Not all millionaires are born overnight. Most earn their riches through hard work, plus a few key characteristics that seem to be universal among self-made millionaires.
1. Self-made millionaires welcome risks
One trait that’s consistent among self-made millionaires is that they are risk-takers. Tony Tan Caktiong did not just suddenly become a fast food tycoon overnight—he had to make risks, like setting up an ice cream parlor in a country that basically runs on isaw and chicharon. Tony eventually expanded to add burgers and fried chicken to the menu, and expanded even more to acquire new fast food chains to the corporation. By late 2015, Tony’s worth was at $2.6 billion dollars.
2. Self-made millionaires think differently
Some entrepreneurs from the tech scene live on this concept 24/7: self-made millionaires view things differently. Jonah Peretti, founder of Buzzfeed, basically rewrote how today’s news and content are curated and distributed because he believes there’s more to just pushing news to readers. The website didn’t stop at just churning out funny listicles and GIF files; every little bit of data was collected so it can learn more about the science of content virality. This, along with other groundbreaking systems within the company, allowed Buzzfeed to operate its own editorial team that rivals even the more established news websites in the world. All because Jonah thought content should be consumed differently.
3. Self-made millionaires are visionaries
Millionaires love to look into the future with bright ideas. Two decades ago, we had Friendster and Myspace which let us enjoy blinged-up pages and friend testimonials. But in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook because he wanted to make something that could open doors to wider social interaction. Fast forward to this decade and we now have a social network that is basically a platform for everything we do: trade, education, journalism, the works. If Zuckerberg hadn’t thought of something as inventive as Facebook, what do you think would have become of our social media?
4. Self-made millionaires see problems as opportunities
For most people, getting stranded means long music streaming time and even longer rants on Facebook. But for Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, getting stranded jumpstarted an idea that would change how people commute all over the world. In 2008, after getting trouble hailing a cab in Paris, the duo came up with a simple idea of being able to get a ride with just a tap of a button. They soon developed Uber, a billion-dollar ride-sharing app that allows users to book their own transport service. Problem solved—and monetized! Millionaires look for opportunities to create revolutionary new ideas to counter existing problems.
5. Self-made millionaires are frugal people
Not stingy—just frugal, and American mogul Warren Buffett is the poster boy for this trait. He is quoted to have said “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” For Buffett, never losing money means keeping his lifestyle in check. He still lives in the same house he bought in 1956 and doesn’t spend for parties. Self-made millionaires always live within an adequate budget because they know money is hard to come by.
6. Self-made millionaires always pair up with good partners
No man is an island, and no man becomes a millionaire by working on his own. A millionaire’s successful business framework always includes one critical point: including a good partner in all plans. Self-made millionaires know that it is important to rely on professional partners to follow through important business decisions. Good partners can be in the form of investors, tech solutions companies, or even financial institutions like BDO, which helps local entrepreneurs respond to prospects and manage challenges in business with a loan product specifically designed for business expansion—the BDO SME Loan.