20 Successful Habits I Learned Working For Two Billionaires (Part 1)

I have spent decades “being educated” –  in college, graduate school, numerous professional certifications, and now a PhD program. All of that schooling and training helped shape the person I am today, but at no point in my life  has there been a more profound education than my time working for Enver Yucel and Oprah Winfrey.

20 successful habits I learned from Oprah Winfrey and Enver Yucel

Enver and Oprah are two extraordinary people. And on top of that, they’re both billionaires. On the surface, they appear to be totally different people. They are in different industries, have different family structures, practice different religions, and speak different languages. However, once you get past their written biographies and dig deeper, you will notice they possess many of the same successful habits.

I had the opportunity to work with both Oprah and Enver for 6 years collectively and those were, hands down, the best professional experiences of my life. I worked my ass off for them and in doing so absorbed everything I could.

It’s my honor to share with you what I learned from them. Here is Part 1 of the 20 successful habits I learned working for two billionaires:

1) Invest in Yourself

This is a very simple concept, but something you would think someone who has “made it” would stop doing. Not at all for these two. I saw them both spend a significant amount of time dedicating their resources to self-development  (whether it be a new language, exercise, social media classes, etc). [inlinetweet prefix=”#BillionaireHabits | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=””]The moment you stop investing in yourself is the moment you have written off future dividends in life.[/inlinetweet]

 

2) Be Curious…About Everything

What the average person sees as mundane or overly complicated is not viewed the same way with a billionaire mindset. I once had a 30 minute conversation with Enver about the height of the curbs in Washington DC versus Istanbul, Turkey.  Billionaires are incredibly curious; what the rest of the world thinks is a problem and complains about — that’s what these people go and work on.

 

3) Surround Yourself With “Better” People

I hope this is why they kept me around :-). Seriously, I never knew my bosses to keep anyone less-than-stellar in their inner circle. There were many times I thought to myself, “Damn, they have dream-teams built around them.” Jim Rohn had it right, [inlinetweet prefix=”Surround Yourself w/Better People | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”[/inlinetweet]

 

4) Never Eat Alone

The last time I had dinner with Enver, as well as the last time I ate dinner with Oprah, there were easily 15 people at our tables, respectively. Coincidence? While most of us derive our key information from blogs or the newspaper, power players get their information from the source (other power players), directly. However, just because you can’t call up the Obamas and break bread with them doesn’t mean eating with others in your circle doesn’t carry value. In one of my favorite reads of the last few years called Never Eat Alone
author Keith Ferrazzi breaks down how you can [inlinetweet prefix=”Never Eat Alone | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]identify “information brokers” to dine with you.[/inlinetweet] I’ve seen first hand how enormous the benefits are of this strategy.

 

5) Take Responsibility For Your Losses

I was working for Oprah during the time she was taking heat from the media about poor network ratings. I was also working for Enver during the closing of one of his prized divisions. What I witnessed them both do in response was powerful. Opposed to covering the losses up with fancy PR tactics, both stepped to the stage and said in essence “I own it and I’m going to fix it” and dropped the mic. Guess what?  They sure did fix things (It’s widely noted Oprah’s network is realizing ratings gold and Enver’s assets have probably doubled since the division closing).

 

6) Understand The Power Of “Leverage”

This is something that was quite a shock to me. From afar, a billionaire appears to be someone who is a master at everything. But, in truth, they’re specialists in one or a few areas and average or subpar at everything else. So, how do they get so much done? Leverage! [inlinetweet prefix=”Understand the Power of Leverage | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]They do what they do best and get others to do the rest[/inlinetweet]. Here’s a great article on leverage. Keep in mind I see this done with wealthy people and their money all of the time – they use OPM (other people’s money) for most or all of their projects.

 

7) Take No Days Off (Completely)

I recall going on vacation with Enver several times, yachting up and down the southwestern coast of Turkey (also known as the blue voyage). Sounds ballerific, right? No doubt we had a great time, but mixed in with all that swimming and backgammon was discussion of business, discussion of strategy, planning and plotting. [inlinetweet prefix=”Take No Days Off (Completely)” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]The best way I can describe this habit is thinking about your business or your idea like your literal baby. [/inlinetweet]No matter your distance, you don’t stop thinking of him/her (and after just having a second son, I can attest to this).

 

8) Focus On Experiences vs. Material Possessions

When you have money, your toys are big. However, the vast majority of money I saw spent on their “leisure” was on actual experiences versus the typical car, jewelry, and clothes we’re familiar with seeing in music videos and gossip blogs. I recall one time at dinner with Oprah, I spotted a table of about 20 girls off to the side. I later found out Ms. Winfrey was treating some of her graduating girls from her school in South Africa to dinner in NYC. [inlinetweet prefix=”Focus on Experiences vs. Material Possessions |” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]Experiences create memories, and memories are priceless.[/inlinetweet]

 

9) Take Enormous Risks

This is another one of those successful habits every entrepreneur can attest to. A matter of fact, Entreprenuer.com created a great infographic outlining commonalities of the world’s billionaires and one of the most prominent was this characteristic: billionaires are not adverse to risk. What intrigues me even more about Enver and Oprah was that even at their high financial status and success level, they still possessed a willingness to risk their most precious asset (their name and legacy) on new and bolder projects. [inlinetweet prefix=”Take Enormous Risks | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]If you’re not taking risks, you’re not making moves![/inlinetweet]

 

10) Don’t Go At It Alone

Nothing great in life is achieved alone. Especially in business, success isn’t a solo act. This character trait is akin to “surrounding yourself with better people.” [inlinetweet prefix=”Dont Go It Alone | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”| 20 Habits I Learned”]It takes teamwork to make the dream work.[/inlinetweet]

What I witnessed from working for Enver and Oprah were characteristics and successful habits that not only apply to business “wins,” but also translate to general life success. I sincerely hope the tips I’ve shared here will inspire you to create (or maintain) great habits for your success. If you’re ready to learn more now and want to get my take on how successful business people build personal brands and an audience, read this! Otherwise, if you want to read Part 2, here it is!

 

How are you putting these successful habits to work? Let’s talk about it!

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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650 Comments on "20 Successful Habits I Learned Working For Two Billionaires (Part 1)"

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Michaele Mickey Acary
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Michaele Mickey Acary

Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge. We all truly appreciate it.

Paul Carrick Brunson
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My pleasure to do so Michaele Mickey Acary

mia2nyc
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PaulCBrunson I wish I had your résumé.

PaulCBrunson
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mia2nyc much #respect – thank you.

Precious Moore
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This was a great inspiring read with great value! Thank you for sharing I took notes!!! That was the first time I heard in this perspective to not eat alone!! Thanks again!!!

GenellHiggins
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Great info Paul. Taking notes… Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Renee' Boulden
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Michelle Renee' Boulden

This was fantastic and very informative. Thanks!!!

Lynette Ketcham
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Love 🙂

KamishaRoss
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PaulCBrunson Proud of you brotha! Keep up the great work your doing! Your gift is making room for you! Take care.

mshawnburns
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PaulCBrunson good read bro…. Thanks for sharing

Jevees Russell
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Do you ever give lectures in the DC area?

Katherine Mason
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Part 2 please!!
#Wisdom

Tonia Clyburn
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Working for Oprah had to be an amazing experience. I hope to see you on a Lifeclass soon!

PaulCBrunson
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bromfieldent thanks for sharing!

PaulCBrunson
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KamishaRoss very powerful words, thank you!

PaulCBrunson
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mshawnburns so glad you got value from it bro!

Donnae
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This posts are always great! The fact that I am a follower of yours is definitely a start towards billionhabits! Lol Get it 🙂

Vanessa Orozco Robelo
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Vanessa Orozco Robelo

Totally love it!!!

Rolanda Hammond-White
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Rolanda Hammond-White

I love to see African American young men wanting to become successful.

Tamara
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Great post! I am especially making strides to invest in myself this year. I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean spending a ton of money. I’m going to read more about  my field and keep working to perfect my craft!

Elle Payne
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Thanks for sharing! This is awesome!!!!

PaulCBrunson
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sinemisv Number 3 was you sis!

Only1Realtor
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PaulCBrunson Great post, thanks for sharing! #NeverEatAlone

erdalcalis
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PaulCBrunson You’re great, you’re awesome Paul 🙂

bromfieldent
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RTPaulCBrunson: bromfieldent thanks for sharing!” Success has a formula Paul.. With God plus those keys u shared! Thank u!!

PaulCBrunson
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Only1Realtor so glad you found value in it sis!

PaulCBrunson
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erdalcalis you are Number 3! Hope you and your family are well Erdal.

Dowager Namahottie
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#7 is the reason so many are divorced and why, smartly, Oprah has never married.
None of these qualities are really all that special or unique to those in the monied club. Anyone who is successful (be flexible about what that means) has these qualities.

Kareena Carter
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Been waiting for this one!

erdalcalis
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PaulCBrunson Thanks Paul 🙂 That’s very kind of you 🙂

K360Life
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PaulCBrunson luv #8 experience over material is my favorite

MoniqueEddleton
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This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and learnings with us. There is invaluable information here!  Thanks so much fellow Hoya!! 🙂 #hoyasaxa

Vanessa Cunningham
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Great post Paul! All of these points are so important. I took a big risk leaving my career on Wall Street to start my Nutrition and Fitness Coaching company.  I made a decision to pursue the desire God put in my heart. Investing in yourself is so critical as I’ve invested in several business and personal development coaching programs which has been instrumental in my business. Point #3 is always what I strive to do because it only fuels me to play bigger in the world. Thanks for sharing.

Yenziwe_B
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PaulCBrunson great read 🙂

Paul Carrick Brunson
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Dowager Namahottie thanks for reading. you just supported my point “anyone who is successful has these qualities.”

Paul Carrick Brunson
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Planning one right now for April Jevees Russell!

sinemisv
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PaulCBrunson I would be the first, but I lost some time translating 🙂

sinemisv
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PaulCBrunson It’s a coincidence that Mr Yucel and I talked about you today. I will send you an email.

sinemisv
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PaulCBrunson We r at the hospital now in NY for Begum’s labour. Her delivery has started 🙂

PaulCBrunson
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sinemisv WOW….send her and everyone my best wishes!!!

Yetunde Balogun
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Do you give seminar in New Jersey

ShaunaCox
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PaulCBrunson Great blog post. I found it very informative.

Valerie Simmons
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Thank you!!

Darla Metcalf
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Chris Horne

meryemmekinci
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inciincegul dkutuphane onderus Hemen ekleyeyim bunu ben listeme 🙂

Jevees Russell
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I hope it’s at a time when I’m available. I’m sure you’ll know well in advance..

onderus
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inciincegul dkutuphane meryemmekinci bence çevrilmesi çok faydalı olur..

Tee Kimmons
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You are so handsome!

Emily
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I am always amazed on the way you brand yourself Paul :). I have to say on my Facebook page, I took a page from your book. lol… I began tagging my name on the pictures that I posted so that when it was shared others would know where to go. 🙂 Also as I was reading this blog I saw a phrase that I loved and when I put my cursor over it, it highlighted in blue and said tweet this. I absolutely love that! Learning new things all the time from you!! Keep up all the wonderful work… Read more »
AV Connexions
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Paul, I love this article! Thank you for sharing your good fortune with us. I’m inspired!!

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