We're endlessly fascinated by self-made billionaires. We're all curious to know if there is a particular set of qualities that separates the ultra-wealthy from the rest of us mortals. In truth, every rags to riches story and entrepreneur is very different.
Still, some proven similarities keep cropping up over and over again. Many billionaires got to where they are now by possessing simple money making habits that launched them to the top.
Here are some of those easy habits that you can sprinkle into your own life to supercharge your financial and personal success:
They view luxury differently
What do Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, and Sara Blakely have in common?
Besides having three commas in their net worth, they all have investment accounts. That's because they view investing as the biggest luxury in life. They know that paying their future selves and empowering their life goals and dreams is much more of a treat than some new clothing.
You don't have to live the life of a monk, but the next time you get a tax return or have some extra money because you just got a raise, consider this: Is that money better spent at a mall or on your future?
They don't take "no" for an answer
One thing all billionaires and big thinkers have in common is that they were told "no" at some point in their lives. The trick is to keep swimming against the tide. Take Spanx founder Sara Blakely and author J.K. Rowling, for example. The Harry Potter writer was rejected countless times before being published. And Blakely's Spanx prototype was originally turned down before someone eventually agreed to manufacture it. Now these two women are among the wealthiest people alive.
Realize that "no" is just someone's opinion, nothing more. The difference with these success stories is that they pushed forward past these bad experiences and rejections, and even used them as a springboard for success. They realize that no rejection is set in stone-it's just one person's (often flawed) viewpoint.
They spend differently
The truly successful know that having a big paycheck is different than actually being wealthy. They avoid the "golden handcuff" syndrome by not automatically correlating more income with more spending.
Even uber-billionaire Warren Buffett lives in a $31,500 house, and Mark Zuckerberg drives a $30,000 Volkswagen GI. Having billions does not mean always buying flashy things, but investing in yourself, rainy day funds, and future entrepreneurial endeavors.
Automating money transfers from your checking account to your savings is a great way to start tucking away funds. Even a few dollars stashed away every month can make a big difference for your future success.
They take (smart) risks
As Bill Gates wisely said, "To win big, sometimes you have to take big risks." It's not always easy to take a leap of faith on a new investment or business venture, but if you want to climb the ladder to millionaire or billionaire status, risks are a part of the game. For instance, Oprah Winfrey famously quit her comfortable job as a news anchor in Baltimore to host a small television show in Chicago. She took a risk, and she continues that habit in her massively successful career today.
This obviously doesn't mean you should make rash or careless decisions. Make smart, calculated risks and back them up with smart contingency plans in case things don't go your way. You can start with baby steps, like taking on that new project or applying for that new job.
They always network
Billionaires didn't get to where they are all on their own. Their insane success and wealth isn't a result of just putting their noses to the grindstone; they also harness the power of meaningful networking.
Thomas Corley, who studied the wealthy in Rich Habits: The Daily Success Secrets of Entrepreneurs, found that 79 percent of wealthy people spend at least five hours a month networking-whether it's through conferences, client meetings, or just getting coffee at Starbucks.
An easy way to start is by penciling in meetings with professional groups in your area. There are groups for almost every field imaginable, and they'd love to lend a helping hand as a professional Sherpa while learning something from you as well. And who knows? You might find that next business connection that will take you to the top.
They set smart goals
We all have hopes and dreams, but the truly successful make those dreams into a reality by setting the right goals. That same study by Corley also found that wealthy individuals consistently set specific, attainable goals.
"If you want your wish or dream to come true, you need to create goals around them, pursue those goals, and achieve those goals. You need to break your wish or dream down into manageable tasks that you are able to perform. The accumulation, over time, of the completed goals will move you forward toward realizing your dream." Corley writes.
In other words, keep reaching for the impossible, but ground it in reality through stretch goals. If you want to become a millionaire, aim to start investing X dollars every month-before you know it, you'll get there.
They use personal time to invest in themselves
A major difference between wealthy entrepreneurs and the average Joe/Jane is what they do in their down time.
What little personal time wealthy and successful people have isn't spent binge-watching Silicon Valley until 3 a.m. In fact, Thomas Corley also found that around 70 percent of rich people only watched TV for less than an hour a day.
Instead, many of them invest in pastimes that improve them and their business. For instance, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett voraciously read nonfiction books. Oprah makes a habit of working out every morning before she goes to work. So put down the remote and exercise, learn a language, read an inspiring autobiography. If you use your downtime to better your future self, you'll not only have fun, you'll see your personal success soar.
Have you developed any powerful money-making habits? I want to hear them!