From inventors to investors, these words of wisdom from 10 of the world’s wealthiest are sure to guide, inspire and drive you toward your next goal.

I love collecting and sharing great quotes. It’s amazing how someone’s words of wisdom can stick with you over the years and cut to the heart of the human experience in a way that’s relatable and true.

Since everyone’s trying to figure out how to make more money in today’s tough market, I thought it would be good to take a look at the truths shared by super-successful, wildly wealthy people. It’s, perhaps, no surprise that they had a lot of great perspectives to share. 

Looking at all of these, I identified three things that I took away from their advice. I hope you’ll share your favorite takeaways in the comments as well. 

  • It pays to keep your eye on the future. No matter how much experience they had or how much success, many of these exceptionally wealthy folks were still excited about something, enthusiastic about something, and looking forward to the future.
  • Even if you’re wealthy, don’t take anything for granted. You may think that if you had more money, you’d stop worrying about your spending. That might be why you’re not a billionaire (yet). Many of these folks, even those who had inherited much of their wealth, kept their eye firmly on the bottom line.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all formula for success. Many of the quotes talked about the importance of individual vision and personal paths to success. You don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else. If you’re coming from a place of authenticity, you can forge your own path and find your own way.

I hope you’ll find a quote or two here that helps you solve a problem, take the next step, plan for the future, or just feel more inspired today.

1. Warren Buffett

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

So much of building a business is about doing the work today so that it can pay off in the future. Whether you’re generating leads, keeping in touch with your sphere of influence, or continuing your education in preparation for a new niche or market shift, you may not see the positive results for years.

Beyond that, you may never really fully understand your impact on the agents who work for you, the people you mentor, and the people who consume your content. Do the work without waiting for the reward, because it might only be fully appreciated by posterity.

2. Alice Walton

“Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find a competitive advantage.”

It makes sense that one of the heads of a company that’s all about low prices would be focused on the bottom line, but the advice is solid. Too many people run their businesses on a feast or famine cycle where they enjoy the good times, then pinch pennies (and pray) during the down times. 

Controlling expenses all the time is the way to stay on a solid footing no matter what the market brings. That’s a lesson many people are learning during today’s tough locked-in market.

3. Elon Musk

“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”

We’ve all seen people with that deer-in-the-headlights look who just don’t know how to change, even when what they’re doing isn’t working. It can come at the beginning of a real estate career when the job isn’t what they thought it would be before they got in there. It can come to veteran agents when the market or technology changes too much to keep up.

Being able to not just tolerate but “embrace” change is essential. The world is changing fast, so we have to be not just willing to change but eager to change. If you find yourself getting too complacent or too comfortable, figure out a way to shake yourself up so that you can stay loose and ready to change as needed.

4. Jeff Bezos

“Be stubborn on vision, but flexible on details.”

I love this quote because it really sums up the difference between the long-term goal-setting part of business and the nitty-gritty operational stuff that can be so difficult to navigate. Many of us have a vision for our businesses or our lives (the what), but the problem comes in when we get stuck on the timeline (when), process (how) and egos (who) involved.

Casting a vision for the people who work for and with you, while giving away enough of the ownership of that vision to leverage their time and effort, is the key to getting anything extraordinary done.

5. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

“Value your time by putting a price tag on it.”

Everything will change for you when you start to think about that old saying, “Time is money,” as a reality. How much could you be making in the hours you’re spending doom-scrolling on social media or participating in other time-sucking activities?

This is also a good argument for not trying to do everything in your business. Can you hire a freelancer for $20 an hour to do something you’re currently doing? If so, pay that money and use that time on something that only you can do to generate, nurture and convert leads.

6. Bill Gates

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

We’ve all known people who think they’ve done it all and seen it all without realizing how out-of-touch they’ve become. We all know people who think that they got where they are because they were better and smarter than everyone else when, in reality, they were luckier and better connected.

Self-awareness is essential, even when you’re a proven commodity. Never stop looking at yourself honestly and staying aware of what you don’t know. It will keep you from making costly errors down the road.

7. Mark Zuckerberg

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.”

Have you ever tried to convince someone that you know better than they do about themselves? It doesn’t work. Ultimately, everyone has their own point of view, and it’s virtually impossible to change their deeply held beliefs.

Tap into the hopes, fears, desires and pain points of your target client and find a way to help them do what they already want to do. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble, and you’ll create a group of raving fans who are grateful instead of resistant.

8. Abigail Johnson

“Lots of people will give you advice … and depending upon how well they know you, the advice might be valid or not so valid.”

Cookie-cutter advice — whether personal or professional, real estate-related or business ops — doesn’t really work. Ultimately, what worked for someone else might not work for you, and that doesn’t make either of you wrong. Just different.

Don’t judge yourself too harshly if some piece of advice doesn’t seem to be working for you, even after your best efforts. Don’t feel like a failure if the coach everyone raves about is a bad fit for you. Take into account who you are and what works for you, then look for resources to help you flourish in your own unique way.

9. Michael Bloomberg

“I think if you look at people, whether in business or government, who haven’t had any moral compass, who’ve just changed to say whatever they thought the popular thing was, in the end they’re losers.”

Having a compass that guides you and a destination you’re navigating toward keeps you on track — even when times are tough, even when conditions change, and even when you’re faced with challenges. While many of us are people pleasers, we should still have a core that allows us to maintain a sense of our personal identity and beliefs.

Staying true to yourself allows you to find the people you vibe with, whether they’re colleagues, clients, or friends. You’ll work better with others and be more successful when you’re authentic and guided by ideals that are near and dear to your heart.

10. Richard Branson

“Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.”

Ultimately, this is what it comes down to. If you’ve stopped having fun, or if real estate has never really been fun, it may be time to re-think it as a career. A lot of people got in over the last couple of years because they thought it would be easy money; now that it’s gotten more difficult to do well, a lot of them are finding out that it’s not really fun for them anymore.

I hope you’re doing well, making deals, and, most of all, having fun in your real estate career. Real estate encompasses a huge array of opportunities. Find one that works for you — and put these words of wisdom from some of the richest people in the world to work for you as well.