When people are looking for role models in our commercial society one of the groups that many are going to gravitate towards are those that have reached financial success. We generally equate having enough money to drive around in a limousine and travel to the corners of the world whenever you want with having less concerns and issues in your everyday life. While this is not necessarily true, there is still much that we can learn from self-made millionaire. Here are some of the most well known members of this group and some of the principles that helped them get where they are today.
At age fifty, Bill Gates is frequently on the top of the lists of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of more than fifty billion dollars. He grew up in an upper middle class home, with his father being a prominent lawyer and his grandfather the president of a national bank, but it was nothing compared to the wealth he would accumulate for himself as the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation. He suggests that the three keys to reaching your own success in any business venture, whether you're doing management as a private consultant or are the owner of a small store, are having a clear vision, taking advantage of being in the right place at the right time, and acting quickly. When you're working with brokers or manufacturers it is likely going to be just as important to be the first with a new product for service as it is to be the best.
Steve Jobs barely makes it on the list of the richest Americans but few can deny that he added that element of star quality to his products and personality. He was adopted by a working-class family and developed the ideas and technologies that would become Apple Computers in his family's garage as a teenager. He was always one to take risks, like backing Pixar before anyone else saw the potential of digital animation, and was the largest shareholder at Disney. Jobs believed in going with his gut and knowing the business that you're working with. Whether you're sandblasting and painting like Diotte Coating does, or every type of consumer you need to know enough to focus on that one brilliant idea out of the hundred great ones.
Warren Buffett is known as the world's best investor and has translated those skills into now being at the top of the list of richest people in the world. He filed his first tax return when he was thirteen, claiming a deduction on his bicycle used for his paper route. He says the secret of his success is "to be greedy when others are cautious and fearful when others are greedy". Whether you're a certified account or a professor of management you know that this advice has served him well.