5 Traits To Learn From The Richest Man Who Ever Lived — John D Rockefeller

“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.” – John D Rockefeller


John D is known as the wealthiest person that ever lived for owning the world’s largest oil supply called Standard Oil, which was eventually broken up by the US government into what would later become ExxonMobil, Chevron Conoco and Amoco. He was the first man to ever accumulate $1 Billion US dollars and was the primary reason a monopoly was created. By doing so, he paved the way for up-and-coming billionaires, inspiring the world and showing them that creating such wealth was possible. Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, credits specific traits of John D Rockefeller that had that led him to his mind blowing success.


Rockefeller Trait 1: He Had a Knack For Numbers

Rockefeller was known to be very good with numbers. Right after high school, he attended a 10 week business course and studied bookkeeping. His ability in accounting work was exceptional. And for any business or idea to manifest into a money making opportunity, numbers need to make sense. Don’t take it from us, but take it from the wealthiest to ever walk the planet whose number was estimated by celebrity net worth at roughly $340 billion in today’s dollar and $663.4 billion according to Wikipedia. He was such a well calculated guy who apparently broke down and computed every cost for Standard Oil to the decimal point. Mr. Rockefeller used nothing but figures to amass to such heights as he was once quoted saying “I charted my course by figures, nothing but figures”.


Rockefeller Trait 2: He Set Enormous Goals, and Was Confident Enough to Believe They’d Come True

Another one of the key traits of John D Rockefeller was that he set out huge goals. As a young boy, he set out two life-long goals, to make one million big ones, and to live up to 100 years of age. He was confident enough to set these intentions at such a young age, that astonishingly, he made over a billion dollars, and died at 3 years short of his goal, 97 years old. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that qualifies for surpassing his goals. As a testimony to his wisdom, the keen Rockefeller once stated “Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.”


Rockefeller Trait 3: He Was a Strategic Planner, Not A Gullible Risk-Taker

Whenever new business ideas came to the mind’s eye of John D Rockefeller, he didn’t jump right in, he planned out the best possible scenario to make sure that opportunity had the highest chance of succeeding. Being good with numbers, Rockefeller calculated each risk to make them more feasible and then “He would act quickly and boldly to see it through to fruition” (According to PBS.com). He was noted as staying in his office for hours, using a chalkboard filled with different game plans and unique strategies to make sure every penny was maximized to it’s highest interest on investment’s and loans. As for his employee’s he made sure only the best talent was hired and put to their highest potential in their respective fields. This mastermind often gave his employee’s equity and stock ownership which was huge incentive for them to work harder as it was now a bit of their company too.


Rockefeller Trait 4: He NEVER Settled

John D. Rockefeller once said the bold and inspiring words “don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great”, and he was a prime example of someone who went for the GREAT! When he decided to take over any business, he would use his ruthless tactics to keep growing. First, he would make an over-estimated (above market value) offer in hopes the company would sell, and if, for whatever reason they didn’t want to take the generous offer, then he would literally drive them out of competition. In other words, he never settled, as his companies grew, he kept strategizing and executing new ways to grow his net worth.


Rockefeller Trait 5: His Philanthropy Work Was Like No Other

One of the main traits of Rockefeller was that he was a man who believed in giving back. When the richest man that ever lived was young, he was told by a pastor to make as much money as he could, and then give as much of it away as he could. This is exactly what John D Rockefeller did, he made the most money anyone could possibly imagine, and gave away more than half of it before he died. He was even known to walk down the streets with his top hat, and his cane flicking dimes & quarters to random civilians (which at the time was a decent amount of money). He understood the laws of karma, and that with the right intentions, anything can be done. John D Rockefeller was very specific with his charities though. He made sure that he only funded institutions that could correct poverty and improve humanity. Instead of just giving money to the homeless he would build universities. Rockefeller was also the first man in the USA to establish a medical scientific research facility and poured millions into it. He also never believed in flaunting money whatsoever and somewhat despised the JP Morgan owner who had yachts, fancy things and threw money around carelessly, something Rockefeller never did. He was very humble and had a great sense of humility as he made sure that any of the institutions he created never had his name on it as he wanted them to be there own places. The Rockefeller center was actually his sons doing, not his. Philanthropy was clearly something John D Rockefeller did with great pleasure and it led to more success.