13 Habits You Should Steal From Successful Business Figures

David Ramos/Getty Images
David Ramos/Getty Images / David Ramos/Getty Images

Just what does it take to be as productive as Thomas Edison or as financially successful as Elon Musk? Gifts might help (the best gifts for Shark Tank fans in particular could be useful.) But by and large, a great routine helps. MBANoGMAT, a search site for online MBA programs, gathered some of the unique habits of super-successful inventors and business leaders to analyze the behaviors that separate legends from the rest of us.

The keys, according to the infographic (there’s a bigger version here), are strict scheduling, plenty of reading, exercise, and the right mindset. Musk divides his days into five-minute blocks of time; Buffett says he spends 80 percent of his day reading; Richard Branson (like many of his wealthy peers) gets up at 5 a.m. to work out every day; Thomas Edison, who ended up with 1093 patents at the end of his life, famously touted the benefits of failure.

Your boss probably won’t let you use the excuse “but Warren Buffett does it!” when she finds you reading a novel at your desk in the middle of the day, but no one will blink twice if you start marking off your calendar obsessively like Elon Musk or Ben Franklin. Or, in many modern offices, if you adopt Mark Zuckerberg's hoodie uniform.

This story was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for 2022.