Do you have what it takes to be a billionaire?

What's it take to be a billionaire? Aside from hard work, determination and a little luck, it turns out there are quite a few other commonalities amongst billionaires. Duncan Greenberg at Forbes took it upon himself to find out what trends emerge when you look at the magazine's list of 657 self made billionaires. The results of its unscientific study won't guide you to billions but at the very least should give you a short lesson on failing and something to talk about around the water cooler.

It turns out that unless your parents had math-related careers and you were born in September, you're already handicapped in your quest to be a billionaire. When it comes to actions that are within your control, you better get started because billionaires tend to: drop out of college, work at Goldman Sachs, fail horribly at some point, start a small business, get an MBA from a top level institution and become a member of Skull and Bones.

Humor aside, this list does a better job explaining why there aren't more billionaires in the world if only for one trend, failing horribly. Most of us are risk adverse people, crossing the street when we see a challenge that could result in failure rather than coming at it head on with the possibility of failing. It's the ability to fail and rebound that makes billionaires, but more importantly, that same resounding determination is what makes it possible for small businesses to thrive and for individuals to make smart money decisions.

Remember this the next time you fail. If your budget falls apart or you lose your job, choose to regroup and learn from your failure the way billionaires do. You may not end up with a billion dollars for your trouble, but you will be better off than those who can't cope with failure.

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