10 Habits for Success I Learned Working for Two Billionaires

Source: huffingtonpost.com ~ Author: Paul C. Brunson

I have spent decades “being educated” — in college, graduate school, numerous professional certifications, and now a Ph.D. program. All of that schooling and training helped shape the person I am today, but at no point in my life has there been a more profound education than my time working for Enver Yucel and Oprah Winfrey.

Enver and Oprah are two extraordinary people. And on top of that, they’re both billionaires. On the surface, they appear to be totally different people. They are in different industries, have different family structures, practice different religions, and speak different languages. However, once you get past their written biographies and dig deeper, you will notice they possess many of the same successful habits.

I had the opportunity to work with both Oprah and Enver for six years collectively and those were, hands down, the best professional experiences of my life. I worked my ass off for them and in doing so absorbed everything I could.

It’s my honor to share with you what I learned from them. Here is Part 1 of the 20 successful habits I learned working for two billionaires:

1) Invest in Yourself

This is a very simple concept, but something you would think someone who has “made it” would stop doing. Not at all for these two. I saw them both spend a significant amount of time dedicating their resources to self-development (whether it be a new language, exercise, social media classes, etc.). The moment you stop investing in yourself is the moment you have written off future dividends in life.

2) Be Curious… About Everything

What the average person sees as mundane or overly complicated is not viewed the same way with a billionaire mindset. I once had a 30 minute conversation with Enver about the height of the curbs in Washington DC versus Istanbul, Turkey. Billionaires are incredibly curious; what the rest of the world thinks is a problem and complains about — that’s what these people go and work on.

3) Surround Yourself With “Better” People

I hope this is why they kept me around. Seriously, I never knew my bosses to keep anyone less-than-stellar in their inner circle. There were many times I thought to myself, “Damn, they have dream-teams built around them.” Jim Rohn had it right, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

4) Never Eat Alone

The last time I had dinner with Enver, as well as the last time I ate dinner with Oprah, there were easily 15 people at our tables, respectively. Coincidence? While most of us derive our key information from blogs or the newspaper, power players get their information from the source (other power players), directly. However, just because you can’t call up the Obamas and break bread with them doesn’t mean eating with others in your circle doesn’t carry value. In one of my favorite reads of the last few years called Never Eat Alone, author Keith Ferrazzi breaks down how you can identify “information brokers” to dine with you. I’ve seen first hand how enormous the benefits are of this strategy.

5) Take Responsibility for Your Losses

I was working for Oprah during the time she was taking heat from the media about poor network ratings. I was also working for Enver during the closing of one of his prized divisions. What I witnessed them both do in response was powerful. Opposed to covering the losses up with fancy PR tactics, both stepped to the stage and said in essence “I own it and I’m going to fix it” and dropped the mic. Guess what? They sure did fix things (It’s widely noted Oprah’s network is realizing ratings gold and Enver’s assets have probably doubled since the division closing).

6) Understand The Power Of “Leverage”

This is something that was quite a shock to me. From afar, a billionaire appears to be someone who is a master at everything. But, in truth, they’re specialists in one or a few areas and average or subpar at everything else. So, how do they get so much done? Leverage! They do what they do best and get others to do the rest. Here’s a great article on leverage. Keep in mind I see this done with wealthy people and their money all of the time — they use OPM (other people’s money) for most or all of their projects.

7) Take No Days Off (Completely)

I recall going on vacation with Enver several times, yachting up and down the southwestern coast of Turkey (also known as the blue voyage). Sounds ballerific, right? No doubt we had a great time, but mixed in with all that swimming and backgammon was discussion of business, discussion of strategy, planning and plotting. The best way I can describe this habit is thinking about your business or your idea like your literal baby. No matter your distance, you don’t stop thinking of him/her (and after just having a second son, I can attest to this).

8) Focus On Experiences vs. Material Possessions

When you have money, your toys are big. However, the vast majority of money I saw spent on their “leisure” was on actual experiences versus the typical car, jewelry, and clothes we’re familiar with seeing in music videos and gossip blogs. I recall one time at dinner with Oprah, I spotted a table of about 20 girls off to the side. I later found out Ms. Winfrey was treating some of her graduating girls from her school in South Africa to dinner in NYC. Experiences create memories, and memories are priceless.

9) Take Enormous Risks

This is another one of those successful habits every entrepreneur can attest to. A matter of fact, Entreprenuer.com created a great infographic outlining commonalities of the world’s billionaires and one of the most prominent was this characteristic: billionaires are not adverse to risk. What intrigues me even more about Enver and Oprah was that even at their high financial status and success level, they still possessed a willingness to risk their most precious asset (their name and legacy) on new and bolder projects. If you’re not taking risks, you’re not making moves!

10) Don’t Go At It Alone

Nothing great in life is achieved alone. Especially in business, success isn’t a solo act. This character trait is akin to “surrounding yourself with better people.” It takes teamwork to make the dream work.

Newsletter 12/29/14

mentoring quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello,

Things to think about as we are in the season of ‘goal setting’

When setting a goal, it makes sense to find someone that has succeeded at what you are trying to do! If you do, your ability to achieve good results improves dramatically.

To be accountable to that Coach gives you the hope and guidance to succeed.

Mistakes are costly, emotionally and usually financially –  I know I have made mistakes many times!

May I suggest a better option… a Mentor – Mentorship is Leadership – Support – Results

The key to mentorship? The mentee takes the words, advice and actions with no backlash and/or question.

Where do you fit in?

  • Do it on your own and you have to learn from your own mistakes!
  • Coaches get you to the next level quicker because they help you avoid mistakes!
  • Mentors hold you accountable – action support results – and it gets done!

Enjoy Life!

Michele Foster

It Takes a Mentor

With millions of students returning to school — both K-12 and college — this is a good time to review the intriguing results of some research that Gallup did over the past year, exploring the linkages between education and long-term success in the workplace. That is: What are the things that happen at a college or technical school that, more than anything else, produce “engaged” employees on a fulfilling career track? According to Brandon Busteed, the executive director of Gallup’s education division, two things stand out. Successful students had one or more teachers who were mentors and took a real interest in their aspirations, and they had an internship related to what they were learning in school.

“We think it’s a big deal” where we go to college, Busteed explained to me. “But we found no difference in terms of type of institution you went to — public, private, selective or not — in long-term outcomes. How you got your college education mattered most.”

Graduates who told Gallup that they had a professor or professors “who cared about them as a person — or had a mentor who encouraged their goals and dreams and/or had an internship where they applied what they were learning — were twice as likely to be engaged with their work and thriving in their overall well-being,” Busteed said.

Read more…

Mentoring-wht1

Seven Reasons Most People Need A Mentor

Most of the mail I receive isn’t generated in response to my columns. Folks write to me because they believe, as a shrink, I have an answer to their questions about “how to make it” as a business builder. The prototype reads like this: “I’ve done well in school, am told I have great potential, but haven’t been able to board the bullet train in order to ride the fast track to success. What should I do?”

I’d like to answer all those letters now by offering one, and only one, suggestion: Find a mentor.

This isn’t my personal opinion, it’s a fact: Studies show that most people who succeed have a mentor, a Rabbi (the New York City vernacular for mentor), and only as a last resort an executive coach.

Read more….

Ten Steps to Finding Your Mentor

Source: powertochange.com ~ Authors: Pat Williams with Jim Denney

Are you looking for a mentor – someone who will build a relationship with you, someone to teach and advise you and enable you to become a wise and effective human being? Here are ten steps to finding that person:

  1. Look at the people you know. Look around at the people in your personal and professional life. Is there someone you admire? Someone you would like to emulate in some way? Someone who has the wisdom you need?
  2. Consider people you’ve never met. Research the top individuals in the businesses, organizations and trace associations of your chosen field. Find out as much as you can about them. Identify those individuals whose values and accomplishments you most admire.
  3. Select a mentor who is a good listener. The best mentor is one who gets to know you – your skills and strengths and weaknesses, your individual personality and your aspirations. A good mentor should not serve as a lecturer, but as a sounding board who will help you with your struggles and help you to clarify your principles and beliefs.
  4. Select a mentor who levels with you. A good mentor doesn’t just encourage you, but will also tell you the blunt truth when you are moving in the wrong direction. It is also a good sign if your mentor is candid and open about his or her own life. Anyone who has accomplished great things has made mistakes along the way and will share those experiences freely so that you can learn from them.

Read more…

What It Takes to Go From Dead Broke to 6 Figures in 6 Months

As entrepreneurs we know life is often a roller coaster with lots of uncertainty and chaos. When you’re in the struggle, it’s tough to see a clear path to success, but it’s crucial to let your vision guide you, not your current circumstances. You must embrace those challenges, because that’s where your hunger for a better life is developed.

Nobody wants to be broke, and nobody wants to struggle, but it’s part of the process. It’s asking the right questions, and taking the right action while in the struggle, that can change everything. When I was in my toughest spot I was dead broke but six months later I was earning a six figure income. What it took to make the change is available to everyone.

Absolute clarity.

It’s easy to make decisions once you determine what your real values are.

Read More…

 

Science and spirituality: Jeff Lieberman at TEDxCambridge 2011

Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are “thought-generating machines.” What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?