Momentum Podcast: 867

Billionaire Principles for Success (Part one)

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Individually self-made billionaires look fundamentally different. When we compare one against the other, it's hard to see what makes them similar, and easy to see what makes them eccentric and unique.

Through obsessive research of successful people throughout history, I developed the 10 Habits of the Self Made Billionaire. I was able to confirm and get even closer to the results these patterns created in my professional career when I worked side-by-side with and consulted with individuals who went from somewhat humble beginnings to 10 figure wealth and massive contribution.

The secret is, self-made billionaires are just like you and I, only with the habits that create success. The good news is, you can adopt these habits as well, and you don't have to be a billionaire.

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Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

In 2016, I wrote an article for a Success magazine that became one of the most downloaded articles on the entire website for over a year. And there's a reason: there is a fascination that I think we all have with people who are wildly successful. And I have been so fortunate in my career to spend time around people who have created massive organizations, massive companies, and a tremendous amount of net worth. In fact, more than once over and over again, I've been able to be in the presence of and observe and ask questions of billionaires. And that's when I wrote this article. I sat down and really meditated and thought about it and took a ton of notes. It took me weeks to write this, but I wrote what I thought were the ten principles of self-made billionaires. In fact, you can go to and search on ten principles of self-made billionaires in an old ball up. And this is something I haven't shared for a while but I actually pulled it up this week to review for myself to make sure that I'm embodying these principles because they don't just work for billionaires. They work for every one of us who's an entrepreneur. So this is going to be a two part episode today. I want to share with you the first five principles of the self-made billionaire. And in the next episode, I'll share the second five.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.

I'm excited to share this with you. Before I start, I just want to ask, and when you're done listening to this podcast, if the first five principles of the self-made billionaire meant something to you, take a minute and share this with a friend, with an entrepreneur who needs to hear it with somebody who had great help and support. I appreciate your support. I want to grow our downloads as much as I can, our listeners as much as I can, so that I can help more entrepreneurs and have a bigger impact. And you're a part of that. So thank you for being here and thank you for sharing if you choose to. And I want to jump in here.

You know, I shared in the intro that I actually pulled up this article that I wrote. What is it, seven years ago this week? Because I'm one of those coaches that I am obsessed with, embodying what I teach. I'm obsessed with practicing what I show other entrepreneurs. I don't ask entrepreneurs to do anything or coach them to do anything that I don't absolutely do myself. And this week, as I was going through some of our frameworks and looking through some of our content and making sure that, you know, I'm on the example of our content, I remembered this article and thought I really should pull this up and ask myself and my own body in this, am I showing up in a way that I am embodying the ten principles of self-made billionaires? Because here's what I found when I wrote this. Here's what I believe today, is that these are not just the ten principles of self-made billionaires that everyone I've ever been around has embodied, and everyone I've read about actually shows in their life stories that they absolutely live by these. But that I also want to make sure that I'm doing this because these principles work for any of us, any of us that are entrepreneurs, really, any of us that are trying to do something different, that are trying to make a change and are trying to make an impact. And so I want to share these with you so that you can think through your life right now and see if you have these attributes or have these principles present in your life. And if not, these are something to think about and something to move towards.

So principle number one that I saw in every self-made billionaire and every billionaire I've ever read about, in fact, every high net worth person I've ever been around, has simplicity of purpose. You know, it's interesting when you look at the most successful people in the world, they can tell you what they're doing oftentimes in one sentence. Elon Musk wants human beings to be a multi-planetary species. That's why he has Space X. Henry Ford wanted to democratize the automobile, so he wanted to make it available for everyone. Bill Gates, this is the old Bill Gates, wanted to put a PC in every home. Steve Jobs wanted to put the power of a computer inside of a phone and make it easy to use. These are simple purpose statements that these entrepreneurs, that billionaires have had in the past. And when you look at them, they're massive, they're huge outcomes. But there's a simplicity of purpose. They can share it with somebody in one sentence. So when I talk about my business, I want to make sure that I can share it with somebody in one sentence. And, you know, we created the Simple Operation System to help entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses without doing it all themselves. And I want that simplicity of purpose to ring through in everything I do.

The second principle is simplicity of plan. You know, when we look out from the outside looking in, we think that people have highly detailed and elaborate plans that are really confusing and overwhelming. But the reality is the most successful people in the world also have the simplest plans. You know, Herb Kelleher, who grew Southwest Airlines to be the most profitable, the only profitable airline in the history of the industry, had three simple statements for Southwest. Get the wheels up and down, have fun and embrace being the low cost airline. These were their core values. They want to get the wheels up and down, which means the planes are in the air faster than anybody else. They want to have fun, which means everybody in the company was supposed to have fun. My wife actually worked there when we met and that was a big part of it. And they embraced being the low cost airline. So if anybody brought a suggestion to him that was not going to make them the low cost airline, there's no way it was going to get through. And so simplicity of plan. How easy can you make the plan that you have to grow your business? How easy can you make the plan that you have to make the impact that you want in the world? For me, it's simple. I want every entrepreneur out there to put the Simple Operations System into their business so that they have process, structure and routine that's going to calm their nervous systems and grow their business.

Principle number three is a big one, and this is one that I have observed with every successful person I've ever met. And the more successful, the more they do. This. Principle three is limit what you tolerate. Billionaires limit what they tolerate. And I often share that in my experience, in the reading I've done, in the research I've done, in the one on one time, not one on one time spent or the one on one time spent, and the time that I've spent in groups with entrepreneurs that are wildly successful. What I've seen over and over again is the more successful the entrepreneur, the more they limit what they tolerate. I always say billionaires are that tiny percentage of the population that won't tolerate what the rest of us do. Anthony Robbins often says, “in life you don't get what you want, you get what you tolerate”. And so a lot of entrepreneurs or a lot of us as entrepreneurs have been programmed to tolerate way too much. In fact, we've been programmed by our lives that the more we tolerate, the more successful we will be. And the opposite is actually true. Let me explain where this programming comes from. When we start our businesses as entrepreneurs, it's often a very emotional, high risk, difficult time for us. But what happens is we are in this place where we can see an outcome. We can see light at the end of the tunnel and the people around us might be telling us that light at the end of the tunnel is a train. But we push through the resistance. We overcome the challenges in front of us. We believe in ourselves and we finally make a breakthrough and we become who we are today. But what happens is that pushing through resistance, that overcoming, that breaking through convinces us then in order to be successful, we have to tolerate a lot in the present. And when I look at wildly successful people, it's the opposite. They limit what they tolerate everywhere so that they have the energy to do what's important. And as entrepreneurs, I think we need to look at our lives and say, “What are we tolerating? What am I putting up with? What is uncomfortable for me? What do I not need right now to get to where I'm going?” And that will create massive momentum for you. You know how we share with entrepreneurs? Momentum is binary. The things in your life are either giving you momentum or they're taking it away. So limit what you tolerate.

Now, principle four is an interesting one, and this is one that for us as entrepreneurs sometimes causes them anxiety. It sometimes causes some frustration. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs say things like, “I'm not a good manager, I just can't work with other people. I don't want to have to meet with my team. Having a team is so frustrating”, but when you look at the most successful people in the world, when you look at the most successful people in history, principle four is an absolute reliance on people. I want to repeat that. It's an absolute reliance on people. When you look at billionaires, they don't just occasionally get help from other people or a delegate, something to a contractor. When you look at billionaires, any billionaire, they have an absolute reliance on people, the people around them and the people on the team and the people in the company are creating the outcome that billionaire wants. They're creating the outcome that high net worth individual wants. And they absolutely rely on other people to get things done because their goals are so big, they have to. They can't do it all themselves. They can't do it on their own. They have to have reliance on people. And no single individual can create the leverage and momentum necessary to create billions of dollars in value. It's never happened. You know, people say things to me like, wow, you know, it kind of has. There's authors who've created massive, you know, books and series, and they did it on their own. No, they didn't they had a publishing company. They had help, they had exposure. They had people who endorsed them. When we look at the most successful people in the world, they have an absolute reliance on people. Which brings us to and by the way, if you're one of those entrepreneurs, I was just going to skip to the next one, but I just want to give you an insight here: none of us feel like we're good managers of people, but you can be an incredible leader if you have the right system. That's why I do what I do. That's why we share the Simple Operations System with entrepreneurs. That's why we show entrepreneurs how to go from transactional management to transformational leadership with the right systems. Because when you have those systems and you have absolute reliance on people, you're going to get so much more done and the people around you are going to help you do that. And then principle five supports it.

Wildly successful people have an absolute dedication to people. And here's what I mean by an absolute dedication to people. When you look at the most successful people in the world, they build systems where people can be productive, they build systems where people can feel good about themselves, they build systems, they give the people in their organizations momentum and safety and security so that they can go out and create massive outcomes in the world. And this absolute dedication to people goes hand in hand with absolute reliance on people. You know, I mentioned Steve Jobs earlier, which is an interesting case because he had that simplicity and purpose, but he also had an absolute reliance on people and a dedication to people. If you look at Apple, they start training people to become better leaders, better managers, better at their jobs, a lmost immediately when you get hired at Apple. And there's this dedication to making people smarter, to making people better, to making people show up in a way that they're really giving their all and in momentum. And when it comes to the people who create leverage for billionaires, the dedication is absolute and unshakable. The important people in a billionaires lives, from their partners to their spouse, to their assistance to the team that they have around them, are taken care of and usually stay involved in their lives for a long time. I'll share a personal story with you. During the foreclosure crisis, my wife and I had a practice in the real estate industry called the Certified Distressed Property Expert Designation. And one of the people who, there was a lot of endorsers for our product, but one of the people that I was so proud to build a relationship with and spend time with was Dave Linnegar, the CEO and founder of Re Max, who was worth billions of dollars. And there was a day that I was at the Re Max headquarters and was having lunch with Dave and his leadership team. And here's what I saw as absolute dedication to people, the leadership team that was sitting at the table, which included the external CEO of the company, the internal president, the CFO, the vice president of education. I think I'm missing a couple of people that were there, but I asked the question, how long had they been working at Remax? And every one of them was over two decades. They had all been part of this team growing this business. They had been supported by the team, by the company to grow the business. They've been supported by Dave. He had this dedication to the people around him that made Remax and has made Remax one of the most successful real estate companies in the history of the world. 90,000 plus people carrying a Remax business card that takes an absolute dedication to people.

In the next episode, I want to take you through the next five attributes of the self-made billionaire, the principles that are sorry, next five principles of the self-made billionaire. And I also want you to know, if you want help with creating simplicity and purpose and turning your business into a movement, creating simplicity of plan so everyone on your team knows where you're going, limiting what you tolerate with the right process and structure around you. Being able to rely on people because you can trust them and be more dedicated to your people so that you protect them. This is what I have obsessed on for years. You can tell I wrote this back in 2016, and since then we've created the Simple Operation System to help entrepreneurs do exactly this. So if you're growing a team and you're growing a business and you're tired of doing it all yourself and feeling overwhelmed on a daily basis, there is a better way. Go to Click on the link on the homepage. Answer a couple of questions for my team and jump on a call with us so we can show you the simple operations system that will help you do this. What we discussed here, the same principles that billionaires embody you will too, and so much more. We've worked with some of the most successful people in the online space out there and in business, period. And we love to be able to talk to you. Sign up for a call with my team and don't miss the next episode. The next five principles of the self-made billionaire are just as important as the first five.

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