Warren Buffet is a man who knows how to make a fortune and at age 85 his net worth is estimated at an astonishing $72.3 billion dollars. Besides planning to donate 85% of his fortune to charity, for years now he has been kind enough to share advice with all of us.
Here are the 11 best pieces of advice coming from the most successful entrepreneur in the world:
1. Your public image and reputation is a fragile thing.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Reputation is a fragile thing which can be lost in a matter of seconds. Always have that in mind before making any decision, as the wrong one just might be your last.
2. Taking your time to make a decision is all right.
“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business.”
Many entrepreneurs make rash decisions, which can either bring large profits or backfire. Making impulsive decisions in the world of business is like playing roulette, either you win big or lose, but at the end it’s a matter of luck. Warren Buffet has a different approach, believing that for success you need to carefully consider all options possible.
3. Know your job.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
Is it a surprise when a team wins the Super Bowl? Warren Buffet doesn’t think so. Even when there is uncertainty in the beginning, skill will always conquer over luck in the end.
4. If things are going bad, don’t make them worse!
“The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.”
Most people have the bad habit of making desperate attempts to escape when they find themselves cornered. These attempts, of course, usually backfire and make matters worse. To be successful you need to know when your best move is to do – nothing.
5. Do business with good people.
“You can’t make a good deal with a bad person.”
You always need to know who you’re dealing with. It’s hard to rely on someone you don’t trust, and it’s the same in life as in business.
6. Don’t expect anything from anyone.
“I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.”
Even your best associate may fail you one day. Don’t expect too much from anyone, be prepared for the unexpected and always have an alternative.
7. Value your predecessors.
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
On your way to success there must have been someone who helped you along the way, be it an associate or a mentor. Don’t forget about your predecessors and respect everyone who helped you along the way.
8. With money comes responsibility.
“If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.”
Buffet is living up to his words by pledging 85% of his fortune not to his children, but to charity. With money comes responsibility and being a successful entrepreneur doesn’t go hand in hand with being a jerk.
9. Know when to abandon ship.
“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
Successful entrepreneurs never risk it when defeat is imminent. You should know to recognize the signs when the ship is going down… and never go down with it.
10. Be aware that there are more important things in life than money.
“Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.”
You control your money, not vice-versa. You are in it to be successful and to gain bucket loads of money, but always be aware there are more important things in life.
11. Be confident in your success, even when there’s no reason you should.
“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.”
Buffet always knew what he is looking for in life. Next to his 1947 yearbook he wrote: “Likes math; a future stockbroker.” Always believe in yourself, even when nobody else does, even when there is no reason you should.