When the young man asked the famous investor the best way to increase his net worth, I imagine he expected to hear something about identifying undervalued assets and holding onto them until the tide turned.
But that’s not what Warren Buffett said. According to a recent article in Business Insider, Warren told the young man, “Invest in yourself.”
“The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills—both written and verbal.”—Warren Buffett
He’s right—I’ve increased my own net worth far more than 50% since I focused full-time on writing. (How many full-time writers can say that?) That was more than 25 years ago—back when I was lucky enough to work directly with Warren, who told me “You have a terrific ear and you turn straight thinking into straight writing.”
So many of us think the road to success is paved with hard work. Yes, but that’s not all—you also have to be willing to grow. Warren didn’t make his fortune by shouting “Buy! Sell!” into a telephone all day like some cartoon fat-cat. He does the inner work, too—what some might think of as “soft skills.” He analyzes and thinks, he doesn’t just react. I cannot tell you (I literally cannot tell you; I believe in confidentality) the brilliant, counter-intuitive ideas he came up with for positioning (not “spinning”) the business to showcase unexpected truths. You need to be both authentic and comfortable with creativity to come up with stuff like that.
And everyone knows Warren has cornered the market on folksy metaphors. It’s a way of showcasing his personality, but those metaphors also get his ideas past the intellectual barriers of our brains and into our hearts, where they stick. And what good is an idea if no one remembers it? Warren is a true communicator because he’s worked at it, and he’s worked at it because he values it. Do you?
If it’s time to invest in yourself, if you’re ready to find your own unique communication style, shoot me a note and let’s talk.