To be successful in a business, one needs to watch and learn from what other successful businessmen and businesswomen did that brought success to them. Success doesn’t come by mere wishing. You must work it. In working for it, taking advice from people who have made it is a good way to go. American billionaire, Warren Buffett, is one of those whose advice could not be wished away. Starting out early at the age of 11 when he invested in the stock market and at 17 when he started Hedge Funds isn’t the only lesson to learn from him.
Here are five other lessons every prospective businessman and woman should learn from him;
1. Thrive to be Different
Always try out your own method/idea of doing things. Do not always imitate others. Do not make business decisions based on what every other person is saying or doing.
When Warren Buffett began managing money in 1956 with $100,000 cobbled together from a handful of investors, he was dubbed an oddball. He worked in Omaha, not Wall Street, and he refused to tell his parents where he was putting their money. People predicted that he’d fail, but when he closed his partnership 14 years later, it was worth more than $100 million. That is what being different can do.
2. Reinvest Your Profits
For your business to grow, you need to continually reinvest your profits. Most entrepreneurs are always tempted to spend their first business profits. This is not a good idea if you wish to grow better than you where. Warren knew about this early enough. In high school, he and a pal bought a pinball machine to put in a barbershop. With the money they earned, they bought more machines until they had eight in different shops. When the venture was sold, Warren Buffett used the proceeds to buy stocks and to start another small business.
3. Be Swift in Taking Business Decisions
Though it is advised you get enough information about any business you wish to venture into, you have to be swift in taking decisions. Warren Buffett prides himself on swiftly making up his mind and acting on it. He calls any unnecessary sitting and thinking “thumb-sucking.” When people offer him a business or an investment, he says, “I won’t talk unless they bring me a price.” He gives them an answer on the spot.
4. Be Persistent
Be determined to achieve your defined goal. Do not allow the success of your competitors to deter your own startup. If you are diligent and committed, you will become a strong competitor in no time. Warren Buffett acquired the Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1983 because he liked the way its founder, Rose Blumkin, did business. A Russian immigrant, she built the mart from a pawnshop into the largest furniture store in North America. Her strategy was to undersell the big shots, and she was a merciless negotiator. To Warren Buffett, Rose embodied the unwavering courage that makes a winner out of an underdog.
5. Know the Terms of the Business
Understand the conditions attached to any business before venturing into it. If you are doing a job, know your pay; if you are combining to start a business, know your ownership percentage/shareholding. Warren Buffett learned this lesson the hard way as a kid when his grandfather Ernest hired him and a friend to dig out the family grocery store after a blizzard. The boys spent five hours shoveling until they could barely straighten their frozen hands. Afterward, his grandfather gave the pair less than 90 cents to split. Warren Buffett was horrified that he performed such backbreaking work only to earn pennies an hour. Always nail down the specifics of a deal in advanced even with your friends and relatives.
6. Don’t Borrow Every time
You can never be very rich when you continually work or run your business on credit. It is like working for your creditors. Limit your borrowing, by re-investing your profit and reducing the amount you borrow. Warren Buffett has never borrowed a significant amount not to invest, not for a mortgage. He has gotten many heart-rendering letters from people who thought their borrowing was manageable but became overwhelmed by debt. His advice: Negotiate with creditors to pay what you can. Then, when you’re debt-free, work on saving some money that you can use to invest.
7. Be Persistent
Be determined to achieve your defined goal. Do not allow the success of your competitors deter your own startup. If you are diligent and committed, you will become a strong competitor in no time. Warren Buffett acquired the Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1983 because he liked the way its founder, Rose Blumkin, did business. A Russian immigrant, she built the mart from a pawnshop into the largest furniture store in North America. Her strategy was to undersell the big shots, and she was a merciless negotiator. To Warren Buffett, Rose embodied the unwavering courage that makes a winner out of an underdog.
In conclusion, put your heart into everything you do. For you to have anything, you must be ready to work for it. Nothing good comes easy.