Early meetings, late nights, lunch on the go, wooing investors, pleasing shareholders, appeasing stakeholders and perhaps even trying to raise a family. No wonder billionaires have to have a tight grip on their lives and have found personalised ways to deal with the stresses of work and home life.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
At the helm of one of the biggest (and fastest growing) companies in the world, there’s no doubting that Bezos will have a fair amount of stress in his life. Taking into account he now has Jeremy Clarkson on the payroll, which was more than enough stress for BBC directors.
Handling stress, he’s learnt, comes from addressing the issue the moment you start to see it. Rather than wasting time worrying about what it is that’s causing him stress, Bezos tackles it straightaway. “I find as soon as I identify it, and make the first phone call, or send off the first email message, or whatever it is that we’re going to do to start to address the situation – even if it’s not solved – the mere fact that we’re addressing it dramatically reduces any stress that might come from it.”
Richard Branson, President of Virgin Group
It’s no secret that Branson has had his fair share of stress in his life; having gone bankrupt more than once, and tried and tested many businesses along the way, along with losing houses to fire and storms. Branson should know a thing or two about handling his stress. His main piece of advice? Don’t feel guilty. One of the most common problems in our society is that people feel guilty about spending time away from work. “Ditch any guilt you might feel about stopping work and make this relaxation time a priority”.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla
Nicknamed "The Tesla of our Time" and as one of the most high-powered CEOs in the world, Musk only has one option: to suck up any stress he has and work with it. “If something’s important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” He doesn’t waste time wallowing in self-pity and instead uses it to his advantage to help keep all of his ducks in a row – instead, he uses it as fuel to get ahead of the game and keep the money and business coming in.
Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft
“The ability to boil things down, to work on things that are things that really counts, to think through the basics….It’s a special form of genius”. Bill Gates’ approach is simple, but one that few actually follow through with; the simple task of stripping it back, and taking things one task at a time. Often when we are stressed, we get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the tasks that we have to achieve. Like the task of cleaning a room may seem gargantuan until you make a start, but if we take things one step at a time, task after task, we’re more likely to have a better performance and outcome.
Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple
Of all the men on our list you can guarantee it would be Steve Jobs who took a more spiritual approach to stress, focusing on mindfulness rather than getting distracted by the stresses of his incredibly busy life. Jobs appreciated just how much the mind can control our emotions and as a result, mean that we’re not getting the most out of our day simply because we’re becoming enveloped in stress. Instead, try and focus your mind. “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try and calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time, it does calm.”