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Bankable Advice: 3 Major Career Lessons I’ve Learned From Millionaires

It's the intangible capital that keeps on giving

(Image: Thinkstock)

I recently read a blog by relationship expert and author Paul C. Brunson that inspired this My Two Cents post. It was about the 20 successful habits he learned while working with billionaires Oprah Winfrey and Enver Yucel. In the piece, Brunson highlights several valuable lessons on leadership, career development and strategy he learned along the way.

It reminded me of the priceless advice and insights I’ve gotten from millionaire business leaders I’ve interviewed, admired and been mentored by.

(Let me clarify what I mean by millionaires: The persons I’m referring to earn millions annually and/or are worth millions in terms of their combined assets, salaries and investments.)

So, here are three major career lessons I’ve learned from these awesome—and wealthy—go-getters:

1. No great move that reaps lucrative results is made by happenstance. There should always be a strategy behind even the smallest endeavors—from taking meetings with people to deciding how and when to send an email. Millionaires who have been able to obtain wealth and sustain their lifestyle oftentimes can’t afford to just make decisions based on one feeling or impulse or even a lucky coincidence. Many of their boss moves are calculated, well-researched and strategic—even those seemingly done on a whim.

2. The phrase ‘I don’t feel like it’ is not a welcome partner in success. It’s extraordinary how motivated and driven a successful, long-term millionaire can be. (And I’m not talking about those who inherited family fortunes or just up and won a million after hitting it big on a scratch off.)

Average, or even above-average, just doesn’t cut it. Typically, successful millionaires who have made their own fortunes talk (or think) business when others would rather not. Those with long-term success often sacrifice and take to radical methods that even some people who consider themselves “radical” won’t utilize. They are often like pro athletes who continue to play even with an injury, oftentimes pushing past comfort or fear. When laziness or sheer exhaustion rears its head, millionaires seem to find that extra battery boost to keep going.

3. Add value and build relationships that leverage what you can do for others. This theme is common among the millionaires I’ve interviewed and been mentored by. They may be talking with someone and thinking to themselves, “What can I get from this person?” or “What can this person do for me?” but they never express it. Instead, they build their value in their industry and are able to sell how working with them can indeed benefit someone else. If you really think about it, this is a better way to close the deal with someone considering it creates a sense of trust and collaboration, though any boss knows that whatever value you add, you’ll be sure to get that or more in return.

What other extraordinary leadership traits do you notice about millionaire business leaders you admire? #Soundoff and follow me on Twitter @JPHazelwood.

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