By Hillary Hoffower /
September 15, 2019
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles
Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

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Of the world's 2,153 billionaires, 53 are millennials.

That's according to Forbes' annual Billionaires List. As defined by the Pew Research Center, the generation includes those born between 1981 and 1996, or those aged 23 to 38 in 2019.

These billionaire millennials didn't spend a lifetime building wealth and success — they achieved it in a much shorter time frame.

Business Insider rounded up some of the top pieces of advice a few of these millennials have given in recent years, ranging from the meaning of money to productivity hacks and ways to grow a business.

From Mark Zuckerberg to Evan Spiegel, here's what some of the world's richest millennials had to say.

Not taking risks is a recipe for failure.

In a 2011 interview at Y Combinator's Startup School in Palo Alto, California, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said he had no idea what he was doing the first few years of Facebook, CBS reported— mistakes are inevitable, and you don't get judged by them.

"The biggest risk is not taking any risk," the 35-year-old said at the time. "In a world that's changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks."

Don't be afraid to ask for help.

In a talk at NYU, Airbnb cofounder Brian Chesky, age 38, advised aspiring entrepreneurs to aggressively seek help and advisors, reported Kerry Close of Inc.

"Every time I didn't know how to do something, I figured there's someone who does," he said. "Some of the best entrepreneurs are the most shameless people in the world."

Always view things as opportunities.

Cofounder and president of payments software Stripe John Collison always keeps an eye out for opportunities — even if it seems there aren't any.

"It's easy for people to think the best opportunities are taken," the 29-year-old told Wired in 2017. "I absolutely don't think that is true at all. My advice to my younger self would be not to be too okay with the ways the world is broken, and instead see them as opportunities."

He continued: "For instance, I don't think anyone's particularly happy with their mobile-phone provider. If a better provider were to come around, I don't think anyone would be particularly surprised."

Save your paycheck.

The importance of saving money is nothing new, but it's timeless advice for a reason.

"I really save all the time, I've always done that," 23-year-old Alexandra Andresen, co-owner of Ferd Group, said in a 2014 interview with a corporate magazine published by Ferd. "I save when I get weekly wages and cash prizes I win at events, or if I get money as a gift for my birthday. It allows me to buy something I really want, like a purse or a pair of shoes, without having to ask mom or dad for money."

Stay free of distractions by keeping your phone on silent.

In an interview with Entrepreneur, Chris Wanstrath shared his best productivity tip — and it's quite simple. The 34-year-old GitHub cofounder keeps his phone on silent all the time.

"I don't need to constantly be pulled out of the moment," he said. "I learned that from writing code. You lose your train of thought and can't jump back in. The less distractions you have, the more you can do a good job on what you're doing. You already paid the cost of ramping into the zone, you don't want to pay it again."

Keep moving forward, even when things get tough.

Cofounder and CEO of Pinterest Ben Silbermann, age 37, isn't one to give up. If there's a challenge ahead, you shouldn't take it as a sign to quit.

"My general advice is to keep going even though there are a lot of things that are telling you not to, he told Business Insider in 2016. "The reason there's no simple answer is because it's kind of told in retrospect."

He added: "You should bias toward keeping going unless you're not personally in the position emotionally or financially where you can do that."

Don't listen to other people's versions of success.

"You should get rid of other people's voices in your head," Pavel Durov, the 34-year-old founder of the app Telegram Messenger said in a 2017 interview with The Huffington Post. "We're so much influenced by people around us. Our relatives, our friends, what they believe is success and not and what is good and bad. We should get rid of that completely."

He added: "In a way, we should start to ignore everything that other people think or say about what we are doing. After that we should just focus on what we need."

Life isn't about money.

There's more to life than money, according to cofounder and CEO of Snap Inc., Evan Spiegel at the 2018 Code Conference, CNBC reported.

"Obviously, life is not about making money. Life's not about winning awards. It's not about winning competitions or whatever," he said. "Life is really about having an impact on the world, changing the way that people experience the world, changing the way that you experience the world."

The 29-year-old continued: "I think for me, one of the things that I worry about is that businesses very quickly reduce problems to numbers. They think about themselves in terms of numbers and they get obsessed with driving numbers. I think the interesting thing about humanity and about values is that these are things that can't actually be quantified."