Warren Buffett seems to have life all figured out. He’s a multi-billionaire with the well-earned nickname The Oracle of Omaha. His $80 billion net worth has been growing since he was a teenager. He lives fairly frugally. He seems like a nice guy. He loves his ice cream and Coke and other random fun and tasty food products you may not normally associate with an octogenarian – or almost, he will officially turn 80 on August 30. He’s never had a fight with his best friend and right-hand man, Charlie Munger, not one, in the 61 years the two have been friends. He’s pledged to give away 99% of his net worth to charity before he dies with 83% of the money will going to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Giving Pledge that he founded with Bill and Melinda. In short, it seems like he’s got a pretty good life. That’s why now seemed like a good time to share some of Buffett’s rules to live by with you. We’re all sort of at loose ends now and it doesn’t look like it is going to change anytime soon. So why not take some advice from the master? Buffett has 10 rules to live by but we curated the list to not apply exclusively to investors. If you’re interested in the other four rules, a simple internet search will turn them up.
#1. Communication is key
Buffett’s key to success is in being a strong communicator, not in picking stocks. Pick your words carefully and ensure that you mean what you say. Sales tactics are a part of almost every single career out there. Anyone looking to leverage their job into a more important one or one with more leadership required will need to be able to think clearly and communicate well in all situations – especially stressful ones.
#2. Keep your focus looking forward
Back in the 1950s, Buffett famously stated something that has been repeated often by him and many others. He said: “The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.” That is really sage advice that is as true today, seven decades later. According to Buffett, in business (and in life) looking for new opportunities is more important than looking to the past.
#3. Know when to walk away
Kenny Rogers famously said in his song “The Gambler,” “know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run,” and Buffett echoes that statement. The key for investing as for life is to know when to walk away. In investing, Buffett learned this when he was young and betting on horse races. When he lost, he increased his bets and ended up losing even more money. That adage can also be applied to life.
#4. Be willing to learn
We all know that the more new things we learn the healthier our brains are – no matter how old or young we are. Buffett has said many times that knowledge accumulates, like interest in the bank. And look at it this way – we all know an older person who struggles with technology, right? Avoiding (or just plain stopping) learning new things puts you at risk of not understanding the current world. No one wants to be obsolete. Even simple crossword puzzles are great for learning.
#5. Don’t spend what you don’t have
I think it goes without saying, but, think of the Oracle of Omaha himself: he lives frugally. He drives an older car and still lives in the house he bought for $31,500 in 1958 in his beloved hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He’s a big fan of a cheap breakfast at McDonald’s that he grabs from the drive-thru. Do not spend foolishly. Live modestly. This one is easier said than done for many people.
#6. Something good may be just around the corner
Be ready for anything because anything is possible. Buffett prints newspaper front pages with headlines about stock market crashes to remind himself to avoid risky investments or debt. Being open to change and a positive outcome is important.