03 February 2021

The start of the year is always the time to think about your goals. This article explores valuable lessons from some of the world’s richest men on what it takes to succeed.

2:00 Min

1. Learn to Ask

At a 1994 Silicon Valley conference, Steve Jobs stressed the importance of asking for what you want: “Most people never pick up the phone. Most people never call and ask. And that’s what separates sometimes the people who do things from those who just dream about them… If you’re afraid you’ll fail, you won’t get very far.” Asking more questions means you will find more answers to help you achieve your goals.

2. Go to bed smarter every day

Warren Buffet, a business tycoon, uses a financial analogy to explain what separates doers from dreamers. “Aim to get a little smarter every day…that's how knowledge builds up. Like compound interest.” For Mr. Buffet, this means reading 500 pages a day and reflecting on newly-acquired knowledge. The objective is to progress one day at a time and consistently improve your understanding.

3. Create instead of complaining

Instead of complaining about traffic, Elon Musk sought to decrease road congestion by creating a tunnel system. This led to the founding of The Boring Company, an infrastructure services firm offering solutions to intra-city transit systems. Paying attention to complaints is a great tool to discover innovative solutions that people truly need. “I don't spend my time pontificating about high-concept things,” says Musk, “I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.”