Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world. Like his competitor, Steve Jobs, Gates created an empire in technology known as Microsoft, which still stands as one of the greatest companies ever built. He is not in retirement from his role as the CEO of the company he started so long ago, but he shares his tips for entrepreneurs through old video footage of various interviews that he has done over the years.
In fact, it was recently just reported by Reuters, that Bill Gates could become the world’s first trillionaire. If you were ever wondering how he became the success story and multi-billionaire he is today, below are ten tips that Gates has shared with entrepreneurs at various times. Read them and see how you can use what he shares to help your company and brand.
Have Patience with your Ideas
Bill Gates’ first tip for entrepreneurs is to have patience with your idea. He reminds people that it took Microsoft over four years to experience the level of success they did with the Windows operating system. Gates realizes the importance of patience and perseverance when it comes to a great idea.
Applying this to your own business, you should think about how you could take your idea and fine-tune it to meet the needs of your current customers. Think also about the technology that we have today and consider how you could advance your idea in the future.
We live in “today” but it is important to also keep the future in mind and how the changing technologies and customer needs will dictate the need for change. You always should try to conform to the changes that the market requires to adjust to the needs of your customers.
Work hard-no excuses!
Bill Gates reminds entrepreneurs also that they should work hard and never offer excuses as to why they are not applying themselves or using their time. He states that he used evenings and weekends to respond to emails that he may have received during the day but didn’t have time to answer. He also takes two weeks off a year to reflect and think about what he wants to do next.
This type of motivation and initiative is what is needed when it comes to creating products and services that your brand can promote that will help you reach your goals and bring great products to the world.
Learn from competitors and appreciate them.
Gates talks about Steve Jobs in a video interview in which he reflects on what made Apple so successful. Despite the long-standing conflict and rivalry that he had with Steve Jobs, he has a kind of admiration for Jobs and the way he was able to market his Apple products so successfully.
Gates learned a lot from Jobs, both at the onset of his career as an entrepreneur and later in his career as well. He figured out early in the game how to use the information he learned and apply it to his ideas. He did this so well that, at one point, Jobs accused him of stealing his ideas. But this was not provable since Jobs never took the idea of a graphical interface and applied it to his system. Jobs, himself, had adapted the ideas he got from his competitors such as Xerox and other companies to create something much better.
During Gates and Jobs’ earlier days, they all borrowed ideas from their competitors when they had the vision to move it forward as a marketable product. This is the kind of insight that great entrepreneurs have. They either create completely new and innovative products or they improve on the products of others.
The lesson we can learn from this is that, even among the most adamant competitors, we can learn something from studying our opposition and seeing what they are doing that is working for them. Gates had a saying that he often applied to this idea: “Keep your friends close-your enemies closer.”
Thinking about your competition is this manner will help you keep your eye on the goals you have for your company while looking at your competitors in a more positive light and using what you learn to help your brand.
Sometimes Change is Necessary
Change for the sake of change is never good. But Gates reminds us that you should not keep doing the same thing that you’ve been doing in the past if it is not working for you. In fact, that’s the definition of insanity. As technology changes, we have to change to meet the needs of those changes and use our skills in ways that complement the changes.
Believe in your vision
In an excerpt from when he first introduced the Windows platform to the world, Gates tells entrepreneurs to believe in your vision. He stresses that, to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to have a sense of vision that far surpasses your present status quo. Even if you do not have a plan as to how you are going to make your vision work, you must always keep it in mind if you are going to reach your goals.
Think of new and innovative ways that you can make your vision a reality and constantly look for ways to make the changes you need to see your dream become a reality.
Enjoy what you do!
Like his competitor, Steve Jobs, Gates believes that you must enjoy what you do, no matter what. Gates states that you should only do work that you love so that you will be more motivated to do it on a regular basis and to strive to create the type of interest that will drive yourself and your team to reaching the goals you have set for yourself and your brand.
Hire the best people
You should always get and recruit the best people then train them and figure out how to keep them. Recruiting the best people (his competitor, Steve Jobs called them “A players”), takes some time. You have to know which ones to weed out and which ones to keep. You should always put quality first over quantity and demand the same high standards of your workers that you do of yourself. Look for specialists who believe in your vision and can launch your idea into something that is real and tangible.
Bill Gates speaks in an interview with Warren Buffet about the importance of having energy. He states that starting a company takes a great deal of energy and fortitude and that you should be ready for the pace.
Ask for advice.
Entrepreneurs are great at doing things themselves. But don’t forget that it’s okay to ask advice on the things you don’t quite understand or need help with. Choose good influencers in your genre that will help you develop your brand in positive ways and expand your knowledge base.
Other Tips by Bill Gates
We’ve mentioned many of the tips from this video on Bill Gates 10 tips for entrepreneurs. For more words of wisdom right from Bill Gates himself, be sure to check out the video below.
Bill Gates is a retired CEO, but his practices and philosophies of business have paid off well for him. He is considered the only entrepreneur who may be a trillionaire within this year despite his work in philanthropy and his pledge to give away most of his wealth. In the end, it seems the more you give away, the more you get in return.