The Ultimate Guide to Millionaire Success

Last updated on Feb 20, 2024

Posted on May 11, 2016

If you want success, emulate success. If you want to be a millionaire, study millionaires. Through countless hours of reading and watching YouTube interviews, I've discovered hidden secrets and documented what it takes to become a millionaire. Allow me to reveal the elite secrets to success from the most financially successful people in the world.

The people on this list were not always millionaires. They started off with ideas and passion just like me and you.

Mark Cuban


Social Currency: Owner of Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters, Seen on Shark Tank

Net worth: $3 Billion

SHARK TANK - Mark Cuban is a "Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank." (ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)

Now is the Time. "If you do the hard work and you've done the preparation, you'll know that it's time. That's not saying that it wont be scary, but now with the internet you've got all the options in the world. You don't have to leave the day job, you can give it a run at night but now is the time to do what you love."

Learn from History. "Over the last 15 years there's so many businesses that have tried and failed with new ideas. You should research, find those, and learn from their mistakes. You've got to learn the history of people who have tried your idea. Understand what NOT to do!"

Will Smith


Social Currency: Fresh Prince, Pursuit of Happiness, Ali, I am Legend

Net worth: $240 Million


Where you are isn't where you're gonna be. "We didn't grow up with the sense that where we were was where we were gonna be. You know, we grew up with the sense that where we were didn't matter because we were becoming something greater."

Make a choice. "There's a redemptive power that making a choice has. Rather than feeling that you're at affect of all the things that are happening. Make a choice. Just Decide what it's gonna be, Who you're gonna be, How you're gonna do it. Just decide and from that point the universe is gonna get out of your way."

Have a Purpose. "The difference between depression and joy is purpose. When you wake up in the morning and your life means something to somebody other than you, you have a purpose. That thing that if you don't do what you are meant to do, peoples lives will suffer. Living in service of others is the purest form of joy."

Mark Zuckerburg


Social Currency: Founder of Facebook

Net worth 35.7 Billion


Make Mistakes. "So many things go wrong when you're starting a company. People ask what mistakes to avoid. I say don't even bother trying to avoid mistakes because you're going to make tons of them. The important thing is learning quickly from those mistakes and not giving up."

Social Bonds are Critical. "One thing no one taught me is that having friends is really valuable. I know that I wouldn't be where I am if my social life wasn't as developed as my academics- Social Intelligence is gained through social interactions."

Oprah Winfrey


Social Currency: Oprah Winfrey Network(OWN), 1st Black Female Billionaire. Richest Af-Am in the world.

Net worth: $3 Billion


Identify The Next Right Move. "Don't be overwhelmed with big picture and end results. Focus on what's right in front of you in consecutive order. Do your best on things you can control in this day."

Run the Race as hard as you can. "The way you win the race is not to worry about the other guy, because you can't control the other guy. The energy it takes to look for the other guy takes energy away from you. It's not about the other guy. It's about what can YOU do! Give it everything you've got, every time, for yourself."

We are all seeking the same thing. "In the core of what really matters, we all are the same. I know that because all of us are seeking the same thing. Everyone wants to fulfill the highest, truest expression of yourself as a human being. That's what you're looking for."

Find your purpose. "A lot of people don't know their purpose and if you don't know your purpose, your immediate goal is to figure that out. Because otherwise you're just wandering around here. The moment you can figure out what it is you're supposed to be doing the sooner you get about the business of doing that."

Sean Carter


Social Currency: Founder of Roc Nation, Former President of Def Jam Records, 21 Grammy's

Net worth: $650 Million


Get involved with things that you love. "Most things I'm involved with are an extension of being creative. I think it's best to only get involved with things that you love. Have some sort of truth in what you're doing."

Don't give up. "In the beginning we went to every single label and every single label shut their door on us. The Genius thing that we did is We Didn't Give up. We used the 'What do they know?' approach."

Believe in your genius level talent. "Your job is to find that genius level talent THEN you have to believe in it because people will try to put their insecurities on you. No matter what anyone says you have to focus on that genius level talent."

Jim Rohn


Social Currency: Brilliant Business Philosopher

Net worth: $2.3 Million


Work on YOURSELF. "If you work hard on your job you can make a living, if you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune. It's about personal development. Making yourself more valuable to the marketplace is the key to dynamically changing your income."

Rely Primarily on Yourself. "There's great power in self reliance. Self reliance means you mostly look towards yourself. It'd be nice if everyone did the job exactly how they were supposed to do it, but here's what you've got to do.... Primarily Rely on Yourself."

Sean Combs


Social Currency: Bad Boy, Ciroc, Sean Jean, Revolt TV

Net worth $735 Million

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Experience is everything. "A degree means something to me, but experience means more. A point of view on where you want to go means more than saying 'hey I have a master's from Harvard.' I need to know 'are you ready to go to war wit me?!' That's what I need to know."

Fear is necessary. "Sometimes we don't tell that full story so people may not get it. It's alright to have some fears and insecurities as you're going through the process, but you have to push through that wall. If there isn't a little bit of fear, then you can't be fear-less."

Tony Robbins


Social Currency: Legendary Self-Help Guru

Net worth: $480 Million


Raise your standards. "The strongest force in the humane personality is the need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves. Who you truly believe yourself to be is exactly who you will strive to be everyday. Raising your standards means expanding your concept of self."

Pay Attention to the little things. "Success and failure are not giant events. They don't just show up. They come from daily behaviors or a repeated lack of action. It's not magic, it's simple."

Floyd Mayweather

Professional Boxer

Social Currency: Undefeated Champion 49-0 (26 KO)

Net worth $400 Million


Take one day at a time. "It's all we can do. Everyday we strive to be perfectionists but no one is perfect. We make mistakes but we live and we learn. That's just a part of growing."

Dedicate yourself to your craft. "This is me. Nobody went in there and put the gloves on for me. Nobody went out on that road and run miles and miles for me. Nobody took the broken ribs, nobody took the broken nose. I did it all. I dedicated myself to my craft and I bust my ass. I earned it."

Never overlook an opponent. "Every fight played a major key. I never overlooked no opponent. I trained for every fighter the same way. I pushed myself. I was prepared."

Brendon Bruchard


Social Currency: Youtube sensation, NY Times Best Seller "The Millionaire Messenger."

Net worth $100 Million


Take Action Everyday. "You must keep momentum going every day. The compounding of your actions is what will give you the greatest results. If you quit every time you're tired, you have no chance.."

Be Generous "The thing that makes people great is their ability to be generous with their time, love, attention, and mentorship. When you give you standout. It changes everything when you're willing to be different."

Larry Page

Computer Scientist/Entrepreneur

Social Currency: Co-Founder of Google, inc.

Net worth $29.2 Billion


Solve Bigger Problems. "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. It's almost an impossible task but it's an exciting task. Sometimes it's easier to do something that is harder because people get excited about it and you can get much more resources to solve a hard problem than an easy problem."

Adapt to Change. "In a technology business growing rapidly, you just need to make sure you're being responsive and changing everything every year or else you're just not keeping up with it."

Kanye West


Social Currency: 21 Grammy's, Yeezy Sneaker, Time Magazine 100 Most Influential

Net worth: $145 Million

Your time is NOW. "I'm not gonna sit inside a corporation for 20 years. The time is now. The time is now to express and for people to believe in themselves. The time is now for it to be OK to be great. People in this world shun people for being great, for being a bright color, for standing out... but the time is now to be your greatest You."

Don't be afraid. "People can write, write, write, but if it's anybody out there actually DOING they know how hard it is to actually DO. I'm a motivation of the doers. If everything I did failed, it doesn't it actually succeeds[laughs], but if everything I did failed, just the fact that I'm willing to fail is an inspiration. Like, people are so scared to lose that they don't even try."

Marshall Mathers


Social Currency: Sold 90 million albums worldwide, considered best selling artist of the 2000's

Net worth: $190 Million


Find what you're good at. "Hip Hop has always been about bragging and boasting. I'm better at this or I'm better at that, but I finally found something that, 'yeah this kid over here, he may have more chicks, better clothes or whatever, but he can't do THIS like me. You know what I'm saying? I found what made me unique. He can't write what I'm writing right now. It started to feel like maybe Marshall getting a little respect."

Chris Gardner


Social Currency: The True Story of "The Pursuit of Happiness."

Net worth: $60 Million


Plan B Sucks. "Everybody has a goal but what is the plan? When you're trying to do something that you're truly passionate about there is no Plan B. Commit to Plan A. Plan B sucks."

Put Family first. "Business can always be rescheduled, but your son only has one first baseball game and your daughter only has one first dance recital. Family is greatest luxury."

Your net worth is not your self-worth. "Your values should never be negotiable or compromised. Money doesn't make you or break you."

Andre Young


Social Currency: N.W.A., Death Row Records, and Founder of Beats By Dre Headphones

Net worth: $810 Million


Study Your Craft. "You have to know what you're getting into before you get into it. Straight up. Your craft has to be second nature. If it's not, you're gonna get beat."

Prepare yourself for the Worst. "It ain't about who has the flyest car, who has the most jewelry. It ain't about that. It's about saving and preparing yourself for when you sh*t aint happening no more, ya know, because it's gonna happen sooner or later. You just never know when. You gotta put that money aside for when the sh*t gets thick."

Beyonce Knowles-Carter


Social Currency: #1 Female Recording Artist in the World.

Net worth: $450 Million


You vs. You. "I'm competitive, really, with myself. Every time I start an album I go and watch all of my past performances and I try to figure out what I could have done better and what worked. My references are always trying to better myself. I'm really tough on me moreso than anyone else."

You're a star. "I know I was born to do what I do. It's just too natural. There are certain things that I know, no one taught me, or that no one can teach me. It's just who you are. We all are stars. We all have that thing. We just have to figure out what that thing is and what we're supposed to be doing in life."

Get up! "When you're feeling down you don't just stay in the bed and soak in that. Get dressed up and pull yourself together. That's the first step to overcoming whatever you're going through."

Warren Buffett


Social Currency: Birkshire Hathaway, 3rd richest man in the world.

Net worth: $66.7 Billion


Trust the Facts. "It never bothered me if people disagreed with what I thought as long as I knew the facts. I'm no genius but I'm smart in spots and I stay around those spots. If somebody says "You're wrong" on something I just go look at the facts and make my own decisions based on that."

Find a competitive advantage. Capitalism is all about someone trying to come in and take the castle. What you need is a castle that has some sort of durable competitive advantage. You need a castle that has a moat around it. The moat could be being a low cost producer or just flat out having more talent."

Michael Jordan


Social Currency: 6x NBA Champion, 5x NBA MVP, Jordan Brand

Net worth: $1.1 Billion


Stop making excuses. "Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn't. Maybe I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line and not in the gym. Maybe I made you think every shot I took was a game winner, that my game was built on flash and not fire. Maybe it's my fault that you didn't see that failure gave me strength, that my pain was my motivation. Maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a God given gift and not something I worked for every single day of my life. Maybe I destroyed the game or maybe you're just making excuses."

Fail to Succeed. "I've miss more than 9,000 shots in my career, I've lost almost 300 games, 26 times I've been trusted with the game winning shot.... and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."

Elon Musk


Social Currency: Founder of Tesla Motors, PayPal, SpaceX

Net worth: $13 Billion


Take a Risk. "As you get older your obligations increase. It's gets much harder to do something that might not work out. The time is now to take a risk. Do something bold, you won't regret it."

Attract Great People. "If you're building a company you've got to find great people. All a company is is a group of people that have gathered together to sell a product or service. Now depending on how talented, hard working, and focused that group is, that will determine the success of the company."

Provide a great product. "If it's an untapped market the standard is lower for your product or service. But any time there's an existing market place against large entrenched competitors, then your product needs to be much much better, not just a little better. In the eyes of the consumer you're always going to take the trusted brand unless there is a huge difference."

Russell Simmons

Record Executive/Entrepreneur

Social Currency: Founder of Def Jam Records.

Net worth: $340 Million


Needing nothing attracts Everything. "Everything happens from the inside out. Especially happiness. You want to operate from abundance. Needing nothing, you've become great giver. Great givers are better getters."

Denzel Washington


Social Currency: Lifetime Achiever Golden Globe, Training Day, Malcolm X, American Gangster

Net worth: $140 Million

Dreams need Goals. "Goals on the road to achievement cannot be attained without discipline and consistency."

Ignore the opinions of others. "The more opinions there are of me the less I listen to them. I just can't live my life based on what other people think about me. I can't concern myself with people's opinions, it's just not healthy."

Stick to your guns. "You don't have to compromise yourself. If there's something you don't feel good about, don't do it. The most important choice I made were to say 'NO.' I said no many times, especially when I was first starting out, to films I just didn't feel comfortable with."

Barack Obama


Social Currency: President of the United States

Net worth $9 Million


Move the ball forward. "We have looked at a whole slew of problems when we came into office and we've said, 'Where can we advance the ball down the field each and every time?' We don't score a touchdown every time but we move the ball forward. You're going to fall short sometimes because if you're hitting your marks every time you didn't set them high enough."

You can't do it alone. "You just don't succeed in any endeavor unless you've got a team that's been supporting you. That's part of my political philosophy, it's really based on my own experience. If someone hadn't been there looking out for me then I wouldn't have made it. It was because of my brilliance or something it has everything to do with people investing in you."

Don't take yourself too seriously. "Surviving in the White House is being able to laugh with your team about some of the crazy stuff that happens. You can't take yourself too seriously, you have to take the job and responsibility seriously. You have to be able to laugh at yourself if you want to manage the whole thing."

Malcolm Gladwell


Social Currency: Author of NY Times Best Seller "Outliers"

Net worth $30 Million

Have the courage to pursue your idea. "It's not enough to have a good idea. You must have the strength, resolve, and courage to pursue that idea even when the rest of the world thinks you're insane. Time and time again, if you look at the story of extraordinarily important entrepreneurs, there is always a moment when they are the only ones who believe in the value of what they're doing."

Believe in Meaningful work. "When you put forth effort, you get rewards. When you throw your heart and mind and soul into something you get something back. When you look at successful people this idea of 'meaningful work' is embedded in their consciousness.

Outwork the competition. "Effort is the key commodity available to the underdog. It's simple. I can outwork you. If you lack resources you must compensate with effort. I may not be able to out spend you, but I can out work you."

Les Brown


Social Currency: Famous quote "It's not over until you win."

Net worth: $10 Million


Take full responsibility for your life. "Accept where you are and the responsibility for where you want to go. It's said we have two primary choices in life; We can either accept conditions as they exist or we can take the responsibility to change them."

Steve Jobs

Tech Entrepreneur

Social Currency: Founder of Apple, Inc.

Net worth: $10 Billion

Shake off the notion that life is unchangeable. Many of us are taught that the way things are is how they'll always be. It's a powerless robotic mentality. You can influence and improve the world that we live in.

Marketing is about Values. "It's a very complicated world, it's a very noisy world. We're not going to get a chance to have people remember much about us, no company is. And so we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us. The market is totally different then it was ten years ago but your core values should never change. Those people that are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones that actually do. "

Don't do it for the money. "I was worth a million dollars when I was 23 and over $100 million by 25 and it wasn't that important because I never did it for the money. I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things, and invest in ideas. At that point in my life the most important thing was the company, the people, the products we were making, what we were gonna enable people to do with these products. I didn't think about money too much."

Tyler Perry


Social Currency:

Net worth: $400 Million


Challenge The Thinking. "If you tell me, 'This is the way it's been done all of our lives,' That makes no sense to me. I'm not a rebel but I challenge the thinking. I do that a lot in my own studio. To me, it's about what feels right and I want my work to convey that."

Never Despise Small Beginnings. "There are things that happen out of the smallest little start that will actually go on to change the world. The great things about being hidden is that you can be underestimated. The early stages of being unknown allows you to avoid the pitfalls of being famous."

Tupac Shakur


Social Currency: Sold 75 Million records worldwide

Net worth: $40 Million


Search for Knowledge. "One of the things my mother taught me as a kid is that we have two ears to listen and one mouth to speak for a reason. The knowledge comes from listening. Once you get the knowledge then you can speak. That really helps you. Respect, Knowledge, and Understanding. Just listen a lot."

Spark a change in the world. "I don't wanna be 50 at a BET 'we shall overcome achievement' awards. Uh uh not me. Every time I speak I want the truth to come out. I don't want them to be like 'I know what he's gonna say' because it's polite. Even if I get in trouble. Ain't that what we're supposed to do? I'm not saying I'm gonna change the world but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will! And that's our job, to spark someone else watching us. I don't know how to change it, but I know if I keep talking about how dirty it is, somebody gonna come clean it up!"

Learn from Tough Times. "I don't think an happy childhood prepares you for the world. My mother had a really bad childhood, my father had a bad childhood, and I had a rough childhood, but I loved my childhood. I feel like it's taught me so much. I feel like nothing can phase me, nothing can surprise me. Everybody wants to shield the bad things and that's unrealistic. Not to be gloomy, but you gotta be real so you won't be surprised."

Jack Ma

Business Magnate/Philanthropist

Social Currency: Founder of Alibaba, Inc,

Net worth: 22.5 Billion


Get used to rejection. "I applied for 30 jobs and got rejected. I went for police, they said 'no you're not good.' Even when KFC came to China 24 people applied and 23 got accepted. I was the only guy! I applied for Harvard ten times and got rejected but now I tell myself maybe I go back there and teach one day."

Look for Opportunity. "Most people complain and the others look for opportunity. Where the opportunity is is where the complaints are. When you see trouble, ask 'Where is the opportunity?"

Bill Gates


Social Currency: Founder of Microsoft, Inc., Richest man in the world.

Net worth: $79.2 Billion

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Ask for Advice. "Encourage your friends and advisers to fill in your blind spots. The small number of people you can turn to on certain key thing is a great asset."

Don't Procrastinate. "I had this habit when I was in college where I liked to show people that I didn't do any work. I didn't go to classes and I didn't care, then at the very last minute I'd get serious about it and people thought it was funny, ya know, the guy that did nothing until the very last minute. Then when I went into business that was a really bad habit [laughs]. People weren't praising me for the last minute anymore. I learned quickly that procrastination is a really bad habit."

Tyra Banks


Social Currency: Supermodel, Host of America's Next Top Model

Net worth: $90 Million


Find a way to make it work. "I try to make a negative into a positive a lot. As a producer, there are always challenges. 'That person isn't going to show up! this model is doing that! our budget just got cut 30%! I'm always trying to figure out a way to make it work and there always is a way."

Think about your Legacy. "I really want a business that is bigger than me. I look up to Walt Disney because when kids go to Disney Land they think Disney is just a name. They don't understand that Disney is a human being. I strive for the Banks company to be about an experience not a person. A legacy business."

Stand up Proud. "There are times when I downplay myself because I don't want to look like 'Yo here I am and I'm all that!' but I work on that and I tell myself, 'I've worked my butt off. stand up straight and stand up proud. I deserve this."

Eric Thomas


Social Currency: Popular Audio Book "Thank God is Monday."

Net worth: $1.2 Million


Identify your WHY? "What's your why? Why do you wake up in the morning? Why do you do what you do? WHY? If there is no WHY there is no motivation to get it."

No Excuses. "We want people to make guarantees to us but we're not willing to make guarantees to ourself. People want to blame others for their failure but aren't brave enough to look in the mirror and say YOU LET YOU DOWN."

Desire. "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, THEN you will be successful."

Richard Branson


Social Currency: Founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Airlines

Net worth: $5.1 Billion


Keep it Simple. "Everything we do at Virgin is very clear cut, very simple. I think people have an affinity to the Virgin brands because we don't talk down to them or talk about above them."

Understand Leadership. "The most important thing about running a company is remember what a company is. A company is simply a group of people and as a leader of people you have to be a great listener, you have to be a great motivator, and you have to be good at praising and looking for the best in people."

Pharrell Williams


Social Currency: Neptunes, NERD, Global #1 Hit song "Happy"

Net worth: $105 Million


Stay loyal to your creativity. "We never took on a project just to take it on. The couple times we did that, it just backfired terribly. From there I learned to just stay loyal to the craft. Stay loyal to your creativity because it's a gift."

"Nothing" is a perception. "There's no such thing as nothing. It's all relative. Having 'Nothing' is a perception. If you look at people with less who are more happy you will see that you have a lot more than nothing."

Take a Different Route. "Individuality. Valuing the way I think and the way I feel and depending on that. Individuality is a wonderful thing. It's a reason why Drake, Future, and Kendrick Lamar are so good. None of them sound alike. It's betting on yourself and betting on your difference. Appreciating the rarity of how you think."

Grant Cordone


Social Currency: International Sales Expert

Net worth: $8 Million


Make hard work a reputation. "You wanna get your work ethic so high that people actually admire you for it. I'm going to ask you something. Do people know you for your unbelievable work ethic? If you can't answer "Yes" to that you're not gonna get in that Top 10%."

Have a Target. "When things fall short I simply ask, 'what is the target?" Why? Because no target results in no sales. If you really want to get results measure your targets daily."

Michael Jackson


Social Currency: 1 billion records sold worldwide, #1 record of all time (Thriller), known as "The King of Pop"

Net worth: $600 Million


Stop pointing the finger. "It's my philosophy that if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change. People don't look at themselves honestly. They don't look at themselves and point the finger, it's always the other guy's fault. No, you should change yourself. Look at yourself. Make better of yourself."

Pursue Innovation. "We go out and make our own sound. Nobody can duplicate what we do. We find things and we create things. That's the most important thing to me, to be a pioneer. Be an innovator."

Jeff Bezos

Tech Entrepreneur/Investor

Social Currency: Founder of Amazon, Inc.

Net worth: $46.7 Billion


Have no Regrets. "If I go do this thing and participate in this thing called the internet, that I genuinely believe is gonna be a big deal... If I fail, am I going to regret having tried and failed? I knew the answer to that was No. I also knew that if I didn't try that I would always regret that. I would always wonder and it would haunt me."

Build a Culture. "We hire people who are motivated by building new customer experiences. It's not about right or wrong. Different people are motivated by different things. What happens with corporate culture is that overtime people collect themselves where they like that culture and it becomes self sustaining."

Kobe Bryant

Professional Basketball

Social Currency: 5x NBA Champion, 1 NBA MVP, 81 pts in one game.

Net worth: $365 Million


Make Sacrifices. "There's a choice that we have to make as individuals, if you want to be great at something. You have to make inherent sacrifices that come along with that. Family time, hanging out with friends. At the age of 18 I knew that I was not going to be stopped, this was my life. We all can be masters at our craft but we have to make sacrifices that come along with that decision."

Don't be afraid of confrontation. "I'm not gonna be afraid of confrontation to get us to where we need to go. It's a big misconception where people think that winning or success comes from everyone putting their arm around each other and singing Kumbuya and patting them on the back when they mess up but that's just not reality. If you're gonna be a leader you're not gonna please everybody. You gotta hold people accountable even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable."

Jeff Wiener


Social Currency: CEO of Linkedin

Net worth: $200 Million


Believe in your vision. "If you're a true visionary you're going to be creating something that people don't see or will feel threatened by because it's going to disrupt the way people have previously done things. You have to believe in your vision with every fiber of your being. That conviction provides the courage for other people to do the same."

Manage Compassionately. "The tendency is to expect people to do thing the way that you do them. It's very natural but it's not the right way to approach it. You need to take a moment to manage compassionately, put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself 'why are they coming with what they're coming with?"

Understand your Audience. "I think one of the things that all strong leaders have is extraordinary awareness. What I noticed is that these individuals have the ability to read and take the pulse of a room."

Enjoy the Millionaire Guide? Hit me on Twitter or Instagram and share your thoughts [@JBsFood4Thought]

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