“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction. ~ Bill Gates
In line with our blog article series entitled “Attitudes of Successful People“, in this article, we will feature the success attitudes of one of the richest and most successful person in the world in our current time, and his name is William Henry “Bill” Gates III.
Just recently, I’ve watched a documentary and a movie featuring the life and success story of Bill Gates. One is a documentary made by BBC News entitled “Bill Gates: How a Geek Changed the World?” It was a special documentary filmed featuring how Bill Gates created Microsoft into a money making machine. BBC: The Money Programme’s Fiona Bruce got an exclusive access to Bill Gates as he prepares to step down from full-time involvement with Microsoft in 2008. The other film I’ve watched that features Bill Gates was a movie entitled “Pirates of Silicon Valley.”
By watching these two films, I’ve gained knowledge on how Bill Gates became the world’s number 1 richest man for 7 years straight, and how he started a new industry called software.
Most people knows Bill Gates because the giant company he co-founded and named Microsoft, and because he is one of the richest man in the world. While majority admire his business skills and attitudes, few people hated him because they perceive him as a capitalist who kills small businesses and anti-competitive.
Personally, I’m one of those who admire him. Not solely because he’s one of the wealthiest man or his business savvy, but also because of his attitudes and outlook in life.
Who is Bill Gates?
William Henry Gates III, famously known as “Bill Gates”, is the co-founder, Chairman and former CEO of Microsoft, a software business giant that started the multi-billion dollar software industry. He is also a well-known American Business magnate, author, investor and philanthropist.
His success story started in 1973 when he was a college student in Harvard University. At a young age, he was already fascinated to machines, computers and software programming. His company, Microsoft, started the software industry and became a multi-billion dollar company by selling an Operating System to a giant company that produces computer hardware’s which is IBM. After the successful deal with IBM, Microsoft became the most used operating system and software worldwide which reign up to this time.
Other than his business success, Bill Gates marks his named once more in his nobler cause. He, together with Warren Buffett, started a pledge which encourages the wealthy men to donate at least 50% of their wealth to charity during their life or upon death. Bill Gates donated $600 billion to the charity he and his wife founded named Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The main focus of the foundation is to find cure of the world’s deadliest diseases such as Malaria. After he retired in Microsoft, Bill spent most of his time with this charity.
Success Attitudes of Bill Gates
In my observation upon watching the two documentaries about Bill Gates, I’ve found the following attitudes of Bill Gates which brought him the success in his life.
1. Passion to Create Things and Make a Difference
One major factor of Bill Gate’s successes and wealth is his desire to create something that can change the world. You will see it by how much he tries and continues to innovate in order to cope and get ahead in the changing world. He kept innovating and changing his products from Basic, MS Dos, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows vista, and Windows 7.
He also tried to create change and make a difference in the world of internet by releasing Internet Explorer in 1995. He also bided to buy Yahoo, Inc., although he failed to acquire it. But later on he created and released www.bing.com
In 2008, he retired from being the CEO of Microsoft Inc. After which, he spends most of his time in his new passion, and that’s philanthropist activities together with his wife Melinda Gates. They’ve founded Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which aims to support and fund research on the cure of world’s deadliest diseases like malaria.
Bill Gates has been offered with many charitable causes to fund, however, his philosophy is not to just give away money without getting involved. That’s why when he gives money to an institution; he makes sure he is involved with the cause. That’s how much Bill Gates values passion to create and make a difference.
2. Hard-Work and Dedication
Another admirable attitude of Bill Gate is that he values had work and dedication. In Microsoft Inc., he is said to be the most hardworking employee. For over 30 years, Bill Gates is always seen all over the Microsoft office, screaming and very much involved in the operation of the company. No wonder Microsoft has attained the success it has achieved.
3. High Emotional Intelligence
It is very common to those who succeed that they encounter and meet a lot of enemies in the process. People who want to pull them down by spreading negative publicity and hatred. I guess that’s really how human nature works. We tend to hate those who excel and condemn what they do. We want to bring them down and make them part of the average. We hate those who act and think differently compared to us instead of accepting them as they are (or might as well learn from them).
But despite all the criticism, condemning and hatred Bill Gates receives from people, he kept his focus intact. His emotional maturity kept him not to get distracted and be affected by all the stress brought about by the negative publicity. There’s even one point that even the US government was his enemy. However, instead of feeling down and clinging to negative emotion, he took the situation at face value and focused on the solution of the problem.
4. Humility and Simplicity
Humility and simplicity are the top most admirable success attitudes of Bill Gates. Despite all the great wealth, power and prestige he has gained during his lifetime, you won’t see a trace power, prestige and wealth in his aura and act. He still remains a very humble and simple person.
He is one of the top wealthiest men in the world yet he didn’t buy fancy cars, houses and other fancy material things. He doesn’t attend to fancy gatherings and parties. When he has free time he spends it quietly with his family.
When asked why he still doesn’t stop working when he has so much wealth already, he answered it’s not about wealth. Wealth is not the important thing for him, although he is grateful and blessed to have wealth because it feeds his family and send his children to school, while it gives him freedom to do what he wants. And that’s the value of wealth for him.
“Wealth is the freedom to do what you want without worrying about money.”
It has been in the news that Bill Gates donated $600 billion of his wealth to the foundation he and his wife have built, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. At the end of all his hard work, success and wealth accumulated, he knows how to give back. And he gives with a huge impact and purpose at the same time.
6. Value of Taking One Step Everyday
Another remarkable lesson I’ve learned from Bill Gates is that we need to take small steps each day towards our goals and purpose. Success is not an instant thing; it needs patience, persistence and timing.
There was a time that Steve Jobs was wealthier and much successful that Bill Gates, but Bill Gates patiently waited for his time. He works hard looking and creating opportunities for himself. And when his time came, he was completely ready.
Those who hate Bill Gates probably just have seen his business personality and attitude. They didn’t see the other attributes this multi-billionaire possesses.
As for me, his business savvy is indeed remarkable and something that we can study and follow. But most importantly, the person behind those wealth and business contribution is a man of admirable success attitudes as well.
Personally, watching the life story and success of Bill Gates, it gives me more motivation to think independently and differently with a definite purpose. It inspires me to not let negative circumstance and people’s opinion distract me and take away my sight to my goals. Also, I’ve learned that everything has it’s time; make sure to keep taking small steps each day towards your goal, so that when your time comes, you are ready to grab the opportunity ahead of you.
For a final note, let me leave you this phrase from Bill Gates:
“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” ~ Bill Gates
p.s.: You may want to learn more about Bill Gates and his wisdom by reading the book he himself wrote, Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy, to buy a copy, click here.