Warren Buffett is the third richest person in the world, according to Forbes
. More than that, he appears to be a pretty down-to-earth and happy guy.
What’s his secret? Let’s take a look.
It All Started in Warren Buffett’s Childhood Home
Warren Buffett’s birthdate is Aug. 30, 1930. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska. By age 5, he was selling gum and lemonade on the sidewalk. By age 6, he was buying six-packs of coke and selling them individually to make a profit. By the age of 11, he had $120, which he invested in stock.
Buffett was always busy—delivering newspapers, working for his grandfather’s store, and collecting and selling used golf balls. By age 13, he was making $175 a week and claimed his first tax deduction—his bike.
Today, he is worth over $84 billion. Here are a few of the lessons he’s learned along the way.
Cultivate Your Communication Skills
Buffett used to be so terrified of public speaking that it actually made him physically sick.
Determined to change, he enrolled at a public speaking course at Dale Carnegie when he was 19. The institute is known for the influential author of, "How to Win Friends and Influence People
Today, Buffett tells college students they can boost their value by 50 percent—just by improving their communication skills. Whether you’re speaking in front of 3,000 people or simply making a sales pitch to one person, the ability to communicate will help you succeed.
Buffett says he starts every morning by tackling several newspapers and estimates he spends as much as 80 percent of his day reading.
When asked once about the key to his success, Buffett famously pointed to a stack of books and said, "Read 500 pages like this every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it."
That’s a tough goal, but the point is to seek knowledge—relentlessly. Listen to audio books or podcasts while you’re driving or working out. Read actual books. Google topics that are interesting to you and learn more.
There are so many ways to expand your mind these days (None of which includes keeping up with the Kardashians or anybody else whose fame isn’t built on accomplishments that you respect).
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Buffett and Bill Gates met in 1991—and have been close friends ever since. The relationship illustrates one of Buffett’s core principles: Choose friends (and a spouse) who can help you elevate your game.
“You will move in the direction of the people that you associate with," Buffett has said.
If you want to be more disciplined, focused and creative, then spend time with people who share that vision—and are willing to work toward it.
In Appreciation of Omaha
, we’re proud to celebrate the communities we call home, including Omaha. Buffett has lived in the same house in Omaha, which he bought for $31,500 in 1958—a fact which drives home one final lesson: “Some material things make my life more enjoyable; many, however, would not. I like having an expensive private plane, but owning a half-dozen homes would be a burden. Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.”