Bill Gates is one of the most popular entrepreneurs of all time and the prodigy who started the technology revolution by launching a software company after dropping out of Harvard in 1974. The man is a magnate, philanthropist, investor, and co-founder of Microsoft. His success at Microsoft has earned him the title of one of the richest man in the world. From humble beginnings to setting up a software empire, his journey is a roller coaster ride that you are about to embark upon.
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, we have compiled some important business lessons from Bill Gates in this article. Read on to find out more.
1. Move Fast and Keep Innovating
To stay competitive in 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.”
2. Think Ahead of the Times
In order to stay one step ahead of the competition, you need to predict the future and prepare for it in advance. Success of Bill Gates partially depends upon his futuristic vision. Due to this, Microsoft was always one-step ahead of the competition. Even when he was retiring, he was thinking ahead of his time. In his exit interview to PC magazine, he predicted that mobile devices, internet TVs, and natural user interface will gain popularity in the years to come and history proved that he was right.
3. Your Time Is Valuable
Bill Gates always teaches young entrepreneurs the value of time so that they refrain from whiling away their precious work hours. That is why he advises entrepreneurs to pick their battles carefully. Even the richest men in the world cannot buy time as one of his quotes suggests, “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time.” This reflects how valuable time is.
The hours you waste today can never come back even if you spend millions of dollars for them. Identify the biggest time-wasting activities in your schedule and cut them down. Conduct fruitful meetings instead of wasting a big chunk of your monthly time on meetings that end without any useful outcome. Avoid distractions to stay as productive as possible to achieve better results.
4. Learn From Your Mistakes
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 and giving up. 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.
5. Persistence and Perseverance
Another quality that made Bill Gates successful, is his ability to persist and persevere. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft who founded the software company with Bill Gates, writes about his persistence and perseverance in an article, “Bill craved closure and he would hammer away until he got there.”
Entrepreneurs looking to achieve overnight success should read this quote from Bill Gates. Bill Gates himself said, “There is nothing that was overnight.” The initial versions of the Windows operating system (Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0) were not that successful but his persistence made Windows, the most popular operating system in the world.
6. Take Risks
Young entrepreneurs should not shy away from thinking out of the box and choosing an unexplored path. According to him, success lies in unchartered territories so entrepreneurs should always be willing to explore untapped areas. His conviction and risk-taking propensity made Microsoft such a hit even when no one knew much about computer software. “If you want to win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.” The words of Bill Gates are a great source of inspiration for entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks to achieve better rewards.
7. Never Give Up
No matter how difficult the circumstances seem, you should have a “never say die” attitude if you want to succeed. Failure is part of entrepreneurial life and it even affected the greatest entrepreneur in the world. Before the inception of Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Traf-O-Data, a company responsible for analyzing traffic data. Unfortunately, it failed miserably and left Gates under a lot of debt.
He learned important lessons from this failure and moved on to launch Microsoft. Even with Microsoft, he faced initial failure but his unflinching attitude helped him dredge on. Finally, success knocked at his door and he got the reward for not giving up on his dreams.
8. Focus on Unhappy Customers
Most entrepreneurs treat their disgruntled customers rudely. They think that they are right in doing so but the greatest visionary of our time has a different opinion. He considers dissatisfied customers a huge asset since they can impart lessons you hitherto didn’t know. He said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. If you want to be successful in business, you should listen and value what your disappointed customers are saying. Take action and improve in the light of their feedback.
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.