Careers

5 things millionaires and billionaires do every day to be successful

An attendee at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder's Meeting takes a 'selfie' with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
Brad Quick | CNBC
An attendee at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder's Meeting takes a 'selfie' with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Highly successful people aren't just born with all the tools they need to get to the top.

Billionaire and legendary investor Warren Buffett took a class to conquer his crippling fear of public speaking. Bill Gates says reading has helped him learn more about the world. Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran studied the tricks to making a big sale out in the field.

If you're looking to join the ranks of the world's most successful individuals, consider five habits many of them have used to get ahead:

1. They keep track of how they spend their time

Billionaire entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" investor Mark Cuban calls time "the most valuable asset you have."

"You can't buy it. You can't find it. You can't store it. You can't trade it," Cuban says.

Barbara Corcoran
Donna Ward | Getty Images
Barbara Corcoran

Fellow "Shark" Barbara Corcoran agrees. The real estate mogul, who went went from waiting tables to running a $6 billion empire, says that a big part of her journey to success was making sure she spent every minute wisely.

That's why every morning, she divides her schedule into three parts, A, B and C. Each represents a different priority, to ensure that she not only makes money, but takes care of herself as well.

2. They treat their colleagues with respect

Every employee knows they should treat the boss with respect. But not everyone prioritizes treating their colleagues and subordinates professionally, too.

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Multi-millionaire banker Bill Winterssays the best advice he ever received was from his father, who told him that the best employees are kind to people at every level of an organization.

"Make sure that you treat the next level down — whether it's the assistants or the PA, whatever — with just as much respect as you would anyone," says Winters.

3. They don't let setbacks stop them from growing

In "Option B," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and organizational psychologist Adam Grant argue that successful people share one crucial trait: resilience.

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant speak at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco about their book "Option B."
Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant speak at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco about their book "Option B."

Sandberg, whose husband Dave Goldberg died unexpectedly in 2015, and Grant say that the ability to cope with and grow from immense tragedy or failure can make or break someone's career.

Grant says everyone can become more resilient by doing a few simple exercises.

For example, he recommends keeping a journal of contributions you make to others to develop a better sense of how important your work is, something those struggling to overcome personal obstacles can forget.

4. They take their social media presence seriously

Serial entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John says one of his best strategies for succeeding at work is to make sure your social media presence is authentic.

It's easy to use social media as a simple means of self-promotion. But people who could help you in your career or end up providing you with new opportunities down the line aren't going to be impressed.

Daymond John
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Daymond John

Instead, use social media to communicate who you are and engage with others in your field.

"Be very honest with yourself, especially today with social media," John says.

How do you know you're doing that right? If you can describe yourself in five words or less, you're onto something, John says.

5. They make time to work on projects they're passionate about

On a recent trip to a furniture "mega-store" in Nebraska, longtime friends Bill Gates and Warren Buffett talked about the ways success is enabled by passion.

"Being successful at almost anything means having a passion for it," says Buffett.

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., left, stands with Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp., as they play table tennis outside Borsheims Jewelry Company, Inc., in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., left, stands with Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp., as they play table tennis outside Borsheims Jewelry Company, Inc., in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., on Sunday, May 5, 2013.

"If you see somebody with even reasonable intelligence and a terrific passion for what they do and who can get people around them to march," he says, "even when those people can't see over the top of the next hill, things are gonna happen."

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

Check out a simple trick to figure out your career and personal life passions, according to a former Google career coach.