Published 12 February 2018 Category: Entrepreneurs, SMEs, Startups, Business

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Billionaires

Most of us think that being a billionaire means you have to be super smart, super cool and even superhuman. None of these things are true. If you want to be a billionaire, you have to be passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated.

Here are a few character traits that every billionaire has. But what can entrepreneurs learn from billionaires? Read on to find out more.

An immunity to peer pressure
The ability to avoid general consensus that is wrong, or group think that comes to a conclusion which has been misinterpreted and the majority of people are just going along with to fit in.

The key to succeeding in life is having an unwavering - almost deluded - conviction you’ll be successful.

Some people call this a delusion of grandeur, but it only appears to be this in hindsight if you don’t achieve what you set out to. In retrospect, Mark Zuckerbergs assertions that a more connected world could be achieved online, Brian Chesky’s belief that Airbnb would exceed the use of hotels and Elon Musk’s desire to replace fossil fuelled cars with electric aren’t that bold.

The trait they all share is a level of conviction that ordinary humans don’t have or can’t comprehend.

They believe in their view of the world to an almost unrealistic extent
They have the ability to listen to the whole world tell them they are wrong, but march on regardless in pursuit of their dreams ignoring the whispering voices or the dissenting screams. They are insusceptible to social pressure.

There is a famous study of this where people were asked as part of a group to identify which que of people was longest. Unbeknown to the majority of the people in the room, the first five people asked to pick which line was longest had been told to choose the second longest que. Following this, the vast majority of the remaining participants were unable to tame their own desire to fit in. Instead of analysing the lines and deciding for themselves they succumbed to the social convention of expectation.

Five people before them had all said the same thing so they are too scared to be contrarian. That’s how the human mind works, it will willingly avoids the potential for conflict or derision by submitting to the convictions of others when they should be more forthright and demanding.

The most successful among us have the ability to ignore the social pressure to comply because they don’t care if they are ostracised - they want to win. The most successful among us are wired differently. They don’t experience this the same as other people. To build innovative and revolutionary products or services you need to be pursuing things that are counter intuitive and often things which at the time appear to be awful ideas.
But they aren’t stubborn - They may believe whole heartedly in the success of an idea but they aren’t stupid.

They all possess the unwavering conviction that they will overcome any obstacle, but they are flexible in how they achieve it. They never become to fixated on any one particular path  -  they have a goal in mind and they take every path to get there But if those paths are littered with warnings, people mocking them or advice that they will never succeed they don’t let that stop them. That is the critical difference.

Even if you face rejection at the hands of your peers, it’s only a temporary rejection from ‘one’ source. There’s a whole world to pursue in pursuit of acceptance and success. You only need one other person to believe your view of the world to begin realising it. But you must possess the capability to show ignorance towards the things that will distract you from your mission.