Jeff Bezos: The Richest Man In The World

Jeff Bezos (1964) is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. He studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Princeton, New Jersey. He started working for an optical fiber company, and later on, he made his debut in Wall Street. In 1994, he left his work and moved to Seattle, where he founded in 1995 "Cadabra.com," an online bookshop. It contained more than 200,000 titles which could be also ordered via email. A bit later, the company changed its name to "Amazon," because of the Amazon River. In 1996, Amazon was receiving about 2,000 visitors per day. A year later, that number multiplied by 25. In 1997, the company jumped into the stock market. In December 1999, Jeff Bezos became Time Magazine's person of the year. Today, Amazon.com is the owner of companies such as The Washington Post or Whole Foods Market, is the biggest retailer in the world by profits, surpassing Walmart, and Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world according to Forbes Magazine, with a net worth of $131 billion (Last Update: 12/04/2019)

Now, like we always do, let's jump into some of his most famous quotes, collected from Bezos' speeches, books, interviews...

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com Inc., in a Business Event




1. Your brand is what the others say about you when you are not in the room.

Personal branding has less to do with reality than with the market's perception of you. The relevant thing is not what you are but what others think about you. Each thing you say and you do ranks you in one way or another, like it or not. In fact, that image of yourself exists even when you say or you do nothing because people's minds will create an opinion about you. Everybody has a personal brand, despite the fact that they aren't always aware of it. What really matters is if you manage it or not, in other words, if other people see you the way you would like to be seen.

2. Work hard. Enjoy yourself. Make history.

It's not incompatible to work hard while having fun. In fact, when work and leisure are combined together, work and pleasure, passion and joy, then it is possible to achieve the third part of the equation: making history. Talent is always related to pleasure. Most of the people see working life as a daily heavy load (work to make a living,) and it's difficult to make a transcendent contribution to something bigger than yourself, something that makes a difference, and which especially motivates (not only you but other people too.) It's essential to work to eat, but work has to be something else.

3. It's necessary to anticipate some level of failure.

When someone is too stiff while taking decisions because of the fear of failure, they end up moving throughout unknown lands, and that's very dangerous in very competitive environments that demand permanent innovation. The pilot Mario Andretti said: "If things seem to be under control, it's because you are going too fast." Some failure is part of an entrepreneur's life. Nobody knows beforehand if something is going to work or not; it is the market, which ultimately gives the verdict, and it isn't always right. Bezos himself explained once: "We are sowing more seeds than we need because I can guarantee that everything we are doing is not going to end up well."

4. We should keep learning. If we don't do it and we accommodate ourselves with the business we have now, changes would happen without us, our knowledge would become obsolete fast and we would be in danger.

Success nowadays is easier than ever before, but it is also more ephemeral than at any other time in history. Gentrification has always been counterproductive but nowadays is even more. Therefore, whoever doesn't have a true vocation and obsession for continuous improvement would have a hard time. More important than adding value to the market, is to be able to do it in a recurring way. Because of the way most of the markets function nowadays, you have to run pretty fast for not getting stuck.

5. Amazon's vision is a world focused on the client. We are obsessed with the client.

Successful companies, companies that are strongly focused on the client. If you put yourself in your clients' shoes, you will be fine. You always have to keep a vision of service: better quality, better prices, more simplicity, better after-sales service. To do this, it's always recommended to ask ourselves two questions: what to improve and how to do it. Jeff Bezos claimed: "The essential thing in the future is going to be the customization. Our objective is to design a customized, different store for each client, according to their preferences. When you enter a traditional bookshop, the first thing you encounter is a huge catalog of bestsellers, when you had never bought a bestseller in your life. Brick-and-mortar stores are designed to cover the necessities of the mythical average consumer. The truth is that they have no other alternative. They cannot rearrange the store each time a new visitor comes. On the contrary, that's possible on the internet."

6. It's more difficult to be friendly than to be intelligent. Intelligence is a gift, friendliness is a choice.

And it's a choice that you make and which is very profitable. Being friendly opens a lot of gates. Everybody likes having friendly speakers with whom they can share projects and knowledge. Kind people transmit good vibrations and attract like a magnet the good opportunities. In a nutshell: friendliness generates projects. It's common sense: what do you prefer? to start a business journey with a closed and warm-hearted person or with a cold, distant and problematic individual?

7. You don't choose your passions, your passions choose you. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to force themselves to be passionate about something.

What you want you know it already, you just have to listen to yourself and let that to manifest. It is about "being open" and connecting with your inner self. There are lots of people who are in the wrong place for them, dissatisfied for letting themselves to be seduced by the glamour of "the socially acceptable," of what is trending, what has more cache: coaching, community manager, cool-hunter, personal shopper, and so on. If you do it, you will distance yourself from your essence, from your authenticity, and you wouldn't be able to be satisfied, even though your finances were ok. When dreams are borrowed, results can often be forecasted as bad or disastrous. Branding consultant Jan Marie Dore claimed: "Your brand refers to defining who you are in your most inner self rather than inventing a brand that you would like to be seen with."

8. Books are not dying, they are just becoming digital.

The human being is curious by nature, he has an urging necessity to learn and find solutions. We are hungry and thirsty for knowledge, and a lot of answers are in the books. Books can adopt different formats. But the essence of what is a book is unlikely to disappear. A good book is not only a book. It's not only information and data. A book is wisdom, inspiration, hope, enjoyment, company... a breath of life.

9. When you are 80 and in a specific tranquil moment of thinking, you narrate your most personal version of your biography to yourself, the most concise and significative story would be the series of decisions you had made in your life. In the end, we are what we decide.

Individual freedom always exists. Every decision, no matter how small or insignificative it seems, does add one new brick to our future. Each decision you make generates consequences in one way or another. And the total sum of all of those decisions is what shapes our future. To decide to do or not to do a call could have a large impact on our lives; to establish or not to establish a conversation with an unknown person, the same. The important thing here is that you always decide and you are always responsible, like it or not, for the decisions you make.

10. We base most of our decisions in the word of mouth. However, not in vain, the internet is a formidable resonance box.

Nowadays, on the internet exists a collective intelligence attended by many users to inform themselves. People like, first, "bragging" about good things they have tested, and second, they recommend those things to their circles of influence. They like being influencers, they like having an important impact on others' decisions. It is a way to gain recognition, and recognition is no other thing than a way of appreciation, a universal human necessity. If the service or product you offer satisfies your client, the satisfied client would go telling others about the quality of your product or service, generating this way free publicity. The word of mouth has always been one of the best marketing strategies, but, currently, thanks to the internet, it has a multiplying effect that makes it even more relevant.

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