When you shouldn’t follow the advice of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet and others

Scroll through your Facebook feed and you’ll often come across articles such as: “the 5 books Bill Gates recommends”, or “the one principle Steve Jobs preached”, etc…

Studying successful people and dissecting their strategies for success has been my biggest passion for the past few years.

I’ve spend days upon days analysing the success strategies of tech giants (Gates, Jobs), finance giants (Buffet, Dalio, Taleb), art giants, real estate giants, sport giant, coaching giants, authors, actors, politicians, and many many more.

One of the biggest conclusions I came to is this: not a single one of them had a unique success formula that works for the general population.

In fact, most of these people tend to be extremely successful at 1, 2 or even 3 aspects of their lives, but struggle in others.

The books Bill Gates recommends worked great for “Bill Gates” at a specific time in this life, at a specific time in his career, in a specific environment and set of circumstances. And you know what? those books don’t show up on the list of Steve Jobs, or Elon Musk, or Ray Dalio, or Tim Ferris.

Throughout all my research, I came across this over and over again: the “recommendations” made by those successful people are based on “what worked for them at a specific point in their life, career, and circumstances”.

We know from research in neuroscience that 50-60% of success factors (such as intelligence, strength of character, etc) are genetic, and the remainder is developed. 

If you have a genetic disposition similar to Bill Gates’, and you happen to have the same circumstances in your life that he did, then yes, his recommendations may work. But these recommendations are unlikely to work in most other situations.

Furthermore, all of these “successful people” have had one singular experience of success in their life, and they base their recommendations based on that experience:

Bill Gates has Microsoft.

Steve Jobs had Apple.

Ray Dalio has Bridgewater.

Nassim Taleb has his books.

Elon Musk has Tesla.

Condoleeza Rice has her political career.

So did Winston Churchill, Collin Powell, etc.

This is why you should not take recommendations on entrepreneurship from someone who’s had successful from their real first try. They’re not entrepreneurs, and so they can’t teach people entrepreneurship. A entrepreneur is someone who has started multiple businesses, and has had many failures as well as many successes. That’s someone you can truly learn from.

So should we ignore their advice? Absolutely not!

But time is limited: we can’t follow the advice of every “successful” person out there. If we try to do that, we’ll end up with no time to actually “practice” what we’re learning.

This is why I dedicate a huge part of my time to doing this research, and what I share with you through these articles, my videos, my seminars, and my upcoming book is the result of that research: 

I share with you the success strategies, tools and techniques that I notice are “common” to many successful people, across a variety of areas: careers, money, relationships, politics, and much more.