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Efficiency + mastery = success

Bezos didn’t just hang out in the McDonald’s kitchen, doing the bare minimum. He dedicated himself to becoming a better worker every Saturday morning shift.

“The first thing I would do is get a big bowl and crack 300 eggs into it,” he told Fast Company. “One of the great gifts I got from that job is that I can crack eggs with one hand.”

Cracking eggs may not seem like a recipe for business success, but it was for Bezos. Amazon has become one of the most successful businesses because of the same philosophy that made it special as his egg cracking: efficient, yet flawless, delivery.

“One of the things that’s really fun about working at McDonald’s is to get really fast at all of this stuff,” he added. “See how many eggs you can crack in a period of time and still not get any shell in them.”

That philosophy of combining speed and efficiency — with an eye on quality at the same time — has clearly remained a guiding principle for Bezos. Amazon’s leader has taken great pride in the company’s customer-first focus from the start.

And it’s clearly paid off for him — as he’s built up an impressive net worth of $191 billion, according to Forbes.

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You can do this too

But what if you want to go from cracking eggs to building a nest egg? The most direct way to do this is by consistently contributing to your 401(k).

Teachers are a good example of how to bring that egg-cracking consistency into your wallet. Many contribute the same amount over and over and over again into their 401(k) — and end up retiring with over a million dollars, according to a survey from the company of personal finance celebrity Dave Ramsey.

This isn’t because teachers make so much money. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that teachers earn a median salary of $61,250. Ramsey’s survey discovered that it’s their consistency that makes them wealthy later in life — the same way that Bezos’ early days of constant egg-cracking increased his net worth.

“You learn a lot as a teenager working at McDonald’s,” CNBC reports Bezos saying in the book, “Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald’s.” “It’s different from what you learn in school. Don’t underestimate the value of that!”

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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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