Wisdom from experienced businesspeople can inspire small business owners.
From self-improvement inspiration to identifying and tackling problems, business owners can gain wisdom and motivation from Bill Gates. — pixelfit/Getty Images

Bill Gates is a businessman, philanthropist and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation. Not only known just for his incredible contributions to technology, Gates is also recognized for his generosity and wisdom.

Here are 10 Bill Gates quotes every business owner needs to hear — from running a company to being a good person overall.

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

Everybody wants to be successful, but Gates understood that there are dangers that come with success. Success can cause you to become complacent and neglect the things that made you successful in the first place.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”

Bill Gates frequently talks about the need for constant self-improvement. It’s important to have people in our lives who will give us honest, constructive feedback. This is the only way we can grow and become better.

“Patience is a key element of success.”

Success usually comes after a lot of trial and error and a lot of failures. Successful individuals are those who have the patience to stick through all the frustrating moments along the way.

“The belief that the world is getting worse, that we can’t solve extreme poverty and disease, isn’t just mistaken. It’s harmful.”

Gates understands that even the most challenging problems have solutions and that if you’re in a position to help other people, then you should do so. That’s why he and his wife Melinda donated over $36 billion to charity.

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn't matter whether you're a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player."

We can only improve so much on our own, which is why we need a coach or a mentor to help us. This is the best way to ensure you’re continuing to live up to your full potential.

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.

Bill Gates

"Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world ... if you do so, you are insulting yourself."

We all have unique gifts and our own ways of contributing to the greater good. By trying to copy someone else, you’re short-changing yourself and depriving the world of all you have to offer.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates recognized that problems were really opportunities and ways to improve. And, in business, unhappy customers have the most to teach you about how you can improve your products and services.

“I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars, there’s a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that. But once you get much beyond that, I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburger.”

Most people want to be wealthy, but past a certain point, money isn’t going to increase your happiness or add more meaning to your life. That’s why Gates continues to give away much of his wealth to charitable contributions.

“Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.”

Television often makes starting and running a business seem easy and exciting, but it’s a lot of hard work. Don’t get caught up in the narrative around self-employment. It’s going to take a lot of discipline to make your dreams a reality.

“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of success, but success on its own has very little to teach you. It’s important to pay attention to your failures and learn from them going forward.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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