Warren Buffet is often known for being one of the richest men in the world, and one of the richest men alive. His lesser known partner, Charlie Munger, plays a key role in the success of Berkshire Hathaway as it’s vice chairman.
Together, they have a short list of ten rules for success. This is some of the best wisdom in business I have come across; the best things in life are simple and elegant.
1. Be a Life-Long Learner. Education Never Stops.
Just because you graduated college and have a degree does not make you the best candidate for the job. It fails to put you in a position for life-long success. In school, we are trained to associate negative feelings towards reading books, because we are negatively reinforced. You’re never rewarded for being exceptional; only punished for failing. Passing a class is less celebrated than you’d think; passing is expected.
Most people read less than one book a year after graduating college. A researched showed that CEO’s read four to six books a month. Most people don’t read one a year.
Being able to become a life-long learner enables you to become adaptable in an evolving workforce.
2. Deserve What You Want
The best way to get what you want in life, is to deserve it. There’s no need hoping you’ll get what you want. Work for it, and deserve it. Become the best at your skill and dominate the competition. When you receive the fruit of your labor, you will feel accomplished because you know that you earned it. Don’t waste your time trying to grab a fruit from a tree you can’t reach. Just get better at climbing.
3. The Edge of Competency
Know what you’re good at, and describe what you’re bad at. There’s no need acting like you’re the most well-rounded person on the planet. No one wants to hire an average construction worker to build their house. If you’re going to be spending a large amount of money on a project like that, then you need to find a highly specialized worker. You wouldn’t then go ahead and hire that worker to do a job that he isn’t trained for.
Know where your skills rest, and master your area. You will become valuable to an employer, or even become good enough to start your own business.
4. Be a Survivor
Don’t waste your time feeling betrayed. Move on, and avoid victim blaming. When you play the victim, you destroy your ability to create and make progress. It is counterproductive. When you overcome a situation, treat yourself like you survived it. Don’t waste your life holding a grudge. You’ll never move forward if you do.
5. Ideas are Worthless Without Practice
Face the facts, taking a risk is fun. You need to practice your craft, and if that comes with risks, then embrace them. Your ideas need to be worked out with a strategy and executed. Dreams are just dreams without action.
Failing should be fun and constructive. Learn from your failures.
6. Deal with Things You Can Understand
Business is simple. Colleges and Universities will never accept this. If they did, then they’d have nothing to teach about, no classes to hold. Business needs to be durable and competitive. When you plan, make it last ten years and aim for a monopoly in your area. Create something ten times better than the existing competition in your space.
7. Invest in Trust
This goes towards making friends and business partners. Be conscientious. Do things for others. Be altruistic. Give without the desire to receive. Good things come to those who make genuine and honest friendships with the people who reciprocate the generosity.
8. Learn from the Past
Cicero once said, “A man who fails to learn about what happened before he was born goes through life as a child.” If you make a mistake, do everything in your power to avoid making that mistake again. You don’t even have to make the mistake yourself. Read, and learn about the past economic hardships.
There’s a lot to learn from other’s failures; you do not have to force yourself to fail, just so you can learn to understand.
9. Swim as Well as You Can
Sometimes you’ll swim with the current, sometimes you’ll swim against it. You cannot change the tides; just try to do as well as you can. Don’t waste your time trying to guess and predict. When people do happen to guess correctly, it may just be lucky. So try your best to swim and keep your head about water. Be adaptable and take what comes your way.
10. Don’t Submerge Yourself in Self-Pity
People will hurt you. You will get hurt in life. It is a waste of time an energy to feel sorry for yourself and blame the world for mistreating you. Some people recover from their falls, other people fail to do so. You need to be able to stand back up and swallow your pride. Just take what happened, and move on. Press forward. There’s no going back in time.