Billionaires reveal their secrets

An interesting piece by Jade Scipioni in a CNBC news piece ‘Beyond the Valley’

There are some 2,600 billionaires in the world — and more than two-thirds are self-made

A few have of the latter have shared lessons on life and how they found success

Warren Buffett, worth some $80 billion – Invest in yourself:

  • By far the best investment you can make is in yourself: 
    • The best way to do that is by first learning to communicate better, both in writing and in person, as it will increase your value by at least 50%
    • If you can’t communicate to somebody, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark – nothing happens
    • You have to be able to get forth your ideas
  • Start taking care of your body and your mind when you are still young:
    • You get exactly one mind and one body in this world, and you can’t start taking care of it when you’re 50
    • By that time, you’ll rust it out, if you haven’t done anything – so it’s just hugely important
    • And if you invest in yourself, nobody can take it away from you
  • If you get to be 65 or more, and the people you want to love you actually do love you, you’re a success

Jeff Bezos, worth some $111 billion – Change your mind:

  • Bezos started building Amazon by selling books out of his Seattle garage in 1994
  • It is crucial to be open and willing to change your mind.
  • They have the same data set that they had at the beginning, but they wake up and reanalyse things all the time and they come to a new conclusion and then they change their mind
  • People who typically win in life have worked hard to recognise what beliefs or biases they hold and actively try to look for evidence that disconfirms them
  • This allows you and your business to be more creative, flexible and ultimately more successful

Bill Gates, worth some $113 billion – Surround yourself with the right people

  • A lot could go to one’s head when you have tens of billions in the bank
  • Gates stays humble by doing normal things like washing the dishes after dinner each night and driving his kids to school in the morning
  • He also surrounds himself with people who keep his ego in check, including his wife, Melinda, his three children and his best friend, fellow billionaire Warren Buffett.
  • If I come back and I look like I’m all puffed up, they cut me down to size a little bit

Jack Ma, worth $46 billion – Anybody can be successful if you try hard

  • Jack Ma grew up in China and was rejected from 30 jobs before being introduced to the internet in 1995
  • With no marketing or legal skills, knowledge of technology or money, he started the Alibaba e-commerce group in his apartment
  • We had almost nothing, but we believed in the future,” Ma said
  • The three keys to success are to think differently, never give up and use the skills that you have currently
  • If everybody agrees, then there is no opportunity – to be successful it’s essential to think about things that no one is thinking about yet
  • Ma was also rejected by Harvard (he applied 10 times) and says that you can’t let rejection stop you
  • Of course, you are not happy when people say ‘no’ – so have a good sleep, wake up and try again
  • And use what skills you have – in his case he was good at customer service
  • “I only know about people”
  • “When you spend time on the people you serve, when they’re happy — you win!”

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