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5 Successful People Who Got Rich with a Leisurely Lifestyle

5 Successful People Who Got Rich with a Leisurely Lifestyle

I know a very rich woman who insists on travelling on low cost flights to her holiday destinations! Now, that is not my idea of how rich people can enjoy a leisurely lifestyle. I am looking around for some much better examples which will inspire us. How did these people make all that money and do they really enjoy and value a relaxed lifestyle? Wealth is not just about money, you know!

1. Carlos Slim Helu’

With a wealth of around $81 billion, Carlos is regarded as the world’s richest man, and he has held that position for at least three years. So, how did he get rich and does he has a leisurely lifestyle?

He has made his fortune with the telecommunications industry in Mexico and far beyond. But his wealth has penetrated almost every industry and service in Mexico. It is no surprise to hear that his country is now referred to as “Slimlandia.” How did he do it? His fans say that he was successful because he recognizes an undervalued company when he sees it and buys it.

He also has an amazing talent for numbers and that helped him in his decision to buy into Cigatim, one of the largest tobacco companies in Mexico. They were the ones who made Marlboro cigarettes. He has also a great talent at putting companies together into monopolies, and specializing in telecommunications.

He is passionate about fine art and has named the new museum in honor of his late wife Soumaya, which houses a fantastic art collection and the value of the paintings and sculptures there are said to be worth over $400 million. He loves the Rodin sculptures especially.

He loves driving himself around Mexico city although he is surrounded by bodyguards in blacked out 4x4s.

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His idea of leisure is a very practical one. He is advocating that people should only work a 3 day week so that they have more time for entertainment, hobbies and spending time with loved ones. He is also a firm advocate of chasing away negative thoughts which can be toxic.

“Do not allow negative feelings and emotions to control your mind. Emotional harm does not come from others; it is conceived and developed within ourselves.”

—Carlos Slim

2. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison is brash, very rich and has an inflated ego. He now ranks as the world’s ninth richest person and has a wealth worth around $46 billion. He says that he first used Facebook on a daily basis for three months. While he was doing that he found out what his friends were having for breakfast. He discovered that this was not so interesting! But the Facebook experience convinced him that if you or your company do not move forward with technology, then you are dead in the water. He is fond of quoting Woody Allen on this one.

“A relationship, I think, is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.”

—Woody Allen

Larry Ellison always wanted to be rich so that he could always have enough time to go hiking in the Yosemite Valley. He already had his priorities right about a leisurely lifestyle. But he was made acutely aware of the fragility of our human existence in a terrible sailing accident in 1998 when six of his crewmates were killed in a typhoon. He survived and this convinced him of the need to treasure our time on this earth.

“I’ve known for a long time that life is glorious and fragile and short,”

—Larry Ellison

It also made him keenly aware of the need to get his work-life balance right. He always says that the measure of his success is not his actual wealth but how happy he is.

One of the secrets to Ellison’s success is that he has always ignored the critics who thought his ideas were crazy. If there were no factual errors in their criticism, he completely disregarded them. He has always said he used the following criteria in his business decisions:

  • if they are fair
  • if they are morally correct
  • if they work

 3. Amancio Ortega

Imagine building a fashion empire that reaches into over 80 countries. That is what the founder of Zara, Amancio Ortega, has done with incredible success. There are only 46 Zara stores in the US while China has 347! It is no surprise that he is the third wealthiest person on the planet. He is incredibly secretive and there are very few photographs of him available.

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In one rare interview, he revealed the secret of his success. He follows two simple rules. The first is that you give customers what they want. The second is that you deliver it to them faster than anyone else.

In the poor town of La Coruna where he grew up, he spotted an ideal workforce in the fishermen’s wives who were eager to earn extra cash sewing garments. These were organized into sewing cooperatives and so the first optimal supply chain was born. A lot of Zara’s success is due to accurate consumer feedback on what they want to buy plus the fact that Zara stores restock at lightning speed.

Ortega has shunned the celebrity lifestyle. He lives in a house with a sea view in La Coruna and goes to his country residence to enjoy raising chickens and goats and to stay with his family. He loves going on hiking pilgrimages and horse riding. His lifestyle is summed up as “absolute normality.” As he hates flying, he rarely travels so the chances of you meeting him in business class are about zero.

4. Miuccia Prada

“Rich people need to be entertained more and more. And then I think, ‘Let’s not entertain anymore. Let’s be simple.””

—Miuccia Prada

Miuccia Prada’s grandfather ran a leather goods shop in Milan. He probably never thought his granddaughter would have transformed that business into a global fashion empire. She is thought to be the single most important influence in contemporary fashion. Miuccia Prada’s wealth is now estimated at around $13 billion.

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The secret of her success is that she was able to identify what men were prepared to try in fashion. Her plan was to promote much more freedom in men’s clothes. She started by looking at what they were wearing on the golf course and took inspiration from that. She has applied similar ideas to women’s clothes with the overall aim of making women stronger and men more sensitive through what they are wearing. Another secret to her success is the fact that she is intensely competitive and she is also fiercely creative.

As to a leisurely lifestyle, Miuccia Prada treasures some simple pleasures such as playing cards, music, gardening and also watching football. Her home is always full of people and she obviously enjoys company, and has kept up her old school acquaintances. Her secret passion is sailing and she keeps her boat in a southern Italian port but I am not allowed to tell you where it is!

5. Larry Page

Larry Page and Google are household names. The fact that “google” has already become a verb is a tribute to Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s success. Page’s wealth is estimated at $31 billion. The first thing that strikes you about Larry Page is his complete commitment to the future because he is passionately interested in biotech and robotics which he hopes will extend the lifespan of human beings. He regularly talks about how life will be in the next century and that many of our problems as human beings on this rather tired planet will, hopefully, be solved.

He advises companies not to concentrate on producing the same things as their competitors with minor improvements. This sort of incremental progress will fail over time. He recommends that companies focus much less on their competitors. He claims that Google has only tackled about 1% of what can be done to make people’s lives better. He advocates that companies be much more adventurous in tackling the 99% of virgin territory out there.

“If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.”

—Larry Page

As for a leisurely lifestyle. Larry Page loves kite boarding and often goes to Richard Branson’s NeckerIsland to fly over the waves there. The private Google jet only seats 50 people whereas it was originally designed for 180. Nobody knows how the interior has been changed. There are rumors that there are hammocks on that plane but I have no reliable source to confirm that!

Featured photo credit: Larry Ellison on Stage/ Oracle PR via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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