The world’s billionaires make and lose money on a daily basis in amounts that most of us can’t even imagine. Many people dream of being millionaires, but how many people aspire to be billionaires? The difference between a million dollars and a billion dollars is truly astounding.
When you have tens of billions of dollars invested in the stock market, a small percentage change equates to huge wins and losses. It’s not uncommon for the richest men in the world to make (or lose) over a billion dollars in a single day.
Our friends over at Forbes have created a page called Real-Time Billionaires, where we can “Track the biggest gains and losses of the day for the major public holdings of a select group of billionaires.” The information is truly fascinating.
On August 31, 2012, Carlos Slim Helu made a cool $1.1 billion when his public holdings increased by 1.88%. In case you haven’t been keeping score, Helu has been ranked as the richest person in the world since he passed Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in 2010. As of this writing, Helu’s net worth is $69 billion. If you think a million dollars is a lot of money, try looking at it from Helu’s perspective. Perspective is everything.
In his book “Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success,” Donald Trump explains how he rebounded after being a billion dollars in the hole. Trump’s net worth is currently valued at $2.9 billion. Do you think Trump could have pulled himself out of such a deep hole if he thought a million dollars was a lot of money? It’s all about perspective.
Whether you’re on track for your first million, your first billion, or whether you don’t have a dollar to your name, it’s important to realize that your financial situation is a direct result of your perspective. This perspective was likely given to you by your parents and is perpetuated by the people you spend the most time with. Change your perspective and you will change what you’re capable of.
If you want to change your perspective (something I’m constantly working on myself), here are some things I recommend you try:
- Read autobiographies of people whose success you admire. You don’t need to like everything about someone to learn something from him or her. Emulate what you can.
- Follow successful people on Twitter and Facebook. Learn what makes them tick and pay attention to the things they focus on on a daily basis.
- Build your network. If you want to make a billion dollars, you can’t do it alone. While you probably won’t get the opportunity to sit down with Helu or Trump anytime soon, there are plenty of people within your reach who can help you get to the next level. Find the value you can give to them—even if it’s simply buying them lunch—and reach out. Most successful people would be flattered that you want to learn from them.
These principals can be applied to almost any pursuit. If you want to be a professional musician: read autobiographies of professional musicians, follow professional musicians on Twitter, and start hanging out with professional musicians. If you want to be a politician: read autobiographies of politicians, follow politicians on Twitter, and start hanging out with politicians.
It should go without saying that nobody is going to become a professional musician simply by hanging out with professional musicians. Likewise, nobody is going to become a billionaire simply by spending time with billionaires (although a little networking never hurt anyone). There are tools that must be learned to excel at anything. As you learn the tools, allow yourself to be guided by those who have already succeeded. Get inside their minds. Figure out how they did it. Learn how a billionaire thinks and you can become a billionaire.