As an entrepreneur, one of the most important steps that you can take towards being a very great entrepreneur is to get a mentor. Mentorship will help you learn a lot of things in the business - when and how to take risks, which mistakes to avoid during your hey-days, and the steps to take towards getting your business from where it is to where you want it to be.
How excellent will it be if that mentor is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of this generation? Well, your guess is as good as ours - Bill Gates - the man who is behind the biggest computer software company in the world, Microsoft. As much as his journey towards achieving that feat is a roller-coaster and will inspire anyone with the dream to become a businessman, lessons that can be learned from the man are numerous as well.
When we talk about mentorship, it does not necessarily have to be that the mentor will take you by the hand, walking you through every step in person. Sometimes, it is just by reading about great people who have toured the same way you are going. Now, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the man who dropped out of one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard, to start his own company, much to the chagrin of his disappointed parents.
Although there are over a thousand lessons that can be learned from the life of Gates, this article will look at 5 of the most important ones that will point you in the right direction towards your dream of becoming one of the most successful businessmen in your community, or maybe even in the world.
1. Set a Goal and Never Stop
This is one of the most important lessons that businessmen around the world need to hear and add to their pool of lessons. As Bill Gates put it, he said, “If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.” Truly, it might be difficult for most students to give up their paying jobs to pursue a different route towards being a financially-independent person, but if they do, they will be very glad they did.
At Harvard in 2007, in Gates commencement speech to the graduating class, Bill Gates said;
“Determine a goal, find the highest-leverage approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have… the crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working.”
Focusing all your energy towards getting your heart desire and working tooth and nail, even at the slightest opportunity, to achieve it is the only way to reach your target. Even if it is just personal development or starting a new business, all that matters is to go all in and never look back.
2. Value Your Time
Most young people are seen typing away on the keyboard of their smartphones with the seriousness of an examination-writing student. What were they doing? Probably on social media platforms or playing games. Taking into consideration the amount of time young people spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, you’ll marvel at the level of their time-management mentality.
This time, however, can be invested in getting themselves established. Bill Gates thinks so too. This is reflected in one of his quotes which says, “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time.”
The sheer amount of time wasted at a time in the past can never be bought back. Identify all the time-wasting activities in your life and make a giant stride towards cutting them out of your daily schedule and see how productive you will become. Avoid as many distractions as possible to achieve better results in your businesses.
3. Pursue Success, But always Remember the Less-Privileged
Is there a great leader anywhere who is not helping others around him to grow? True, it is very good to pursue wealth and peace of mind, but always remember that money isn’t everything. The world will remember the man who helps the less fortunate than the one who gathers wealth.
Before Bill Gates's mother died of breast cancer, she wrote a letter to his (Bill) wife, ending it with the words, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.” Gates never forget those words as he continues to donate to the cause of charity, which led to starting the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.” He also partnered with Warren Buffet, another very wealthy man to create “The Giving Pledge,” giving away most of their wealth in charity during their lifetime.
As put in Gates's words, he said, “Until we’re educating every kid in a fantastic way, until every inner city is cleaned up, there is no shortage of things to do.” It is always a very good thing to know that there is a billionaire who is not only all about himself and how his wealth will continue to grow.
4. Learn From Your Mistakes
it is very difficult for people to agree to this, but it is true that the very opportunity that will bring you breakthrough will be gotten through your failures. It is even possible to be the lowest moment in the business.
You should accept your mistakes, learn from them and move on, rather than dwelling o them and waiting for someone else to put the blame on, or quitting entirely. Gates himself weighed in on this issue by quoting thus, “Its fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”
5. Take Big Risks
During his days at Harvard, Gates was one of the brightest students and he was touted for great academic excellence but he had other plans for his life. When he dropped out of his school, his parents were very disappointed, to put it lightly. Gates took this big risk and was known for making it work through patience and perseverance.
That breakthrough period is always lurking around the corner and you never knew when t would be, so always take big risks. There is always a leap to be made, all you need to do is to cast aside your fears and make that jump to reach the heights you have projected for yourself. As Gates himself put it, he said, “To win big, sometimes you have to take big risks.”