Business Lessons Learned From Bill Gates

By: Kelly Bolton   Date: October 4, 2017

“Learn from the best.” This is often what people are told when they want to do something and want advice about what they should do to succeed at it. This applies to many areas, and certainly to when starting a business. Entrepreneurs and other business owners can learn many useful lessons those who have gone before them, who have started their own businesses and succeeded. When you think of successful businessmen who one can learn from, there are many that come to mind, but certainly one of the first that comes to mind is the wildly successful founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates. What sort of business lessons can he offer?

Get lucky

Don’t scoff. There’s nothing wrong with getting lucky. Just don’t try to rely on it. Dumb luck can certainly be useful, though, so embrace it when you can and make the most of it. Bill Gates got lucky when his private middle school purchased computers and started a computer club, something not many schools did back then. If they hadn’t bought a computer, Bill Gates might never have developed a love of programming and gone on to start Microsoft.

Bite off more than you can chew

Bill Gates started Microsoft by promising a program to a company that he hadn’t developed yet. When they turned out to be interested in it, he had to quickly develop the program. After the sale, he was able to start Microsoft.  As Roy Litton says, “An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” Bill Gates certainly did that, and it worked for him. It can work for you, too. Just don’t go around lying to potential clients like he did.

Take risks

According to Bill Gates, “Business is a money game with few rules and lots of risks.” Starting a business is basically a gamble. You don’t know if you’ll win or lose, but you can make plans and strategies to help you win. So don’t be afraid to take risks, or you’ll never get anywhere.

Patience is key

Bill Gates advises that “Patience is a key element of success.” Nothing comes easy, including success. It takes time and hard work to build something. There are no shortcuts to success.

Be proud of who you are

We are all unique and different. There will be people who are smarter than you, more talented than you, prettier than you, more successful than you. But that’s life. We are all individuals with our own unique qualities and abilities. So be proud and accepting of who you are and what you can offer, and you will be more confident in what you do. As Bill Gates says, “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…If you do so, you are insulting yourself.”

Be positive and love learning

Bill Gates has certainly had his fair share of unhappy customers, but he never let the negativity get to him. He took what the said to heart and used it to improve his work. He considered it a learning experience. So take any negative feedback and criticism you get and don’t be discouraged; learn from your mistakes and use it to better yourself and your work. Bill Gates advises, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

These are just a few of the many lessons Bill Gates can teach us. You can find more examples of his lessons here, here, here, and here.

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