Warren Buffett Offers Advice To Millennial Women

Image via Business Wire

Warren Buffett is now playing mentor to Millennial women through a platform known as Levo League, a social media startup offering career-oriented content, as well as videos, a job board and even a fashion gallery meant to empower Millennials in their occupational pursuits.

We need to be supportive and celebrate all of our successes. We get to the top by working together, not against each other,” said Levo League’s founder Caroline Ghosn. “Our members have taught us that it is the first step in democratizing mentorship, and making it available to everyone from everywhere.

Buffett, who claims part of his success can be attributed to only having competed against half the population, kicked off the mentorship yesterday with a live chat streamed on Forbes.com and LevoLeague.com in which he answered audience-submitted questions and discussed methods of starting a successful career.

The live chat and mentorship are only part of Buffett’s new objective to empower American women in the business world. He recently wrote an essay in which he explained why women are key to America’s future: “America has forged this success while utilizing, in large part, only half of the country’s talent. For most of our history, women — whatever their abilities — have been relegated to the sidelines. Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem.

In the video chat, Buffett explained told women to “stop holding yourself back,” and offered personal anecdotes, such as how he overcame his fear of public speaking. While answering a variety of questions, he offered some gems of advice, including:

  • Find your passion – “Never give up searching for the job that you’re passionate about,” he says. “Try to find the job you’d have if you were independently rich. … Forget about the pay. When you’re associating with the people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn’t get any better than that.
  • Be choosy with your role models – “If you tell me who your heroes are, I’ll tell you how you’re gonna turn out. It’s really important in life to have the right heroes. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve probably had a dozen or so major heroes. And none of them have ever let me down. You want to hang around with people that are better than you are. You will move in the direction of the crowd that you associate with.”
  • Learn to effectively say “no.” – “You won’t keep control of your time, unless you can say ‘no.’ You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.
  • Don’t work for an employer that doesn’t pay fairly – “I do very little negotiation with people. And they do little with me, in terms of it … if I was a woman and I thought I was getting paid considerably less than somebody else that was equal coming in, that would bother me a lot. I probably wouldn’t even want to work there.  I mean, [if] somebody’s gonna be unfair with you, in salary, they’re probably being unfair with you in a hundred other ways.
  • Learn as much as you can about your business – “I knew a lot about what I did when I was 20. I had read a lot, and I aspired to learn everything I could about the subject.”
  • Get involved with growing businesses – “I mean, you want to get on a train that’s going to go 90 miles an hour and not one that’s gonna go 30 miles an hour and you’re gonna try to figure out how to, you know, push it along a little faster. So it really does make a huge difference. And there are some businesses that inherently [have] far more opportunities than others.”
  • Find male mentors because that’s who the majority of the leaders are – “These [mentoring] relationships all just evolve. I never set out to become a mentor … It’s amazing … how the person that really wants to do a terrific job just jumps out. There aren’t that many. You will be perceived as exceptional and as a worthy person for a superior to spend some extra time with if you just do something extra all the time. It seems elementary, but it’s true.
  • Study people and learn their good habits – “Pick the person that has the right habits, that is cheerful, generous, gives other people credit for what they do. Look at all of the qualities that you admire in other people … and say to yourself, ‘Which of those qualities can’t I have myself?’ Because you determine whether you have them. And the truth is you can have all of them.