If business magnate Warren Buffet offers you career advice, you’d be smart to take it. The billionaire investor recently shared some words of wisdom with Michael Hood, co-founder of Toronto startup Voiceflow, en route to the Canadian Walk of Fame inductee gala. Hood, 22, accompanied Buffet to the event after being selected through start-up incubator Next 36.
Hood asked the legendary investor if he had some advice for recent graduates entering the workplace and posted Buffet’s response on LinkedIn.
“It’s very simple. Invest in yourself,” Buffet said. He added that the one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now is to “hone your communication skills — both written and verbal.”
“If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark — nothing happens,” he continued. “You can have all the brainpower in the world but you have to be able to transmit it. And the transmission is communication.”
Buffet should know. He’s worth more than $86 billion, according to Forbes. And he’s right, it doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t convey your thoughts and ideas in the right ways through the correct channels.
Communication is becoming increasingly important as technology enables people to reach others on a global scale. In addition, more and more people are working remotely, which makes good communication essential.
Buffet wasn’t always so confident. He told the BBC in 2009 that he was so afraid of public speaking when he was in high school and college that he’d vomit. He tackled his fear by taking a course by self-help guru Dale Carnegie. The program was life-changing for the future billionaire.
Another thing that altered the course of his life was reading the book The Intelligent Investor, which he purchased at the age of 19. He has re-read the book several times.
“It changed my life,” he noted. “Graham’s book gave me a bedrock philosophy on investing that made sense. He taught me how to think about the stock market. He taught me that the market was there not to instruct me, but to serve me.”