Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett sat down with Yahoo Finance Editor-In-Chief Andy Serwer to discuss key elements for success.
Warren Buffett: Key Elements For Success In Business
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Warren how would you define true success?
Well I've said many times that if you get to be. 65 or 70 and later and the people let you want to have love you, actually do love you. You're a success. I've never seen anybody that reaches that age. I mean I'm not talking about somebody that's extreme poverty or painters. I've never seen anybody that if they have a lot of people that love them that there's other than happy. And I've seen some very very wealthy people that they give testimonial dinners doing name schools have turned everything in there. Nobody nobody loves them. You know their kids would say he's in the attic. He's in the attic. OK.
What are say three pieces of advice you would give to people who are looking to succeed in business?
Well by far the best investment you can make is in yourself. That for example communication skills I tell students that they're going to graduate schools in business and they're running all these complicated formulas. If they just learn to communicate better both in writing and in person they increase their value at least 50 percent. I did. If you can't communicate somebody says you know it's like winking at a girl in the dark nothing happens you know basically and you have to be able to get get both your ideas. And that's. That's relatively easy. I did it myself with a Dale Carnegie course. Some people wish I'd take it a shorter course and certainly by talking later on but it it's just hugely important and if you invest in yourself nobody can take it away from you. And the second thing which. I'll get a certain criticism for not living up. But but I do tell those students you know that if I gave you a car and I'll be the only car you get the rest of your life. You take care of it like you can't believe any scratch would fix that moment. You read the owner's manual you keep a garage and all these things and you'll get exactly one mind a one and one body in this world. And and you can't start taking care of it when you're 50. By that time we rushed it out. I haven't done anything so you should really make sure that you just remember that you just got one my mind and body to get through life with them did it do the most well.
What about life advice?
Well I've advisers. You know the most important thing aside from the things I've talked about already is there's really who you associate with. You want to associate with people that are better than you are. I mean basically you'll go in the direction of the people that you associate with them and you want have the right heroes. You want people if you want to emulate somebody you better pick very carefully who you want to emulate. And. And when obviously you can't pick your parents they're gonna have an enormous influence on you but you don't get a choice on that. But you get choices as you go down the line and you know who you are who you admire who you who who you want to copy and the most important or most people in terms of that decision is their spouse. It's also important that your partner and business partner in life as is the most important. You want to pick a spouse that's little bit better than you are and then he or she will put you hope they don't figure it out too fast.
Biggest mistakes people make when investing?
Well they tried but they they just don't realize that all you have to do is just buy a cross section of America and then never listen to people like me or read the papers or do anything subsequently. They think they think that because you can trade you should trade that you buy a farm. You buy an apartment house you can't resolve tomorrow and the costs of moving around. Now you get something handed to you illiquidity which is instant in sell and the costs of doing it are pennies compared to other kinds of investment activity. So because they can so easily move around they do move around and moving around is not smarter than investing.
You have a pretty cool morning routine regarding what you have for breakfast and how prosperous you feel, what is that?
Well that way, and I was actually send somebody over but now you usually get me something since since the publicity I got from earlier describing my habits at McDonald's. I and also I haven't had somebody go in the office but that was that was a more for entertainment value. I actually eat. I eat exactly what I like to eat. If if I liked it on my sixth birthday and my sixth birthday party when we had hot dogs and hamburgers and coke and ice cream with chocolate I still like it and I don't care about anything subsequently that I discovered it all by the time I was six at... If somebody.