If there’s one thing that Jeff Bezos is good at, it’s running a successful business. The founder and CEO of Amazon.com is one of the most successful businessmen in the world, and he has a lot of lessons to teach us about how to succeed in business. In this blog post, we will take a look at 14 lessons from Jeff Bezos that can help you achieve success in your own business.
It’s no secret that Jeff Bezos is one of the richest men in the world. In fact, according to Forbes, he’s currently worth an estimated 177.5 billion dollars. But it’s not just his wealth that makes him fascinating – it’s also the way he’s accumulated it. For the past 20 years, Bezos has been writing annual letters to shareholders of Amazon, and each one is crammed full of lessons on business, success, and life. Here are 14 lessons that I think are worth your time:
14 Lessons From Jeff Bezos
1 . Focus On Customers
One lesson that all businesses can learn from Jeff Bezos is the importance of focusing on your customers. Obsessing over them, in fact. Why? Because it’s only by understanding and catering to their needs that you’re able to offer true value. And, as any business knows, value is what customers are really after. By always keeping the customer in mind when making decisions, you’re more likely to make choices that lead to long-term success. So, if you want to build a business that lasts, take a page from Jeff Bezos’s book and focus on your customers.
2 . Be Afraid
When it comes to business, there’s one thing that you should always be afraid of your customers. That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s something that Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon, knows all too well. In a recent interview, he said that “the most important thing is to be obsessively customer-focused. If you’re not competitor-focused, if you’re not customer-focused, then you’re not going to be very good at either.”
What Bezos is saying is that you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. You have to constantly be evolving and innovating because if you’re not, your competition will be. And if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. So wake up every morning terrified. Terrified of what your customers might do next. And use that fear to drive you forward.
3 . Plant Seeds And Wait
Starting a new business is a bit like planting a seed. You have to choose the right time and place, make sure the conditions are right, and then have the patience to wait for it to grow. Of course, even with the best intentions, not all seeds will take root and flourish. That’s why it’s important to invest in new businesses that you expect can generate specific returns on capital and scale to a meaningful size. As Jeff Bezos once said, “If you’re going to invent something new, you have to be patient. It takes time for lessons from failure to percolate through an organization.” By following these lessons, you can give your new business the best chance of success.
4 . Think Long-term
If you want to be successful in life, you need to think in the long term. That’s a lesson, you need to learn from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. He always takes the long view, and it’s helped him build one of the most successful companies in the world. Every decision you make should be based on this principle. If you’re thinking about what’s best for your career five years down the line, you’re more likely to make decisions that will pay off in the long run. So always keep your long-term goals in mind and reflect this focus in everything you do.
5 . Think Exponentially
When it comes to thinking big, no one does it better than Jeff Bezos. In 2001, he made a now-famous prediction that Amazon would see processing power double every 18 months, and the price performance of disk space and bandwidth double every 12 and 9 months respectively. He went on to say that this would allow for 60x bandwidth per customer in 5 years, all at the same cost per customer. And you know what? He was right.
Amazon’s continued success is a testament to the power of exponential thinking. So what lessons can we take from Bezos? First, always think long-term. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, but if you want to achieve big things, you need to have a long-term vision. Second, don’t be afraid to make bold predictions. Yes, you might be wrong sometimes, but as Bezos has shown, it’s worth taking the risk if it means thinking outside the box. Finally, always be ready to adapt and change course. The world is constantly evolving, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to be flexible and adaptable.
6 . Work Long, Hard, And Smart
Working at Amazon can be a demanding experience, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. As Jeff Bezos himself has said, “You can work long, hard or smart, but at Amazon, you can’t choose two out of three.” The key to success at Amazon is to set the bar high and hire the best. Your colleagues will determine your future, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you. By working long, hard and smart, you’ll be able to achieve your goals and build a successful career at Amazon.
7 . Hiring The Best
If you want to hire the best people, there are three key questions to ask, according to lessons from Jeff Bezos. First, will you admire this person? Second, will they raise our average? And third, where can they be a superstar? By asking these questions, you can narrow down the field to find potential colleagues who will truly elevate the business. After all, your colleagues make or break the company. So it’s worth taking the time to find those who will raise the bar and help the business reach new heights. Work hard, have fun, and make history with the right team in tow.
8 . Pay To Quit
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is known for his innovative and disruptor tactics, and one of the lessons he’s taught the business world is that you want people on your team who want to be there. If someone doesn’t want to be part of the team, it’s best to let them go. With that in mind, Amazon has borrowed a page from Zappos and now offers $2,000 to colleagues to quit. The offer increases by $1,000 per year to $5,000. While this may seem like a lot of money to pay someone to leave, it’s actually a smart move by Amazon. Not only does it get rid of employees who aren’t committed to the company, but it also saves on onboarding and training costs for new hires. In the end, it’s a win-win for both Amazon and its employees.
9 . Make The Right Decisions
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is known for his motto, “Make big decisions fast.” While this may work well for him, not all business leaders operate in the same way. In fact, there are two types of decisions: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 decisions are irreversible and should be made slow, careful, deliberate, and after consultation. Type 2 decisions are reversible and can be made quickly by individuals or small groups who have high judgment. So, how do you know which type of decision to make? Here’s a lesson from Bezos: when it comes to type 1 decisions, it’s better to err on the side of caution. With type 2 decisions, you can afford to be a little more impulsive. After all, you can always change your mind if you need to.
10 . Failure Is Feedback
In today’s business world, the fear of failure is all too common. We are constantly being told that we need to be perfect, that any mistakes will be punished. However, this way of thinking is not only unrealistic, but it’s also counterproductive. As Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon has said, “Failure and invention are inseparable twins.” In other words, you cannot succeed without failing first. That’s why it’s so important to create a workplace where failure is encouraged.
At Amazon, for example, employees are encouraged to “go against convention” and be willing to be wrong. The result is a company that is constantly innovating and pushing boundaries. So if you want your business to succeed, embrace failure as an essential part of the process.
11 . Process Over Results
In business, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. After all, the bottom line is what ultimately determines whether a company is successful or not. However, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos have always been more focused on the process than the results. “I very rarely spend any time on things that are controllable,” he said in a 2016 interview. “There aren’t many of those.” Instead, Bezos prefers to focus on things like customer satisfaction and execution, which he believes will lead to long-term success. It’s a philosophy that has served Amazon well over the years, and one that other companies would do well to learn from.
12 . Cash Is King
There’s an old saying in business that “cash is king.” And it’s a lesson that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has taken to heart. In an earnings call last year, Bezos stressed the importance of always focusing on cash flow. “Your future cash flow and your future number of shares are all we need to determine the fair value of your stock,” he said. “The more you can increase future cash flow, the more you can increase tomorrow’s value.” It’s a simple message, but it’s one that all businesses would do well to remember. After all, at the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line. And there’s nothing more important than keeping cash flowing into the business.
13 . Dream Businesses
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is often cited as an example of someone who followed his dreams and achieved tremendous success. But what exactly are the characteristics of a dream business? According to Bezos, there are four key factors: customers must love it, it must have the potential to grow to a large size, it must generate strong returns on capital, and it must be able to endure for the long term. When you find a business that meets all these criteria, Bezos says, you should go all-in on it. Though not every dream business will become the next Amazon, by following Bezos’s advice, you increase your chances of achieving lasting success.
14 . Remember, It Is Always Day 1
Day 1 at Amazon is all about growth. As Jeff Bezos says, “Day 2 is stasis, followed by irrelevance, then excruciating, painful decline, and ultimately death.” To always be in Day 1 mode, simply follow all of the lessons Bezos has taught us. That means always being hungry for new opportunities, never being satisfied with the status quo, and always putting the customer first. By following these simple guidelines, we can ensure that our businesses are always moving forward. Every day is a new opportunity to grow and innovate, so let’s make the most of it!
You don’t have to be a genius like Jeff Bezos to be successful in business. However, following these 14 lessons will definitely put you on the right track. Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!