Five Business Lessons From Bill Gates

At the mention of Bill Gates, what comes to the mind of many is the billion of dollars he controls as the co-founder of Microsoft, an IT company that started in 1975. Although he has relinquished his position as the CEO of Microsoft, young entrepreneurs can look up to him and learn some important business lessons along the way that will help them become successful.

To make the lives of young entrepreneurs easy,  below are five business lessons from his life;

1. Do What You’re Good At

Bill Gates was just 13 when he joined a computer club, which would start a life-long passion for technology. Although young, he was exceptionally good at understanding these – then innovative – machines and how they worked. He invested hours of time teaching himself how to program and had a knack for it.

He was lucky enough to find his talent fairly young, but he had the dedication and foresight to turn this into a billion-dollar business that most people could never have imagined at the time.

2. Move Fast and Keep Innovating

To stay competitive in a saturated startup world, you should move at a faster speed and focus on continuous innovation. This is what Bill Gates did and succeeded, and wants young entrepreneurs to follow his example. Bill Gates thinks that “The most important speed issue is often not technical but cultural. It’s convincing everyone that the company’s survival depends on moving as fast as possible.”

3. Make the Most of the Luck You’re Given

Bill may have been ridiculously lucky because when he was an eighth-grader in 1968, his school invested $3,000 in a state-of-the-art computer.

When as a 13-year-old Bill joined computer club, he was instantly hooked. He and a handful of other enthusiastic students racked up hours and hours on the machine, learning how to program through trial and error. It was the beginning of a journey that would propel Gates to astronomical success.

Here’s where luck comes in: in the 1960s, very few colleges had computer labs and a middle school with a computer was unheard-of at the time. The chances of a 13-year-old boy having access to a computer were pretty much one-in-a-million.

But all the computer time in the world wouldn’t have meant anything if he hadn’t dedicated himself so fully to master it. Ultimately, it was the thousands of hours of focused labour that made Gates into the type of computer genius who could start a successful software company.

We don’t always recognize it, but each of us is uniquely lucky. Whether through our natural talents, our circumstances, or our relationships with others, we’re all fortunate to have many paths to success in front of us.

Take in your luck for a moment – and then capitalize on it.

4. Don’t Learn From Success

It seems obvious that we should reflect on our successes and learn from them. If we can recognize the factors that contributed to that initial success, we should be able to repeat them and repeat our success.

But Gates has argued that success can actually cloud our vision, causing us to become over-confident and unprepared for the new challenges that the future holds.

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates

You shouldn’t ignore the patterns of your initial success. But neither should you cling blindly to particular actions or strategies simply because they’ve worked in the past. This means you should improvise on your success pattern.

5. Do Your Own Thing And Learn When You Fail At It

You’ll be inspired throughout your career, it may even be someone else who made you want to start your company in the first place. There is a fine but definite line between having inspiration and trying to emulate what someone else is doing. As a business, you need to make sure you are doing your own thing, and that this is something you are proud of. Find yourself a unique brand voice and identity to ensure you stand out from your competitors.

When it comes to failure, Bill Gates suggests that you should accept failure, learn from your mistakes, and move on instead of moaning about it, giving up and then following the path of others. One of his famous quotes, “Its fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” reflects his approach regarding dealing with failures in his life.

According to Bill Gates, failure is just as important as success, because it takes you back to the drawing board and helps you analyze the loopholes and causes of failure. As a result, you can fix these issues and avoid making the same mistakes again but this is not possible when you succeed. Consider failure as a learning opportunity instead of a demoralizing factor that forces you to quit.

Major Takeaways

Bill Gates career has been marked by his incredible vision. Microsoft beat out the competition largely because they were always looking one step ahead, to the next revolutionary idea.

If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur in today’s cutthroat era, you should follow Bill Gates. Do not let failures stop you from pursuing your dreams. Keep innovating and exploring uncharted territory, as big rewards lie at the end of big risks. Mistakes and failure are part of launching your own business, but you should learn key lessons from failures and move on.


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