Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha is the best and most successful investor in the world. He nearly single-handedly took a failing textile company and turned it into a wildly successful holding company with billions of dollars of yearly revenue, and more than 60 companies under its name. And, while his success can be attributed to the perfect mix of things, he has outlined a handful of rules for success that your average person should follow in order to try and follow in order to be successful in their personal lives.
1. Find your passion
As the saying goes, if you do something that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Warren Buffett adheres to this idea, and actively encourages people to take the jobs that they would do if they weren’t being paid. Loving what you do is one of the most important steps to success.
2. Strive to better yourself
Buffett spends lots of time reading—he estimates around 80% of his day is reading—which helps improve his knowledge and better himself. Reading is one great way to better yourself, but you can also learn additional skills or simply make sure that you take time for yourself every week.
3. Have a margin of safety
Buffett is always careful to leave a margin of safety with his investments and decisions, and you should too. Of course, there is a degree of risk that comes with any new venture, but it’s not a good idea to risk things that you need if you don’t have to. Make sure that you give yourself a margin of safety, whether it’s additional finances in case of emergency, or just a backup plan. Planning for the future will help make you worry less and more able to focus on the present; better ensuring success.
4. Don’t worry what others think
If doing what everyone was doing was the path to success, then everyone would be successful. People are going to consider you strange and odd whenever you try something new, but that’s not really important. Warren Buffett himself was thought to be quite old-fashioned and incorrect when he refused to purchase internet stocks, but when the tech bubble broke a few years later, everyone lauded his wisdom. Going against the norm is sometimes necessary.
5. Maintain a competitive advantage
It’s basic business that if you don’t have competitive advantage that you’ll not be able to stay ahead. If you are exactly the same as every other candidate, or your business is the same as other businesses, then people will have no reason to look twice. Buffett always looks for companies that have a market advantage and are extremely competitive, as that will help ensure success in the years to come.
6. Study failure
The only way to know what success looks like is to understand what failure looks like. And, as a bonus, studying failure will also help show you exactly what not to do, so that you’re not making the same mistakes as other people.
7. Know your circle of competence
Buffett is very careful about his circle of competence, which means staying within realms that you are comfortable with and can confidently know about. We’ve written about it before, but one of the ways to be successful is to know exactly where your limits and weaknesses are, and work from there.