Fame and fortune are both mysterious and fickle. What is it that makes one person wealthy and famous, while the rest of his or her friends or colleagues are left behind? While it's true that money can't buy you happiness, at least on a long-term basis, it can definitely buy you the freedom to do what you want in life. And that is worth a lot.
While most everyone harbors a secret (or maybe not-so-secret) desire to be either rich, famous--or both--this is particularly true for members of the Millennial generation. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 81 percent of Millennials said that getting rich is their generation's first or second most important life goal, and 51 percent said the same about getting famous.
So, what is it exactly that the rich and famous do differently from the rest of us, and how can you adopt some of these habits in your own life? Consider these nine life hacks of the rich and famous.
1. Focus your attention on what's most important
The most successful people I know actively guard their time, focusing only on the people and things that are most important to them from moment to moment. They simply don't waste time doing things that don't help them achieve their goals.
2. Expect perfection (but accept excellence)
The rich and famous expect perfection from everyone they work and deal with, but they also are willing to accept excellence. What they won't tolerate for one minute is less than the best effort or service from anyone.
3. Make lots of small bets
The rich and famous are not gamblers by nature--they achieved, grew, and maintained their wealth and fame by making many small bets, not one or two large bets that would expose them to excessive risk.
4. Guard your integrity
Integrity is one of the very most important qualities that truly rich and famous people have--it creates valuable trust that enables them to get deals done that others can't touch.
5. Make your own rules
When you make your own rules--and get others to play accordingly--then you control the game, and to a great degree, the outcomes. This doesn't mean breaking the law, but instead optimizing your approach within it and pushing the envelope whenever possible.
6. Give more than you take
No one likes working with someone who constantly tries to take advantage of other people. The rich and famous know this, and they provide value greater than they take--so much so that they attract the most successful opportunities to themselves. People want to work with them.
7. Leverage imbalance
Instead trying to succeed on a level playing field, find ways to tilt it in your favor, and then leverage the opportunities that result. You can tilt the playing field by anticipating the future course of business, and then positioning yourself in advance to be there when change arrives.
8. Make your own luck
The rich and famous don't believe in luck--they know that they have to create their own opportunities, and then act on them. Luck is simply where preparation and opportunity meet.
9. Volunteer--and network
It's not a coincidence that the rich and famous are some of the largest donors to social causes, community-based organizations, and nonprofits. They are passionate about leaving the world a better place than they found it, and they put their time and their money where their mouth is. Not only do they change the world for the better as a result of these efforts, they extend their networks, which helps further build their fame and fortune.