4 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated and Productive

In a startup, productivity is the lifeblood of the company. Unlike enterprise level corporations where there can be a little more flexibility, startups have concrete milestones that must be met in order to succeed. Getting work done and meeting deadlines is critical and at a startup you have much more at stake.

Often, management will try to increase employee productivity by cracking the whip, upping the pressure and encouraging long hours, but this will not boost performance or effectiveness. As the founder of three startups, I’ve come across this challenge several times and have picked up a few tips on motivating employees in what can be a stressful, fast-paced environment.

1. It’s not a ‘sprint’ if you don’t stop running.
It’s simple: Employees can’t be effective if they are never able to let up on the gas — they will inevitably burn out. There needs to be slower periods to ensure success in the long run. Take time to celebrate successes between sprints, even if as a leader, the successes aren’t exactly what you would want them to be. Success for a startup CEO may mean exiting but for employees that simply represents future risk. You have to celebrate the things important to the team. You need to celebrate building the product, selling it, updating it and awards for it.

2. Treat your employees like investors.
Another way to increase productivity is to make your employees feel valued by sharing the same information with them that you share with investors. This level of transparency enables employees to be more connected to the company, builds trust and gives employees more of a vested interest. Everyone likes to feel like they are making a difference and you’ll likely see employee productivity rise if you highlight employee impact on the business rather than the numbers of hours logged and reports completed.

3. Don’t plan to capacity — change is good.
In a rapidly changing business environment, startups need to be able to pivot on a dime. To do this, you need to leave enough space when planning to allow for flexibility. If your employees are swamped, it makes it very difficult to react to new opportunities and can make you lose sight of priorities. What’s the point of your staff working hard if you can’t redirect that energy into more fruitful ventures?

On a separate note, you will need to train your organization to think of change as a positive. I have seen so many companies self-destruct, because they thought change was a sign of weakness or redoubled efforts. If your staff is confused or concerned about the direction the company is taking, their work may suffer.

4. Use a timeline instead of a dashboard.
Make sure you are using timeline-based tools to communicate with employees. Tools like HipChat and Skype for Business give employees a more holistic view of the workflow. They provide an idea of what is happening now and what has changed, in the same way we consume information on social media. Dashboards generally provide a static snap shot of a single event while timelines enable personnel to get a better feel for the overall dynamics of a particular project. When working with teams, timelines can be particularly effective, enabling everyone involved to have a better understanding of the process.

In my experience, there’s no magic bullet to create a more productive workforce. Everyone has their own management style, but it has been proven time and again that high-pressure environments are inevitably toxic, as we recently saw at Amazon. Employees need to be motivated and inspired — to feel like their hard work is building the company’s future.

By reshaping your staff’s perceptions around effectiveness and implementing the right methods of persuasion along with the best tools to streamline the process, you can be successful. You can foster a productive mentality among employees, not based around fear, but rather around their own drive to do something great.

By Todd Vernon


7 Lessons From Entrepreneurs Who Kept Their Day Jobs While Starting Their Businesses

Keeping your day job while starting a business has its advantages. Aside from the steady income and free coffee, reliable full-time work helps you flesh out your résumé and portfolio and extend your professional network. Even better, working for someone else gives you a front-row view of the best (and worst) ways to run a company, from managing time and money to handling customers and employees.

We asked some successful entrepreneurs who founded companies while holding down a 9-to-5 to share the lessons they learned.

1. First, prove your concept.

Holding down a day job means having only so many waking hours to devote to your side venture. That’s why validating that your idea will work—and that people will pay for it—should be priority No. 1, says Shara Senderoff, co-founder and CEO of Career Sushi, an online marketplace that connects young professionals with employers.

Senderoff was fortunate that her former employer, a Hollywood TV and film production company, agreed in 2011 to fund and incubate her startup in-house. But because she didn’t need to bootstrap, she mistakenly spent more time than she should have on Career Sushi’s branding, web design and minute platform details, proof of concept be damned.

“I probably spent six months doing that,” says the Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, whose site now serves 15,000 employers and 150,000 job seekers. “In retrospect, that was a wasted six months.” Of course, the typical startup can’t afford such indulgences, lest they run out of cash before going live. Lesson learned, says Senderoff: “Don’t try to build a Porsche when you just need to build the wireframe and test whether the car will ever drive.”

2. Let the big goals shape your calendar.

Wrangling your schedule won’t necessarily be easier after you leave your 9-to-5. Between the shoestring budget, lean staff and avalanche of action items, deciding which tasks to tackle each day at your startup can get overwhelming.

For Allyson Downey, co-founder and CEO of baby-product review platform weeSpring, working at an educational nonprofit provided valuable training in organizing and prioritizing.

To stay the course, Downey relies on a chart on her desk, a carryover from her previous job, showing the day’s top goals. “I have a column called ‘user growth,’ a column called ‘revenue growth’ and a column called ‘development,’” says Downey, who is based in New York. To prevent herself from “going down the rabbit hole of fixing little things and building new features,” the development column is half the size of the other two, she says.

This means that less-pressing tasks like updating weeSpring’s About Us page take a back seat. “That has been on my to-do list for two years, and it probably will continue being on my to-do list for another two years because I need to keep my head down and focus on the stuff that’s going to move the company forward,” Downey explains.

3. Document processes.

Before Guy Baroan began running his Elmwood Park, N.J.-based IT firm, Baroan Technologies, full time, he spent several years managing an indoor amusement park. The facility employed 80 teenagers and hosted about 135 children’s birthday parties per week.

“There had to be a specific method for the hostesses to go in and run the birthday parties,” Baroan explains. Employees needed a process road map—from the timing of the cake presentation to the sale of game tokens—to keep parties running smoothly and guest meltdowns to a minimum.

Baroan was a one-man show when he left his job in 1997 to focus on Baroan Technologies. Determined to hand off some of his workload as soon as possible, he took a page from the amusement park operations and began documenting all his business practices—everything from scheduling appointments and making service calls to training workers.

“The best way to delegate is to create processes and systems,” says Baroan, who now employs 18 people and brings in $3 million in annual revenue. “Then you have a consistent method where, no matter who’s doing a task, it’s going to be done the same way.”

4. Catch problems early.

Before devoting herself to her business full time in 2012, Katie Stack spent a decade working in the costume departments of regional theaters. Often it wasn’t until the final fitting that a designer would decide on a different color or fabric for a costume and want a replacement. Between overtime and last-minute shipping costs, “suddenly the cost of that new garment was around six times what the original cost of the garment was,” says Stack, who now runs Stitch & Rivet, a design studio and retail boutique in Washington, D.C.

In selling her own handmade totes, handbags and belts, Stack ensures that the quality of the materials she orders from vendors is up to snuff before making each product. Because if she isn’t happy with a particular fabric or zipper, her wholesale customers might not be either.

Stack’s advice: “If you need to change what you’re doing, change it in the prototype stage instead of in the final stage, when you’re up a creek and can’t really backtrack.”

5. Plan for financial fluctuations.

Heidi Andermack became intimately familiar with the fluctuations of small-business cash flow during the seven years she managed her husband’s custom font company. So when she co-founded Chowgirls Killer Catering in 2004 in Minneapolis, she and partner Amy Lynn Brown set some fiscal ground rules: Limit the amount of personal credit used to float the company during lean times; avoid draining their retirement funds; seek out a bank loan as soon as they qualified.

They also relied on their business’s peaks—summer wedding season and year-end holidays—to sustain the valleys. “Learning those patterns of your business is really important,” Andermack says. “You can expect slimmer times.”

You also can expect cost overruns, adds Stack, who began padding Stitch & Rivet’s budgets for worst-case scenarios during her theater days. “Always have a contingency budget,” she says, noting that she allots 15 to 20 percent more money than she thinks she needs for website overhauls, trade shows, printed materials and product development. “If you don’t use it, that’s great. But chances are you’re going to need it.”

6. Invest in employees.

Making workers feel valued has always been a primary concern for Chowgirls’ Brown, who was paid handsomely by the multinational media company that employed her for nine years before she turned her full attention to catering. “Being treated and compensated well and receiving great benefits taught me how important that is for staff loyalty,” she says.

Chowgirls, which makes more than $2 million in annual revenue, offers its full-time staffers competitive pay and generous benefits, including four weeks of paid parental leave, three weeks of paid vacation (after three years on staff), free massages and grocery discounts. “We have a really high retention level,” Brown says.

7. Treat customers like gold.

When Baroan started his company in the late ’90s, “IT people thought they were gods,” he says. But he had no desire to build a team of smug techies who would be too arrogant to treat customers with respect. Instead, he cribbed the service philosophy of his former employer, the amusement park: “We had a major focus on treating everyone like a guest in your home rather than just somebody off the street that you’re doing a favor.”

For his IT crew, this means showing up on time, addressing customers by name, answering questions and checking whether customers need anything else before wrapping up jobs.

“People judge you by what they can relate to,” Baroan says. His customers may not know much about network configuration data, but they know when someone is courteous and reliable. Baroan credits these traits with earning his company referrals and repeat customers over the years. “That’s how the business grew,” he says.

Cutting corners is not in Kevin Jordan’s DNA. His six years as a commercial airline pilot instilled in him an unshakable discipline. Skip the required preflight inspection, and you could jeopardize lives. Now owner of Redpoint Marketing Consultants, which he opened in 2012 in Farmville, Va., Jordan applies those same standards to each project he accepts, even those involving chores he’d rather avoid—and chores that his clients may not even know about. One such task: interviewing clients’ customers for their take on the business. “Some of those things are a pain,” he says. “It’s hard to get people on the phone.”

But for Jordan, having the discipline to go the distance when no one’s watch-ing is part of the job. “Just like with the preflight inspection, the client may never realize that you did a lot of these things,” he says. “But it will make a difference in the long run. And that’s what distinguishes me from other people who do what I do.”



10 Practices for Becoming a Self-Made Millionaire

Becoming a self-made millionaire is no easy task. Yet, for the individuals who have accomplished this major feat in the past, the process involves following a few set rules like these or guidelines that have proven to help self-made professionals, no matter what industry they may be in. If you have your sights focused on a life as a self-made millionaire then consider these rules to live by.

1. Do it for the challenge.

If you ask any self-made millionaire why they got started in the field they did, chances are they will not just say “to make a million dollars.” The true story behind most people’s success is that they wanted to accept the challenge of following their dreams and becoming successful on their own terms.

2. Never get too comfortable.

There should never be a time in your journey to the top where you stop and think “Ok, I’ve done enough, I can stop working so hard.” If you’ve met your goal and made a million dollars, set another one. You should never be comfortable, you should always be working for more.

3. Study and work harder than anyone.

No matter how talented you are, you will never reach your full potential success unless you are willing to study and work harder than anyone else. This is the only way to truly achieve your goals.

4. Learn from failures and mistakes.

You are going to make mistakes and you are going to fail. How you react to those failures is what makes you successful. If you fall, don’t get down on yourself, but look at why you failed, take it as a learning experience, brush it off and move on.

5. Read every day.

This rule cannot be emphasized enough — you need to be reading all the time. Never stop reading and never stop finding new topics to read about. You need to keep aware of the cutting edge movements within your industry to stay ahead of the trends.

6. Keep your mind and body healthy.

Exercise along with mental health breaks are all an important part of being the most successful version of yourself that you can be. Work out daily, eat right and always get plenty of sleep.

7. Surround yourself with successful like-minded people.

Surrounding yourself with the wrong people can be a major drain on you. Make sure that you are around people who share your same goals and visions, who are motivated and are true peers that also want financial success. Being around these individuals will motivate you and help you stay focused. Avoid people who don’t care about work. People who spend all of their time partying are not good for your success.

8. Give to the less fortunate and take care of loved ones.

We’ve talked about taking care of your mind and body, but it is also important to take care of your soul. Never lose sight of the world around you and those who are in need. Taking care of your loved ones is one of the best ways to enjoy your financial success.

Give back to those in need. I started my Timothy Sykes Foundation to help those who are less fortunate. It has really made a difference in my perspective and work ethic.

9. Be honest and transparent.

Lying and being deceitful will never get you as far as you think. You need to always be honest, straightforward and transparent with people. This is a truly important and undervalued practice that will help you earn the long-term professional success you have always wanted.

10. To succeed think long-term, not short term.

So many people are focused only on their short-term success and have goals like “I want to make X amount of money in the next year.” Don’t focus on short-term goals, focus on the long-term big picture of where you want your life to be. These are the types of goals that will get you motivated to being truly self-sufficient and building actual wealth for you and your family.

While there undoubtedly is a certain amount of challenge that comes with becoming a self-made millionaire, if you keep these rules in mind and learn from the success of those who have accomplished this goal in the past, then you will be armed with the insight you need to help make your financial goals a reality.

courtesy of Timothy Sykes


5 Ways Criticism and Rejection Builds Your Capacity to Succeed

bNo matter who you are, when you have a dream and are committed to achieving it you will face critics and experience many rejections. You will face people who have the outright desire to take you from your path. Many people, who may be in power, will use their position to push down ideas that are not in line with their own, or ideas they do not understand or value. Just as deterimental are the “caring concerned” who, in trying to protect you from your unrealistic dreams, keep you from them.

The greatest obstacle to success is your fear and belief in what a critic says. Instead of running or quitting, make the emotionally strong choice to move forward, in spite of perceived setbacks, understanding that sometimes it is only your opinion that matters. In that way, you will receive five powerful gifts from the people and situations that don’t wish you well, at all.

1. Emotional strength.

The pursuit of success nearly guarantees the more you seek to fulfill your purpose, the more obstacles you will face. As you come across naysayers you must learn to not integrate their fears into your own belief system and decision making.

Pursuing a dream is emotional strength training. The more motivated you are to make a difference and change the world, the more you rise in your success. The more you want to create and lead, the more rejection and criticism will show up on your path in an effort to derail you.

This is an opportunity to develop the skills, strategies and resolve to continue forward. In this way, your naysayers become your greatest motivators. They fuel your desire to show them just how wrong they are about who you are and where you are going.

When in doubt, remind yourself that naysayers belittle others in an effort to stop feeling so little themselves.

Related: Terrell Owens on How to Overcome Pitfalls, Distractors and Naysayers

2. Self-control.

Receiving criticism and rejection is common when your pursuit is doing important things in the world. Force yourself to become conscious of the rude, ill-informed and unkind people who emerge to tarnish your shine. With an awareness of them you gain more control over your emotional reactions to them.

Negative people lurk around every corner. The reality is that things aren’t going to be fair on your way to the top. Accept that. Because you will interact with a fair number of these people, you have the opportunity to develop unbeatable self-control.

Critics love to get under your skin and push you off balance. It gives them a sense of power. Therefore, use these people and experiences as exposure therapy until, eventually, rejection and criticism has little to no power over you. By weathering exposure to the negativity of others you develop control of your emotional reactions to their efforts to set you back.

Related: How Successful People Stay Productive and In Control

2. Refocus.

Learn to say “next” to every “no.” Rejection it is not the end of the world, nor does your idea merit being discarding. Look for gifts in the feedback that comes with rejection. Accept what can be successfully applied to refine and make your idea better. Then, move on.

Each rejection leads you closer to that “yes” you are seeking. Each “no” feels like another step back but is really bringing you one step closer to realization of your dream.

Refocused energy is the most creative energy. You have the opportunity to refine, repurpose and perfect what is already in place. Rejection, if you allow it, can fuel your deep desire to succeed. To be successful you must compete, compete, compete.

Related: 8 Questions to Refocus Your Vision and Achieve Success

3. Fearlessness.

Success is all about risk. Each time you put yourself and your idea out into the world you risk rejection and criticism, so do not be shocked or dismayed when it happens. Success is about getting knocked down, learning resilience, getting back up and risking again.

Each time you take a risk you become emotionally stronger. Each loss provides the information your pursuit needs to determine what new direction to take. Risk takes courage and courage can only be developed by doing courageous things. Giving up takes zero effort, getting up takes resilience.

Most of the happiness derived from success is not monetary but the confidence you build along the way as you risk, fall, try again, risk and then succeed.

Related: 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Learn to Manage Risk

4. Unwavering belief in your purpose.

When you believe deeply in what you are doing, what you are creating and what your ideas stand for, you develop the resilience to withstand all rejection and criticism. There is nothing more profoundly necessary for true success then a deep and unwavering belief in your purpose.

There will be all kinds of people who want to shrink your ideas or steal them. Others will want to use you for your idea or simply tell you your idea is worth nothing. Pay attention to who you listen to. Be smart about who you choose to pitch your ideas to. Pay attention to your gut instincts. Protect your ideas and only share them with those whom you respect. Do your research and work with like-minded innovators.

With deep belief you can remain hard working and quiet because your success will do the talking.

Related: Stop Listening to These 5 Self-Limiting Beliefs Stunting Your Business

5. Unflinching in the face of challenges.

What kind of true success can really come without real effort, real labor, real heartache and real sweat? Success does not come to the weak. No journey is devoid of self-doubt or setbacks. Success is a matter of standing up to your challenge. It is a matter of commitment and not giving up. It is about getting up and suiting up, even when things look bleak. It is having the complete resolve to pursue your higher purpose.

There is nothing unrealistic about a dream that is in complete alignment with your purpose. If what you are doing ignites your passion, inspires you to plan and persevere, then you will, without a doubt, achieve what you have set out to achieve. Any person with a deep conviction and commitment to success will succeed. Therefore, the only opinion about your dream that really counts is yours. The negative commentary of others merely reflects their limitations, not yours.

Success is built upon your own determination, not managed by anyone else’s opinion. This is why success is never a straight shot to the top. None of us would be nearly as successful as we are without the gifts of the naysayers, the tough rejections or the harsh criticisms. It all depends upon what you choose do with it. To be a standout success you must learn to control your emotional reactions and turn all of the criticisms and rejections to serve as your greatest advantage. Most importantly, see the value in it all and be thankful all along the way.

Success, at the end of the day, is your greatest revenge. Be sure you are the last one standing.

11 Characteristics of Powerful People You Can Cultivate

Whether it’s a political leader, high-ranking military official or successful startup founder, there’s a common thread that ties these powerful individuals together. While timing, hard work and passion are all prevalent, powerful people also possess the following 11 habits.

1. Confidence.

Powerful people are confident — which is a skill you can work on — and people are naturally drawn to confident individuals. Because they are confident, powerful people aren’t afraid to tackle risks and challenges head-on. Additionally, confident individuals can appreciate small accomplishments, work on their communication skills, let go of the past and realize what’s most important.

2. Don’t seek fame and fortune.

Do you think Pope Francis seeks out fame and fortune? Of course not, and like Pope Francis, powerful people aren’t looking to flaunt their success. Instead, they focus on what matters most to their customers, company and community.

3. Take up more space.

A 2010 experiment conducted by psychologists Dana Carney and Amy Cuddy found that subjects who stayed in a position that took up more space for longer than one minute actually felt more powerful. This was caused by a biochemical reaction that increased testosterone and decreased cortisol.

4. Know when to speak.

Think of someone who doesn’t talk a whole lot but what they do say is useful, powerful and insightful. Powerful individuals know when to talk and what exactly to say at the right time. Also, by not speaking that much, it decreases their chance of saying something foolish.

5. Break eye contact.

You’ve probably heard that the best speakers and leaders make strong eye contact. It turns out that this isn’t exactly the case. Based on research by psychologists Frances Chen and Julia Minson, it was found that eye contact can actually be counterproductive because it lessens persuasion. Instead of looking into someone else’s eyes, leaders should look at their audience member’s mouth.

6. Aren’t afraid to endure criticism.

When you’re in a position of power, some of your decisions will be unpopular. Powerful people are not afraid of the backlash. If they were they could not take charge and do what’s best for their customers, company or community.

7. They look the part.

If you look at most leaders, what do they wear? Most wear professional clothes, not sneakers and hoodies (Mark Zuckerberg is one of a few exceptions). Powerful leaders set themselves apart from others by constantly dressing, speaking and acting like a distinguished professionals.

8. Team players.

Powerful people realize they’re part of a team with a designated role. While their role has more impact and responsibilities, they never undervalue the hard work of other team members.

9. They’re flexible.

Life is unpredictable. Powerful people are able to make the right adjustments to solve the problem at hand. Being flexible doesn’t mean they’re pushovers. They just seek to handle situations.

10. Ask better questions.

Tony Robbins once said “Successful people ask better questions and, as a result, they get better answers.” In fact, John Maxwell has written entire book on the subject. Powerful people ask astute questions to determine what’s best for their customers, company and community.

11. Pick a hard seat and carry heavy objects.

According to study published in Science, people who opted to sit in an uncomfortable chair become tougher at negotiating because the rigid sensation seems to lessen a shift in decisions. In the same study, it was also discovered that the subjects who were carrying heavier objects appeared to be more important.

Ready to take on the world? Use these tips to feel and become more powerful.a

10 Ways to Function on Very Little Sleep

Need to get a better night’s sleep so you can work harder tomorrow? It will happen to you at some point: The kids kept you up all night. You toss and turn until 4 a.m. because you’re worried about bills. You just wrapped up a project, and now it’s 2 a.m.

No matter the culprit, we’ve all had those nights when we don’t get enough sleep. So, what’s person to do when that alarm clock annoyingly goes off in the morning? Aside from drinking caffeine (in moderation), try these 10 other techniques in order to function on that suboptimal amount of sleep you had the night before.

1. Drink lots of water.

We get fatigued when we’re dehydrated. So, the more water we drink, the more alert and wake we feel. Besides, drinking all of that water requires more restroom breaks, which in turn is a simple way to be more active and not fall asleep at the desk.

Bonus tip: Add some lemon to your water. The zest should pep you up.

2. Get your blood moving.

Speaking of being active, a workout is great way to wake up. Exercise boosts energy and adrenaline levels through circulation and a speed-up to your metabolism. And those changes should help you survive the day. Exercise will also help you sleep better at night.

If you don’t have time for a complete workout, just run up and down a set of stairs or go for a walk during a break.

3. Cut back on large meals.

Avoid eating large meals, junk food or a ton of carbohydrates. Those types of foods will make you drowsy. Instead, munch on a series of lighter meals that are lean and contain plenty of proteins: specifically, foods that contain tyrosine.

Whole grains, fruits and veggies, yogurt, chicken and fish are examples of food that won’t slow you down and will keep you alert.

4. Go outside.

Sunlight helps you battle afternoon sleepiness because it increases the levels of vitamins D and B. On top of that, sunlight in moderation will improve your mood, help you focus and give your immune system a little boost, which is needed because you put your immune system in danger when you don’t get enough sleep.

If you can’t make it outside during a break, try sitting next to a window or installing high-intensity light bulbs. However, the fresh air and change of scenery that the outdoors provides is preferable.

5. Take a cold shower.

A cold shower stimulates your body, and the sudden shock will often help wake you up. Of course, you may not be able to take a cold shower multiple times throughout the day.

If you’re at work, try splashing some cold water on your face in the restroom or placing an ice cube on your wrists or temple.

6. Change things up.

Monotony won’t help you stay awake. Throughout the day, change things up so you have some variety to keep you going.

Whether that means joking around with co-workers, making phone calls, watching movie trailers on YouTube, playing a computer game or doing a little yoga in your office, spicing up your day will keep you stimulated when you’re extremely tired.

7. Have a piece of gum.

Researchers have discovered that chewing gum can reduce sleepiness, probably because it enhances cerebral activity. If you want to get the most out of your gum-chewing experience, stick with mint-flavored gum because mint has more of a rousing effect.

Chewing gum will give you only a temporary burst, so rely on it at those rare times when you really need a boost.

8. Prioritize and simplify your day.

When you’re tired, you probably aren’t at your most productive. So, why would you stress yourself out and try to complete ten different tasks? Chances are, you can get away with shaving down that list by crossing off your most important ones and leaving items that can wait until another day. In other words, simplify your day as much as possible.

Bonus tip: If you can, delegate some of these tasks, both professional and personal, to other people.

9. Avoid driving.

Driving when you’re tired is extremely dangerous. Instead of taking this risk, rely on public transportation or carpooling.

Not only will you prevent a severe accident, you may even have a couple of minutes to close your eyes.

10. Take a catnap.

If you’re able to, take a catnap in the early afternoon — around 2 p.m. Taking a 20-to-25-minute nap is a great way to recharge your mind and body. If you aren’t fortunate to work in a place with quiet areas or don’t have your own office, be creative.

If you drive to work, take a nap in the car on your lunch break.

While getting enough sleep should be a goal for us all, in reality it just isn’t going to happen every night. These tips will help you get through the day. What works for you? Share your tips in the comments section!

5 Frugal Habits of the World’s Richest People

Just because someone has accumulated a bank account that rivals that of Bill Gates doesn’t mean they spend like there is no tomorrow. Research and anecdote teaches that wealthy people, including the very wealthiest, are surprisingly frugal.

That’s not saying they’re cheap. After all, there is a difference between being cheap and frugal. Frugal means being smarter and wiser at prioritizing your funds, finding the best value and making solid investments, traits that have fattened the bank accounts of the richest people in the world. They have so much wealth because they realize the real value of money.

Here are some of the frugal habits of the wealthy you adapt to build up your own hefty bank account.

1. They use coupons.

Surprisingly, households with average incomes of $100,000 or more use more coupons than those that bring in under $35,000. Celebrities including Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Kristen Bell and Hilary Swank are just a few examples of wealthy individuals who are fans of coupons.

As a whole, it’s been found that an astounding “71 percent of the affluent use paper coupons every month, with 54 percent using online coupons every month.”

2. They live below their means.

The super rich are also known for living well below their means – even as far as cutting their own hair. One example of this is that they don’t see a vehicle as a status symbol. Instead, they realize that a car serves just one purpose; to get from Point A to Point B.

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, famously drove around in a 1979 Ford F150 pickup truck. Walton’s son, Jim drove an older Dodge Dakota despite being worth over $16 billion. Mark Zuckerberg owns a modest $30,000 Acura TSX entry-level sedan, the 61st richest person in the world Azim Premji drove a Toyota Corolla, and Warren Buffett recently sold his 2006 Cadillac, which was noted for not being anything special, for a new model.

Many very rich people live in modest homes. Warren Buffett still resides in the house he bought bought for $31,500 in Omaha, Nebraska in 1958. Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and Christy Walton all live in modest homes.

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, Hobby Lobby founder David Green and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer prefer to fly commercial, and even coach. Bill Gates was known to fly commercial for years. Azim Premji usually stays at company guest houses.

Finally, the wealthy don’t spend money on only luxury clothing. John Caudwell, an auto-shop owner who entered the cell phone business in 1987 and is now worth $2.6 billion, has stated “I don’t need Saville Row suits” and “I don’t need to spend money to bolster my own esteem.”

In fact, 74 percent of the super rich shop at Wal-Mart, while only 6 percent shop at Brooks Brothers.

3. They are charitable.

One of the more interesting habits that the rich have in common is their willingness to donate a vast majority of their wealth to a charitable cause. Zappos’ Tony Hsieh personally invested $350 million in the Downtown project to improve downtown Las Vegas. Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of Duty Free Shops, has donated more than $4 billion to disadvantaged children and public health initiatives. Other wealthy individuals including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Bloomberg have donated huge chunks of their fortunes

4. They value quality over quantity.

Wealthy individuals aren’t cheap, and certainly are not against enjoying themselves, but they put more thought into their purchases. For example, T. Boone Pickens has said,  “I don’t go cheap on anything, but I’m not a shopper. If I want something, I look at it, decide what it is, but it will usually be the best product. I’ve got a pair of loafers that I still wear that I got in 1957.”

5. They don’t carry wads of cash.

It’s been found that “86 percent of people who spend cash on luxuries like expensive cars, jewelry, and electronics are non-millionaires trying to act the part by purchasing luxury brands.”

Take the advice of oil mogul T. Boone Pickens and carry around only the cash that you need for what you intend to buy. Ac, a CFP professional and associate professor of personal financial planning at Kansas State University, the rich are often “money vigilant.” They avoid credit debt, and “are more anxious about making sure they have enough money and are managing it well.”