World’s Billionaires – Secrets of Success

This is my last blogpost of my blog series “World’s Billionaires”. In this post I will introduce the richest person on earth and  his secrets of success. This guy is the number one on the list “The richest people in the world” (since 2010) according to the Forbes magazine – he really understood the concept of becoming, being and staying successful.

The wealthiest man on earth

Carlos Slim Helú is a Mexican business magnate and philanthropist who is currently considered as the richest person in the world in 2012 with a fortune of US$ 69 billion. His father, a Lebanese from Jezzine, fled as a teenager to Mexico City to escape harsh Military rule. In Mexico he eventually created highly successful import and real estate businesses worth millions. With the inheritance of Carlos’ father, he became a businessman and applied involvement in a variety of companies, which include telecommunications, retail, banking, insurance, technology and auto parts manufacturing. Presently he is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunication companies Telmex and América Móvil. Helú is sometimes called as “Mr. Monopoly”, the Wall Street Journal once quipped that

It’s hard to spend a day in Mexico and not put money in Helu’s pocket.”

Unsurprisingly, because Helu’s phone company Telmex controls 90% of the Mexixan landline telephone market and its subsidiary América Móvil handles 70% of the cell service.

Success Secrets of Carlos Slim Helú

With his hands in all of retail, banking, insurance, techonology and auto parts manufacturing industries, Helú shows no signs of slowing down. Here are his secrets of success according to Sompong Yusoontorn:

1. Don’t follow the crowd or the market.

The entire success of Helú’s business career has rested on one simple concept: go against the current. He is known for sniffling out great bargain deals and making investments that seem to be at odds with what the market and his competitors, are saying is right.

When there is a crisis, that’s when some are interested in getting out”, says Helú, “and that’s when we are interested in getting in.”

2. Understand the future and your place in it

Helú’s priority is to understand which industries hold the most promise for the future, and more importantly, for this money. He says

Technology is going to transform people’s lives and society everywhere in the world.”

3. Understanding the future, however, does not mean completely forgetting the past.

For instance, while many retail groups are introducing e-commerce and phasing out their “bricks” operations, Helú suggest that both the “clicks” and the “bricks” will continue to be important.

I think one of the big errors people are making right now is thinking that old-style businesses will be obsolete, when actually they will be an important part of this new civilization.”, argues Helú.

4. Plan slowly, act quickly with gut instinct

Helú has been developing his gut instinct when it comes to detecting a good business deal. And, he has learned to trust that gut, even when it went against what all of his competitors were saying. It is the confidence that took him to the top.

When we decide to do something, we do it quickly.”

5. Everything has a bottom line

Even if Helú’s charitable contribution are less than those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but what he has done with his foundations is significant. He demonstrates the importance of approaching everything you do with an eye on the bottom line and he reminds

Our concept is more to accomplish and solve things, rather than giving, that is, not going around like Santa Claus. Poverty isn’t solves with donations.”

6. Have ambition to do what you love

From a young age, Helú has practiced legendary financial restraint. By the time he was 15 years old, he had made more money from stocks than most of his parents’ friends had saved up in their entire lifetimes. Helú thinks always positively and possibly, he claims

How can we develop if we’re always stuck in crises?”

7. He’s famously frugal

Despite his fortune, he still lives in the same modest 6-bedroom home where he’s resided for the past three decades. It is actually quiet small if you consider that he had lived with his 6 children togehter. Despite the prevalence of kidnappings in Mexico. Carlos still drives himself to work every day.

I’m a paper man, not electronic. My children gave me a laptop for Christmas, but all I know how to do so far is push the on button.”

He has recently stepped out of the limelight but the impact of his career and his personality can still be felt throughout Latin America and beyond. Helú will not only go down in history as one of the most successful Mexican businessmen, but indeed as one of the world’s most successful businessman of all time.

When you live for others’ opinions, you are dead. I don’t want to live thinking about how i’ll be remembered.”

– Carlos Slim Helú