One primary habit of billionaires is they read a lot, covering financial literacy, investment portfolios and many other topics.
Read at least 30 minutes a day. Maximise your time on the MRT or bus. Constantly add to your expert knowledge on personal finance, personal financial planning and personal investment portfolio. When you tire or feel like a break, read other subjects – especially subjects your clients are into – and these do not have to be related to business or finance.
You need to be capable of talking about any subject, whether it is business, social or hobby related. This will enhance your branding as a well-rounded, well informed professional and help you quickly find common ground with your prospects – whether this is a potential client or an employer.
If you don’t like reading or unable to – listen to podcasts or watch videos – at least 30 minutes a day. That ought to be fun, right?
For example, here is a 2-minute primer on wine tasting.
How useful is that – both in your business and social circles? If you watch a series of similar clips on wine appreciation and put to practise when you’re among family or friends – in a short time, you’ll know enough to hold a confident conversation on wines. You begin to acquire a reputation as a wine expert within your circle.
Imagine, you and your friend, John, circulating in a cocktail reception. What will you say when you get to finally meet Mr Big Shot? Hand him your card and talk business? How different is this from the rest of the hunters in the room? Anyway, why would Mr Big Shot want to talk business with you? How will you make an impression within seconds so that Mr Big Shot would want to invest a few minutes of his time in you?
Now, imagine that you’re in the cocktail reception. You’re working the room in one corner and John in another. John meets Mr Big Shot, who loves wines. Chances are very high that John will introduce you to Mr Big Shot as someone who “knows” wines. John is a shrewd professional who is paying it forward by connecting you two. Both of you now owe John a favour for making the connection. John wins. You get to meet Mr Big Shot who already has a positive opinion of you. Mr Big Shot gets an opportunity to regale you with his wine stories (which you eagerly lap up, of course). Mr Big Shot wins. The stage is set for you to work your charm and, in time, start doing business with Mr Big Shot or perhaps even land that dream job. You win. This is a win-win-win outcome.
This is more than a nice story. The fact is, you attract people who share similar tastes. Pun unintended.
Of course, you can pursue and become an expert in any subject. These could be specific areas of business or investment, and/or whatever meets your personal interests, business and career needs.
Maximise your “idle” time but refrain from idle activities. The last thing you want to do is indulge your time on computer games – unless your clients are also into gaming.
Here is a simple test to gauge how well informed you are in a common topic: If asked to describe the restaurant meal you just had with your potential client or boss, how would you express yourself?
Would you respond like most Singaporeans and stop at, “Not bad!” How far will that get you?
Hone yourself as a well informed and interesting conversationalist. Stand out from the herd!
Read every day – that’s what immensely successful people do.
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