The Habits of Eccentric Billionaires: Smart or Stupid?

billionaire habits

This article is inspired by a review of Breaking out of Homeostasis on Amazon.UK, written by “MP“:

The increased awareness of yourself and actions after you read it is amazing. If you ever wondered why for example when people travel they come back full of ideas and positivity this book will explain the science. It makes you see why so many millionaires/successful people can often seem eccentric or crazy to the rest of us because the fact is they actually have much better control of their thoughts and subsequent actions than the rest of us.

Think about it – Steve Jobs didn’t wear shoes half the time, Richard Branson would put his life in deliberate danger trying to fly around the world in a hot air balloon, Warren Buffett does not have a computer/smartphone. It may seem crazy to us but they are actually breaking out of homeostasis.

I think we all have 5-10 books we will continually come back to. This is definitely one of mine. I started again with the intention to have read it twice by the 31st dec.


This is an interesting topic. One that I have given some thought to. When it comes to the quirks of the super-successful, I think it’s easy to mistake cause and effect.

Is Warren Buffett stupid enough to eat at McDonald’s every day and drink plenty of Coca Cola? If so, he has tremendously good metabolism. Or maybe he thinks so much he burns more calories sitting on his ass than the rest of us do working out?

The more likely explanation is that Buffett likes to “advertise” himself in this way to be seen as more likeable and familiar to the average American.

Howard Hughes is another example. He would sometimes be up for 48 hours working non-stop and then sleep for days. He would also collect women (hot models he had seen pictures of) and let them live in buildings and apartments he owned (almost like a harem, except he never met with many of them). He also had his assistants catching flies and protecting hamburgers.

Howard Hughes was truly eccentric. But I don’t think it was a deliberate method for using his brain more or breaking out of homeostasis. I think it was just who he was–and he did go insane later.

So, there definitely are examples of quirky behaviors and billionaire habits that are either misleading or plain retarded. Sometimes the line between genius and crazy is thin.

Still, I think it’s fair to say you don’t become a Billionaire without some serious discipline and by being good at using your brain in different and deliberate ways. Therefore I think M.P hits on a tune of truth in his/her comment.

A lot of the most successful businesspeople have extreme interests.

Larry Ellison likes sword fighting and has set a world record sailing, Ted Turner almost did too (nearly dying in the process), Michael Bloomberg skiis and flies planes and helicopters (and nearly died twice doing it, and Sam Walton and his brother Bud used to fly too–mostly to scout locations for Walmart. Bernie Ecclestone raced fast cars long before he founded Formula One. And Richard Branson. . . who can even keep track of all the crazy things he does? They’re big time Homeostasis Breakers. 

And when they’re not doing adventurous things (exploring, taking risks, learning) they are building their brain through creativity and thought practices. They have few–but strong–commitments in their life, and prune their Dunbar’s Number.

Michael Bloomberg is a great example. He’s one of my top role models. He has built one of the world’s most financially successful businesses and been a great mayor for New York for THREE terms. This is from his biography Bloomberg by Bloomberg:

billionaire habits

A few pages later…

billionaire habits

It’s the small “safety habits” that buy you margin:

billionaire habits

And, finally, why he flies (despite two near-death accidents):

billionaire habits
“I like it when you have to do what you say you’re going to do.”

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  1. The article reminds me of the time I went into the Amazon jungle in Peru. My greatest adventures have been traveling the world solo. There is something about being self-reliant. I’ve learned more about myself during these time than any other, besides my time in Baghdad. Never be a spectator! Great post.

  2. Mike Rockefeller.

    • What is it about him? I skimmed his Wikipedia now fast but didn’t get it.

      I found this quote however

      “It’s the desire to do something adventurous,” he explained, “at a time when frontiers, in the real sense of the word, are disappearing.”

      • Anon,
        He mysteriously vanished.
        I doubt he was a Billionaire though. Just born in the right family.

      • M. Rockefeller was eccentric and reckless, much like the billionaires Ludvig described. Recklessness doesn’t always pay off.

  3. Harvey Specter says

    Great underlining I would also underline that.

  4. Interesting topic. I am curious about how billionares they spend their money, and how did their lives changed before and after their fortune.

    About your book… I still didn’t read it. Sorry. December is a very busy month to me.

  5. Bloomberg is a big boss. Some say he has an iron grip on NYC. Othets don’t like him because they want more soda. Hehehehe.

    But everyone respects his business sense.

  6. Good job exposing Buffetts trickery. Great man, but always bothered by this.

    Just read your cause and effect intelligent mimicry article. I have thought the same thing!!

    //Baron, Phil

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