Bill Gates is by far one of the most successful people on the planet. I am not just referring to his financial status and his affluence in the technological community. I am also speaking of his generosity and kindness towards the human race and nature. He has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charities and created the largest software company in the world. Bill Gates’ influence in the entrepreneurship world is unlike any other. Becoming an entrepreneur does not have to do with taking the easy way out, rather it is about discovering yourself and inventing something larger than you.
Here are 7 lessons from Bill Gates about being a successful entrepreneur
1. Without innovation there is no business model
“The most important ‘speed’ issue is often not technical but cultural. It’s convincing everyone that the company’s survival depends on everyone moving as fast as possible.” – Bill Gates
The times are changing and technology even more so. That is why Bill Gates is an avid believer in innovation. In the last century we have witnessed the creation of smart phones, tablets and crazy toys such as the hover board. Without a constant need to develop and grow, the innovators of these products would have never created them. In terms of his software company, Bill Gates is constantly innovating. Even more, in terms of helping society and the planet, he is even more innovative. His foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is constantly growing and developing new ways of helping people. Entrepreneurship can also be achieved in this way.
2. Value your time
“No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time.” – Bill Gates
Just as Mr. Gates understands the urgency for change, he also comprehends the idea that time is a valuable currency. You cannot make up for lost time with money or bargaining. Once it is gone it is simply gone. Bill is known for prioritizing his meetings and everyday life in a structure that he believes is worth his invested time. According to him, unimportant meetings and presentations can be sacrificed in the name of more time-consuming and prosperous commitments. That is why it is extremely resourceful to manage your time well and ensure that spend it wisely.
3. Choose the road not taken
“To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.” – Bill Gates
Yes, we are incorporating Robert Frost into the world of entrepreneurs. Robert and Bill both believe that the path to success is not always clearly marked. Many people go down common roads they believe will lead them to success. The truth, however, lies in the ability to thread through unventured territory. In order to achieve the dreams you never thought possible, you must go where no one has ever gone before. Bill Gates’ belief in this theory brought him the ultimate success of personal computing in the last century. However, he only did so after dropping out of Harvard after only four semesters. For that time period, and even presently, this bold choice was not taken by many, as it was viewed as a mistake. However this was Bill’s path to success. Here is another way to succeed at being an entrepreneur.
4. Make those damn dreams a reality
“Expectations are a form of first-class truth: If people believe it, it’s true.” – Bill Gates
Bill said once that growing up he had exceptionally high expectations and dreams. Adding that this was due to his excessive reading of literature, he suggested that no of those dreams were impossible to achieve. They simply required a great amount of energy and effort to accomplish. Bill was entirely invested in his dream of personal computing that he managed his time in such a way as to concentrate entirely on his goals. His decision to leave Harvard is an example of this. Entrepreneurs must think in a similar way and chase their goals. Instead of assuming that because you have a genius idea you don’t need to work, try working even harder. Dreams only become reality through hard work and hustling.
5. Take away lessons from dissatisfied clients
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
This is true of clients and it is true of everyday life. Your mistakes are your truest teachers of life. As an entrepreneur, having clients who are not satisfied with what they are paying for are the best ways to innovate your product and fix any mistakes. Instead of ignoring those dissatisfied customers, find a way to resolve their issue and more importantly, learn what went wrong in the situation. Enjoy the positive feedback you receive during your growing stages, but pay close attention to the critiques, as they are going to build you your legacy of success.
6. Initialize action constantly
“If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?” – Bill Gates
According to Bill, you must always execute action. If you look back through history, you will find several great inventions such as the telephone, the light bulb and the printing press. However, these are a handful of inventions compared to the millions of unrealized ideas. Everyday mediocre people come up with genius concepts. However, very few of these people create an execution plan and actually follow through with it. Execution is a vital step in the success of not only Bill, but any entrepreneur anywhere in the world. Such lessons from Bill Gates are the stepping stones for aspiring entrepreneurs in the 21st century.
7. Make an impact.
“I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.” –Bill Gates
Bill’s mentality strongly involves making an impact. Whether that is making a point socially or professionally is beside the point. We all must learn from this great man and aim to make an impact. He was successful at making a great impact in the information technology industry and he was successful at doing so in the sphere of non-profit organizations. Having a cause is vital when attempting to do something. As an entrepreneur, always have a final cause at the start of your journey. This will ensure you stay motivated and help a cause.
Success stories like Bill Gates are nothing but determination for the average Joe. However, for entrepreneurs he is a book to be read and a religion to be preached. His outlooks on life, work and society are vital lessons. Have the courage to dream, the strength to execute your dreams and the ability to think objectively. These lessons from Bill Gates will only increase your chances of succeeding.
Picture credit: OnInnovation via flickr