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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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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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