Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.
It’s safe to say that Warren Buffett knows a heck of alot about business. In fact, he may be the shrewdest investor in American history. As the founder and CEO of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, he’s invested billions in American companies like General Motors, Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola, earning massive profits and an incredible stock price of $221,000 for a single share. It’s no wonder that these investments have contributed to a net worth of over 72 billion.
So what can we learn from some of his success, and more importantly, some of his best advice?
There are a ton of lessons. Consider this quote where Buffett said,
“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
Pretty simple, no? It’s obviously only a starting point but every giant leap starts with a small step.
For the rest of us feeling inspired, we’ve put together the following collection of quotes. These are some of the most memorable words of wisdom you can apply to your business right now.
- On The Most Important Rule in Business:
Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.
- On Planning For The Future:
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
- On The Value Of Reputations:
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
- On Risk:
Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.
- On Price vs. Value
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
- On Knowing When To Get Out:
“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
- On The Value of Making Mistakes:
I bought a company in the mid-’90s called Dexter Shoe and paid $400 million for it. And it went to zero. And I gave about $400 million worth of Berkshire stock, which is probably now worth $400 billion. But I’ve made lots of dumb decisions. That’s part of the game.
- On Hindsight:
In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.
- On Habits:
Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
- On Right Vs. Wrong:
You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.
- On The Past:
The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.
- On Management:
When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.
- On Opportunity:
You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.
- On The Long Haul:
Our favorite holding period is forever.
- On Low Hanging Fruit:
I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.
- On Self Belief
I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.
- On Good Companies:
It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
- On Time:
Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.
- On Critics:
Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.
- On The Process:
We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds.
There you have it, the most inspirational business quotes Warren Buffett ever said. Let us know what you learned and if these inspired any of your business decisions recently.
image via: Javier