5 Ways Billionaires Think Differently Than Most People

4 Mins read

Making money is just a tiny part of what makes someone genuinely wealthy. Much of it comes from a person’s mentality—how they think about money, how they feel about time, their goals, and how they define success.

There are ways that the super-successful approach these things distinct from the average person. But by adopting some of these mental practices of billionaires and rethinking some assumptions, a person working the 9-to-5 grind can start bringing in big money. Combine these five tips and the easiest way to join the 1%, and you’ll be on your way to billionaire status in no time.

1. They Focus on Earning, Not Saving
In his book How Rich People Think, Steve Siebold distilled three decades of interviews he conducted with millionaires worldwide into dozens of tips to help readers reframe their mentality. The first distinction between rich and average: “Middle class focuses on savings. World-class focuses on earning.”

He emphasizes that this is especially true in times of financial difficulty—when the economy takes a downturn, or their industry takes a hit. Instead of operating from fear and making decisions focused on protecting themselves, squirreling away as much money as possible, and not making any aggressive moves, the super-wealthy see opportunity.

“Even during a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickel and dime thinking of the masses,” he writes. “They are masters at focusing their mental energy where it belongs: on big money.”

Rich guys aren’t focusing on how much money they have for retirement—they are looking for how they can turn their money into far more wealth. Having a few side hustles for when the going gets tough won’t hurt either: Check out the one best way to earn money in your spare time.

2. Money is a Tool, Not a Goal
This leads to the second way that billionaires think differently than average guys: Sure, they have huge bank accounts and have built an impressive pile of money. But they don’t fetishize it, diving into their vault and doing the backstroke through their gold coins, like Scrooge McDuck. They are looking for ways to turn it into more money and opportunities.

“Money for billionaires is a tool, not the goal,” says Peterson Teixeira, entrepreneur coach. “They’re always finding ways to make more money and use the freedom that came with money to make even more. It’s a game.”

A business deal that goes great and lands you an extra million bucks is worth celebrating—but you should get to work on coming up with ways to turn that million into two or 100 million more. A simple way to keep the money moving is to invest it or at least partially. Keep an eye on the market, and heed these 20 savviest investment moves to make right now.

3. Wealth is Time, Not Money
Since they do not get a big kick out of money for its own sake, the super-rich sees time as the ultimate luxury good and seek to get the most out of their limited amount.

That means delegating anything they don’t enjoy doing or don’t find fulfilling (with billions, you can hire whoever you want to do whatever you wish to). Still, it also means spending their time engaged in thrilling experiences and squeezing as much satisfaction and joy out of their days. You can start incorporating this philosophy into your daily life today, even before you hit billionaire status, by focusing on the positive and minimizing the stresses in your life—read up on these ten ways successful men cut stress to get started.

“Wealth is loving every minute of the good times and bad times as an entrepreneur, making sure you don’t miss out on happiness and love and family, and making sure you spend time exploring this wonderful planet we call home,” says Paul Kirchoff, founder of EPX Worldwide, a networking adventure group that organizes elite outings for entrepreneurs and high achievers.

“It’s not about how much money you have; it’s about how much costs you have. You can control your costs, and the level of financial wealth needed to do what you want is lower—but financial health is only one metric. Spiritual and emotional wealth and the wealth gained with diverse experiences are far more valuable. We’re all limited by time.”

Billionaires have gotten used to getting whatever they want when they want it, but even someone with Bill Gates money can’t live forever.

4. Their Goals are Big But Few
Because so many of the day-to-day tasks of a billionaire’s life are delegated to those below him, his mind isn’t focused on many minor goals but rather on the big-picture stuff. At any given moment, his to-do list is usually pretty short. The reasons and desks of the most wealthy tend not to be cluttered.

“They don’t overwhelm themselves with dozens of goals, non-specific goals, or unattainable goals,” says Jeff Campbell, creator of the finance blog New Middle-Class Dad. “They tend to focus on one to three daily tasks while setting goals for the week, month, and year. Rather than a vague goal like ‘lose weight,’ the uber-successful would set a specific goal of ‘lose two pounds per week for ten weeks.’”

Or they might say, “buy an island” or “develop a product that fills a gap in the marketplace.” Instead of going through every step of these big-picture goals and finding reasons why they may not work, they leave this trouble-shooting to others they trust and keep their eyes on the horizon for the following way to make a few more million. Doing one thing very well and knowing how to delegate are just two of the 25 things rich people always do.

5. Work is Their Hobby
Billionaires don’t get to where they are without a tremendous passion for the projects they’re working on, and “work” for them is often indistinguishable from vacation—they do what they love. They find ways to make money while doing it. As Siebold puts it, “Middle class earns money doing things they don’t like to do…World-class gets rich doing what they love.”

Or, as Jas Krdzalic—president of, who works with many high-achieving clients—puts it, “they ingrain themselves in their business…and make work feel like a hobby.”

Rich guys don’t understand the concept of “work” in the traditional way—of showing up, putting in the time, and getting paid for spending time doing something. They know that rewards come from accomplishing something and offering something in demand. They see steps to be taken to reach their goal, but the focus is always on the plan and the excitement they feel when thinking about it.

So for billionaires, “work” is a lot of fun. But if you insist you need a few hobbies outside of your 9-5, at least make sure the video games you play will make you a more intelligent man.





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