Successful Habits Of Billionaires

Successful habits of billionaires, olympians, and entrepreneurs

Learn how to be productive from incredibly successful people.

Learning a few successful habits can improve the quality of your life. Interviews with more than 200 highly successful people, conducted by Kevin Kruse, revealed several repeating themes that might be guides for others aiming for success. He talked with billionaires, Olympians and a selection of entrepreneurs. The question was simple: “What is your number one secret to productivity?” The most consistent answers included the following:

Successful Habits

Many people look to their family, friends or mentors to learn successful habits. It’s better to learn from the experts.

Time Management

There are 1,440 minutes in a day and nothing is more valuable than time. Time spent can never be reclaimed. Most people block out one-and-a-half hour segments of time. Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Kruse that her schedule is almost minute-by-minute. Mastering minutes means mastering life.

Focus On One Thing At A Time

Identify the most important task ahead of you, the one that will have the greatest impact on reaching your goal, and work on it without interruption. Dedicate your morning, when you are most productive, to that objective.

To-Do List

Only 41 percent of what’s on the to-do list actually gets done, according to research. Those unfinished talks lead to stress and insomnia and occupy your mind until they’re done. Put items on your calendar and then work by the calendar in the order that is most feasible.

Predicting Future Success

You can’t trust your future self. Most of us are time inconsistent. For instance, we load up on fresh veggies anticipating salads for a week, then throw away the rotting mush before the week is up. Do what you can do right now to. Look ahead and see what you can do now to defeat your future self.

Family Time

Successful people include family time, exercise and health time and time for giving back. There is always at least one more thing to do, so know where you can draw the line. Think about where your priorities lie and allocate time to what you think is most important. Don’t allow work to nudge out the more important things.


Richard Branson, who built Virgin, says a simple notebook goes with him everywhere. That’s a “million dollar lesson” they don’t teach in business school, said Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping executive. Writing down things as they occur to you leaves your mind free to think of other things.

Manage Emails

Process emails a few times a day. Don’t feel obligated to respond to every vibration that ends up in your inbox. Schedule time to respond to emails quickly and efficiently and then leave them to the next session.

Protect Your Time

The advice of Mark Cuban is “Never take meetings unless someone is writing a check.” Meetings tend to start late, have the wrong mix of people, meander around topics and run long. Avoid them if possible. If it is necessary and you can influence the proceedings, made them short and to the point.

Learn To Say “No”

Remember that old 1,440 minutes thing. Trying to respond to every request for your time will use them up in a hurry. Screen your time and protect the minutes.

Pareto Principle

The reality that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of activities. Those who succeed best learn which activities drive the greatest results and stick with them, ignoring the rest.


Take the “I” out of the equation whenever you can. The question should be “How can I get this task done?” not “How can I perform this task?” The successful don’t get bound up in control issues and they don’t micro-manage.

Touch Things Once

Picking up a bill then setting it aside without handling it means you have given twice the time to the same objective. Try the “touch it once” approach. Deal with everything when it arises, if possible. You can then free your mind from that particular chore.

Use A Morning Routine

Many of the people Kevin interviewed shared a consistent morning routine. The successful habits varied, but repeat suggestions included a good breakfast, light exercise and mind soothers such as meditation, prayer, inspirational reading or journaling. Over the day, maintain your energy level. Don’t skip meals, sleep or breaks in an effort to fill more time with productive work. Food is fuel, sleep an opportunity for recovery and breaks the way to recharge periodically.

Returning To Work Post-Divorce?

Tips on finding a job after divorce.

Tips on finding a job after divorce.

Divorce is a difficult, life-changing event and when a newly single mom must return to work, it can be challenging. She will be competing with people who are more settled and more emotionally secure, including men who often get first dibs on the available jobs in the best of times.

These suggestions may be helpful if you find yourself in this situation:

Don’t Hamper Yourself With Conventional “Realism”

Be open to a wider potential. When people with good intentions come up with discouraging comments about the difficulty of finding jobs “at your age” or predict that your earning ability will have nose-dived, don’t listen. Put up a shield against the negatives and don’t let yourself be boxed into limiting your possibilities before you even get started. Allow yourself to think in terms of success and even happiness.

Starting Over Again May Invite A Whole New Direction

If you were a project manager before marriage, there is no reason to think you can’t look at something different. Reinvent yourself. Write a list of the all the jobs you have ever considered and jobs that other women have that your find attractive and give them some thought. Then follow your heart, even if it means more training.

Beware Of Inner Dialogue That Is Fearful And Cautious

Grabbing the first job that is available is a defeatist approach. Picture yourself as confident and proactive and imagine you have super powers. Have fun with the notion.

Cast The Net Wide

When you are considering college, the advice is to have three tiers of choices: the one you really want, a second choice and a fall-back position if the first two don’t materialize. Approach the job search in the same way. A human resources person may not offer the job you had your heart set on, but might see another opportunity in your resume. Be flexible.

Be Excited

Imagine yourself as a powerful woman who goes after what she wants. Focus on that objective. Expect to be excited and look forward to what will make you happy. Then aim for that goal.

Do The Routine

Study the listings and send resumes. But have other possibilities as well. If there is a business in which you are interested, make an effort to talk with people who work there. Invite a manager to have an informal discussion. Go to job fairs, be creative and keep an open mind.

Don’t Distress Over Resume

A resume is, of course, essential, but don’t fret over it. If you think you need advice, set up an account with or another aid to the job search. Get your name and a brief description of your work experience into circulation and begin to build contacts.

Don’t Pass Up A Job Opportunity That Calls For Some Skills

Don’t confuse your comfort level with your true ability when it comes to technical skills. If a job description says you have to be Microsoft Word proficient, that doesn’t mean you have to be a genius. You can improve on your base understanding of technology through a little additional training. Cheap or free classes are available through community colleges, public school systems and other resources.

Network Like Crazy

Use your friends and family, professional associations, old co-workers. Use anyone in your acquaintance who might be useful in finding the job you want.

Keep The Vision

It may take longer than you had hoped, but don’t settle for less than you know you are capable of. Stay positive and keep the faith. You can succeed.

Pity Party Fails

pity-party-garfieldHave you ever been drawn to pity parties to make yourself feel better or to get attention? Disappointments in life can get you there in a heartbeat. No one gets through life without some adversity and negative thoughts that throws you for a loop. But wallowing in self-pity beyond the immediate disappointment is not likely to help.

To begin with, it won’t change the reality. If you lost a business opportunity, didn’t close the major deal you’d been working on, or missed a deadline that proved fatal to success, feeling sorry for yourself won’t change the facts. Mourn a little and move on.

People who have nurtured mental strength are able to look at a negative situation realistically and then put it aside and prepare for a new challenge. They don’t allow themselves to become mired in the aftermath of a failure. They don’t allow the perception that life is against them mature into a debilitating focus on the failure.

Focusing on the negative makes it grow out of all proportion. And the negative thoughts may blossom into negative actions. Or you may become so buried in negativity that you fail to act at all. Mentally strong people recognize the potential for becoming caught in the downward spiral and take steps to change their perspective.

Emotional states dictate how one perceives reality. It seems that there is no good at all in your life. Making a true assessment, you are likely to admit that your life isn’t all bad. Bad luck isn’t the only kind you experience. Your life isn’t really ruined unless you allow it to be. To change the reality, you have to change your all-negative perception.

Being mentally strong means you don’t allow negative thinking to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Monitor your thinking and when you find you are putting yourself down, opt for a positive thought. Every minute that you spend in negative thinking is one that you didn’t spend working on a solution to the present challenge.

Gratitude and self-pity can’t co-exist. Seeing the cup as at least half full will help you avoid the determination that life is rotten. Think of what you have, right down to the air you breathe and the abundance that you enjoy in hundreds of little ways and be grateful.

Helping others is a fool-proof way to climb out of the self-pity rut. There are many around you whose needs are greater. Even in America, there are homeless people who go to bed (if they can find one) hungry and afraid. Being mentally strong includes looking outside yourself and helping to make life better for someone else. There are community resources for finding out how you can best help. Use them.

Complaining to others about how pitifully unfair life is to you can only reinforce the false perception that is crippling you. Mentally strong individuals don’t depend on pity from others to make their lives work. They either act to change the negatives in their lives or they accept what can’t be changed and go in a new direction.

Retain an optimistic outlook. Life happens. There are natural and personal disasters that can’t be avoided, but they are only part of life. Tell yourself that you can handle whatever life throws your way. You’ll be surprised to find that you really can.

You build mental strength just like you build physical strength. You develop good habits by exercising, eating well and getting rid of bad habits. To build strong mental health, exercise positive thinking and treat yourself to a good helping of realistic self-imaging. Get rid of harmful mental habits, including self-pity.

If you feel you can’t do it on your own, find professional help or look in the stores or online for books, magazines and articles that can guide you toward the mental strength you desire. It’s worth the effort.

Work At Home? Balance Job, Family

Over 18 million home based businesses exist in America today.

Over 18 million home based businesses exist in America today.

Home-based businesses have gained respectability in the economic arena as their numbers have grown. The Bureau of Labor estimates that 18.3 million home-based businesses now exist in the country and some other sources say that number is too low, that there probably are closer to 38 million such businesses.

Maintain A Healthy Balance

That means a lot of people are balancing the competing demands of their work and their households, where children and other necessities make their presence felt. It’s the epitome in convenience coupled with the challenge of keeping on track, given the push and pull of two major demands under one roof.

There are some compromises to be made. Volunteering for school or charity work may have to be put on hold until it can be successfully undertaken without sacrificing time that might be spent adding to your income. The at-home business person may have to create a personal gauge for measuring what is most important on a day-by-day basis.

And unless the person who works from home is well-disciplined, there is a tendency to skip work for what seems at the moment to fall into that “important” category.

Schedule Your Time Wisely

The solution, experts say, is to set definite boundaries and firm time schedules. If your children know from long experience that from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is your work time, they will likely respect that time frame. On your side, it is necessary that you remember not to become so immersed in what you are doing that you forget it’s time to prepare dinner. When it’s time to shut down the computer, shut down the computer. If the schedule is maintained consistently, all parties will benefit. Some at-home workers say they wait until everyone else is in bed if they have left-over work that just won’t keep, rather than violate the accepted routine.

Scheduling important calls for times when children are occupied will save the embarrassment of having them interrupt. They’re famous for that, inevitably picking the moment that the call goes through to engage in an argument or otherwise disrupt your business. If they have a regular nap time or are in school, that’s the time for important calls.

Include Family Members As Partners

Getting the children on board as invested partners in the business is smart. Let them see how the results of your productivity affect them positively. When you have a particularly successful period at work, get them a special treat and be sure they know that the treat is the result of uninterrupted time at your work. As one mother described how it works for her, “They know that their job is to play so that Mommy can work.” A father said he gives his growing boys assignments to make their home business succeed. “The boys have both expressed interest in running their own business some day,” he said. “They are getting a daily education that you wouldn’t be able to get any place else.

A Positive Attitude Helps

Stay positive. When the going gets tough, recite the benefits: No travel to work. No boss. Little or no overhead. Freedom to set your own parameters. A greater amount of control over your own financial destiny. Flexibility when you really need it.

Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can make your home business work, it won’t.

Here’s How One Woman Became An Entrepreneur

Digital Marketing Strategist

Sherry Tingley – Digital Marketing Strategist

Sherry Tingley didn’t become an entrepreneur overnight. It was a step-by-step learning process, with many a detour and slip en route. She’s still learning, she says, but she’s no longer a tyro.

In a recent interview with Mint, the personal finance management website, she tells how her business, primarily developing websites on the Internet, has steadily grown and is now providing the underpinning for rapid growth and improvement.

Checks? Haven’t they become an anachronism, given the rise of online banking, debit cards and digital wallets? Not even close. American banks process more than 24 billion checks annually, she says. Many people, even while using new technologies to make their everyday purchases, bring out the checkbook for paying regular bills and make other financial exchanges. Small businesses use them to pay vendors, employees and other expenses. Deluxe Corporation, largest of the check-printing companies, has seen a rise in stocks from $16.18 per share in July 2009 to $59.71 per share in July 2014.

Sherry shares her experience and growing expertise via a personal finance blog housed on the CoolChecks site. The site focuses on general finance wisdom as well as updates on the check-printing world, including the most popular check designs and changes (how about skull-and-crossbones, a range of jungle prints and the latest Disney characters?)

She began her venture into e-marketing from square one. Like millions of Americans, she had little practical knowledge of personal finances, beyond the most basic household management. High school and college had done little to add to that base. At 51, she was the mother of two teenagers, still renting and earning less than $30,000 per year. She looked at the reality and decided it needed to change.

“I decided to educate myself about anything I could do to control my financial future,” she told Mint. “I vowed I would try everything in my power to avoid personal financial mistakes and focus on increasing my income.” She drew on available resources such as forums and began to understand how she could make better use of the money she had. She received a lot of encouragement and support after paying off $5,000 in credit card debt and kept going. She read everything she could find that expounded on personal finance, from Dave Ramsey to Suze Orman. She consciously looked for ways to increase income without going into debt.

Some of the money-making approaches she tried didn’t work. But instead of throwing in the towel, she began to teach herself web design, PHP programming and the effective use of MySQL databases. More successes in affiliate marketing followed as she added to her knowledge about money management, wise investing and web development skills.

There is a long road behind, but she now is looking at financial security. She has two residential properties, invests regularly in mutual funds and has a savings account for emergencies. “Most importantly, I make much better financial decisions on a regular basis than I did in the past,” she says.

Her blog is aimed at anyone who needs help with finances. She focuses on setting budgets, controlling spending and distinguishing between needs and wants. She looks for ways to save money on media bills and other expenses. “I abhor the way that credit card companies entice people to spend more and more. The consequences of uncontrolled credit card debt can be devastating. Most of my articles help people deal with human mistakes in financial judgment.” Another area of emphasis is entrepreneurship. Sharing success stories of start-ups that make it is one of the ways she does that

Sherry sees the tendency of Americans to want what they want when they want it as one of the greatest challenges to wise money management. A little patience and a little time spent on comparison shopping, along with some realistic analysis between what is needed and what is merely wanted can help resolve this weakness, she says.

A careful and honest look at resources and necessary outlay is the place to begin to build a good budget, Sherry advises. Spreadsheets are available to help in the process. Then make a monthly evaluation of that budget the basis for spending. You can’t reach financial goals without knowing where you are, where you want to be and how you can get there. Whether you earn $15,000 a year or over $250,000 a year, the formula remains the same.

Money is not the objective per se, but what it can do for you, she tells the Mint readers. Living within a budget and saving for the future can open opportunities not possible by using haphazard finance practices. Sherry takes counsel from “Invictus,” a poem by Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”

Today’s checks, she told Mint, are a far cry from the past. Her site offers more than 6,367 products all check related. In all, the database has more than 20,000 items. Unique designs give buys the opportunity to express themselves with every check they use. There even is the option of printing one’s own picture on checks. The most popular designs of the moment are animals prints, with a pink zebra leading the pack. Girly themes (such as high heels) are hot with the ladies and sports checks, including Harley-Davidson designs, rank high with the men. The idea is to give you a lift each time you write a check. It’s a matter of expressing your own individuality.

Options for business checks are consistent with the varieties of check-printing equipment most companies use. The Quickbooks checks tend to be popular with small businesses. Travel checks top business choices today.

Checks are her thing, Sherry emphasizes, but the same business and financial principles apply to any product. Successful entrepreneurship lies in preparing and then applying sound business practices. Her own experience shows that it can and does work.