I used to work near the waterfront in Boston. At lunchtime, I’d head down to the benches by the harbor with my coworkers (now two of my greatest friends), and we’d look out at all the fancy boats docked there.

“What am I doing wrong in my career that I don’t have one of those?” my friend joked. We repeated that refrain often, as all of us love the ocean and boat ownership was — in our estimation — the height of luxury.

Fast forward to today. I still don’t have a boat (and sadly, my office is no longer near the ocean). But I still wonder what those people did to become so financially successful that they could afford one of those luxury vessels. Were they trust fund babies? Did they invest wisely? Did they get in early on something huge?

In a paltry stab at getting to the answer, I researched some of the words of wisdom from a few of the richest people in the world in 2014 — at least, according to Forbes — and compiled them below. I tried to select people who made their way in business, not those who inherited their way onto the list.

(And while I hope these are good for a peppy pick-me-up while typing away at your laptop, I doubt these morsels of motivation will propel someone so far into success as to land on Forbes’ 2015 “Richest Persons” list. But who cares? Business success is a relative term.)

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