July 15 2016 – 7:34AM

Warren Buffett donated about $US2.2 billion ($2.9 billion) of stock in his annual gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, betting that risk takers at the group will make breakthroughs in global health and US education even as they acknowledge that some efforts will be unsuccessful.

“Some of the projects we fund will fail,” the Gateses wrote in a message on their website. “We not only accept that, we expect it — because we think an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make. As we learn which bets pay off, we have to adjust our strategies and share the results so everyone can benefit.”

The Sage of Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO isn’t likely to want to leave his investing powerhouse.

“If you succeed in everything you’re doing in charity, you’re attempting things that are too easy,”: Warren Buffett. Photo: Thomas Lohnes

Buffett, 85, contributed 15 million Class B shares of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to the foundation Wednesday, according to a regulatory filing Thursday. He made a pledge in 2006 to hand over a total that equates to 500 million shares, and each year he gives 5 per cent of the remaining total.

Through last year, he donated more than $US17 billion of stock to the foundation. The annual sums have often climbed because of gains in the share price.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has donated over $US17 billion of stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation Photo: AP

‘Too Easy’

While he is known for looking for a margin of safety with Berkshire’s investments and often faults himself when his stock wagers sour, Buffett is more tolerant of bets going bad in philanthropy. “If you succeed in everything you’re doing in charity, you’re attempting things that are too easy,” the Berkshire chairman and chief executive officer said in 2011.

The Gates Foundation has donated more than $US36 billion, including for projects that expand access to immunisations in developing countries and provide financial services to poor communities. Bill Gates, the 60-year-old co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has acknowledged it’s been more difficult to make advances improving US education than in boosting mortality rates for children.

Henry Sapiecha

John Arnold and his wife Laura are targeting contrarian, underappreciated causes, things like research integrity, drug-sentencing reform, organ donations and broken pension systems, an especially radioactive issue.

When John Arnold was a trader, he had a serene – some would say bloodless – way of seeing the world. He wanted the truth, the cold, hard truth, and embraced the power of an idea no one else was seeing. Then he bet nearly everything he had on it.

In 2006, Arnold’s hedge fund, Centaurus Advisors, took a huge contrarian position on natural gas prices and made a fortune. In 2008, it anticipated the commodities crash.

Three years ago, at the tender age of 38, married with three children and $US4 billion richer, Arnold shut his fund and decided to spend the rest of his professional life giving away his money as counterintuitively as he had earned it.

He had made millions at Enron and billions at Centaurus, zigging when others zagged. Now, that rare person who grows less popular the more he gives away, he is focusing on dilemmas dragging down the nation that no one else wants to confront.

Sitting in the Houston offices of his foundation, he explained, “I was troubled when I was trading that it’s hard to make that direct tie between the financial industry and the greater good. My life was 100 per cent trying to make money in the first phase, then 100 per cent trying to do good in the second.”
Contrarian causes

Arnold and his wife, Laura, a former corporate attorney, are targeting contrarian, underappreciated causes, things like research integrity, drug-sentencing reform, organ donations and broken pension systems, an especially radioactive issue. This is partly, they say, because while a billion dollars sounds like a lot, it isn’t when applied to a multitrillion-dollar conundrum.

“I try to look at it from supply and demand,” Arnold said. “Where is the need being met today, and where is there unmet demand?”

Of cultural facilities, research universities and hospitals that raise money briskly, he said, “I’m not saying those are bad things to fund, I just think the value of an incremental dollar to these is lower than other avenues.”

Arnold is a private man who doesn’t engage in a lot of pleasantries. He has grown a beard that disguises a trademark boyishness. He chooses his words deliberately and folds his hands together.

Pension reform appealed to Arnold the moment he first read about it. The problem is complex, seemingly unsolvable, and just about no one else was willing to get involved.

And Arnold, a moderate Democrat who believes a rich country like the US should provide a high safety net for its citizens, sees the stakes as being no smaller than the survival of the very governments that provide that net.
Quality of life

“The financial health of a city or a state is directly attributable to outcomes in education and outcomes in public safety and quality of life,” Arnold said. “This isn’t just an accounting problem. It directly leads into all the things people care about.”

Pensions work like this: every year, employees and the government both pay into a fund, and when the employees retire the government uses that fund to pay them until they die. There are decades between the pay-in and the pay-out, so the government can invest the fund and make sure the money is there.

But problems have arisen. While employees’ contributions are taken directly out of pay cheques, mayors and governors have routinely not paid their share into the system, arguing (often wrongly) that they will get a higher return than predicted. In addition, the market crash of 2008 wiped more than $US1 trillion off pension funds’ assets.

A study of more than 150 state and local pensions found the total unfunded liability between $US1.1 trillion and $US3.1 trillion.
Fixing pensions

This is not a problem most philanthropists have had any interest in solving.

“Fixing” pensions means, almost by definition, cutting payments to people who need and were promised them, raising retirement ages, reducing cost of living adjustments, introducing defined contribution plans for new workers and increasing how much employees must put into their retirement. The Arnolds argue that despite the pain caused, without the changes both governments and pensioners have no future.

They don’t recommend specific changes, only present states and municipalities with options. Through their advocacy organisation, they support candidates and ballot initiatives, sometimes providing the vast majority of the donations in places including Phoenix and San Jose. They include legal work to defend the changes from court challenge. The Arnolds supported the overhaul of the Rhode Island pension system led by state Treasurer Gina Raimondo who they later backed in her successful gubernatorial run.

Critics say pension reform is a euphemism for denying workers what they have been promised and paid for. One Rolling Stone writer called Arnold a “ubiquitous young right-wing kingmaker.”

Bailey Childers, president of the National Public Pension Coalition, a union-backed group set up in part to help counter Arnold’s influence, said, “There’s not this crisis that they want you to believe there is in states that are doing what they’re supposed to do. This is an attack on workers who have played by the rules.”

Arnold, who grew used to being unpopular as an investor, says the pension work has been worth all the criticism. He acknowledges that policy is a squishier realm than the metrics-oriented world of financial markets. Failure is a frequent, even elemental, part of success. But he finds inspiration from the recent and sudden surge of gay rights, a once unpopular cause.

“Things seem to be happening very quickly now, but only because there was 10 or 20 years of work done on these issues when progress was frustratingly slow,” he said. He hopes the same will hold true for his work on pensions, that groundwork now will yield results in a decade. By finding what he calls “leverage points in the system,” he figures he has “higher potential for value added.”


Henry Sapiecha

BRW Rich Families – 2015-Australia

australian $50 bank notes pile image


Henry Sapiecha

For billionaire Manoj Bhargava (like many other people), the world is a place full of problems. Between poverty, pollution, food growth, and access to water, the list seems to be ever growing. That’s why he’s recently pledged to spearhead a group aimed at giving away all their billions to turning things around for mankind.

Here’s how he plans to do it…

It seems like a promotional video, but the message behind it is so important.

Regardless of whether he’s naive or not, there’s no question his motives are pure. It’s certainly something society — and the world — needs. Stereotypes and politics aside, there are many wealthy people that truly help the needy…and we hope the number of those people increases.



Henry Sapiecha

Top 10 Investors Of All Time.

This Is How They Did It

Investing has the potential to leading towards incredible wealth. While it helps to have a large sum of money to begin with, it is not always necessary. Through the right investment practices it is possible to continually build up wealth. However, there are some people who are just better at it than others. Usually through the combination of knowledge, skill and luck, these top 10 investors of all time have made their fortune through appropriate options trading, future trading and a variety of other methods.

George Soros

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Like many of the other investors on this list, he started up before online investing. He is best known for basically breaking the Bank of England. He did this by basically betting $10 billion on a single trade. This shorted the British Pound due to the size of the trade, but with this trade he net $2 billion in a single day. He is a macro economic investor, but it is important to understand he doesn’t have a clear strategy. he more or less just understands the situation and moves on from there.

Bill Gross

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Bill Gross shows it is possible to make money without stock investing or dealing with other common investing types. In act, he built up his fortune through simple bond investing. His company currently has around $600 billion in bond based investments. Of course, like any quality investor, he does understand the importance of having a diverse portfolio, so he personally invests in other stocks. When he makes an investment, he takes a “big picture” approach as he wants to invest with a stock for 3-5 years. He says he does this so there is no “emotional whiplash” should the stock fail to perform on a given day.

John Bogle

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John, more commonly referred to as “Jack” learned about how to properly invest through mistakes. Mistakes happen in the business and trading world, which makes learning from these mistakes imperative. After graduating from Princeton University he eventually went on to work at Wellington Management Company where he become Chairman. However, he was eventually fired due to a bad merger. He took this knowledge to go and found The Vanguard Group, which is best known for being a low cost mutual funds company. He even gives out rules for investors to look at in order to make sure they are as successful as him. He says to start out with a low cost fund, look at any added costs associated with it and to not overrate previous performance on the fund. Instead, the past performance should only be used to determine if it is a consistently performing stock

Warren Buffett

The Sage of Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway's CEO isn't likely to want to leave his investing powerhouse.

The Sage of Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO isn’t likely to want to leave his investing powerhouse.

Of all the investors on this list, Warren Buffett is probably best known. Before becoming the investment professional he is today, he held different investment jobs, with his most recent earning him $12,000 a year. He used this money an money from individual investments to accumulate his wealth to just under $200,000 before starting an investment partnership. His current net value now though is in the ballpark of $50 billion, so he really has taken a small amount and built it on his own. He made his money by buying struggling companies for a low price, then pumping money into the companies in order to improve it, which in turn helps increase the value of the stock price. He only focuses in on industries that he understands and feels comfortable with, which is a very important bit of information for investors. It can become easy to try to invest in a company that is hot at the time, but knowing a bit about the investment and what the company does can make it easier to make do the right decisions later on with the company.

Philip Fisher

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Philip basically invented the idea of investing on growth stocks. In 1931, he opened his own investment company called Fisher & Company and actually managed it up until 1999, when he decided to retire at 91. All of his investments where based on long term growth. He would analyze a company and determine it’s staying power. He used a 15 point list in order to determine whether or not a stock was worth investing in. The two main points included the management characteristics and characteristics of the business. Beyond this, some of the points included conservative accounting, accessibility, long-term outlook and an openness to change. All of these points ultimately pointed Philip to what stocks to select. He went on to write a book about his investment philosophies titled “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.”

Benjamin Graham

In this image provided by the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind, Benjamin Graham on May 29, 1951, newly elected president of the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind. (AP Photo/New York Guild for the Jewish Blind)

In this image provided by the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind, Benjamin Graham on May 29, 1951, newly elected president of the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind. (AP Photo/New York Guild for the Jewish Blind)

Benjamin is the guy who taught Warren Buffett most of what he knows (although naturally Warren learned as he went along as any great investor does). Benjamin did not make any sort of investments without first financially analyzing the stock. He eventually went on to help create a very important act in the United States called the Securities Act of 1933. This act requires public companies to divulge all financial information so investors can have a better idea of what they are investing in. Benjamin is another individual who has penned a book to help current investors. Due to the fact that he helped shape Buffett, it has turned into a best seller.

John Templeton

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For anyone who has investing in a mutual fund, this is basically the guy that created it. He founded a mutual fund in 1939. At this time, he purchased 100 shares of every company on the New York Stock Exchange trading under $1 a share. In total, he purchased stocks for 104 companies for a total of $10,400. Now over the following four years, 30 percent of these companies did go bankrupt, which is more common than people might think. Despite this, the remaining 70 companies he purchased stock in allowed him to sell the original $10,400 investment for $40,000. By multiplying his investment by four, he discovered that by purchasing a wide range of stocks, the successful companies will always cover any loss from failing companies. This is why having a diverse portfolio is important and why having stocks in a wide selection of different companies is important as well. Of course, John also made all of these investments from the Bahamas, which started another trend of “off shore trading.” However, he did this primarily to stay out of the light of Wall Street so others wouldn’t catch on.

Carl Icahn

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 11: Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor, speaks during the World Business Forum in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. Icahn said he was concerned that stocks may be reaching a peak, as risks to the U.S. economy remain after the Federal Reserve's Sept. 18 rate cut. (Photo by Chip East/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 11: Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor, speaks during the World Business Forum in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. Icahn said he was concerned that stocks may be reaching a peak, as risks to the U.S. economy remain after the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 18 rate cut. (Photo by Chip East/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Carl is one of the most famous investors in the entire world, but he can also be feared as well. This is because he locates a company that he believes can be successful but is poorly managed. He then goes and purchases enough shares to be able to vote himself into the Board of Directors and is able to gut the company of the people making the poor decisions. He then is able to sell his shares of the now much more successful company at a higher profit. Naturally, this is something that requires some money to begin with, but for someone who understand the market and business, it is a valuable operation.

Peter Lynch

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While he didn’t start the company, Peter completely revolutionized Fidelity and it’s Magellan Fund. While managing the brand for 13 years, he took the assets of $20 million and grew it to $14 billion. He also surpassed the average return on similar funds by 29% annually. He has some very specific guidelines for investing. He starts out with a common idea of “know what you know”, or, in other words, only invest in what a person understands and already knows about as it makes it easier to know when to buy more or sell. He goes on to state it is impossible to predict the economy, so don’t try to and to avoid long shot investments. Investing only in companies with strong management is important and, before ever buying into a company, the investor should always be able to explain why they are making the investment.

Michael Steinhardt

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To round out the list, Michael isn’t a flashy name, but he has maintained a 24% compound average annual return over the last 28 years. Each and every year he has seen at least a double in return on investment than the S&P500 average. He also did not do this investment with just individual stocks or mutual funds. He did it with stocks, bonds, currencies and other investments. His strategy focused on the long term by investing in the short term. He did this by holding onto his investments for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 30 days. (8)

Henry Sapiecha



Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is one of England’s most famous entrepreneurs; a successful businessman and renowned inventor, he is the founder of the innovative Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies.

Branson is an inspiration for entrepreneurs and businesspeople all over the world, epitomizing the modern work ethic and the entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of just 16, Richard undertook his first business venture (a magazine called Studen, and since then he has grown into one of the world’s most respected businessmen.

In 2014, he was listed as the seventh richest citizen of the United Kingdom on the Forbes List of Billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $4.9 billion.

In addition to his business prowess, Branson has always demonstrated an incredible desire to innovate and push boundaries. He has made numerous world record attempts, including the fastest crossing of the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle, the fastest around-the-world balloon flight, the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing and the fastest Pacific crossing.

Branson also regularly undertakes humanitarian initiatives, using his considerable wealth and influence to help people and organisations all over the world. He is a founding sponsor of the ICMEC (International Centre of Missing & Exploited Children), he founded the Branson School of Entrepreneurship, has hosted an environmental gathering at his private island, is a signatory of the Global Zero campaign, is a Comissioner on the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development initiative and has partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation for it’s ‘Say No’ campaign.


Incorporated in 1989, the Virgin Group was founded by Richard Branson and Nik Powell and consists of more than 400 companies worldwide. According to Branson, the brand name ‘Virgin’ arose when the business partners were setting up their first business, a record shop. Branson and Powell considered themselves ‘virgins’ in business, and thus the name was born.

Currently, the Virgin Group operates from its headquarters at The Battleship building in the City of Westminster. It was previously located in The School House in the London borough of Hammersmith  and  Fulham.

The core areas of the Virgin Group can be considered to be travel, entertainment and lifestyle, although it also manages ventures in financial services, transport, banking, health care, food and drink, media and telecommunications.  Although Branson retains complete ownership and control of the Virgin brand, each of the companies operating under its banner is a separate entity, with Branson owning some  and holding either majority or minority stakes in others. In some cases, he simply licenses the brand to an external company, such as Virgin Records (owned by Universal Music Group) and Virgin Media (owned by Liberty Global).


Got to run? Here’s a snapshop of Branson’s top ten tips for success:

#1 Follow your dreams
#2 Make a positive difference in the world
#3 Believe in your ideas
#4 Have fun and take care of your team
#5 Don’t give up
#6 Make lots of lists
#7 Get out there and do things
#8 Learn to delegate
#9 Prove your  naysayers wrong
#10 Do what you love, and have a sofa in the kitchen

#1 Follow your dreams and just do it

You should always pursue your passions in life, and it’s no different in business. You will find your work life far more rewarding – and successful – if you’re doing something you love, rather than just doing something for the sake of making money.

“Very few people take the risk to go and follow their dream, and those who do are usually those who end up with a much happier, more rewarding and exciting life.”

This is undoubtedly good advice for those starting their own business, but there’s also a valuable lesson here for managers too. Engaging employees can be a tough prospect for any manager, but by getting to know your employees and gauging what elements of their job they truly enjoy doing, we can better delegate responsibilities and get the best from team members. Of course it’s not always possible to give  someone a job they truly love, but by understanding what drives our workers, we can give them responsibilities, rewards or perks that we know they will enjoy, creating a better work environment and engaging team members to do the best job they  can do.

This also highlights the importance of allowing employees to voice their opinions and make suggestions for improving elements of the business or implementing new and innovative work practices. If team members have a good idea that they’re truly passionate about, listening to them and allowing them to pursue their passion can have a strong beneficial impact on their motivation, engagement and results, as well as having potentially significant implications for the business as a whole.

#2: Make a positive difference and do some good

Companies of all kinds have a social responsibility to make a  difference to the world  in some way, and being out there and doing good can  have a dramatic impact on how your staff feel about the company they work for. Whether it’s the whole world, the country in which you’re based, the local community or even just your staff and customers, you should be aiming to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

“Not only will it alter the way people feel about your business, it will give everyone involved the motivation to work harder, as they understand that their work benefits everybody. “

There’s an important lesson here for managers too, and that ‘s the importance of understanding how little things can make a big difference when it comes to engagement and motivation. These little things, whether it ‘s recognition, rewards, bonuses, understanding of personal situations or even just listening to team members, can make workers feel appreciated, acknowledged and part of an organisation that values more than just profits.

Making a positive difference – both in and outside of the company – can ensure your team members feel like valued and important elements of a greater whole and can create a positive and effective work environment.

#3: Believe in your  ideas and be the best

You should believe in your idea and feel proud about what you’re doing. You have to have a passion for it and have the ability to inspire other people to feel passionate about it  too.

“There’s little point doing something in life unless you feel really good about it and proud of what you’ve achieved and what you’re trying to do. “

It’s also important to try and be the best – to produce the best possible version of your vision. Every aspect of what you do should aim to be better than the competition, and this should be a driving force behind your efforts.

Managers can learn from this element of Branson’s work ethic, but it ‘s important to be able to effectively evaluate the quality of your ideas and critique the work you’re doing to make it a  reality.

If an idea is a good one, then you should be able to pitch it to other people in two or three sentences. Bear this in mind when you’re evaluating the quality of your – or a team member’s – ideas. When it comes to being the best, this is easier said than done, and it’s easy to become complacent in your efforts – particularly if your goal takes a long time to achieve.

As a result it ‘s important to be able to regularly critique the efforts of you and your team, to ensure you’re keeping the principles of your original idea in mind and that you’re always striving to be the   best.

#4: Have fun and look after your team

Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture.

“It’s really important to have fun at work. If you’re not having fun anymore, it may be time to move on.

Make sure you’ve got the kind of people in your company who genuinely care about others and look for the best in people. If your team are having fun and genuinely care about their colleagues and their customers, they will do a better job and staff morale will be consistently  high.

There’s an important tip here for managers, and that ‘s that in order to get the best out of your team, you should encourage a fun, interactive and collaborative environment, both in and out of the office. Keeping your team happy and engaged will result in a more motivated and effective workforce and will also have a beneficial impact on staff retention and satisfaction.

When it comes to creating this kind of environment, you should never overlook the power of effective team-building exercises. We’ve all experienced the awkwardness and relative ineffectiveness of stuffy ‘trust-fall ‘ type activities, but that doesn’t mean that team building doesn’t work – you just need to think a little outside of the box.

When you’re considering which team-building activities to undertake, you need to ensure you keep some key elements in mind. Any exercise aimed at improving overall morale and teamwork should always have a shared objective and defined goals. The activities should match these goals, and employees should be provided with meaningful  takeaways and key lessons. There’s nothing wrong with fostering competition within the team as long as it’s healthy, fun and always  good-natured.

#5: Don’t give up

It’s incredibly important not to give up when you’re working  towards trying to achieve your dreams. There will always be situations where the easiest thing to do is to simply quit, but you’ve just got to work day and night to overcome those difficulties.

If you do fail, just brush yourself off and move on to something else. Dealing with failure is much easier if you have put everything you can into avoiding it.

“Always  do your  utmost to  rise to the challenge,  and if you do fail there’s nothing wrong with simply trying again – you’ ll  be amazed at what  you can achieve.”

It’s easy to see the value of being determined and not giving up on your dreams, but this is easier said than done, particularly in the face of a tough setback or disappointment. So how can we become more determined?

One very effective way is to steer clear of the concept of  ‘destiny’.

Thinking that things just  ‘aren’t  meant to be’ or that your future  is pre-determined can be comforting in some circumstances, but at the same time, it’s often the easy way out when the alternative requires grit and courage. Instead, understand that you create your destiny, and nothing is pre-determined. If you want to be the leader of a successful team, business or any other venture, don’t be lulled into thinking whatever happens is destined to be. You can make it happen yourself, with hard work and a never-say-die  attitude. One of the most powerful ways of increasing your motivation and determination is to validate yourself and acknowledge your own past achievements. The dopamine reward system in the brain goes into overdrive when we achieve positive feedback, even if this feedback comes from ourselves.

Self-belief is also hugely important when it comes to being more determined, and a positive self-image can be a really powerful motivator. Think of yourself as someone who relishes new challenges
and is more than capable of succeeding at whatever you put your mind to.

This kind of positive reinforcement will also activate the  dopamine reward system of the brain, which is strongly associated with motivation and determination.

If all else fails, drink coffee! Studies have shown that coffee can release dopamine into the brain and has the ability to sharpen and increase mental focus.

Scientists have also found that caffeine can enhance certain cognitive tasks and spark the motivation and reward circuit in the brain. Just make sure you don’t overdose on caffeine, as it lead to energy slump later in the day.

#6: Make lots of lists and keep setting new challenges

If you don’t write down your ideas, they could be forgotten by the next day. Write lots of lists to keep track of your goals and mark them off as you achieve them. You’ll be amazed by what challenges you can overcome.

“You should keep setting yourself new targets and challenges – unless you actually organize yourself and write the kinds of things you want to achieve, there’s a danger that as time slips by, you won’t achieve a lot.”

Staying organized is an important part of any business, and you can use lists to keep you – and your team – on track. You don’t need to use paper lists either, if that’s not your thing. There are many excellent online tools for organisation and lists, with Evernote and Podio being excellent examples.

You can make more than simple ‘to do’ lists too. Split your lists up into month, week and days, with overall goals and challenges in the longer time-span lists and detailed tasks in the day-to-day lists. Start your list with the thing you want to do the least, and keep it in that order. That way you can check off the most annoying tasks early in the day when you feel most motivated, keeping that motivation (and accompanying feeling of achievement) going throughout the day.

If you’re finding a certain task particularly difficult, split it up into smaller tasks and list them in order – tick off each task as you complete it and soon you’ll be halfway through the job. Encourage your team members to do the same thing, you’ll be amazed at the impact it can have on motivation and productivity.

#7: Spend time with your family and learn to delegate

The art of delegation is one of the most important skills for an entrepreneur to master.

“If you can find people who can take on tasks you aren’t particularly good at, it can free you up to plan for the future and, more importantly, give you time to spend with your family.”

If you’re an entrepreneur or a team manager, then mastering the art of delegation should be considered a hugely important task. We’re not all good delegators, particularly those of us who are perfectionists or precious about our ideas, but we need to be able to assign team members to suitable tasks,  particularly if they’re better at those tasks than we are.

Delegation is especially key if you’re trying to grow a business, as you simply can’t take on every job yourself.

So how can we learn to get better at delegating? The first thing to do is to pick tasks to delegate ‘up’ and ‘down’. The former corresponds to tasks that require specific  knowledge and/or skills, particularly those that don’t  relate
to the core services of your business. For example, things like accounts, billing, legal issues and the like should all be delegated to skilled employees, companies or freelancers. Delegating ‘down’ refers to those tasks which don’t require any particular skills or knowledge, such as postage, sending out virtual mailers, booking appointments, etc. Delegate these tasks to a subordinate, freeing up your valuable time to concentrate on more important tasks.

You need to learn to let go of the ‘if I want something done right, I have to do it myself’ mentality and understand that your team is there to support you and the business.

If you’re struggling with delegating, start  with smaller tasks and ensure you give your team members clear instructions and be absolutely clear about what you expect the outcome to be. Giving clear instructions and expectations allows you to judge the end results more effectively and gives your team  members a much better chance  of doing the job the way you want  it done.

It’s key to understand that delegation, apart from freeing up your own time, will empower your staff and contractors, making the feel trusted, valued and appreciated, and will give them the opportunity to develop their own skills, knowledge and abilities.

#8: Try turning off the TV and get out there and do  things

Instead of sitting in front of a screen all your life, try turning off the TV or the computer  and go out  into the world.

“With so many fascinating people to meet, adventures to embark on and challenges to overcome, sitting in front of the TV is simply a waste of time.”

It’s important to be able to switch off now and again, but there’s so much waiting for you out in the real world, and those experiences can be incredibly valuable for an entrepreneur.

So what is out there for an entrepreneur? Instead of spending your free time in front of a screen, an entrepreneur can find greater value attending conventions and lectures or meeting new people at networking events and social gatherings. The old adage goes ‘it ‘s not what you know, it ‘s who you know’, and the only way to make these important contacts is out in the real world. So follow Branson’s advice: get out there and do things.

#9: When people say bad things about you, prove them wrong

There will always be people who try to hang on the coattails of successful people.

“The best thing you can do is not only ignore them, but prove them wrong in every single way.”

Ignoring criticism is a great skill if you can do it, but it ‘s not always that straightforward, particularly if you’re a sensitive person or eager to be accepted within a certain community. So how can you deal with criticism more effectively?

Firstly, you should try and learn something from any criticism you receive. It’s important to understand that most criticism is probably based – at least in part – on some truths. It may appear negative, but criticism presents us with an opportunity to learn and improve. In order to try and learn from criticism, train yourself to ignore the tone in which it ‘s delivered and focus solely on the suggestions.

Once you focus on learning from criticism, you can begin to value it. This is particularly important if you’re a manager, director or team leader, as you may only hear praise on a day-to-day basis (even if it ‘s insincere). When you do receive criticism, learn to value it as something constructive and as an opportunity to learn what you could be doing   better.

If you are struggling to deal with criticism, you should try and wait before responding. Responding immediately – with anger or injured pride – will likely result in confrontation and will do nothing to help your ability to deal with criticism. Wait and reflect on the criticism you’ve received, and work out the best way to respond. This also gives you the opportunity to recognise false criticism and value real criticism that offers an opportunity to learn.

#10: Do what you love and have a sofa in the kitchen

You only live one life, so it ‘s important to do things that you enjoy. The truth is, so long as you’ve got a kitchen that has space for a sofa, a bedroom and a partner that you love, you don’t  need much  else.

“If you’re doing something that you really love, it will result in a much more enjoyable life rather than doing something purely for the sake of making money.”

Of course we all have to pay the bills and we can’t all spend our days doing something we truly love. It is, however, possible to learn to love your career, even if you’re not working in your dream  job.

First and foremost, you need to realise that your job doesn’t define you, but how you do that job does. Your attitude at work and the way you treat people doesn’t go unnoticed, and it can have a profound influence on the people around you. There are many times in life when you can’t control your situation,  but you can always choose how you react to it.

Although it ‘s easier said than done, you should try and learn to stop focusing on the money. You will never have enough money – no matter how much you make, there are always going to be things you could do if you had more – so stop using it as an excuse. You should understand that work should be about more than just the paycheck for it to be truly fulfilling.

You should also try and find the significance in your work – it may require some creative thinking,  but it ‘s absolutely possible. No matter what you do, you can find significance in it if you think long and hard about your role. Perspective plays a crucial role in your level of satisfaction in your career and your overall sense of well-being, and being able to shift your perspective can go a long way in learning to love your career.


Henry Sapiecha

James Packer is gathering his Las Vegas lieutenants Andrew Pascal, left, and Todd Nisbe image

James Packer is gathering his Las Vegas lieutenants: Andrew Pascal, left, and Todd Nisbet. 

It’s the battle of the casino billionaires: ageing Las Vegas kingpin Steve Wynn versus Australian gaming tycoon James Packer.

Wynn is perhaps best known for developing the vast Bellagio resort in Vegas in the late 1990s, which at the time was the most expensive hotel in the world.

He’s since built Wynn Resorts into an $US11 billion ($15 billion) giant, with casinos spread from Vegas through to Macau.

Packer, the chairman and half-owner of the $10 billion Crown Resorts, has an empire spanning from Australia to Macau and London.

The one piece missing? A presence in Sin City.

After announcing plans last year to build a Vegas casino by 2018, Packer has steadily been raiding Wynn’s top executives as he looks to challenge the US businessman with an 1100-room integrated resort dubbed Alon that could cost the gaming magnate more than $US4 billion.

First Pascal, now Waits

After snaring the executive who used to run Wynn’s Vegas operations, Andrew Pascal, Packer has now reportedly lured the most successful US nightclub operator as part of his team.

Jesse Waits, the man behind Wynn’s XS and Tryst nightclubs, quit the casino operator over the weekend. Packer is understood to have secured him in a role as part of the Alon venture during a visit to Vegas in early July.

Waits opened XS in 2009, turning it into the top grossing club in the country, booking about $US105 million annually in revenue.

Waits, whose twin brother Cy once dated Paris Hilton, claimed to be generating profit margins of 70 per cent compared with the 30 per cent industry average.

After starting his career as a bartender, Waits built the XS and Tryst club scene into one of the strip’s most popular and profitable venues by securing exclusive residencies with DJs including Avicii, David Guetta, Diplo and Skrillex.

In a recent interview, Waits admitted Mr Wynn’s level of attention to detail kept him on his toes.

“When I see him, I have everything, all my numbers, my profit and loss, and my margins. Whereas before, it wasn’t really part of my program. He wants to know the bottom line and what the margin is, how many pixels are in the LEDs, who’s the DJ. He has so many questions and if you slip, you feel like a fool.”

Links to Wynn

The bulk of Mr Packer’s Vegas team hold links to the Wynn empire.

Mr Pascal, the nephew of Mr Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, spent several years working with Crown’s strategy and development boss, Todd Nisbet. Recent Alon recruits Rob Oseland and Jennifer Dunne also worked for Mr Wynn.

Mr Packer is developing the lavish complex after buying land on the strip at a cut-price $US280 million price tag nearly a year ago in a deal with hedge fund giant Oaktree Capital Management.

Las Vegas remains a risky bet for Mr Packer, who was burnt badly by a previous US foray, where Crown was forced to write down more than $2 billion after a series of ill-fated deals.

Crown is slated to spend $US10 billion on a string of casino resorts by the end of this decade, including Studio City, due to open in Macau by October, and the $1.5 billion Crown Sydney resort in 2019.

Crown is also vying with Echo Entertainment for the rights to build the Queen’s Wharf development in Brisbane with a winner to be named in coming weeks.


Henry Sapiecha

Juneyao Air's market capitalisation is now greater than that of Air Canada and Air France-KLM.image

Juneyao Air’s market capitalisation is now greater than that of Air Canada and Air France-KLM. Photo: Bloomberg

One of the world’s youngest billionaires has emerged in China after his budget airline tripled in value in less than three weeks.

Wang Han has a net worth of $US1.2 billion ($1.5 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The 27-year-old inherited 27 per cent of Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines Co from his father, who died in 2004.

The airline sold shares in an initial public offering on May 27 and has risen by the exchange-imposed limit of 10 per cent each day since. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has advanced 58 per cent this year, helping to create more than 75 billionaires.

Wang’s uncle, Wang Junjin, chairman of Juneyao, owns 26 per cent of the carrier. He also controls 14 per cent of department store operator Wuxi Commercial Mansion Grand Orient Co, giving him a $US1.1 billion fortune. Juneyao’s rise is set to produce a third billionaire, Wang Junhao, another uncle, as the airline added 10 per cent as of 10.09am in Shanghai trading.

Aviation billionaires are rare in China because the low returns make it difficult to make money in the industry, according to Li Xiaolu, an industrial analyst at Capital Securities Corp in Shanghai.

“Juneyao is a new stock which investors favor,” Li said. “It may still jump further.”

The company’s IPO came after low-cost carrier Spring Airlines Co surged more than sevenfold since its January listing. Spring’s Chairman Wang Zhenghua became a billionaire about two weeks after its trading debut.

Juneyao Air jumped by the 10 per cent cap to a record 41.76 yuan at the Shanghai close on Wednesday. That gave the carrier a market capitalisation of 23.7 billion yuan ($4.9 billion), making it more valuable than Air Canada and Air France-KLM.

Wang Xi, a Juneyao Air investor relations official, declined to comment.



Henry Sapiecha

GoPro founder nick woodman image

Woodman, whose net worth will fall to $US2.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was awarded $US285.3 million in 2014 compensation, making him the highest-paid US executive. Photo: Getty Images

Billionaire Nick Woodman’s fortune dropped $US229 million ($282 million) this week after he fulfilled a promise made to his college roommate more than a decade ago.

The GoPro founder returned 4.7 million shares to the San Mateo-based camera maker on May 11, according to a regulatory filing.

He agreed in 2011 to repay the company for stock options it granted to Neil Dana, who attended the University of California at San Diego with Woodman and was GoPro employee No. 1.

Woodman, 39, vowed in the development phase of the 10-year-old company to give Dana 10 per cent of any proceeds he received from the sale of the company’s shares, according to the company’s 2014 prospectus.

To cancel this agreement, GoPro issued Dana more than 6 million fully vested options in June 2011 and 270,000 restricted stock units six months later. Woodman agreed to reimburse the company when the options were exercised.

Dana, who is GoPro’s director of music and specialty sales, spent $US3.6 million to exercise his options, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They were valued at $US229 million at the close of trading on Monday.

Woodman, whose net worth will fall to $US2.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was awarded $US285.3 million in 2014 compensation, making him the highest-paid US executive, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Jeff Brown, a spokesman for GoPro, declined to comment.



Henry Sapiecha

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer greets the fans as he is introduced at their home court at Staples Center in Los Angeles image

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer greets the fans as he is introduced at their home court at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Wally Skalij

Speaking last month to a few hundred MBA students at the University of Southern California, Steven A. Ballmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, broke into verse.

He recited a snippet of a song from the Broadway musical “Pippin”: “Rivers belong where they can ramble. Eagles belong where they can fly. I’ve got to be where my spirit can run free. Got to find my corner of the sky.”

It’s sort of a privilege, sort of a duty, sort of a burden. How do I make a difference? 

Steve Ballmer

Ballmer sensed his audience was more attuned to cloud computing, which he seeded while running Microsoft, than to Stephen Schwartz’s “Corner of the Sky.” And so he supplied some context, explaining how Pippin, the son of King Charlemagne, engaged in a lifelong quest for fulfillment.

Ballmer might have been talking about himself. Retired from Microsoft, where he was employed for 34 years, the last 14 as its chief executive, Ballmer has spent the first several months of his retirement pondering how to grow a personal legacy through philanthropy.

“What is it like to be rich beyond belief?” a student asked him.

Steve Ballmer's huge fortune grew from humble roots image

Ballmer, a billionaire, answered: “It’s sort of a privilege, sort of a duty, sort of a burden. How do I make a difference?”

Eleven months ago, Ballmer won a bidding war for the Clippers. He bought the franchise for $US2 billion in what was considered part business transaction, part act of beneficence, after the Clippers’ longtime owner, Donald Sterling, incurred a lifetime ban by the NBA for making racist comments that were recorded and made public.

The official transfer in August of the team to Ballmer, whose Swiss-born father worked for the US Army as an interpreter in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, was seen as a clean break from the Clippers’ desultory past. In Ballmer, 59, the team acquired a loud and proud leader. He was more inclined to show his enthusiasm than his navel, unlike Sterling, who at Ballmer’s age was still wearing shirts unbuttoned to his waist.

Phoenix Suns forward Reggie Bullock said Ballmer drew attention in his own way on game nights.

“He has a very distinctive voice,” said Bullock, who was a Clipper until a trade in January. “It sounds like he’s howling at the moon.”

Deep pockets

With his manic enthusiasm and deep pockets, Ballmer was going to swoop in and pry Los Angeles from its decades-long love affair with the Lakers. That was the plan, anyway. But even though the Clippers finished with 35 more victories than the Lakers, they trailed their fellow Staples Center tenants in the local regular-season ratings.

The Clippers are a reflection of their new owner, all right. But it is not the goofy, giddy guy seen gyrating like a giant inflatable tube man near his baseline seat – most memorably during a January halftime performance by the singer Fergie that prompted real estate mogul Donald Trump to describe Ballmer as “an embarrassment to rich people.”

Ballmer emphasized to the USC students the need to be “tenacious and hard core” in the pursuit of their goals. It is a message his team seems to have absorbed. Matt Barnes and Blake Griffin were fourth and fifth in the NBA in technical fouls in the regular season with a combined 25. Nine Clippers had more technical fouls than any single player on the San Antonio Spurs, their first-round playoff opponent. The Clippers beat the Spurs, the defending NBA champions, in the opening game of the best-of-seven series. Game 2 is Wednesday night.

Ballmer commutes to games from his home in Seattle. He travels by private jet, explaining, “Time is our most precious commodity, and there are conveniences that wealth brings to essentially get you more time.”

It is one of Ballmer’s few outward displays of wealth. His wardrobe is more J.C. Penney than J.Crew. The security guard standing outside the Clippers’ locker room during one homestand marveled at how effortlessly Ballmer blended into the crowd on game nights.

For the mathematically gifted Ballmer, sports have always served as his main medium of communication. In high school, he said, the first varsity letter he earned was in track.

“The coach gave me one in 10th grade,” he said, “because a guy had made a scoring error and deprived us of a point. I was helping out as the manager and I discovered the error and the coach said, ‘I guess you scored a point for us in a meet,’ and gave me a letter.”

Harking back to his days as the manager of his high school basketball team, Ballmer sometimes attends Clippers practices and retrieves basketballs for the players during drills.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Doc Rivers, the Clippers’ coach, said. “The guy’s worth $US24 billion. I have to think if I had $US24 billion I probably would be different. I hope not, but I probably would be. He’s the most normal $US24 billion guy I know.”

Circus style

At Microsoft, Ballmer was known as a charismatic speaker, the P.T. Barnum of the techie set.

During one company meeting at Safeco Field, he saw an employee snapping a picture with an iPhone from Apple, a competitor. He confiscated it and playfully pretended to stomp on it in a scene caught on the baseball park’s giant video screen.

In front of a roomful of people, Ballmer is at his communicative best: funny, engaging, expressive. In a sit-down interview in January, Ballmer rocked back and forth in his chair with his arms held stiffly at his sides as he answered questions.

Ballmer refused to make his wife, Connie, or three sons available to be interviewed. He also declared his youngest son’s high school basketball games off-limits to a reporter.

“Sports is the easiest thing for me to bond with the kids over,” he said. “Academically, I probably grind them a little more.”

After their games, Ballmer said, there is what he described as “the debrief,” which is a sacrosanct part of the drive home. He said: “I’ll ask, Where do you want to start? Are we going to start with the team’s performance, or your performance? Offense or defense? Then we go through the team, we go through him, every kid, how we think he did.”

Ballmer added, “The debrief of the game in our family is always as important as the game itself.”

With the Clippers, Ballmer took a more hands-off approach.

“He’ll say, ‘Is it all right to come in and say hi?'” Rivers said. “And I say: ‘You’re the owner. You can barge in.’ And I mean that. I tell him all the time, he made an incredible commitment. I want him to enjoy it. I want him to come and do whatever he wants. I want to hear his opinion. He’s smarter than me.”

Blue collar roots

Ballmer was raised outside Detroit, where his father, Frederic, was a manager at Ford Motor Co.

“When he was up, he was up,” Ballmer said of his father. “When he was mad, you knew it.”

He chuckled. “I think I’m a little like my dad. When I’m up, I’m up. When I’m down, I’m down.”

His family lived comfortably, he said, but was not well-off. He said he was able to attend private school with the help of academic scholarships.

“My dad was an immigrant who came here with nothing and worked his way up as a payroll clerk for Ford,” Ballmer said. “I’m going to guess he probably maxed out around $US45,000 a year.”

Ballmer said he did not believe his father finished high school.

“He never told us for sure whether he graduated or not,” he said. “Even in his last days, my sister and I tried to get him to ‘fess up.'”

Ballmer said his father spoke rarely of his interactions with the Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg.

“He saw a guy get hanged,” he said. “That did come back to him later in his life. When he was sort of older and closer to his own death, the visualization of seeing this guy hang. …” Ballmer’s voice trailed off.

‘You need to buy this team’

Rivers said he first crossed paths with Ballmer in 2008, during the SuperSonics’ last season in Seattle. Ballmer, a SuperSonics season-ticket holder, had seats next to the visitors’ bench.

When Boston came to town, Rivers, then the coach of the Celtics, said he turned to Ballmer and said, “Hey, you need to buy this team and keep it here.”

“Only if you coach the team,” said Ballmer, Rivers recalled.

“Well, that’s not going to happen,” Rivers said. “That was our introduction to each other.”

Ballmer did not remember the meeting. He clapped gleefully as the story was relayed to him.

“Doc doesn’t make things up,” he said. “That’s not his style.”

One of Ballmer’s first moves as owner was to award Rivers a $US50 million contract extension that runs through the 2018-19 season. Amid the chaos created by Sterling’s racist remarks, Rivers emerged as a calming presence. From his days at Microsoft, Ballmer recognized that he had a strong brand asset in Rivers.

“You’ve got to build an interesting product, have a brand that people can understand, try to build a product that can be successful,” Ballmer said. He added: “There’s a natural shorter product cycle because players get older. I think the notion that you have to be tenacious and hard core really applies. You can’t be ripping things up and starting over again.”

Not an A-team

Ballmer earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard, where he lived down the hall from Bill Gates. Ballmer attended Stanford Graduate School of Business for a year before dropping out to join Microsoft, which Gates had founded along with Paul Allen.

“When I joined Microsoft we were not an ‘A’ team,” Ballmer said. “We were doing some ‘A’ work because we had three ‘A’ players. We weren’t very deep. We had three or four guys, all guys who were amazing, and then we had a bunch of people who were mediocre or worse.”

The same could be said of Ballmer’s Clippers, who have an MVP-caliber player in point guard Chris Paul, a multifaceted offensive player in Griffin and a tough matchup in center DeAndre Jordan. The drop-off in talent after that is precipitous.

“We’re trying to get better,” Ballmer said. “We’ve got some of the most exciting players in the league. Our team is better than it was at the beginning of the year, no question.”

The Clippers are not Ballmer’s first flirtation with Los Angeles. Before he enrolled at Stanford, Ballmer – a second cousin of the comedian Gilda Radner, who died in 1989 – came here with the notion of breaking into the movie business.

“I thought it would fit well with my personality,” Ballmer said.

A summer spent reading scripts and parking cars at private functions for meal money convinced him otherwise.

“I got enough of a flavour to know the movie business probably wasn’t going to be a compelling enough thing for me to not go ahead and go back to Stanford,” he said.

At USC, a student in the audience stepped to the microphone, produced a billed cap and said: “Hi, Steve. How are you doing? I’m going to put this hat on real quick.”

Squinting from the stage, Ballmer said, “It looks good, but what is it?”

“It’s a Warriors hat,” the student smugly replied, referring to the Golden State team, which led the Western Conference in the regular season with 67 wins.

“Next!” Ballmer bellowed. “Go, Clippers! Go home, Warriors!”

The New York Times


Henry Sapiecha

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