While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee becoming part of the super rich, research shows there are certain characteristics that set the mega wealthy apart from those who are merely rich.
Rainer Zitelmann, author of new book Wealth Elite, thinks there is a link between people’s personality and their wealth.
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Zitelmann’s research involved interviews with 45 combined multimillionaires and billionaires — 44 out of 45 of the interviewees were men, and one was a woman.
Zitelmann found that while most of the super rich were naturally workaholics, none of them felt the need to work. Their decision to work was driven more by a passion for their jobs rather than a source of earning income.
Zitelmann told Private Banker International:
There is a correlation between an ultra high net worth individuals’ personality and financial success.
Here are the five characteristics Zitelmann thinks the super rich share
1) The super rich take responsibility
According to Zitelmann the super rich have all had times of hardship and managed to come through the crisis.
He says the attitude of the super rich is “everything is my fault, if I am responsible I am able to change the situation”.
2) The super rich are optimistic
The super rich have self-efficacy and are convinced that they can solve any problem.
Microsoft founder and long-time world’s richest man Bill Gates is considered very optimistic.
He and his wife Melinda Gates wrote in their charitable foundation’s annual letter:
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Being an optimist isn’t about knowing that life used to be worse. It’s about knowing how life can get better. And that’s what really fuels our optimism.
3) The super rich trust their instincts
Uber founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick faced a backlash when the ride-hailing app proposed so-called surge pricing — where prices rise in times of high demand.
However, Kalanick trusted his gut instinct, a move that proved lucrative to the firm and led to it becoming, for a time, the world’s most valuable startup.
4) The super rich are athletic
According to Zitelmann, 50% of those he interviewed said they were competitive at sports while growing up.
“It teaches you victory and frustration during defeat,” Zitelmann said.
Facebook owner and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg played three sports in middle school and played tennis and crew in high school while Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan played rugby while studying at Brown University.
5) The super rich are salespeople
According to Zitelmann:
Sales skills were extremely important for success. They were proud to be sales men, sell ideas and not only products. Without sales you cannot be a good entrepreneur.
Most of them earned money in their youth in a different way, they did not work for the hourly wage. They were engaged in entrepreneurial activities.
Netflix’s CEO Reed Hasting sold vacuum cleaners door to door as his first graduate job.
However, not everyone agrees wealth is linked to personality traits.
Oliver Williams of wealth analysis and data company, WealthInsight, tells Verdict:
Though there may be abstract personality traits of the super rich, we can’t really tell if these characteristics have led to their rise in wealth, or is it this wealth that has shaped their personality.
Williams says wealth is more closely related to demographics than to personality traits.
Whatever role personality plays in amassing a fortune, demographics are more important. The vast majority of super-rich in the world are male, over 50-years-old and citizens of a developed country.