Running a charity attests to the man’s optimism and belief in a better tomorrow. But, the truly interesting thing is what kind of initiatives the organization chooses to invest into. Among the projects that it has helped fund thus far, there’s research on immortality, artificial intelligence, and ocean-borne floating cities. Talk about a man who’s sure of his forward-thinking vision!
Media mogul Warren Buffett
Buffett is 83 years old. That hasn’t stopped him from continually signing lucrative deals and turning profits. For instance, in 2013, Buffett bought out the Heinz ketchup and condiments company for $23.2 billion, invested some $4 billion in ExxonMobil, and purchased NV Energy for $5.6 billion via one of the subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway. Throughout it all, he remained a consummate optimist and philanthropist. He did not shy away from donating an impressive $2 billion in stock for Berkshire Hathaway to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett, a notoriously self-made millionaire, also happens to be one of the world’s most generous donors. Throughout his lifetime, he has donated $20 billion. And he’s also incredibly open to new ideas. When asked what the best investment he ever made was, he responded by saying it was the 1949 purchase of The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. Nowadays, he’s revered by all in the business world. Analysts have jokingly nicknamed him The Oracle of Omaha. Among his most recent pieces of advice was that of focusing on potential profits accrued in time (instead of just riding a momentary wave of market enthusiasm).