Want to Be In the One Percent Club? Here's How to Work Like A Billionaire

Lucy Tobin hunts out the habits that billionaires share, so you can get a piece of the action.

02 November, 2018
Want to Be In the One Percent Club? Here's How to Work Like A Billionaire

What makes a tycoon different from you or me?

It's not just (really) big hair and the ability to leave a hotel without stuffing their suitcase with the complimentary miniatures. It’s the way they think. Steve Siebold, author of How Rich People Think, spent nearly three decades interviewing the mega- wealthy and found that the majority of us non-billionaires think with a ‘lottery’ mentality, while those who have propelled themselves to the one percent (that’s the richest one percent of the population who own half the world’s wealth) tend to have an ‘action’ mentality. “While the masses are waiting to pick the right (lottery) numbers, the great ones are solving problems,” he says. So if you want to add some more zeros to your bank balance (or just keep on top of your rent and an online shopping addiction), it’s time to adopt these habits and start thinking like the super-rich.


Have at least 3 sources of income

It’s time to get that side hustle on the go. Billionaires have multiple forms of income— Thomas Corley, who spent five years interviewing more than 200 self-made billionaires and millionaires for his book Rich Habits, found that 65 percent of them had at least three different sources of money making its way into their accounts. Those sources include earned income (a salary), profit (from selling goods), and capital gains (investment).

DO IT: It may be tricky to make like Ashton Kutcher (who is said
to be close to billionaire status
thanks to investments in Skype and Airbnb) when you don’t actually have anything to invest—but things are changing. Mutual fund investment apps like Piggy helps you plan all your investments and reach your financial life goals, along with tax planning. And savings apps such as Money Lover help you keep track of all the money you spend so you can check what consumes most of your salary and cut back in those areas. As for profit? Start by selling off stuff you no longer use on OLX, or see whether any of your hobbies could translate into a viable online business.

Stay 100 percent focused

Self-made billionaires are constantly scanning the world for untapped opportunities—and when they find one, they focus on it with tunnel vision, according to research into the personality of 1,300 billionaires carried out by accountancy firm PwC and investment bank UBS.

DO IT:  At work, keep your attention on the task at hand. The above report found that “none of the meetings we had [with billionaires] were disrupted by an assistant. There were no calls, and none of them looked at their mobile to check messages. When they are with you, they focus 100 percent.” Make a vow to only check your phone at certain times of the day—and try mono-tasking (working through your to-do list one job at a time).

Be ruthlessly self-aware

You know how the room falls silent at the end of a meeting when the speaker asks whether anyone has questions? That wouldn’t happen at a billionaire meet-up. While most of us are afraid to look stupid, the super-successful think grilling someone is the best way to find out about everything. “Billionaires tend to be very curious and open-minded,” says Steve. “They just want to win at whatever game they’re playing, and it’s easier to copy genius than it is to create it.”

DO IT: It’s not just questions about the world that billionaires want the answers to—they also constantly ask about themselves and their business. “Most of the self- made millionaires in my study were fanatics when it came to obtaining feedback,” says Thomas. Yup: it’s time to ditch the fear and start asking how you’re doing. Don’t just look to your boss—your colleagues who work beside you should have some useful insight. If you’ve scheduled a one-on-one with your boss, remember that five questions are enough.


Billionaires always have a book on the go. Thomas found that, on average, they tend to read two books a month—and not for entertainment. Warren Buffett (the world’s third-richest man) says he spends 80 percent of his day reading.

DO IT: “The book often cited in interviews, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand,” says Steve. Oprah Winfrey says The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle is one of the books that helped her, and Mark Zuckerberg swears by Creativity, Inc by Edwin Catmull (co-founder of Pixar).

By Lucy Tobin

This article was published in February 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan India