We may never have stopped to ask such a question. But are there features common to all billionaires? Would it be possible to draw a well-defined or at least noticeable profile that would allow us to identify the difference between an individual who builds so much wealth and others?
It's notorious that we are surrounded by extremely wealthy people. If not for their physical presence, for the expression of their riches in our daily lives. From the clothes we wear, the perfume we wear, the fast foods we go to, favorite TV shows, and social networks we're part of.
Billionaires "dominate" our daily lives. But what in fact would have brought them to the point where they arrived, and how can this influence our future life?
There are those who believe that all this has an explanation. Arouse your curiosity, read this summary.
"Billionaires: What do They Have in Common Beside Nine Zeros Before the Point?", first published in 2014, author Ricardo Geromel shared his long experience of investigating the routine of successful people.
He reveals the extreme excitement developed by his work and makes a point of emphasizing the relevance of the knowledge he has absorbed.
In the beginning, it's helpful to try to end the prejudice that comes to mind when we think about it. Now, what is so interesting about focusing on the lives of these very rich individuals, when millions more cry out for our attention for the misery that enslaves them?
But Geromel tries to argue that, amidst a sea of judgments, one of the common features of billionaires is precisely the spirit of nobility that carries their philanthropic actions. And that, according to him, they will end the misery in this same generation.
The work is an analysis of the differentiated behavior that qualifies these rich people and what is the real influence they have and can exert on the world.
Fluent in 5 languages, Ricardo Geromel has worked on 5 continents in different sectors as an agricultural commodity trader for Noble Group, Asia's largest diversified trading company in Hong Kong, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
He also worked as Project Manager at Guinea Conakry for Bolloré Group, a French conglomerate operating Asia's largest integrated logistics network, responsible for several Brazilian funds control by companies such as Vale and Odebrecht.
He started a soccer startup in China to bring professionals to be trained in Brazil and was managing partner of Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a professional football team in Florida, who had Ronaldo as one of the partners.
Being also one of the founders of San Francisco Deltas, a professional football team created as a startup in the world's capital of innovation.
"Billionaires" it's highly suitable for entrepreneurs looking to improve themselves in business, as understanding the trajectory of successful people can be critical to their own growth.
In this sense, Geromel defines behavioral aspects essential for the construction of billions. According to him, such characters are present in all billionaires. To be more precise, the author explores such attributes as extremely valuable and applicable in all areas of life, making his book very useful for all types of readers.
To prepare you for what lies ahead, here are some Geromel insights that support you in becoming a billionaire.
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In this first part of "Billionaires", the author presents what may surprise many: the true pleasure of billionaires is in building, not in spending. He gives several examples to corroborate the idea that money cannot be an end in itself, the ultimate goal.
The real pleasure here is walking, passion for work, dedication, abdication. Building wealth implies giving up many things, such as the enjoyment of consumerism, which is characteristic of the human being in general.
Humility and material simplicity reflect on the personality devoted to learning, discovering, venturing, and winning.
Geromel cites, for example, Warren Buffet, the second richest American ($65 billion in 2014), who chose to deprive his family of the knowledge of his wealth in order to protect the character he would like to embed in his children. They attended public schools and used city buses for transportation.
In the second part, we learn that for the Ricardo Geromel, an indispensable aspect of this journey to the billions is to understand that a billionaire must be an employer, not an employee. A striking feature of these people is their perception that it's necessary to undertake to grow financially at such a level.
Of course, there are excellent jobs in many areas, but it would never be possible to build such great wealth without becoming entrepreneurial. Ah, there are the heirs, of course. But they are not the focus of Geromel's analysis.
Building your own business is a desire rooted in the hearts of those who get so rich. Interesting to point out a detail brought by the author:
"There are no excuses not to undertake."
He brings up a list of unlikely billionaires, recounts their stories, and concludes that regardless of our starting point, we are all able to roll up our sleeves and start our own venture.
A speech by Steve Case - AOL founder billionaire (America Online) - summarizes this very important aspect of Ricardo:
"No matter what you do in life, your ability to succeed will be largely dependent on your ability to work with people."
In fact, it has been said many times that what you do is less important than whom you do it with - that the people you surround yourself with, whether a spouse, or friends, or co-workers, turned out to be the main determining factor of the course your life will take (...)
From the Geromel's conviction, financial enrichment depends closely on the interpersonal relationship you establish. Being in the company of creative, intelligent, willful, and courageous people will directly influence their professional maturity.
Always try to be in the presence of experienced, talented, and dedicated people. In addition to learning from them, you can start promising ventures. Identify who complements your gifts, your qualities, as versatile teams are more likely to solve problems and open new doors.
At this point of "Billionaires", Geromel mentions self-education. According to his learning, billionaires consider formal education important but not indispensable. Of course, the school provides essential support for character formation, not only in terms of program content over the years, but also in awareness of communion, society, and similarity.
The school environment allows children to develop notions of team, responsibility, and solidarity, as well as instigating them to the challenge of individual evolution. On the other hand, the message intended by the author is that a diploma is not synonymous with education. Neither from school nor from the university.
The character of the individual depends closely on other aspects, and he will directly influence his achievements. Many talents remain hidden in people who simply follow a pattern imposed by parents and society.
For Geromel, the "school of life" is the best form of self-preparation, where the individual really learns what his main qualities are and how to use them productively. Formal education is a mean, not an end.
True education is one that takes the person on a journey of self-knowledge, seeking the discovery of gifts and principles, able to make them ready for the voracious job market.
Able to make it do its best to create, develop, "change the world".
Numerous billionaires have no higher education and are contrary to the archaic, eminently linear, and repetitive system of "killer of creativity and improvisation".
Geromel cites some of those rich personalities they undertook without having a college degree. Steven Spielberg, Ralph Lauren, Steve Jobs are some of them.
In Spielberg's words:
"If you haven't found your way, keep looking. Don't settle down. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it only gets better and better as the years go by".
In this matter, Ricardo Geromel emphasizes the importance of failures. The vast majority of people believe that the real failure lies in their failure to achieve the positive end result. But for billionaires, to fail is not to try. The fault would be fear, awe, inertia.
The accommodation makes the individual prefer to be in the "comfort zone", keeping what they already have than risking something uncertain, unknown. In this world, it takes courage. In the business endeavor, self-confidence must reign and dreams must leave the mind.
Plans must get out of your mind and come true. A project not executed is, perhaps, the biggest problem in the business world. According to Geromel's experience, every billionaire has a journey full of failures.
The big difference is that they learn from mistakes and keep trying.
For Malcolm Forbes,
"Failure is a synonym of success if we learn the lessons".
Experiences, even negative ones, polish the character. The differential factor for success, in Richard M. DeVos's conviction, would be persistence:
"(...) the urge to hold on until the end, to be knocked out 70 times, but to get up and say: ' here comes number 71! '."
In this chapter, we come to the most interesting part of Geromel's analysis. Here he explores that noble trait we talked about at the outset, which, according to him, almost all billionaires have: involvement in helping others.
The author is pleased to speak of the subject and rightly cites examples and stories that prove their commitment to charitable policies. Oh, no charity!
The opening part of the chapter features a speech by Eli Broad, in which the American entrepreneur and philanthropist differentiate charity from philanthropy. For him, charity is just writing checks, but philanthropy is an investment in which the return is expected.
Technological advances are expected, in scientific research, in education. Philanthropy is the real and interesting involvement in improving the world.
Geromel states that several conferences are held, attended by billionaires and influential personalities, where various subjects are addressed. All linked to the responsibility to control high riches and how to use them for the good of all.
The author in "Billionaires" defends the idea that entrepreneurship can end poverty and fully trusts that billionaires are already moving and taking care of it.
What level of attention do you give people? How do you enjoy every minute of your day and every conversation you have with someone? What benefits have you gained from every situation you experience?
For "Billionaires", time is the greatest treasure. With their almost unlimited resources, they know they can buy just about anything, but time is one of those beyond their control. It runs, and quickly.
Therefore, according to Ricardo Geromel, they enjoy every minute as if it was the last.
Billionaires live in the present, seek to learn and mature in every single situation of their routines. They get deeply involved in the dialogues they hold and seek empathy for the people with whom they interact.
They thirst for learning, for experience, for new lessons. That's why they can make people feel as "the most important person in the room", showing interest and always looking for new opinions.
In the last part, Ricardo mentions the characteristic dedication of a billionaire. During his journey through Forbes, marked by many encounters with these personalities, he says he noticed a key aspect of financial success: passion.
Billionaires are passionate about what they do. They think, live, breathe their endeavors, and their challenges. They don't "meet the schedule," but play each game as if it were the last and most important of their lives.
In fact, successful entrepreneurs love their work and place it as one of their top priorities. When we fall in love, we focus on something and do everything we can to fulfill it, to satisfy it.
Passion and tenacity are closely linked to perseverance. According to the author, it's extremely necessary to do our best in everything we do. Only then do we mature, evolve our greatest abilities, and achieve our dreams.
In the book "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind", author T. Harv Eker teaches the reader how to get rich by having the mindset and habits of rich people. For this, he suggests several practical exercises for the person to change their financial life.
The book "What Rich People Know & Desperately Want to Keep Secret", author Brian Sher shows you how to achieve the wealth you desire and hence the quality of life you have always dreamed of.
Finally, Napoleon Hill in his book "Think and Grow Rich" reports that a common feature among successful respondents is that they are able to make decisions quickly, and are confident of that decision.
From this we can learn from all the teachings conveyed by the book:
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