Few, if any, in the world of business is held in higher esteem than Warren Buffett. And few, if any, have been more successful. This 86-year-old self-made man from Nebraska is estimated by Forbes Magazine to be “worth” $73.3B and is ranked second on its list of the World’s Billionaires in 2017. His conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is said to own some 60 “known” companies such as Dairy Queen and Geico in addition to their vast real estate interests.
How does one become as successful as the “Oracle of Omaha?” Here are just some snippets of words he’s said over the years.
- Live within your means. Buffett lives in the same house he bought in 1958. He drives a utilitarian, non-flashy car. The only “extra” he’s given himself over the years is a private jet. He first called that jet “Indefensible” but now calls it “Indispensable” because it makes his life so much easier. Buffett says that living within your means “…frees you up to spend you money and time on other things.”
- Think about your inner scorecard. Buffett thinks that worrying more about how well we perform is much more valuable than worrying about how the rest of the world, other people, perceives our performance. Two takeaways here…how you think about your own success and performance is what matters and “…you should always try to be a good person…”
- Give back to others. In 2010, Buffett established The Giving Pledge with Bill Gates. The two of them committed themselves to giving 99% of their wealth away to worthwhile causes around the world and the two of them encourage others to give a minimum of 50% of their wealth to such causes. In 2010, The Giving Pledge started with 40 pledges in the US; today, in May, 2017, there are 170 pledges from 21 countries. The Giving Pledge is “…specifically focused on billionaires or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving.” Obviously, non-billionaires are invited to make their own pledges of wealth to worthwhile entities and causes.
- Acknowledge your luck, not whatever talent you think you may or may not have. Buffett says, “I got to do what I love and it doesn’t get any luckier than that…all kinds of things have worked out so I just hope I stay lucky. I’ve been lucky for 80 years.”