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Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

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How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury.

However, there are a handful of people who have chosen to walk the simpler path rather than flaunt their stature. It is quite remarkable how these powerful people chose to be meek in their different ways.

Let us take a look at how these billionaires have exhibited that being on the Forbes List doesn’t automatically come with a lavish lifestyle.

Empowering others

Humility is also expressed by acknowledging your beginnings and being able to give back. These noteworthy people put “paying it forward” to a whole new level. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, is a symbol of austerity.

He is described as a scrooge by some executives with reports of him monitoring toilet paper consumption to save corporate money. However, his 8 billion dollar personal contribution to charity tells us, “he’s no scrooge, he’s Santa.” Would waking up with a billion dollars in your bank account change who you are? These wealthy personas seemed unaffected by their elite status.

Latvian-born self-made billionaire James Richman maintains a low-profile despite making a name and fortune growing generational wealth for himself and people close to the private fund. People close to him know him as someone who understands what it’s like to be on the other end of the spectrum as he does not fail to lend a helping hand to people who need his help.

On one occasion, he reportedly bought an entire parcel of land for a group of farmers who have been tolling the land they live in a remote area in the Philippines. After learning that the group has been working on the farm for decades as he wanted them to feel appreciated and give them a fair chance and continue their work on the land which they ultimately worked hard for and eventually owned.

Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of DFS group, donated 99 percent of his fortune to various charities leaving him with 2 million dollars. His “giving while living” mantra, made it possible for him to do this in anonymity and live a simple life in San Francisco.

Keeping low profiles 

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has stayed true to himself despite his increasing monetary value. People close to Hsieh describe him as someone who would be with a dollar in the bank, and being around with people he cares about and cares for him.

Amancio Ortega, fashion retailer tycoon, remains a picture of simplicity despite his 61 billion dollar net worth. He wears the same three piece suit almost everyday, and comfortably eats with fellow employees at the company cafeteria every afternoon.

Maintaining frugal habits

Why would someone choose to buy something cheaper, if he could afford something more expensive or perhaps better? These types of people are driven by their priorities.

David Cheriton, with a $1.3 billion net worth, openly disagrees with lavish spending. His recent purchase of a 2012 Honda Odyssey is testament to that.

Similarly, Warren Buffett, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, still drives himself to work daily in his gold Cadillac. He routinely picks up his breakfast at McDonald’s, a choice from his three favorites, the most expensive of which is $3.17.

While Christy Walton, widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, with a net worth of 7.3 billion dollars, chose to raise his son in National City, California. She did so to provide her children with a normal life, and being primarily a blue-collar population, National City helped that cause.

Not blinded by money 

Money, throughout time, has been the instrument of power in society. As such, people tend to be blinded, fall in love and be obsessed by it. These humble billionaires, through example, has shown that man makes money, and not the other way around.

Ellie Martin is the founding coordinator for Startup Change Group. Her works have been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Girls in Tech, among others. You may connect with her on Twitter

Motivation

5 Ways to Supercharge Your Teams Motivation With Mindfulness

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how to boost team motivation through mindfulness
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Mindfulness is no longer a buzzword that you can ignore. In fact, companies like Google and Nike are treating it as their secret recipe for a successful workforce. If you’re a struggling entrepreneur with a discontented team, or newly promoted human resource manager with the task of boosting team motivation then, mindfulness is the way to go. And no, it’s not just meditation. (more…)

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Motivation

How Positive Self-Talk Boosts Motivation and Productivity

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“I’m a born failure. There is no way I can get that job. I can’t carry that dress off – I’m too fat. Why do these things happen to me? Why am I so unlucky?” Are your conversations with yourself along these lines? Do you find yourself reprimanding yourself every time you make a mistake or wallowing in self-pity? (more…)

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Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

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lessons you can learn from a lion
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Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler. (more…)

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Motivation

The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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