Why Aren’t We Billionaires Too?

By Russ Holdstein     Add your comments

What stands between you and a billion dollars?

Bill Gates did it. So did Jeff Bezos and Michael Dell and Ted Turner and Steve Case. They all made billions when they were relatively young by starting a business and growing it successfully. So why aren’t you and I billionaires too?

Here’s what stands between you and a billion bucks:

A grand vision To achieve big goals, you have to think big. Really big. You have to be able to see the future and translate it into terms in which people will believe. Your vision of your company’s future and your ability to understand what needs to be done to realize that dream is the single most essential ingredient in becoming a billionaire. Every one of the people noted above had a vision of something that never existed before. They understood the implications of their visions and they had the strategic skills to guide their organizations to turn those dreams into reality.

A great business idea Does your business have the potential to be rolled out across the country and into foreign markets? Fact is, most businesses do have this potential in theory but fewer have the potential in fact. Unless you are an early entrant into a new market or you invent a new way of doing business in an existing market, there will be tremendous competition from well established businesses that will keep you from growing quickly enough to be hugely successful.

Outstanding leadership skills If you can’t convince the world you are right, you won’t become a billionaire. You must be able to attract the best minds, the best management talent and the best technical skills and you must be able to lead these people toward your grand vision. Then you must convince the media, Wall Street and most importantly the marketplace, that your vision is the future.

The willingness to risk it all None of our billionaires made it without taking risks that could have cost them their company. Gates shifted from a software to an internet company almost overnight. Turner took risk after risk in building his empire. You can do no less.

Confidence, confidence, confidence To become a billionaire you must believe. Your confidence in your vision has to absolute. Almost like religion. You also have to have confidence in your ability to make critical decisions, to identify good people and to understand your marketplace.

Yeah, but do you really want a billion? Well, it’s not like you couldn’t figure out something interesting to do with a billion dollars, but I can say being a billionaire doesn’t make my list of top life goals. For me, and I’ll bet for you too, family, friends and community, all appear much higher on my list. Oh, and reasonable success with my business.

But there is a lesson here. These same skills are key to making any business successful. Even if you don’t hit each one 100% you can still become a solid success. Good luck – and if you do make a billion, let us all in on just how you did it.

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