Five habits of billionaires

Categories Lifestyle

Mark Zuckerberg turns 33 today — and to celebrate the man worth a lazy US$59.4 billion, we look at five habits that make billionaires who they are.

Mark Zuckerberg — reading

The Zuck set himself a goal of reading one book a fortnight in 2015, and kept everyone in the loop with his ‘A Year of Books’ book club on Facebook (where else). The arrival of his daughter Max and, you know, the business of running the world’s biggest social network meant he only clocked 23 by year’s end, but still achieved his goal of “learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies”. Mark Cuban, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk are other famously voracious readers.


Richard Branson — punctuality

The Virgin billionaire worth upwards of US$5bn starts his day each morning at 5am with some exercise to sharpen the mind and body, but there’s another habit that’s key to his success. “If you want to be more productive then start at the start: get there on time,” he wrote on Virgin’s website last year. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity or a carpenter, a politician or a painter, a model or a musician, we all only have 24 hours in a day, and no one’s time is more important than anybody else’s. Punctuality is something that everyone should work on.”


Elon Musk — email

The genius behind Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and SolarCity — as well as the father of five kids, just in case he wasn’t busy enough — depends on email to juggle an daily agenda busier than almost anyone’s on the planet. “I do love email,” Musk said in 2012, explaining that being able to respond in his own time allows him to stick to his own schedule, rather than being thrown out by phone calls. “Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.”


Bill Gates — sleep

The Microsoft whiz insists he gets at least seven hours’ of shut-eye a night, between midnight and 7am, which he believes is “the best amount of sleep for optimal creativity the following day.” If fact, although many billionaires say they’re capable of functioning on less, a solid six-hours-plus per night is the norm amongst the mega successful — sleep improves your ability to concentrate, be creative, and make informed decisions. Gates also reads for an hour before nodding off . . . notice a theme here?


Mike Bloomberg — discipline

You don’t spend more than a decade as mayor of New York and build a multi-billion-dollar finance, media and software empire in your name without relentless self-control. Speaking on his radio show in 2013, Bloomberg explained what it takes to climb to the top: be early, stay late, eat lunch at your desk, oh, and hold it in — successful people don’t indulge in a bathroom break every five minutes. “Don’t ever take a lunch break or go to the bathroom, you keep working,” he said. “You don’t ever know when that opportunity is going to come along.” No word yet on when Bloomberg is expected to release his new line of adult-sized diapers.