How Billionaires Build Their Empires
So how does one go about becoming a billionaire? Here are a few tips based on decades of observation.
1.Look for Chaos
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.- Desiderius Erasmus
Your best shot at surpassing the 100 million milestone comes from jumping into chaos. Tycoons view chaos as opportunity for the new comer. In chaos no longer can one rely on the past to predict the future. Most of the standard barriers to entry do not exist. There's no status quo, no rules about how business is conducted, no legacy industry standards, and no old boy's network to keep you out.
In contrast, most people want a calming stability. Chaos is something the average person avoids at all costs because it comes with uncertainty and the associated stress.
If you truly want a shot at building some great, you will need to jump into chaos. The best way to find or create it is with disruptive technologies and strategies. The people who become very successful tend to have a nose for the next big thing within their industry. All you have to do then to be seen as the leader is know a bit more than your customers, as the above quote alludes to.
2. Have the Courage to Hold Onto the Tiger's Tail
When you’re that successful, things have a momentum, and at a certain point you can’t really tell whether you have created the momentum or it’s creating you.
- Annie Lennox
If you should be fortunate enough to pick the right opportunity it's going to mean even more chaos. In addition to the external market chaos caused by disruption, there will be the internal variety as your company struggles to survive growth at warp speed. Not many entrepreneurs can deal with this type of growth as it often feels as if they have lost control of the company and that it might crash into a cliff face at any moment.
Most business owners only grow their companies to the point just before where they have surrender total control and delegate to others.
3. Create a Mythology Around Yourself
You start out as a phony and become real. - Glenn O’Brien
Have you noticed how so many successful people were either destitute or even homeless at some point before their lives finally turned around? Most of us have. The truth of the matter is that many of these stories are gross exaggerations and/or the product of crafty self-promoters intent on fabricating a memorable origin story for themselves. For example, one television superstar loves to tell stories about how poor she was as a child yet her own family denies this claim and has come out to state that she grew up in a middle class environment. Another billionaire never skips an opportunity to remind us that he was homeless in East L.A. at one point and a gang-banger at another.
This is not to say that their stories are false but only that one should be skeptical. It should be obvious to the reader that rags-to-riches stories, whether true or not, evince sympathy and warm regard from us. Most of us love to see the underdog win. Hearing about a Richie Rich-type, such as Donald Trump, who came into the world with a silver spoon in his mouth is nowhere near as inspirational as hearing about someone who grew up poor, turned themselves around, and became rich years later.
4. Rally the Public Around Yourself
Get the public on your side by employing the David & Goliath Story with yourself as the David. The fastest and easiest way to implement this is by claiming that the established powers are out to get you because you're trying to help the public out by offering cheaper and better goods or services. Billionaire Richard Branson is a master at this game and well worth studying. Branson launched Virgin Air with a single jet leased from British Airways. He then spent years bombarding the media with stories about how British Airways with over 250 jets was committed to the destruction of its single jet leasing client. Both the media and public actually fell for this nonsense. No one ever questioned why B.A. didn't simply cancel the lease if it truly wanted to destroy Branson's airline.
Again, as with your origin story, this tactic involves exploiting the average person's natural inclination to side with the perceived underdog.
5. Share the Wealth
You may be able to hit a million in revenue on your own with just a few employees, However, to move past that to the 10 million mark you will need to add a few layers of managers. To shoot for the 100 million milestone and beyond calls for a true team effort. You will need to have specialists who are as much committed to this goal as you are. If you look closely at top billionaires you will find that in most cases their inner circle includes other billionaires or at least a few centi-millionaires who were given equity at some point.
There's also the matter of your customers and suppliers. Deal fairly with them so that they reciprocate and help them to get rich with you.
As the old saying goes, if you want to get rich you have to help others to do the same.
If you want to shoot for at least 100 million or go for billionaire status remember these tips.