The world’s billionaires (typically) have found ways to change the world. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, for example, ushered in the social media age. Before that, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs brought computing into our homes. There are numerous other examples as well. Now, we have people who make a living of trying to find out how these people tick. How do they think? What routines do they use to remain productive and motivated?
We all want to know how billionaires think in hopes that we can replicate their success. However, even if we know how they think, we don’t want to make the effort. And that’s usually the difference. We all want to be rich, but we don’t want to put in the work to make it happen.
But perhaps you have the drive and work ethic to make big things happen. Or you have a big idea lying in wait — something you’ve been polishing for a long time in your mind. But do you have the billionaire mindset? It takes more than drive. And usually, it takes more than luck and genius. Becoming insanely rich requires a unique mix of routines, ideas, and disciplines — both physical and psychological.
What is the billionaire mindset? How do these men and women think? There isn’t one answer, as people take different paths and make different choices. But you can give yourself a short test to see if you’re on the same path. We’ve put together a quick quiz to see if your mindset more or less matches that of the ultra-rich and successful.
In quiz format, we’ll find out if you have the mindset of a billionaire.
1. Your big idea fell through. How do you deal with it?
A. Sink into a depression and give up.
B. Chalk it up to a learning experience and press on.
C. Convince everyone else that they’re wrong, and that the problem is that they don’t recognize your genius.
D. Throw a silent fit, burn professional bridges, and go on a Machiavellian quest to reclaim glory.
Best answer: B
Not all of your ideas or plans are going to work out. You need to think of things as experimental until proven otherwise. Richard Branson calls this a “growth mindset,” and has attributed it to his success. Consider everything a learning experience, and go in knowing that life is rife with failure.
2. You’ve found yourself with some free time. How do you use it?
A. Mindlessly surf Facebook or Reddit.
B. See what the Kardashians are up to.
C. Go to a store and buy things you don’t need. Like a panini press. Or quesadilla maker.
D. Pick up a book and read.
Best answer: D
While you would do yourself a solid by getting some exercise, you can’t go wrong picking up a book. Warren Buffett, billionaire extraordinaire, has said that he spends a good chunk of his time reading. That gives him an edge in many situations, or what he calls an “information advantage.” Sure, it’s okay to blow off some steam every once in a while by having a beer or two (dozen), but a healthier habit that will better serve your interests would be to start reading more.
3. You plan on starting a business. Where do you do it?
A. Silicon Valley.
B. San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto V.
C. A “developing economy.”
D. Your garage/basement.
Best answer: C
Plenty of successful businesses are born in garages and basements. And Silicon Valley is minting new millionaires and billionaires like it’s going out of style. But if you’re serious about earning billions, you’ll need to look for places that provide lots of opportunities. Namely, developing economies. Currently, most of the opportunity lies in East Asia — in countries like China, for example. Of course, it’s not easy to just up and start a business in China. But with global workforces and ubiquitous technology, it’s as possible as ever.
4. Thinking about issues like water scarcity or artificial intelligence makes you:
A. Want to grab a shot of whiskey or heavy indica.
B. See what the Kardashians are up to again.
C. Write what you believe to be a compelling and “likable” Facebook post, to prove that you care.
D. Froth at the mouth as you realize what an amazing opportunity these issues present.
Best answer: D
The world’s next billionaires are going to solve the biggest problems. And the world is full of big problems. From climate change to challenges with artificial intelligence, there are issues that need to be tackled. The people who figure out ways to solve them are going to end up being very, very rich. We’re talking trillionaires.
5. To become a billionaire, you should:
A. Look for weaknesses in established industries, and think outside the box.
B. Open a Subway franchise.
C. Wait until someone recognizes your clear and inherent genius.
D. Sit back and let the world shower you with good fortune.
Best answer: A
The latest crop of billionaires are young and have attacked problems with outside-the-box thinking. Old industries are being flipped on their heads — look at what Uber is doing to transportation, for example. It’s ideas like Uber that exploit opportunities that others don’t see. Look at what problems exist, or how things can be improved. There’s always something. You just need to be willing to look.