What I learnt from Billionaires…


I worked for 4 years as an engineer maintaining the systems on Superyachts. (Large luxury private yachts.) It was a great lifestyle and I learnt many things while travelling. The one thing that is very unique to the job was the close proximity to billionaires. Here are some of the things that I picked up form being around them…

1) You can become a billionaire in any area. The range of jobs of the people that I worked for was astounding. One guy mad his money in aviation law, only to double it when he started a fast food chain (Quiznos) with his son. Another guy was the largest fishing magnet in Canada, another the largest provider in student loans in the US, another in Mining… The list goes on. Large amounts of money can be made in any field.

2) Anyone can be a billionaire. Most of the guys I worked for were self made. One middle class 17 year old made his first million playing the stock market, starting with only $20k that he gathered from family members. Another started unpacking frozen fish from the back of a truck that supplied fish shops. He went on to buy a couple of the trucks, then a couple of the shops, then the trucking company, then some warehouses, then some boats, etc, as he slowly built up his fortune. It doesn’t matter what social status you start as, it depends more on the type of person you are…


3) It takes a certain type of person. Becoming really rich depends more on who you are being than what you are doing. There are certain characteristics that successful people share. Although these actions are only evident in their actions, it goes much deeper then that. Successful peoples actions stem from who the person is, in all circumstances. Be it the way they approach budgets, speak to people on the phone, or chat about sport, they all have certain ways of being, like a deep critical thinking mind looking at all possibilities and often challenging assumptions.

4) Having loads of money doesn’t change you, it just lets you be more you. The thing about loads of money is that it lets you do whatever you want. It doesn’t force you to do things that you don’t want, that only comes with a lack of money. By having plenty of money people can really do exactly what they want, and be whoever they want to be. It lets the “real you” come out without having to subscribe to the norms of society.

5) All rich people have enemies. My one boss was convinced that somewhere there was a warehouse of people scheming to screw him over. That every move against him was calculated and in some way linked to other events… He used to say this with a smile on his face as it was more likely just other people trying to make their own money and do what he had to do to get to the top. On your way up you are going to step on people and to get your share, it often means taking bits from another’s opportunity.

Another interesting thing I noted was the relationship status of the billionaires. They were all kinds, one guys had had 7 kids from 6 wives and when I joined he was dating a 22 year old and 6 months later he was engaged to another 38 year old. Another boss had never been married, another was happily married for 30 years, another had an ex-wife with a kid and a girlfriend of 2 years. As you can see there is no set rule, it is possible that rich people have more issues, but as in point 4, it depends on who you are. Plenty of very rich people are happily married, plenty are not.

There are a ton of sacrifices that you will need to make along the path to massive wealth. My only question is: “Are you willing to be what it takes?”

“Making a billion dollars is easy. Anyone can do it with enough drive, ambishion and hard work. But keeping a billion dollars… now THAT I call tricky!”
– One of my bosses after loosing $300mil in 2 months during the stock market crash.

4 thoughts on “What I learnt from Billionaires…

  1. I liked this blog very much. I intend becoming incredibly wealthy myself and I agree its about the person you are, not the luck of the draw.

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  4. Thanks for the link, Nathan.I can explain a bit about the menauremest for horizontal placement: in the case of billionaires, it’s the ratio of money given to Democrats to money given to Republicans. If you contribute more to Democrats to Republicans, your circle is left of the centerline; more to Republicans, it’s to the right of the centerline. Those clusters along the left and right edges are billionaires who give exclusively to one party. (Non-aligned PACs are neutral for the purposes of computing this left/right score, even in cases like American Crossroads where there’s an undoubted political leaning; we just stuck with the technical definitions here.) There are a handful of donors in the dead center, like Steve Ballmer, who seem to go out of their way to contribute equal amounts to the two parties, and their donation patterns (i.e., contributions to both the Republican and Democratic congressional campaign committees) suggest that their political involvement is a business matter, not an ideological one.Politicians’ partisanship scores are averages of their donors’ scores, weighted by donations. (And politicians’ circles are colored according to party red = Republican; blue = Democratic; yellow = other.) Politicians generally appear where you’d expect them to; Joe Lieberman is pretty much on the centerline; Texan Democrats (like Chet Edwards and Henry Cuellar) are to the right of their colleagues; Coastal Republicans (like Dave Reichert and Jim Saxton) are to the left of theirs.Vertical placement is random, I’m afraid. I just needed a way to separate the circles enough for the graphic to be readable.

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