During an interview once, US talk show host Larry King asked Bill Gates, the President and founder of Microsoft, for his views on creating success.
Bill Gates said that in his opinion there were three major factors.
Now I don’t know about you, but if Bill Gates is offering advice on success, I take notes! He’s done rather well, don’t you think?
Here is what Bill Gates had to say.
All successful people have vision. They have the ability the “see” clearly what they want before it exits.
I’d have to agree with Mr Gates on that one.
All of the successful people I have known and studied have had that ability.
Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds had a vision of what McDonalds could be.
He saw McDonalds as an international franchise operation dominating the world of fast food. He had that vision when he first met the McDonald brothers in their little outlet in San Bernadino, in Southern California. The McDonald brothers knew he was crazy right away.
They just couldn’t see it!
They had actually tried franchising and failed. If Kroc was stupid enough to try again where they had failed, sure they would go along with him, and he could have a percentage of the new company.
That percentage was eventually worth billions to Ray Kroc, who was not at all surprised when McDonalds succeeded on a scale that astounded the McDonald brothers.
Bill Gates could “see” that the future of computers was in the software, not in the hardware.
Bear in mind that he “saw” this at a time when IBM dominated the world of computers with computers the size houses and where an apple was something that grew on a tree.
In the 1950’s Walt Disney “saw” a place called “Disneyland” where people would come from all over the world to play. He saw this in a world where amusement parks were tacky places staffed by scruffy carnival people.
Even worse, he saw it being located out in the boon docks of Los Angeles in a place called Anaheim where those apples I mentioned before grew in orchards. The bankers Walt approached just couldn’t see it!!
At the time the project was laughingly referred to as “Disney’s folly”, but Walt did it anyway.
I bet you’ve either been there, know someone who has been there, or intend to go there or to one of the other Disney Parks around the world.
So what’s your vision?
Once you a clear on what you want you’re half way there.
2. Being in the right place at the right time
Bill Gates suggested that some of success is luck. Just being in the right place at the right time.
While I agree with Mr Gates that being in the right place at the right time is important, recognising that you are in the right place, and that the right time is NOW, comes from having a clear vision of what you really want in life.
If you know what you want, then you’ll recognise every opportunity that comes along that fits with your vision, and you’ll be able to grab these opportunities with both hands.
Bill gates didn’t invent DOS, someone else did. However Bill Gates had the vision that the creator of DOS did not have.
He recognised that he was in the right place at the right time with IBM and acquired DOS. The rest is history.
Is your vision so clear that you recognise when you are in the right place at the right time?
3. Take massive immediate action
During our lifetime, I suspect that we are all presented with thousands of good ideas and wonderful opportunities that could make us wealthy and allow us to fulfil our dreams. The problem is that most people even when they recognise that they have a good idea, do nothing with it.
As one of the founders of the National Speakers Association of Australia (NSAA) 11 years ago, I’m sometimes asked if I’m concerned that I’m actually helping create competitors for myself, every time I speak at an NSAA Conference or Seminar.
On these occasions I willingly share my knowledge and experience with people new to the speaking and training profession. I tell them what I’ve learned over the last 22 years and share ideas on how they can become professional speakers.
Frankly I’m not concerned at all about creating competitors, and I say this for two reasons.
- Reason number one is that I know that very few people will actually take action on the ideas I share. Not because they don’t see the value in the ideas, but simply because that’s human nature. They’ll talk about doing something. They’ll plan to do something. But they won’t actually do anything. If they do, they’ll only try it a time or two and if they haven’t achieved overnight success then they’ll stop doing it.
- The second reason I don’t mind sharing my knowledge, is that I know that the serious people, the ones with vision who will take action, will not be interested in becoming Wayne Berry clones. They already have their own vision on what they want to become and achieve, and they’ll do it too. They’ll add real value in their own right in the marketplace.
Every year I share ideas on selling and negotiating techniques with tens of thousands of sales people, but sadly only a small percentage will have the vision and the persistence to follow through and use these ideas on an on-going basis. Those who do, become enormously successful and send me emails and faxes which I really enjoy receiving.
The real key to success is to find a good idea and take IMMEDIATE and MASSIVE action. You’ll note that there are two factors here, IMMEDIATE and MASSIVE.
My experience is that if we don’t act on a good idea within 24 hours, we are less than 50% likely to ever act on it. If we haven’t acted on it inside of 7 days, then we are less than 2% likely to ever act on it.
My advice is when you find a good idea act on it right away. That way you’ll find out quicker if it’s a good idea or not.
The other key is to take MASSIVE action. The average person will try a new idea once or twice and if they don’t get an immediate result. They give up.
When I was in Washington DC last, I visited the Smithsonian Institution and saw some of Edison’s failed experiments as he worked to perfect the incandescent light bulb. The problem was in the filament. They all burned out after a short time. Edison took massive action on the challenge and after thousands of failed attempts, he finally solved the problem. The solution made him a fortune.
How is your MASSIVE “persistence” factor when you are trying out a new idea?
There is no such thing as try. You either do it or you don’t!
Edison simply decided to do it, no matter what it took. Do you?
So there you have it. Bill Gates three keys to success.