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The Life Secrets That 8 Self-Made Billionaires Want You To Know

The Life Secrets That 8 Self-Made Billionaires Want You To Know

As the world’s richest man, I feel I’m somewhat of an authority on the subject, so listen up.

Okay, just kidding. But I do have some quotes from some of the most successful people of our time explaining their perseverance, struggles, and triumphs. This group of highly successful business owners and entrepreneurs all have words of wisdom to impart on us all pertaining to integrity, innovation, and courage. Regardless of our ambitions in life, we should all take a minute to listen to what they have to say.

1. Jeff Bezos talks about standing alone

The founder of Amazon has offered his advice in the past, but none of his words stand out more than the following:

“I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.”

It makes sense: If your ideas were easily understood, everyone would have them, and they wouldn’t be multi-billion dollar ideas. There are a few ways to go about being misunderstood. One, you must find a way to connect your extravagant ideas to everyday life (which Bezos clearly has done, knowing how many people would rather order from Amazon than step foot in the mall). Two, you must be able to explain your ideas clearly. Though your thoughts may be pie-in-the-sky, you must keep yourself grounded.

2. Sara Blakely wants you to make mistakes

No, not so she can keep the success all to herself. This businesswoman wants you to not be afraid of making mistakes.

She says “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”

Think of it like this: If you try one hundred different ideas, ninety-nine of them might fail. But if just one of those ideas is a $10 million idea, you earned $100,000 for each idea you came up with, even if the vast majority of them failed. That’s not a bad return on investment at all.

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3. Michael Bloomberg can never lose a dare

The former mayor of New York City seems intent on proving people wrong.

“To a contrarian like me, constant advice not to do something almost always starts me quickly down the risky, unpopular path,” he says.

My mother is the same way (except she’s no billionaire, unfortunately). Any time someone told her “we can’t do it that way,” she would respond with “why not?” and proceed to complete whatever task she had set her mind to, and do it her own way. It might not make her incredibly popular with her peers and colleagues, but she can go home every day knowing she’s made her own mark on this world in some way or another.

4. Warren Buffett talks simplicity

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

Here freakin’ here. The self-made billionaire is talking about wasting time placing blame and becoming complacent, which only serves to dig us deeper into a rut. Instead of all of this, Buffett advises we keep pushing forward, and not dwelling on past mistakes or shortcomings. By letting go of this excess baggage, we are better able to focus on the task at hand, as well as issues that may arise in the future.

5. Larry Ellison talks lack of privilege

“I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.”

In that short sentence, Ellison sums up a lifetime of hard work. He earned everything he ever owned, and because of that, never grew to think he was owed something by the outside world. Especially in today’s age, many of us feel like the world owes us something, when in actuality it’s the other way around. Acknowledging that the world only owes us that which we give back to it is the first step toward becoming self-sufficient and successful.

6. Bill Gates wants you to listen to the critics

It might be hard, but hearing what you’re doing wrong is the first step toward changing up your approach to make it more successful.

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“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” Gates says.

Imagine if nobody ever told you your ideas were terrible? You’d wake up one day at 60 years old wondering why you never accomplished anything. Though many critics (read: trolls) exist simply to bruise your ego, most critics want to see you succeed, and will offer advice on how to get there. Even though it may be hard to hear about your shortcomings, listen to the naysayers, and use their comments as a springboard to success.

7. Elon Musk wants you to strive to be the best you

“Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

Along with Gates’ suggestions, entrepreneur Elon Musk wants you to be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you constantly think you’re the best at something, you’ll never get any better. If you acknowledge you have a lot to learn, you will start on the path to learning it. And as you go, you’ll realize you still have more to learn, and will keep going down that path. The minute you stop and think you know it all is when you truly will fail.

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8. Mark Zuckerberg thinks you should be yourself

The founder of Facebook, and one of the youngest billionaires in the world, says “I think that people just have this core desire to express who they are. And I think that’s always existed.”

Of course. It’s so simple. Be yourself! Why didn’t I think of that? In all honesty, so many of us actually don’t think this way. Almost anyone I could ask would rather be doing something else than the job they’re currently stuck in. Even my friends who make good money didn’t see themselves doing what they’re currently doing. Sure, you have to pay the bills somehow, but you should never give up the passions you have in life in exchange for the almighty dollar. The most successful people in the world got there not by following the dollar; they got there by following their dreams, and the money followed them.

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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