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In this digital age, no name may be more recognizable than Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon. With the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic still being felt all around the world in one way or another, the services provided by Bezos’ company, Amazon, are arguably some of the most vital in our modern society. Throughout the years, Bezos has provided much wisdom and advice to others looking to emulate his success. Here are five things we can learn from this billionaire to implement into our businesses.
1. Choosing to work hard is the key to being successful
What is the difference between a gift and a skill? Does being talented at something require effort on your part? In answer to those questions, Bezos has said that “When you have a gift and then you work hard, you’re really going to leverage that gift. When you do that well, it will lead to your success.” The world is filled with people who have never properly put in the effort or don’t have the means to take full advantage of their gifts, and this can be a determining factor in success.
Growing up, my high school’s motto was “nil sine labore,” which is Latin for “nothing without hard work”. As a teenager, I couldn’t really appreciate this saying. However, 20 years and a business later, I know that you have to put in the work every day to meet your goals. You can’t just rest on your laurels.
2. Don’t be afraid to dream big — and shoot for the moon!
We all have dreams. These dreams can often act as a driving force for us throughout our entire lives. Some people dream of having a certain job, like being a firefighter, professional athlete or astronaut. Others dream of reaching milestones in life, whether it be family, personal or career goals. No matter what that dream might be, it is up to us (and often us alone) to do what it takes to achieve our dreams.
Bezos achieved a lifelong dream last July, when he ventured to space aboard his company Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket ship. Although the majority of us will likely never experience the thrill of space flight, we all have the power to dream big and work towards those dreams. As they say, if we shoot for the moon, we might just land among the stars.
Setting ambitious goals has been important in my life. From moving to New York from Australia to work in advertising and PR, to starting my own business, to attracting my ideal life partner, to getting fit for 40. These are just some of my goals that I set out on chasing and achieving. In fact, I even wrote a book about how everyone can achieve their life goals too, which was another item on my bucket list. So many of us have a great two-year, five-year or 10-year plan, but as we all know, especially since the pandemic, plans change. What are you doing today to start living your dream life?
3. Think bigger than yourself to understand the needs around you
Successful people understand that there’s more to life than what is directly in front of them. After his trip to space, Bezos discussed his new outlook on life, which inspired him to commit $10 billion to fight climate change in the next decade. The most recent pledge, which totaled $2 billion, is being used to “restore nature and transform food systems.”
What lesson can be learned here? We might not all have billions, but all of us can help in conservation efforts. Things like recycling, reducing water and carbon emissions, and going green in any way possible all helps to achieve the same goal, and it helps us look beyond ourselves.
4. Find success within the fires of adversity
Winston Churchill once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The Covid-19 pandemic affected every person on the planet. Although many experienced reduced work hours, loss of business and other such displacements, many billionaires (Bezos included) actually increased their net worth exponentially. This might seem wrong, but you can’t argue the fact that Bezos’ company provides a product that enables us to continue surviving during various lockdowns and restrictions.
A crucial part of striving for our goals is the struggle that we go through to achieve those goals. As a matter of fact, a synonym for strive is to struggle, and through these struggles we can find our own successes, refined in the fires of adversity.
5. Don’t let your circumstances define who you are or what you can achieve
Bezos was not born into wealth. He did not inherit a large, well-funded and functioning business. Just like many of us, he was surrounded by hardship going back to even before he was born. After being “born the son of a 16-year-old mom and deadbeat dad” and working on his grandparents’ ranch during the summer raising cattle and doing chores, Bezos would ultimately need to reach beyond his humble circumstances and take risks in order to begin walking down his chosen path. This can be a valuable lesson for all of us.
Too often are we quick to blame our lack of success or means on our surroundings. We find ways to complain about how we will never have what we think we want or deserve, because we are held back or tied down to the circumstances we find ourselves in.
We can’t all be billionaires. However, we can always stand to gain from learning from those like Jeff Bezos. With the five lessons outlined above, we can move a step closer to living a successful, happier life, even if we aren’t making billions.