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4 Business Principles from Forbes Richest Entrepreneurs in the World

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Need advice for your business? Scour the internet and you’ll find millions of articles telling you how your firm should be run. However, most of them usually contain a generic list of tips that any outsider could create.

Advice from battle-tested entrepreneurs is different; it understands you and the dog-eat-dog world you’re living in. CEOs have been where you are now and therefore, when they give you advice, it’ll be actionable. You would actually be able to apply it in real life.

Here are 4 business values from the top 4 richest people in the world:

1. Bill Gates focused on building partnerships by finding gaps

From the very beginning, Gates had no problem playing second fiddle to some other company to achieve success. Microsoft began as a junior partner to MITS and later partnered with Digital Research.

Gates’ success is largely built on partnerships developed by finding market gaps within big organizations and the larger industry itself. When Microsoft first approached IBM, it was to act as an intermediary for a potential joint venture with Digital Research. When Digital Research backed out, he found a market gap he could build on and offered to provide software for IBM’s PC project.

In all the above-mentioned cases, Microsoft was never really the major player – but a small part of a much larger plan. Soon, they had gained enough experience working with giants that they left them far behind.

MITS and Digital Research no longer exist. IBM’s no longer making PCs but the software Microsoft provided continued to evolve and is now the world’s most-used OS.

“Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning.”   – Bill Gates

2. Amancio Ortega was all about speed and customer obsession

There isn’t a better rags to riches story than the journey of Amancio Ortega. The co-founder of the Inditex fashion group (which owns Zara), once used to stitch shirts.

When he launched Zara in 1975, he introduced the “fast fashion” supply system where customers were given what they wanted before anyone else. That strategy, combined with Ortega’s determination to base new looks solely on customers’ desires, means that Zara is in constant competition with no one, but itself.

The retail giant is essentially offering to fulfill your deepest fashion fantasies twice a week, but gives you only 48 hours to do so. Creating an automatically high demand for limited stock.

CNBC claims that Ortega’s fashion acumen stems from his acute observational skills. Instead of fashion shows, Zara follows customer blogs and feedback to keep the brand trendy. It works because by being customer-centric, they’re automatically fashionable.

“The customer must continue to be our main centre of attention, both in the creation of our fashion collections and in the design of our shops…” Amancio Ortega

3. Warren Buffett on managers and micro-management

Warren Buffett is perhaps the most inspirational figure on this list. He’s inspired a host of big businesses (like Microsoft) and newer ones (like AMZInsight) equally. The world’s 3rd richest man is a fervent believer in surrounding one’s self with wise people.

Buffett is primarily an investor in companies he believes will have huge future potential and growth. When he buys companies, he looks for management teams and the general human resource to be so good, that “even an idiot [could] run it.” Hiring well and managing little has been a lifelong motto for him. With so many companies under his wing, he doesn’t believe in micro-management.

Buffett is a strong believer in acquiring the best human resources and then, letting them loose. He always has full confidence in people he invests in. He gives them the freedom to run their own affairs, stepping in only occasionally to make the bigger decisions.

“Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours, and you’ll drift in that direction.” Warren Buffett

4. Carlos Slim Helu on competition

Not much is known about billionaire investor Slim Helu (primary business is telecom), even though he was the reigning richest man from 2010 – 2013. However, there’s one statement about competition that’s relatively well-known. Carlos Slim Helu says, “Competition makes you better, always, always makes you better, even if the competitor wins.”

Inc claims that Slim’s business style has always been to embrace competition in a healthy way, instead of trying to burn down your competitors. This is especially laudable because in a country like Mexico, that isn’t exactly the norm.

Talking of his firm’s long-lasting competition with Telefónica, he said that even though your competitor may win for a month or two, you’ve to get back somehow. This “competition for the markets” is exhilarating for him and has developed in him an attitude of never giving up. It’s what makes him the man he is today.

What are some other business principles you’ve learned from other successful entrepreneurs? Please leave your thoughts below!

Matt Mikaelson is a Marketing Executive at AMZ Insight who trusts in the power of research. He specializes in data services, tech trends, marketing analysis and industry insight. It is his belief that data always tells a story, so he enjoys collecting marketing numbers, studying their impact on businesses and how they can be manipulated to market leadership visions. Matt is an expert in, and an enthusiastic student of, digital marketing, consumer behavior, content marketing, ecommerce, online marketplaces and market research.

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Entrepreneurs

6 Smart Moves to Grow Your Business and Your Profits

Practical strategies that companies use to guarantee long-term growth while increasing profitability

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How Entrepreneurs Can Fortify Their Startups Against Fraud

Businesses that neglect workplace fraud detection are leaving themselves open to catastrophic losses

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Lessons We Can All Learn From Martin Luther King Jr.’s Leadership

While reflecting on the magnificent life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I began to uncover what truly made Dr. King such a powerful leader

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While reflecting on the magnificent life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I began to uncover what truly made Dr. King such a powerful leader. Many revere him for the change he brought forth so it’s no wonder that he was heavily influenced by the man who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. He embodied that statement on the deepest level and lead people through one of the most challenging yet historic times in our nation. 

But what was it that made Dr. King’s movement so different than the rest? A quality that transcends ego and unites a people so divided? 

My greatest and most moving discovery while studying the life of Dr. King was the very answer to our question. 

Yes, he had the personality to be a leader, yes he had the bravery to use his voice, yes he evoked REAL change in government and policies, but the manifestation of all those comes from his willingness to lead a movement truly rooted in consciousness. 

A peaceful approach

Dr. King was continuously met with frustration, hate, and even violence by both law enforcement and those who wanted to fight for equality through violence. But the more violent things became, the more he dug his heels into a peaceful approach. Dr. King’s unwavering faith in the power to lead with peace and not violence is undoubtedly why his legacy is such a pillar of our nation still to this day. It is easier to fight.

Hate, anger and separateness from one another are primitive emotions on the emotional scale of well being but It takes awareness, understanding and elevated consciousness to move from a place of peace and understanding. Dr. King knew that we all have access to these states of higher consciousness and that our true power lies in a peaceful approach.

He is an example of the truest essence of our consciousness in this human experience. How to truly love your neighbor as yourself. 

Conscious compassion

Even the strongest opponents are human. Meet hate with love + compassion for the enemy” he said. It wasn’t his resistance to violence that made him a peacemaker, but rather his commitment to keeping compassion and connection to all humanity at the forefront of his movement. A profound understanding that underneath all the hate, violence and discrimination, we are all one. We all come from the same source and we are all human.

A conscious king

A man of his position, his power, his following could have been easily swayed by the human temptations of the ego. But he remained steadfast in his cause to bring forth real change. He understood on the deepest level that we are truly a stronger force in the universe when we move as one unit, with one mind, and one goal. That the separation from one another is the weakness of humanity. That our strength is in those things that unite us all, the qualities that give us life.

His success was in uniting not just the people of America but the consciousness of America.

No matter our gender, or our social class or our color, we all love, and we all seek peace. We all feel joy and happiness, we all want to be met with compassion and understanding. 

His cause went far beyond the need for physical freedom and equal rights. His cause was for freedom of mind, freedom of heart, freedom to be one. 

Lead with love

In his last speech he said, “I may not get there with you, but we AS A PEOPLE will get to the promise land”. And we will. At some point, we will inevitably come back to this oneness that we all come from.

The truth is? We don’t know when our last day is. Our last march. Our last speech. So this Martin Luther King Jr. Day I ask you, what will your legacy be? Are you leading a life founded in the principles of Dr. King’s movement, founded in the higher consciousness of humanity? Every moment is an opportunity to love, to show compassion, to bring forth peace and in the words of Dr. King “The time is always right to do what is right”.

Dr. King said, “I’m here to remind you, we’ve come a longggg way, but there is still work to be done”. 

And I’m here to remind you this Martin Luther King Jr. day in 2024 that we HAVE come a longggg way, but there is still work to be done. 

His fight is our fight. His mind is our mind. His spirit is our spirit. Rooted in the consciousness of all humanity. We are all one. And when we embrace the understanding of that, we will truly say

“Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, We are Free at Last”.

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