photo credit: designldg
The second installment of Commercial Real Estate Billionaires features the 90th Richest American and the 5th Richest Real Estate Billionaire, a man who runs headstrong against the supposition that Real Estate Billionaires ‘cherish privacy’, and who also ran for presidency (twice), at $3.4B, Henry Ross Perot Sr. has accumulated plenty of wealth and public advice on Real Estate and Life.
Despite his lack of success in two presidential runs (though the most successful third-party presidential candidate in terms of the popular vote since Theodore Roosevelt), you can hardly consider Ross Perot a failure. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to find anyone that does.
In general, some of the most compelling arguments of character are evident not in words-of-self, but words of others. Which makes it hard to discount: “Ross has no idea, to thousands of people, he has no concept of the importance he played in their lives.” (Gary Kusin, senior advisor at Fort Worth Equity Firm TPG)
In business, I’ve encountered two types of mentors: those who train others into a position, and those who train others into a protégé (the former exponentially more abundant than the latter). It’s an issue of security (or more often insecurity), and if you’re lucky enough to find the latter mentor, you’ll know it by the praise of those who have already crossed his/her path.
Ross Perot’s a latter mentor. From the many stumbled across words of gratitude, it seems Ross Perot embodies the rare sentiment: ‘I wish you find success greater than me.’
So if we can trust the good nature of a man widely successful, it follows that we give a moment of thought to his better advice, and spot an important characteristic of a future billionaire:
“Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment.”
You’ve heard it before, and if you haven’t, it’s time to get a bit more observant. It’s the age-old ‘reach out and grab it’ advice. For the most successful, the cement to the success, the last obstacle, is consistently pointed out as the greatest obstacle, and remedy-consistent with ‘remember where you came from, remember what you’ve always wanted’.
And to get there, here are three pieces of his advice:
1) Don’t expand too quickly! “If you [start within your means], no one will be able to beat you, because you will have done every job yourself”
2) His famous: “If you see a snake, just kill it – don’t appoint a committee on snakes.”
3) And finally: “The success of a company is in recruiting really outstanding people. It’s all about the quality of the people.”
And that’s a decent start. So take Donald Bren’s grand-vision and get it within your means, pack a heavy sack of belief in yourself (takes some courage!), and never underestimate the value of quality in others.
As we conclude Part 2, remember to return for Part 3, where our Billionaire sums the entire complexion of financial success into a seven-word storybook answer.