Making a Difference: Warren Buffett

19th Jan 2009
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Warren Buffett is a very interesting man. Not only is he a well-known American investor and Entrepreneur, but he is also a very well known Philanthropist. He lives life very simply, unlike other top notch Entrepreneurs who buy Yachts and Islands for themselves. However, Warren Buffett was declared the richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine and I thought that it would help to examine some of the things that he has talked about. In this article, I will endeavour to use his quotes in order to compile a list for all Entrepreneurs. However, I must ask the reader to keep in mind that great men have extremely individualistic thoughts and Warren Buffett is no different in this regard. So here is the list:

 

  • Think for Yourself. There can be no alternative for original thought. Warren Buffett says, “A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”
  • Believe in yourself. Know that you are on the right track. Self-belief is integral when you start off as an Entrepreneur. Warren Buffett says, “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I doubted it for a minute.”
  • Be ambitious but not irrational. Warren Buffett says, “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars. I look for one foot bars that I can step over.”
  • Be weary of the stock market -This, I suppose is something that many Entrepreneurs will disagree with, but this is what Warren Buffett has to say: “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”
  • Have faith in your business and if it does well, you will get your returns. Warren Buffett says, “If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.”
  • Think about thinks carefully. Weigh your options before plunging into something. Warren Buffett says, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
  • Be around people who are better than you at what you do. Warren Buffett says, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you will drift in that direction.”
  • Do a quality check before buying a company. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
  • Take risks but calculated ones. Warren Buffett says, “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”
  • Buffett has more to say about risks. He says, “Risk is a part of god’s game-alike for men and nations.”
  • Have a straightforward approach to Entrepreneurship. Warren Buffett says, “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”
  • Try reading good books in order to better your knowledge. Warren Buffett says, “Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”
  • This quote is a really unique one and it has personally helped me a lot. Don’t make too many mistakes and you will be on the right track. Warren Buffett says, “You only have to do very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”
  • Invest only in companies that you really like. Warren Buffett says, “Why not invest in companies you really like? As Mae West says: too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”
  • Work only on your bright ideas. Strive for excellence. Do not strive for Mediocrity. Warren Buffett says, “You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”
  • Warren Buffett has a rather unique take on money. His children will not inherit most of his wealth and this is explained in one of Warren Buffett’s quotes: “I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It's like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GNP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don't do that though. I don't use very many of those claim checks. There's nothing material I want very much. And I'm going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die. (Lowe 1997:165–16)

Warren Buffett’s words of advice certainly helped me a lot. And here’s hoping that they help you too!


By Reeti Roy

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