One Thing I Have Never Heard a Billionaire Say

by RJ

in Random

Few words are spoken or written by billionaires today. It’s not that they are off in their yachts sipping their Johnny Walker Blue and eating caviar, they are just working hard on making their next billion.

When one of the few billionaires around today speak, I therefore make sure to listen. There is a special wisdom that comes from people who have made it all the way to the top. Wisdom that sometimes contradicts, a lot of what is written about building wealth today.

I’m not writing this post because I want to become a billionaire myself. I’m writing to displace a one myth I have heard from other authors on building wealth.

You Have to Spend Money to Make Money

If someone can prove me wrong, please do. However, I have never heard a billionaire say, “You have to spend money, to make money.”

The only people I hear today saying this, is someone trying to sell you something.

Readthis quote from John Paul Getty in his book, How to be Rich:

“I’ve heard the concept that “you have to thin big and spend money to make money” bandied about ever since I began my own business career. I doubt if there is any other business concept more widely misinterpreted. I agree that anyone who desires to achieve success and wealth in business must have imagination and be farsighted. He must also be willing to spend-and risk-money, but only when the expenditure is justified and this risk is carefully calculated to be worth it.

In my opinion, it’s more important for the man with The Millionaire Mentality to be able to think small than to think big-in the sense that he gives meticulous attention to even the smallest details and missed no opportunity to reduce costs in his own or his employer’s business.”

There are many ways, you can build a legitimate business today with little money. It’s feasible to start a real business for less than $100, online. Never go don’t go into credit card debt to build a business. There is enough information freely online, to get you started. The only additional cost is the time you spend going though it.

Never let anyone tell you, that you have to spend money to make money. Last time I checked, making money was about creating value for someone else. The more value you can create, the more you will get rewarded. It’s that simple.


I have a few resources for someone interested about learning from others who have made it to the top. First, I would check out Warren Buffett’s Shareholder Letters to stockholders. Take an hour a day, for the next month to go through the archives. I’m currently doing this right now and I have found that it’s one of the best learning experiences of my life. I get to go through Warren Buffet’s head, from beginning to end.

My two favorite books by billionaires are, How to be Rich by John Paul Getty and How to Get Rich by Felix Denis (He’s not a billionaire, but he’s close enough). Both books are all about the principles to building a successful business (There is not how to book on building a business). It doesn’t matter if you’re a one man shop or manage thousands of employees, there is a lot to learn from both.

Last, I love reading Mark Cuban’s blog. He is one of the few CEO’s who blog the right way.

If you have any resources, please feel free to share them in the comments.


Photo by: Ethan Bloch

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DavidNo Gravatar August 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Great article. I will have to look around this blog more. How to Be Rich was a good book and I love Cuban’s blog. Both come down to the grit of the matter. Buffett started out small too.

Deal-MakerNo Gravatar August 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm

There’s really now secret to how billionaires do it. In the vast majority of cases, it’s about being a driven deal-maker who does a lot of deals. The one-hit wonders like Gates, Bezos, and the Google boys are the exceptions. (This is not to take anything away from them.) Study billionaires and you realize that it’s not about any one idea but rather about serial deal-making and many capital gains.

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