Most people know three things about Bill Gates:
1. He’s one of the richest men in the world
2. He co-founded Microsoft
3. He’s an extremely generous philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
But despite his success story, there are a lot of things about him that many are unaware of. Here are 6 powerful lessons he learnt throughout his entrepreneurial journey.
1. Feed your mind by reading a lot
You cannot become smart unless you read broadly. And Bill Gates was a dedicated reader from his childhood. He even read the entire “World Book Encyclopaedia” series during his teenage years. Even today, you will still find him writing about the books he reads on his website. How do you know the life you want to design and the dreams you want to achieve unless you are exposed to the vast opportunities that this world has to offer? Influence comes from some of the most unforeseen obscure encounters and experiences. We can’t all have a life that affords us to travel the world, but we all have at our fingertips the world through words. Reading is the compass to your future.
2. Adding value to others is the true essence of wealth
Being philanthropic is a lifelong tradition for Bill Gates. To the billionaire, reducing global suffering and helping others rise above the slums of poverty is the greatest service anyone could possibly offer to the world. Bill is the co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which was launched in 2000. Subsequently in 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates started The Giving Pledge along with their friend (and fellow billionaire) Warren Buffett. The foundation is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world which is aimed at improving healthcare, reduce extreme poverty and to expand educational opportunities. As of 2018, the Gates family has announced to give away its USD 90 billion fortune to charity.
3. Learn from your mistakes and pick yourself up afresh
As the vast majority of great achievers would, he viewed failure and mistakes as an opportunity to learn something new and improve his expertise. You should too. According to Bill Gates, we have the skill and the energy, and we have all it takes to seize the opportunity. Make the most of any opportunity that you decide to take. You should spare no effort because if you allow it to pass, it may never come your way again. It doesn’t matter how much mistakes you’ve made or the number of setbacks you’ve encountered, persistence never goes unpaid.
4. Progress should be a continual process
One of the greatest achievers in the world, the billionaire and philanthropist have been blessed to experience prodigious success most can only dream of. He has headed the largest PC software company in the world and held the top spot on the list of “The World’s Billionaires” for 18 out of the past 23 years. Even with such record of success, he doesn’t seem undeterred by his outstanding accomplishments. After choosing to step down from the top executive seat at Microsoft, Bill is still very much in business as he is currently heading both Cascade Investment and Branded Entertainment Network.
5. Time is more valuable than money
Bill understands the wisdom in properly prioritising tasks that are more likely to yield the most productive results of time spent. Sadly, the majority of us waste so much time in envy and desire of what others have. With many years of experience in the entrepreneurial niche, Bill has mastered the art of prioritising and maintaining focus only on commitments that matter to him the most. Time spent unwisely can never be gotten back. Therefore, make it your utmost goal to enjoy the time you have by spending it on tasks/people that matter most to you.
6. Believe in yourself
Do you have an idea, a dream or a vision? Then you shouldn’t waste time on it. Start as early as early as possible. Gates was only 13 when he started experimenting with computers. When you start something early enough, you immediately start developing your mastery on that subject. Don’t wait for the right time as that usually almost never comes. Take that leap. Learn and grow. From the lessons discussed in this article, it really makes no difference if you are an employee, a single mother, student or a small business owner.
While a vast populace of the world admires Bill Gates for achievement in business, a more admirable trait should be centred on his philanthropic attribute. It matters not how much lies in the bank account, you and I can make the world a little bit more endearing by helping someone who has less than us. In your own tiny way, effect the change you desire to see in the world.