Born to Warren Edward Buffet in 1930, Oracle of Omaha exhibited the passion for finance and business from childhood. That he has grown up to be one of the most successful business minds in history is not a coincidence. Warren Buffet made his first investment at the age of 11. He bought 3 shares of Cities Service Preferred at the rate of $38. Buffet was tempted to sell off his shares when they dropped to $27 each but he held on and sold them at $40. That did not turn out to be a fantastic experience in his investment life as Cities Service Preferred shares skyrocketed to $200 each after he sold them. He learned to be patient with his investment from this experience.
There are so many lessons startup business owners can learn from how he handled businesses and built the empire he has now. He has had challenges, the fair share of business failures and mind-blowing successes that made him popular worldwide as a top-notch business mogul.
At age 13, Buffet was already a CEO, paperboy who sold horseracing tip sheet. During high school, he partnered with a colleague to buy a used pinball machine for $25. The pinball machine was installed in a barber shop. This business made him enough profit to buy more machines within a few months. Before he sold the business for $1,200, he had machines at 3 different locations. Buffet turned many moribund businesses into great successes. One of them was Salomon Brothers which he bought for $9bn in 1987.
When asked the source of his motivation, he made mention of Chapters 8 and 20 of The Intelligent Investor, written by Benjamin Graham in 1949. He advised everyone who wants to be a successful investor to read the book. Warren Buffet has written many books, likewise, many books have been written about him up to date. Some of them are The Essays of Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders, Warren Buffet Speaks Wit and Wisdom from the World Greatest Investor, Ten Commandments of Business Failure and so on.
Many words of wisdom have come from Oracle of Omaha over the years, here are some of them followed by a piece of advice from us:
“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant”
“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”
-Know your onions
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”
-You don’t need to be a professor to be a successful investor.
“Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
-Invest in value, not mere names
“Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”
-Don’t follow the crowd.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
-Market price is not always right
“You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”
“Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.”
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
-Never lower your standard
“In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.”
-Find what you love to do and find someone to pay you for it.
“You’ve gotta keep control of your time, and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.”
-Be your own boss.
“If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.”
-Stay up to date always
“Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you who you’ll turn out to be.”
-Choose your mentor wisely
“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
-Invest before spending
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
-Plan for tomorrow
“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”
-Stand out from the crowd.
“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking and make fewer impulse decisions than most people in the business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”
“I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute. ”
-Believe in yourself
“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”
You may not be able to exactly replicate the successes of Warren Buffet, but you sure can take a cue from his words of wisdom and make better use of every opportunity you get. It is widely believed that if you keep 5 millionaires as friends, you will be the 6th millionaire. Startup and small business owners have a lot to learn from Oracle of Omaha in terms of building a successful business and make the best investment decisions.
VoguePay has user-friendly payment processing solutions for all startups, SMEs and all types of businesses across Africa. Our solutions can be easily integrated into varieties of e-commerce websites.