5 Most Influential Men and What They Teach Us

The wise used to say ‘those who can, do; those who can’t teach.’ But then, there’s a few great leaders who had taught us a whole lot of things with what they do that success seems to be a part of their DNA as they make it to the top.  Sit back, relax and enjoy as you take inspiration from these influential figures who have become a modern-day legend in a class of their own:

1. Warren Buffet: At the age of 84, is not only one of the most successful businessmen but one of the most powerful men alive. Being a highly successful investor and businessman, the man’s current worth is approximately, $66.1 billion.

Did You Know?  

Warren Buffett KU Visit.jpg
 "Warren Buffett KU Visit" by Mark Hirschey - Work of Mark Hirschey. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Even Buffet did not start big. He started by purchasing bottles of Coca Cola from his grandpa’s grocery store for twenty-five cents each and made a profit by reselling them for a nickel each. Sounds easy and doable for anyone, right? But you know when he did this? He carried out this simple process at the tender age of six! And today, his company, Berkshire Hathaway, is Coca Cola’s largest shareholder. The big lesson here is that it is never too soon to start and no idea is too small. If you have a plan, see it all the way through. There is nothing to lose. Even if you fail, you can learn from your mistakes and move on to try something bigger and better. Like they say, ‘dream big, act small, start now!’

Buffet was eleven when he first purchased preferred shares of Cities Service, at $38 each. He bought them for himself and his sister, Doris, but soon afterwards, their price fell to $27 per share. Buffet was nervous and when the share prices bounced back up to $40, he sold them. He made a small profit and assumed it was a wise move until soon later when the Cities Service share prices boosted up to $200. Buffet later admitted that this early incident taught him the importance of patience, which is a fundamental tool for investors. So, if you make a blunder, take the hit, learn from it and remember never to repeat the same mistake again.

2. Mark Zuckerberg: One of the youngest, most successful philanthropists, entrepreneurs and the founder of our beloved Facebook. There isn’t one thing I can tell you about this celebrated personality which you shouldn’t already know. Yes, he is that popular. Merely at the age of 30, Zuckerberg is one of the richest men on earth, with a net worth of, approximately, $32.1 billion.

Did You Know?

Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 018 v1.jpg
"Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 018 v1" by Guillaume Paumier - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

We all know Facebook, but how many of us know about ‘Zucknet’? This was Zuckerberg’s invention at the age of 12; it was a messaging program he developed using Atari BASIC. This program was used in his home and at his father’s office for more convenient communication. So, is it really a surprise that this boy grew up to create the largest social network for communicating around the world? Early in life, Zuckerberg found his passion for computers, but most of us might struggle to find ours. However, once we do, it is up to us to pursue it because chances are higher for us to succeed in the area we love than in an area which we forcefully adopt to because it is more convenient or offers an easier route. So friends, follow your passion, it will not let your down.

3. Bill Gates: Working alongside Paul Allen, he founded the world’s most popular and successful business software. Bill Gates and Paul Allen had a shaky start with Microsoft, but that is not what we remember today. With a net worth equal to around $78.9 billion, we recall him as the richest man alive.

Did You Know?

Bill Gates July 2014.jpg
 "Bill Gates July 2014" by DFID - UK Department for International Development - 
Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The bigger you grow, the greater will be the intensity of the complications you have to face. Gates had that too. A lawsuit was filed against Microsoft by the US Department of Justice for being a monopolist who dominated the software market. But the company and Gates fought the suits and eventually all allegations were dropped, leaving the company’s reputation unharmed. So, as long as you are on an honest path, have the courage to fight for what you believe in.

Bill Gates stated, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Success can be ugly when taken for granted; it can prevent us from continuous self-improvement. Like our computer software requires upgrading often, so does our intellectual ability. Why? Both of them have the same reason, competition. If you want to stand out, you need to prove your worth, not once, not twice but constantly, at every opportunity you can find.

 4. Steve Jobs: This list could not be complete without mentioning the legend in the tech sphere. The man passed away on October 5, 2011 but he left back his irreplaceable inventions which have become a crucial part of many of our lives today. At the age of 21, Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers.

Did You Know?

Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP.jpg
 "Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP" by Matthew Yohe (talk)
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Apple II had grabbed the market quite strongly and was earning massive revenues for the company. However, soon afterwards, some products seemed to show certain design flaws and the market was seized by IBM. As a result to this, Jobs was forced to resign from the company. While some people would consider it devastating to have to quit the company they cofounded, Jobs took this as an opportunity and moved on to establish a new enterprise called NeXT, Inc. Jobs also went on to purchase an animation company which we know as Pixar Animations Studio today. This investment brought Jobs wondrous results as Pixar flourished and merged with Disney – leading to Jobs’ turning into Disney’s largest shareholder. Apple eventually bought NeXT and Jobs redeemed his position in the company as CEO. And the rest, as you know, is history. The most significant learning here is to look for hidden opportunities even in the worst of situations instead of losing hope or maintaining a negative outlook.

5. Stephen Hawking: The proud author of books like The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time is no short of an inspiration for the whole planet. Even to date, Hawking is considered one of the most brilliant scientific minds in the history of the world. Hawking showed very little interest in school but eventually ended up in the University of Cambridge for his Ph.D. Very soon after that, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which basically meant his nerves were shutting down.

Did You Know?

Stephen Hawking.StarChild.jpg
 "Stephen Hawking.StarChild" by NASA - Original. Source (StarChild Learning Center). Directory listing.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The doctors predicted Hawking’s lifespan to be around two and a half years, however, as we all know, Stephen Hawking continues to spread his brilliance even today. We often tend to give excuses for things we couldn’t accomplish, but it is important to overlook the problems and focus on the solution. Hawking continued his research on cosmology long after he lost complete control over his body. Most of us will deem it impossible to imagine. So, if you think about it, your determination is all that matters in achieving your goals. No obstacle is big enough for those who have unshakable confidence.


There goes our top five list.  Who inspires you?


Also Read:  Up Close With Author and Ironman Poker Record Holder Damon Shulenberger

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