If you are one of the 937 billionaires identified by Forbes in 2010, no need to read further. But if you have not reached that plateau quite yet, these three habits can keep you moving in the right direction.
While adopting the habits of billionaires may not necessarily make you one, it can give you the proper perspective on building wealth. Here are three wise sentiments that can get you to the next level.
1) Saving money is as important as making money. This may seem counterintuitive, but many billionaires got that way by living well below their means. Warren Buffett, #3 on the Forbes list, has lived frugally from the very beginning of his career. He used his own savings as the source for his first investments, and he steadily built his wealth to become a millionaire by age 26. Buffett still lives in the home he bought in Omaha more than 50 years ago for $31,500. He drives his cars until they wear out, rather than dropping six figures on a new one every six months.
Carlos Slim, a native of Mexico and the world's richest man, is worth more than $53 billion. He does not own a yacht or an airplane, and like Buffett, he has lived in the same home for more than 40 years.
[Read more about Carlos Slim in 5 Astonishing Billionaire Portfolios.]
Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of privately- held Swedish furniture company Ikea, believes saving money fits with the lifestyle of his customers. When Kamprad flies, he flies coach. And when he travels locally, he either takes the bus or drives his 15-year old Volvo 240 GL.
2) Believe in your business. Success comes from dedication and passion. Michael Dell started by building computers in his dorm room at the University of Texas, and as his business grew he hired other students to build them for him. He was on a constant mission to find the best quality materials at the lowest cost, a strategy that gave him a cost advantage over his competitors. This dedication to his business turned PC Limited into Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), which is now a global powerhouse in computing.
Steve Jobs is so dedicated to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) that when he returned as CEO of the firm, he agreed to $1 per year in compensation. With much of his net worth in Apple stock, his devotion to the company and its shareholders shows up in the value of Apple stock. He drives himself hard and surrounds himself with like-minded people.
Larry Ellison, CEO of software giant Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) is known for his hard-driving style. Like a few other billionaires on the Forbes list, Ellison dropped out of college to pursue software development, knowing that it was the wave of the future. In 1997, Mr. Ellison and two of his colleagues formed a company that won a two-year contract to build a relational database management system for the CIA. They used the code name Oracle, and the rest is history.
3) Use your wealth to make a difference. While this may seem unlikely to increase your chances of becoming fabulously wealthy, many billionaires share a common interest in pursuing philanthropic endeavors, often before the billions start rolling in.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page started out wanting to build a better search engine, but they didn't really consider making money as part of their goal. From the very beginning, Brin and Page made a commitment to giving back by setting up Google.org, a charitable web site supporting good causes like disease prevention and energy conservation.
Larry Ellison spent $250 million to pursue his long-time interest in biotechnology by setting up the Ellison Medical Foundation in 1997. He also chairs Quark Biotechnology, a gene-based drug developer that focuses on cancer research. According to Richard Sprout, director of Ellison's foundation, Ellison has a passion for understanding the biological process of aging and ways to improve the quality of life of every person in the world.