You probably already know that Bill Gates is not an ordinary person. No billionaire really is. But here’s the thing – Bill is not only an extraordinary person, he’s also an extra-ordinary billionaire. Co-founder of Microsoft, bestselling author, Harvard dropout and philanthropist, Gates has achieved beyond what most can even imagine.
Ahead of #WorldAIDSDay, I want to introduce you to Chief Jonathan Eshiloni Mumena (pictured on the left). Chief Mumena leads the Kaonde people, who live along Zambia’s border with the DRC. Risking his position as his people’s chief, he challenged long-held traditions to encourage Kaonde men to embrace male circumcision as a strategy to prevent HIV transmission. He is one of many heroes who have helped make stunning progress in the fight against AIDS.
Bill was raised with rules, rewards, and penalties. With strict adherence to this style of parenting, Bill was always very competitive. At the same time, the ideas of failure and consequence along with success and reward taught him the importance of shared success. Today, after achieving all of his ambitions and dreams, Bill has made it a point to give back to the world. Through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he is supporting research and the fight against fatal diseases. The couple’s initiation of The Giving Pledge has already convinced many minted people to give half of their wealth to charity.
Bill Gates has continuously inspired the world with his works, but also his words. Therefore, to celebrate his success, we’ve brought you a collection of his pearls of wisdom:
1. “The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.”
2. “The most amazing philanthropists are people who are actually making a significant sacrifice.”
3. “If all my bridge coach ever told me was that I was ‘satisfactory,’ I would have no hope of ever getting better. How would I know who was the best? How would I know what I was doing differently?”
4. “Lectures should go from being like the family singing around the piano to high-quality concerts.”
5. “If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.”
6. “I don’t know’ has become ‘I don’t know yet’.”
7. “If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, But if you die poor it’s your mistake.”
8. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
9. “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
Hello from Tanzania, Instagram! I just had a great lunch with some amazing kids at Kicheba Primary School in Muheza and met Upendo Mwingira, a remarkable physician who has dedicated her career to fighting neglected tropical diseases. Melinda and I have been coming to Tanzania for many years now. I always love seeing how much progress the country has made to improve health and provide opportunity. Plus, the scenery is stunning. Whenever I travel to places like this, I wish others could come along and meet the people I get to meet. I have no doubt it would leave them as optimistic as I am about progress happening around the world. I’ll be sharing photos from my adventures here on Instagram, and I hope you’ll follow along.
10. “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
11. “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
12. “If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble.”
13. “Capitalism has worked very well. Anyone who wants to move to North Korea is welcome.”
14. “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”
15. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
For us, the holidays are a time to close the doors on the outside world and focus on time together as a family. These are my favorite days of the year, and as our kids have grown up, this time has become even more precious to me. So here’s my holiday wish for you: I hope you have a chance to step away from the business and busy-ness of your daily life and enjoy some quiet time with the people you love. #HappyHolidays
16. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
17. “Legacy is a stupid thing! I don’t want a legacy.”
18. “Expectations are a form of first-class truth: If people believe it, it’s true.”
19. “We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well.”
20. “Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.”
21. “Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe 10% to business thinking. Business isn’t that complicated. I wouldn’t want that on my business card.”
I’m a big tennis fan, so when I heard about #BattleoftheSexes, the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, I couldn’t wait to see it. The movie was so good, I asked my friend Elisabeth Shue (who plays Bobby Riggs’ wife Priscilla) to recreate this famous photo with me last month at the US Open. Little known fact: Elisabeth is also an amazing tennis player.
22. “We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.”
23. “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?”
24. “People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they?”