I’m almost finished with a biography on Warren Buffet (Snowball). He’s a complex man with very simple tastes. Lots to learn about life and business from him, but I just read the part where he was asked what was the single greatest hey to his success.
He was asked this when after he had become the richest man in America.
He said, “Focus.”
He didn’t explain further there–but the biographer references his life patterns and it’s obvious what he means. Buffet visited his father’s stock brokerage as a child and decided he’d figure out this game of stocks and win. He wanted to be rich.
Yes, he’s smart. Sure, he had other principles that he established to guide him. But he created those principles and leveraged his brain through focusing on one thing his whole life.
He gave his children only the minimum attention while they were growing up. He found a wife who was willing do everything for him–cook, clean, bills, etc. He worked nearly all day long. For example, he had a special deal to have the newspaper delivered to his house just after midnight rather than waiting until the normal early morning deliveries. When he was out of town, he’d have his secretary read that him over the phone so he could stay clued in. He read stock reports on companies that most “serious” investors thought were too small to deal with.
He focused his life on a clear goal. And it’s no wonder that he achieved it.
What do you care about so much you’d give even half that much time and energy to becoming good at?
Oh, by the way, Bill Gates was at the same gathering. His answer, “Focus.”