What can we learn from Michael Bloomberg?

As part of our “What can we learn from…” series, today I wanted to talk about Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City.

Ranked at #17 on this year’s Forbes list of billionaires (with a net worth of $31 billion), Michael Bloomberg made his money from providing information to investment firms. 

So are there any lessons that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg can teach us? Absolutely. Let’s look a three.

1) Leverage your losses into wins. Bloomberg had been a general partner at investment bank Salomon Brothers when he was laid off in 1981. Although a sizeable severance package eased his pain, he decided to use his knowledge of the industry and the money from his former boss to create a juggernaut of a company – Bloomberg L.P.

His company would install special information terminals at different investment firms (beginning with Merrill Lynch) to give them the most up to date and accurate information about publically traded stocks. By 1990 Bloomberg had installed 8,000 of his terminals, leverage his unexpected layoff into a huge win. He has stayed in control of his company and still owns 88% of it.

2) Don’t be afraid to try something new. Although Bloomberg knows the world of finances better than anything else, he’s not afraid to try new things. For example, WBBR AM in NYC (a news station) is part of the Bloomberg radio network.

Starting a radio network was surely outside of Bloomberg’s comfort zone, but he tried it and has been happy with the results.

3) Pay it forward. This is one of my favorite things to talk about when studying the lives of billionaires. I love to see how they pay forward the results of their success and hard work.

In his case, Michael Bloomberg (according to Forbes) has spent “$53 million effort to boost the declining fish supply in Brazil, Chile and the Philippines. Last year he also pledged $100 million to the Gates Foundation to help fellow billionaire Bill Gates eradicate polio.”

Those are some impressive numbers.

A modern-day entrepreneur and media mogul, we can learn a lot from Michael Bloomberg.

To your success…

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