38 Life Lessons From Bill Gates

Entrepreneur Bill Gates founded the world’s largest software business, Microsoft,  and subsequently became one of the richest men in the world. He told his university teachers he would be a millionaire by age 30. He became a billionaire at age 31 and has been consistently ranked as the world’s wealthiest person from 1995 – 2007. Now Bill Gates pledges to give 95% of his wealth to charity, which so far amounts to a whopping $28 billion. Here are some words of wisdom from the most successful man in the world.

“Patience is a key element of success.”

“This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.”

“You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.”

“To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.”

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

“People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they?”

“If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.”

“Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.”

“We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.”

“There’s only one trick in software, and that is using a piece of software that’s already been written.”

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

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“Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.”

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

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

“If geek means you’re willing to study things, and if you think science and engineering matter, I plead guilty. If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble.”

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

“I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.”

“If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?”

“Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe 10% to business thinking. Business isn’t that complicated. I wouldn’t want that on my business card.”

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

“Life is not fair – get used to it!”

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“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”

“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.”

“The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.”

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

“Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.”

“Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.”

“Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning.”

“The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.”

“If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.”

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“In three years, every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make them obsolete or somebody else will.”

“Expectations are a form of first-class truth: If people believe it, it’s true.”

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

“Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.”

“‘I don’t know’ has become ‘I don’t know yet’.”

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

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