Warren Buffett’s Secrets for Success

Warren Buffett’s Secrets for Success

Warren Buffett is not only one of the wealthiest people in the world but also one of the most successful in all areas of his life.

Let’s look at all his successes in life.

  • Wealth: His current net worth is $108.2 billion.
  • Health: He’s a healthy 92 year old, still works full-time, thinks clearly, and is mobile.
  • Passion: He loves what he does for a living, investing and business management as a CEO.
  • Relationships: He has a great relationship with his children and current wife.
  • Peace of mind: He is content and enjoys his lifestyle.

Most of all, Warren Buffett appears to have lived a happy life enjoying the big successes in investing and business along with the little pleasures of bridge and Nebraska college football.

Let’s look at Buffett’s principles for success that he has openly taught through his career.

Warren Buffett’s 10 Rules for Success

1. Find your passion

“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” –  Warren Buffett

“No CEO has it better; I truly do feel like tap dancing to work every day.” – Warren Buffett

It’s important to find your passion in life as it gives you the energy to accomplish your career goals. If you want to win in any industry you better love what you do so you have the desire to outwork your competition.

2. Hire well

“We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity,” Buffett explains. “And if they don’t have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you’re going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.” – Warren Buffett

If you want to be a successful employee work smart energetically, take initiative with ideas, be honest, and get things done. If you want to hire the right people for your team interview for intelligence, energy level, self-starters, and honesty.

3. Don’t care what others think

It never bothered me if people disagreed with what I thought as long as I felt that I knew the facts”. – Warren Buffett

A key to Buffett’s success is independent analytical thought based on math, logic, and probabilities. He doesn’t follow the crowd he observes them and looks for the facts.

4. Read a lot

“I read and read and read. I probably read five to six hours a day. I don’t read as fast now as when I was younger. But I read five daily newspapers.” – Warren Buffett

Reading is a huge part of success because if you want to make the right decisions based on the facts you must know the facts along with the right principles. Buffett reads several newspapers a day, company reports, biographies, and nonfiction books.

5. Create a margin of safety

“On the margin of safety, which means, don’t try and drive a 9,800-pound truck over a bridge that says it’s capacity is 10,000 pounds, you go down the road a little bit and find one that says, capacity: 15,000 pounds and that’s the one you drive across.” – Warren Buffett

A margin of safety means to make investments and take risks with both a low chance of loss and also a high probability of success and reward.

 6. Have a competitive advantage

“The nature of capitalism is that people want to come and take your castle. Perfectly understandable. I mean, if I’m selling television sets or something there’s going to be ten other people trying to sell a better television set. If I have a restaurant here in Omaha, people are gonna try and copy my menu and give more parking and take my chef, and so on.”

“So, capitalism’s all about somebody coming and trying to take the castle. Now, what you need, is you need a castle that has some durable competitive advantage. Some castle that has a moat around it. And that moat, that’s one of the best moats, in many respects
is to be a low-cost producer. But sometimes the moat is just having more talent.”

“I mean, if you’re the heavyweight champion of the world and you keep knocking out people, you’ve got a competitive advantage as long as you can keep doing it. And it’s very profitable if you’re the one that happens to be able to do it. If you can turn out great motion pictures like Steven Spielberg, I mean, he’s a fellow to bet on and it has enormous economic value.” – Warren Buffett 

Winning in capitalism and in any industry requires both an edge over your competition and a defensive strategy to maintain that edge.

7. Schedule based on your personality

“You’d be surprised at– at my days. I mean, they are very unstructured. No meetings, none. I mean we don’t, I don’t like meetings and, I read a lot, I wish I were a faster reader. I’d get more done. But I do read a lot. I’m on the phone a moderate amount. Our businesses run themselves, basically, out there. My job is allocating capital and that’s what I’m thinking about. But I don’t like to have things all packed hour to hour to hour and Bill [Gates] and I are both extraordinarily lucky. I mean, we really get to do what we like to do the way we wanna do it with the people that we choose to be around that are terrific.”

“I mean, we’ve really got everything our way and we’re very fortunate. And in his world, he has a different kind of pace than I have but we both love it the way we do it and my guess is that we’re each the most productive in that particular mode, too because it fits our personalities and aptitudes.” – Warren Buffett 

You must structure your work life for your own psychology, how you best do your work. While also timing taks for the optimizing of the ebb and flow of your energy levels to maximize productivity.

8. Compete to win

“What kills great businesses, if you look at, I do believe in looking at history and I like to study failure. Actually, my partner says all I wanna know is where I’ll die so I’ll never go there. And we want to see what has caused businesses to go bad and the biggest thing that kills them is complacency. You want a restlessness, a feeling that you know, that somebody’s always after you but you’re gonna stay ahead of them, you always want to be on the move. ”

“When you’ve got a great business you know, like Coca Cola, which there aren’t any like Coca Cola. The danger would always be that you rest on your laurels, but I see none of that in Coca Cola. That is the key: to compete the same way when you’ve got 1.8 billion servings being sold daily as when you were selling ten a day that restlessness, that belief that tomorrow’s more exciting than today. You know, you just have to have it permeate the organizations.” – Warren Buffett 

If a business is not always improving and growing it’s being overtaken by its competition. Business is a highly competitive sport that never slows down, someone is always coming for your customers and market.

9. Model success

Who was Warren Buffett’s investment mentor?

After being rejected by Harvard Business school, Warren Buffett chose to attend Columbia Business School so that he could attend the investment class taught by his favorite author Benjamin Graham. The textbook used for the class was Security Analysis, that had been written by Graham and David Dodd. Buffett not only received an A+, but also worked for Mr. Graham after graduation in his firm. Buffett was so happy to get the job with him he didn’t know what he would be making until he got his first paycheck. He credits much of his success as an investor to Graham.

Buffett was great at reading and filling his mind with endless information but Graham gave him a way to create parameters of a systematic process and give Buffett context to use his knowledge to make money in the stock market. His first investment strategy was pure value investing.

10. Give unconditional love to your family

“When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”

“That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. You can buy pamphlets that say how wonderful you are. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.” [1]

“Unconditional love is the most powerful force in the universe. I got unconditional love from my parents.” – Warren Buffett [2]

Buffett understands that the ultimate measure of success in life is the love you give and the love you receive at the end of the day.

How does Warren Buffett define success?

“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.” – Warren Buffett said at the University of Georgia in 2001 when he asked about success. [3]

What are indicators of success in life?

According to Warren Buffett the indicators that you are a success in life are whether you are happy, love what you do for a living, and loved by your family.

Warren Buffett’s Secrets for Success
Image created by Holly Burns