Never confuse success with achievement. Achievement is earned. Success is merely the convergence of favorable circumstances.
I have never met either Donald Trump or Warren Buffett personally. I have, however, met their public personae; and I think those are worth a few paragraphs of comparison for any aspiring entrepreneur in the process of tuning up a vision that is worth a few years of total dedication.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about "the Donald." Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American business magnate, socialite, author and television personality.
And here's their reference to Warren Buffett. Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American investor, industrialist, and philanthropist.
The difference is clearly evident to even the most casual reader. And I think it's safe to say that very few of us would recognize Warren Buffett if we met him on the street.
Interestingly enough, both men had businessmen for fathers. And both attended the Wharton School. Trump flamboyantly parlayed his $200 million share of his father's fortune into much larger holdings. By contrast, Buffett acquired his own investment "grub stake" from a variety of personal entrepreneurial ventures before he finished college, and turned it into one of the world's largest fortunes.
Trump has made a respectable number of public donations to charities of various sorts. Buffett has publicly announced that he will leave essentially all of his wealth to charity, and began by making the largest single donation in history, giving over $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Here's a characteristic quote from Buffett.
“My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well... I’ve worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate’s distribution of long straws is wildly capricious.”
Here's a characteristic quote from Trump.
Why do I make this comparison? In earlier posts I have asserted that it is worthwhile to examine all proposed actions according to some set of "noble principles." I will repeat my starter set here, for those of you who missed it the first time.
- The fundamental importance of honesty, integrity, and responsibility;
- The inherent worth and dignity of every single person;
- The importance of justice, equity, and compassion in all relationships;
- The enlightening power of a continuing, free, and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right and the responsibility of each individual to act in good conscience in moderating behaviors, both personal and corporate;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence upon which we all depend for survival.
I would also suggest that it is likewise worthwhile to temper reasonable "me-first" motivating factors with powerful "others-first," capital-M, Meaning, what Michael Ray calls our "highest goal." According to Guy Kawasaki
"...making meaning is the most powerful motivator there is."
What do you think?