You really shouldn’t listen to advice from just anyone. But if the money tips come from billionaires who’ve proven themselves, then maybe it’s worth a listen!
Here are some valuable pieces of advice to set you off on your path to your first billion!
Robert Kuok (net worth US$11.5 billion)
The richest man in Malaysia and also known as Asia’s Sugar King, Robert Kuok lives by the principles his mother taught him –never be greedy, never take advantage of people and practice high morality when making money.
#1: Seize the opportunities (even when people doubt you)
Kuok is also a proponent of being courageous to seize opportunities when they present themselves. In an article on GoArticles.com, he was quoted as saying that when he started his sugar business, many people went against him, stating that the sugar business is a boring business. But what Robert Kuok saw was only opportunity and he jumped into it immediately.
#2: Values trump qualifications
In hiring staff, Robert Kuok appreciates honesty, hard work and intelligence. He places these qualities above qualifications on paper and titles.
Jack Ma (net worth US$10 billion)
Jack Ma, the founder and ex-CEO of Alibaba Group, and self-made billionaire, believes that a person’s attitude and decision is more important than their capabilities.
#1: Customer’s first, always.
Ma states that customers should be number one, employees, number two and shareholders, number three.
#2: Be swift in adapting
Entrepreneurs should adapt and change before any major trends take place, and recognising that the opportunities that everyone can’t seem to see are the real opportunities.
#3: Learn from your errors
A man who learned from his mistakes, Ma told 18 comrades who embarked on an entrepreneurship journey with him in 2001 that the highest position they could achieve was a managerial role and that the vice president and senior executive positions would have to be hired.
Years later, those he hired left and those very people he had doubted rose to become vice presidents and directors.
Richard Branson (net worth US$5 billion)
From the founding of Virgin (a record store) at the age of 20 to serving passengers in an air stewardess outfit, Richard Branson shows that he can do plenty even without a business degree while still not taking himself too seriously.
#1: Take pride in what you do
Branson accredits his success to the simple principle of building something you will be proud of. To him, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that will make a real difference to other people’s lives.
#2: Nothing is perfect
Branson also believes perfection is unattainable. He believes that no matter how brilliantly conceived something is, there will always be room for improvement, and that letting people know that they have perfected something will inherently lead to idleness.
Li Ka-shing (net worth US$31 billion)
One of the greatest empire builders in the world, this billionaire and the richest person in all of Asia is a school dropout. However, today Li Ka-shing’s empire spans 52 countries, employing over 270,000 people. He gives us these 5 tips:
#1: Live humbly
When you’re just starting to earn a living, get used to a humble standard of living and the quality of meals should not be spectacular. Li said “when you are young, the body will not have too many problems for a few years”. As an example, Li said, one should spend just RMB 600 (RM 314) on living expenses.
#2: Spend on networking
Make friends and expand your interpersonal circle by buying lunch for people who are more knowledgeable or richer than you are, or those who have helped you in your career. This, he said, should be done every month and will greatly improve your reputation and influence. As an example, Li said, one should spend just RMB 400 (RM 209) on networking.
#3: Never stop learning
Be generous in personal growth. Set aside an amount of money every month (RMB 300 or RM 157) to enhance your knowledge by buying books and attending training courses.
#4: Take a break
Reward yourself by vacationing at least once a year. Doing so will allow you to accumulate different experiences and recharge so that you continue to have passion in your work. Save RMB 200 (RM 105) every month to be used eventually for a holiday overseas.
#5: Invest in your future
Save a set amount every month until you have enough to start a small business. As you start earning more, he tells us to save about RMB 500 (RM 261) a month towards long-term investment plans in order to get long-term financial security.
Donald Trump (net worth US$3.9 billion)
No list would be complete without the inclusion of this television and real-estate tycoon.
#1: Persevere to attain success
Of all the advice that Donald Trump can give you, perhaps the most important is the one that best defines him – perseverance. Trump has shown again and again that a never-give-up attitude will ultimately trump (no pun intended) any failure. He himself rose to his current position and wealth despite filing for business bankruptcy numerous times with himself on the brink of personal bankruptcy in 1989.