There’s no question that Warren Buffett is the person you want to whisper business and investing advice in your ear.
But Buffett has seen decades of the life that surrounds money and careers, Inc. reports, meaning he’s got bigger lessons to offer today’s ambitious college graduates than when to cash in a stock. These are among the Oracle of Omaha’s best points to remember:
1. The biggest investment you’ll ever make is in yourself—“Investing in yourself means tackling areas you aren’t good at and learning new skills,” says Buffett. “Address whatever you feel your weaknesses are, and do it now.” Doing this doesn’t necessarily have to cost any money. It simply requires you to do some self-analysis and be honest with yourself about where you have room to grow.
2. Read as much as you can—“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. […] I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in business. I read and think,” Buffett says. The goal here is to get as much information as possible so you can have the biggest picture possible to inform your decisions, as well as to understand and respect the viewpoints of others.
3. Integrity is your most precious asset, so guard it—You’ll likely be tempted to make decisions that, while offering short-term gain, could endanger how much people trust you. Don’t fall for that. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” Buffett says. “If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Buffett also encourages you to spend time with people who are better than you are. “Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift that direction,” he advises. Read the full story for more of Buffet’s advice.