Warren Buffett Quotes for Patience, Fortitude and Reaching Success

By Last Updated: Leadership, Quotes Leave a comment
President Barack Obama meets with Warren Buffett, the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in the Oval Office, July 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Warren Buffett quotes paint him as a man who is patient with his decision-making, thorough in his evaluations and earnest in his beliefs.

Within the investing community and the world of finance, Warren Buffett’s reputation is legendary.

He’s a disciple of Benjamin Graham (The Father of Investing) and a preacher of value investing.

Warren is the type of person many investors aspire to be like and someone we can all gain wisdom from—in more areas of life than just investing.

Buffett has been a voice within the investing community for many decades, and still today his words ring true and have an inspirational quality to them.

Warren Buffett quotes and concepts are timeless

Buffett’s concepts are timeless and his approach is candid, which means people tend to take what he says to heart!

Check out a few of his most famous quotes and the wisdom contained within them.

1. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” — Warren Buffett

Simple yet motivational, just like Buffett himself.

Do the right thing when you can and try to avoid doing the wrong thing—it’s as simple as that.

If you look at your life as the sum of your good and bad decisions, it makes sense to try and net as many good ones as possible.

Extraordinary results

2. “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” — Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett quotes on leadership are extremely practical and teach us a lot about the kind of leaders we should strive to be.

If you want exceptional results from the people you manage and lead, be prepared to set an example worth following.

You should aspire to do honest things in order to achieve great things.

It’s what you do that defines you

3. “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” — Warren Buffett

Inspirational Warren Buffett quotes like this one show us the power of habits: The things we do that define us.

It’s easy to get into a groove by doing the same thing each day, but what that groove becomes a rut, it becomes harder to break.

Be aware of the things you’re prone to doing and make sure you understand the difference between a good habit and a bad one.

Don’t make easy things difficult

4. “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” — Warren Buffett

It doesn’t get much more motivational than this!

Buffett argues that not everything needs to be difficult.

In fact, most things are simple and straightforward, and we trick ourselves into making them more complicated than they need to be.

Don’t overcomplicate things and you’ll quickly learn that most of life is as hard as you make it out to be.

Warren Buffett quotes on decision making

5. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett

The best Warren Buffett quotes are the ones that illustrate Buffett’s emphasis on decision-making.

Through this quote, he’s reminding us that building something takes care and consistency—but tearing it down takes only seconds.

Be measured in your decision-making and try to do the right thing whenever possible.

It’s not about keeping up appearances—it’s about upholding the reputation you’ve worked so hard to create for yourself.

Warren Buffett quotes on success

6. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” — Warren Buffett

There are a lot of bad quotes about success out there—namely adages like “you need to spend money to make money.”

Warren Buffett quotes on success are different.

They often encourage us to approach things with skepticism, to protect us from our own impulses.

When you get comfortable with saying “no” or not giving in to poor decisions, you’ll be quick to realize success.

Never give up

7. “Never give up searching for the job that you are passionate about.” — Warren Buffett

One of the most common, inspirational themes among success quotes is finding your passion.

Buffett and countless others have found the one thing in the world that inspires and indulges them, and they’ve made a living from it.

When you consider waking up each day and doing something you enjoy, success matters less than your happiness . . . but the two often come hand-in-hand.

Buffett on happiness

8. “In the world of business, the people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.” — Warren Buffett

This—among many other Warren Buffett quotes on business—illustrates what it means to truly be successful.

It’s not about managing millions and billions in assets or being ranked as one of the richest men in the world.

It’s about being happy!

If you’re happy, success will shortly follow because when you’re doing what you love, you’re doing it to the best of your abilities.

Invest in yourself

9. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” — Warren Buffett

There are a lot of Warren Buffett quotes about investing, but few are as important as this one.

This one has nothing to do with money and everything to do with becoming a better person.

Buffett argues that who you are is more important than what you achieve, and that the two are intrinsically tied together.

Invest in yourself if you want to be great and do great things.


10. “Honesty is a very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.” — Warren Buffett

These are inspirational words anyone can live by!

Honesty is so important, but it’s often hard to find truly honest people.

It’s easy to lie or be dishonest for self-gain or to get ahead, but lying often comes with a tax.

Avoiding this tax means paying upfront in the form of honesty, and it’s a decision smart people are willing to make because they know it’ll pay dividends in the future.

Plant the seeds for tomorrow’s success

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

It takes time for things to develop.

Warren Buffett quotes like this one show that he didn’t become a billionaire overnight or even in a few years!

It takes a long time for the seeds we plant to grow into something sturdy and important.

Put in the work today and look forward to the results later down the line.

Take risks

12. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” — Warren Buffett

It is true that many people forsake risk-taking because they don’t have the stomach for it.

But Buffett is referring to knowing what you are doing vs jumping in blindly.

This inspirational quote from Buffett is meant for those people…people that prepare vs those that are unprepared.

Risk can be a product of uncertainty, but when prepared – your risk is less impactful.

When you’re certain, confident, prepared and educated on what you are diving into, there’s less risk in doing something—especially if you’re at the helm.

Start doing

13. “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” — Warren Buffett

One of Buffett’s more motivational quotes, this message is about acting, rather than talking.

Anyone can look at the sky and confidently say it’s going to rain, but only those confident enough to build an arc should be trusted.

It shows your conviction in your own prediction and the confidence you have to act on your own intuition.

This is what it means to be a leader and this is what will lead you to success.

The right role models and mentors

14. “The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes.” — Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is an icon to many.

Some might even say a hero.

This is an important thing, because as Warren Buffett quotes like this one show us, having role models and someone to look up to is important.

The people we model ourselves on are responsible for who we become.

If we become good people who are successful and honest, we’ve made the right choice in role models.

Warren Buffett on his legacy

15. “If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.” — Warren Buffett

A final, inspirational message of Buffett, this is another one focused on character.

People will remember someone who was kind and helpful as opposed to someone crass and rude.

It’s the same for anyone, regardless of your place in life—a piece of universal wisdom Buffett himself lives by.

Warren Buffett’s wisdom has not only made him one of the richest men in the world, it’s also made him an icon for others who want to maximize their wealth through the power of good decision-making.

Learn more about Warren Buffett here.

We hope you were inspired by the above Warren Buffett quotes, which are part of our entrepreneurship quotes series.

What are the best Warren Buffett quotes you know? Share them with us in the comments below to inspire others to find the same positivity you’re working toward!

Image Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

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