15 tips from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on how to succeed at business

Ask Mark Zuckerburg. Ask Bill Gates. Ask Warren Bufftet.

You’ll pretty much get the same answer.

The question – What’s the secret to success?

Time and time again, I’ve talked about the different elements of success and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, I’m sure you’ll have noticed that I touch on the same topics again and again.

I even got a nasty email from an anonymous reader who said that my stuff was repetitive and a big waste of their time. Ouch.

All I can say is this – despite having studying success for 5 years now, devoting anywhere from 30mins to a few hours a day…I still need reminding.

I write these blogs as much for you as I do for me.

We all forget. We all get busy. We all could use a little reminding. Myself included.

I wish all these success principles and concepts were second nature to me, but let me tell you, it’s a constant battle.

Each morning, just like everyone else, I have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, both constantly vying for my attention.

The devil goes, “Hey, why not go back to bed. You deserve it. You work too much. Relax.” while the angel says, “Keep at it. You’ve got work to do. There’s so much that needs to be done. You can do it. It’s not that hard.”

And sometimes, like this morning, the devil does win. Thankfully, more often than not, I’m able to keep him at bay.

So my apologies to those out there reading this thinking, “I’ve heard this all before.”

As some of you might remember, my goal is to share good ideas. But for me, it’s not enough simply to share them.

What I love is hearing that people took action, ie. made some changes in their life and it’s paying off for them.

That’s why I teach. That’s why I keep writing these posts and that’s why I am working on my next big project, my financial seminar.

The problem is that even after sharing good ideas, most of us forget to take action on them. We read them, maybe even think about doing something…but then that’s it.

My sincere hope is that you’re one of those people who isn’t just a reader, but a doer, an implementer.

With that said, I’m here again with some success secrets. This time by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

I came across an article on Zite (one of the best apps on the iPhone) regarding his 15 tips for success. I jotted them down in order to share them with you today. Here they are:

  1. Act
  2. Minimize Regret
  3. Grow Slow
  4. Encourage Word of Mouth
  5. There is Nothing More Important than the Customer
  6. Charge Less
  7. Never Stop Innovating
  8. Be Flexibly Stubborn
  9. Be Realistic
  10. Imitate
  11. Work Backwards
  12. It’s Good to be Misunderstood
  13. Be Picky about People
  14. Be Far-Sighted
  15. Make History

Most of them are pretty cut and dry, but a few stood out to me so I thought I’d address them.

Number 8 is somewhat of an oxymoron, but here’s what Jeff Bezos had to say about this “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.”

Simply put, you’ve got to know when to keep going, and when to call it a night.

Thousands of good ideas, even great ideas, have gone the way of the dinosaur. Successful businesses know when to cut back and when to go full force. Another expression for it is “calculated risks.”

As for number 10 people might get the wrong impression. It has been said that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Not only that, but we can learn a lot from our competitors – what works, what doesn’t. We don’t have to do all the heavy lifting on our own.

Sam Walton, who built one of the biggest corporations in America (Walmart), was famous for spending more time in his competitors stores than his own. He was always seeing how he could improve his stores by simply walking around his competitors.

The last one that I feel needs explaining is number 11. Here’s what Bezos had to say about that, “There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you are good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backwards, even if it requires learning new skills.”

One of the simplest ways of looking at business success was created by Keith Cunningham, close friend and mentor of Robert Kiyosaki. Here’s what he said.

Success in business can be broken down into a 3-step formula: “(1)FOWTW (2)GAGI (3)GITT.”

  1. Find Out What They Want
  2. Go And Get It
  3. Give It To Them

Remember, the key to success in business is having a market to sell to. Always look to fill a need.

So there you have it, some tips from one of the best in the business, Jeff Bezos.

Hope you find them helpful.

Adrian Shepherd

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