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Learn From Billionaire Businessman Bill Gates

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The life and lessons of billionaire Bill Gates

The life and lessons of billionaire Bill Gates

Billionaire, businessman, entrepreneur... when we think of these things, Bill Gates comes to mind, as he is a prime example of all three. Bill Gates built the world’s largest software business Microsoft with his partner Paul Allen. His net worth, as of 2022, is $101 billion. But how did he get so successful? Let’s take a look at his life and discuss what we can learn from one of the world's most wealthy men.

The Early Life of Bill Gates

William Henry Gates III was born on October 28th, 1955. He grew up in an upper-middle-class family where he and his siblings were always encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence.

Education History

When Gates was 13 years old his parents enrolled him at Seattle’s exclusive preparatory Lakeside School. Whilst he was there, a Seattle computer company offered to provide computer time for the students. This led to Gates spending the majority of his free time working on the terminal.

Here he met soon-to-be business partner Paul Allen who was two years older than him. They both had a common enthusiasm for computers and quickly became close friends. In 1970 they went into business together and developed “Traf-o-Data” which was a computer program that monitored traffic patterns in Seattle, where they netted $20,000 for their efforts. After this, they wanted to start their own company together but Gates’ parents wanted him to continue with school and become a lawyer.

He graduated high school in 1973 with a score of 1590 out of 1600 on the college SATs.

Gates Drops Out of School

Gates enrolled in Harvard University in Autumn 1973 and was originally pursuing a career in law - the career his parents wanted him to pursue. He spent more time in the computer lab than in class and only got a few hours of sleep. However, he dropped out in 1975 to pursue his business Microsoft with partner Paul Allen.

Paul Allen and Bill Gates (1981)

Paul Allen and Bill Gates (1981)

The Creation of Micro-Soft

In 1975, Paul Allen and Bill Gates founded “Micro-Soft,” a mixture of “micro-computer” and “software." A year later, the company's name was changed to "Microsoft," the brand we all know today.

Although the company started on a shaky foot, Microsoft was grossing approximately $2.5 million by 1979.

When Gates was 23 years old, he placed himself as head of the company and personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped and often rewrote codes himself when he saw necessary. By 1983, it was estimated that 30% of the world’s computers ran on its software.

Gates Leaves Microsoft

In the year 2000, Gates stepped down from the day-to-day operations at Microsoft but kept on playing a predominant and active role in the company. However, we are going to move on a little; if you want to learn more about the life of Bill Gates, I suggest reading his biography.

Anyways, Gates became an instant billionaire at age 31, all because of the value of the shares of Microsoft. Since then, Bill Gates has been at the top or nearly at the top of Forbes’ annual list of the top 400 wealthiest people in America.

So onto why you’re actually here...

Bookworm Bill Gates

Bookworm Bill Gates

What Can We Learn From Billionaire Businessman Bill Gates?

After studying the life of Bill Gates, I have four key takeaways.

1. He Was Constantly Learning

People underestimate the value of reading a lot, but it is no secret that the majority of the most successful people are readers. It has been shown that reading helps to improve your mental health by preventing stress and depression. In addition to this, it enhances your confidence, decision-making skills, your ability to empathize and helps with overall life satisfaction. These are all key factors that enable a person to be successful. As they say, the more you know, the more you know. Find a genre or a few genres that you like and start today, enjoy that process and let it become a natural part of your day.

2. He Was Encouraged to Be Competitive and Strive for Excellence

Obviously, Bill Gates didn’t just do this himself, he was encouraged by his parents, friends, and other important figures in his life. However, we can still learn something from this–the importance of encouragement. Make sure you surround yourself with people who encourage you to be the best person that you can possibly be. Use competition as motivation and strive for excellence. Evaluate your friendship group - are these people good for my mental, physical, and emotional well-being? If not, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your friend group or find a group of people you can rely on to always encourage you–and vice versa.

Gates is dedicated to his passions. Are you?

Gates is dedicated to his passions. Are you?

3. He Spent (Nearly) All His Time On What He Was Passionate About

A lot of people can say that they like or really like something but to say you’re passionate about something, you have to prove it. Bill Gates was passionate about reading, and still is, so he read all the time. Bill Gates was passionate about computers, he spent more time in the computer lab than in class. Bill Gates was passionate about his business, he dropped out of school to pursue it.

Now, this is in no way the sign that you should drop out of school or quit your job. However, I do want you to take something from this. Prioritise your passions and things that are going to make you successful over the silly things that you spend your time on. You know what those things are, the things you use to procrastinate when really, you could be getting things done and working your way towards success. So prioritise.

4. He Didn’t Give Up

This is such a classic, but I think it’s easier to put everything into perspective when you look at someone like Bill Gates who is already successful and became successful at quite a young age. As mentioned previously in this article, the company started on a shaky foot, but now, because of this same company, Gates is a billionaire. I would definitely fight through ten days of rain for one hundred days of sunshine. What about you?

You Can Be Successful!

What do you think? If you apply these four lessons in your life, will you transform into a billionaire? Maybe, maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to try! Was there anything else you learned from looking at the life of Bill Gates? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Pwavi Hans


Centfie from Kenya on January 28, 2021:

After reading this insightful article, "I would definitely fight through ten days of rain for one hundred days of sunshine."