Top 4 Business Lessons We Can Learn From Bill Gates

Last modified 22 June 2022
Categories: Business Leaders
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Top 4 Business Lessons We Can Learn From Bill Gates

There is no doubt that Bill Gates has had a remarkable career. From creating the world’s largest PC software company, to founding his own non-profit organisation, Gates is certainly not shy of achievements. With a career now spanning 40 years, there are many business lessons that we can learn from Bill Gates, from decision making to entrepreneurial processes. If you’re interested in learning our top four, see the below list.

1.  Aim high

Very little people are aware that Microsoft’s big break came from Bill Gates telling a lie. In 1975, Gates contacted computer company MITS, and told them that he had developed a basic interpreter for their microcomputer. MITS was interested in seeing the software, however Gates and his programming friend Paul Allen were yet to actually develop it. This prompted Gates and Allen to develop it in quite a hurry, presenting it to MITS in a matter of weeks, and making their very first sale. Microsoft was founded only one month later, pushing Gates to deliver more than he’d ever proven he was capable of.

2. Don’t let success distract you

One of the greatest lessons we can learn from Bill Gates is his ability to look past success. He once famously stated “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”. While we should reflect on our successes, you must ensure that they don’t cloud your judgement, and that you don’t become overconfident. Gates believed that we shouldn’t ignore the initial patterns of our success, but focusing all of our efforts into why this success occurred can leave you unprepared for future challenges.

3. Always think ahead

Throughout all of his endeavours, Bill Gates has always been known to maintain a vision of the future, and how it can be bigger and better. Microsoft was known to beat competitors throughout the years as they were always one step ahead, looking for the next big thing. Even when retiring from Microsoft in 2008, Bill Gates was still thinking ahead. He was focusing on his philanthropic efforts, with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation now making a huge positive impact on the world.

4. Value your time

Gates once said, “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time”. Bill Gates understands the importance of using the time in your day wisely, and prioritises tasks which matter most to him. If he doesn’t believe he needs to be at a meeting, he won’t attend. On the other hand, he takes the time to communicate with the people closest to him, and ensures that he makes time for important commitments.

What do you think?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or a business administrator, I do hope you can take something valuable away from the above lessons. Bill Gates has had a remarkable career, and there are many more than four lessons which he can teach us. Do you have any other points to add to the list? I’d love to learn how his career has inspired you to behave in a certain way, or consider the way you do things in your role.  

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.

Image by ManfredFX on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 de, added on 22/06/2022

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