Happy 2013 everyone. I thought it appropriate since it is 2013 to have 13 lessons we can learn from Warren Buffet.
Buffett’s success comes mostly from his ability to believe in his own skills and refusal to follow the crowd.
Jamie Downey at Boston.com reports that Buffett “will only invest in companies that meet [certain] criteria. He does not feel pressured when things do not go his way nor when outside sources suggest new rules for investing.”
These are compiled from some of Buffett’s greatest career tips from the books “How to close a deal like Warren Buffett,” “The Essays Of Warren Buffett” and “Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything.”
1. Showing up is half the battle.
[On winning a scholarship]:
“I went to Room 300 and I was the only guy who showed up. The three professors there kept wanting to wait. I said, ‘No, no. It was three o’clock.’ So I won the scholarship without doing anything.”
2. Hard work and integrity aren’t everything.
“Good jockeys will do well on good horses, but not on broken-down nags.”
3. Basically, “hard work and integrity doesn’t cure everything.”
Instead, people and economics have a lot to do with business success as well.
4. Choose business deals like you’re ‘looking for a spouse.’
“In the search [of a deal], we adopt the same attitude one might find appropriate in looking for a spouse: It pays to be active, interested, and open-minded, but it does not pay to be in a hurry.” Predict what the future might look like.
“I look for businesses in which I can predict what they’re going to look like in 10 or 15 or 20 years. That means businesses that will look more or less as they do today, except that they’ll be larger and doing more business internationally.”
“So I focus on the absence of change. When I look at the Internet, for example, I try and figure out how an industry or a company can be hurt or changed by it, and then I avoid it.”
5. Think of people as investments.
“Look at your classmates; select the one to ‘buy’ with the characteristics that you like and the one that you would ‘sell’ that s/he does not appeal to you as a person. Then write down these attributes and you will realize that these are not given in birth but developed in life. Write them down and follow them.”
6. Decide who you like and who you don’t like.
“Pick out a person you admire the most, and then write down why admire them. You’re not to name yourself in this.”
“And then put down the person that, frankly, you can stand the least, and write down the qualities that turn you off in that person. The qualities of the one you admire are traits that you, with a little practice, can make your own, and that, if practiced, will become habit-forming.”
7. Work with people you respect.
“I have turned down business deals that were otherwise decent deals because I didn’t like the people I would have to work with. I didn’t see any sense in pretending.”
“To get involved with people who cause your stomach to churn — I say it’s a lot like marrying for money. It’s probably a bad idea under any circumstances, but it’s absolutely crazy if you’re already rich?”
8. Look for three key attributes when you’re hiring people.
“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”
9. Be patient.
“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
10. Hang out with people who are better than you.
“Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
11.Learn from your mistakes.
“I make plenty of mistakes and I’ll make plenty more mistakes, too. That’s part of the game. You’ve just got to make sure that the right things overcome the wrong ones.”
12.Do your research.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.”
13.Know that habits are hard to change.
“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken. At my age, I can’t change any of my habits. I’m stuck. But you will have the habits 20 years from now that you decide to put into practice today.”