Finance: Traits of successful people I’ve met

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I’ve met my share of millionaires and successful entrepreneurs. Is there something unique about their characters? Here’s what I’ve observed. EVERY successful person I’ve met contains these two qualities:

1) They work very hard at what they do (and easily put in the time to do it).

2) They LOVE what they do (so it doesn’t seem like work).

But let’s look deeper than this, shall we?


They seem to be very aware of trends. And I don’t mean fashion trends. I mean demographic trends and technological trends.

For example, Japan will be decreasing in population. America will be increasing in population. Understanding the trends mean investing in real estate in Japan may not be wise while investing in real estate in America might be wise.

I have a friend who does nothing but notices a new trend, build a good solid business in that trend, and sell the company for big bucks while that trend is hot. He then moves on to the next trend.

Example: Years and years ago, when hand held pcs were very much a novelty, he created a business in it and when the industry took off, he sold his business. He’ll find the next trend, and start another business. Millionaire at 26. Not bad!

Bill Gates made his fortune through trends. Altair (sp?) was developing the first home pc and Gates called them to sell his Operating System (which he hadn’t even written). He ends up buying one from someone else and puts himself into the trend of operating systems for home pcs.

What’s also important about trends is realizing the BAD trends. If you make a business in a bad trend, you can do everything right and have the market shrink into oblivion. I mean, you don’t go selling horse and buggies when cars are coming from the assembly line.


Money seems to be attracted to the communicators. I’ve never met any successful person who didn’t have excellent communication skills. And I don’t necessarily mean sales skills.

What I think is at the heart of this skill is not HOW they say things or how ENERGETIC they are. Rather, it is an acute awareness of human nature. They KNOW how the other person is thinking and shift their presentation to reflect it. This goes to making something the customers want to getting investors to invest in you.

St. Augustine had a saying that the best way to win a debate is to know the opponent’s position better than the opponent! (Those who get the women also are the communicators.)


All these people failed. Oddly, most of them held bitter memories of being made fun of either in school or in their youth. I get the sense that they are trying to prove something to the world.

These people were attracted to the benefits of their dream. They did not try to prevent mistakes. They tried to realize their vision. They didn’t say, “Must analyze forever so there will be no mistakes!”

Time > Money

Strangely, for many money wasn’t their focus. Rather, it was doing what they love and maximizing it to its potential. Then the money came.

Time is more valuable to them then money. You may get money from a rich guy, but it is very hard to get their time.

Poor people will be trying to ‘save’ on their purchases by driving all around town to ‘save a few bucks’. These peoples’ mindsets would rather sacrifice the few bucks for the additional time it gives them. They did this even when they had no money.

Share your observations of any successful person you’ve met.