The Strangest Thing Happened to Me at Jimmy John's
Warren Buffett's 10 Ways to Get Rich

There I was at Jimmy John's with my granddaughter, and we invited her mother and my daughter to have lunch with us. However, I don't usually frequent restaurants due to my hearing problem. I fell off a ladder nearly a decade ago resulting in a subdural hematoma or what is commonly called traumatic brain injury. My surgeon told my family that I had a 50/50 chance of making it through the surgery and said nothing about how I would be if I did make it through the operation.  Well, surprise! I did make it with only one problem; my hearing has been adversely affected. I hear quite well one on one, but, out in public places, my hearing is severely impaired.

We ordered and began chatting until I finally said to my granddaughter and daughter that I'd let them discuss things, since I could hear enough to add anything to the conversation other than, "What did you say." As they chatted, I looked around. What was the first thing that I saw on the wall across from me?

I noticed a life-size framed poster entitled Warren Buffett's 10 Rules. Therefore, as my daughter and granddaughter ate and talked about things important to them, I went over to read Buffett's 10 Rules. He is often called the Oracle of Omaha, and the name is a good description of him. He had some very interesting guidelines if we wish to be rich or just well-informed people. Since Buffett is arguably the richest person in the world, I thought that I could learn something since I am not rich.

Description: Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Besides, Buffett and I have something in common. We both went through prostate cancer. We both went through two months of daily radiation, which took place within a year of each other. He has been cancer free for over four years and I have been cancer free for over five years.

Here are Buffett's rules:

  1. Reinvest Your Profits. Buffett started investing and reinvesting his profits in high school. He started with buying a pinball machine and now has $ 63.3 billion according to Forbes. That was done by reinvesting his profits.

  2. Be Willing to Be Different. Buffett was willing to run counter to what others thought would be good investment. He has routinely beaten the market average, since market averages were averages. He thought through investments and picked stocks that were underrated. As a result, he won rather than following others.

  3. Never Suck Your Thumb. Buffett's advice to investors and generally to people at large is to research your investment opinions and establish a deadline. Then act. He said that just sitting around mulling over things is like "thumb sucking," which he is against.

  4. Spell Out the Deal Before You Start. Buffett supplied investors and all the rest of us a truism.  Decide on a deal before starting. He gave a humorous example about when he was a young boy. There had been a blizzard and his grandfather told Buffett and his friend to shovel out the family-owned grocery. Both the young boys worked for five hours in the freezing weather doing what his grandfather wanted. However, the grandfather gave them less than a dollar, which they were to divide between them.

  5. Watch Small Expenses. Buffett also suggested not to waste money. If you do, the wasted money will come out of the wasteful spender's checkbook.

  6. Limit What You Borrow. Buffett tells all people to avoid borrowing a lot of money no matter what reason for the loan. Avoid the economic chaos created by overextending oneself. If you do as he directs, people will have money to invest rather than making interest payments.

  7. Be Persistent. Buffet wants investors to be persistent in all that they do. Don't give in or give up. The only way to move from underdog to the top dog is to keep pushing.

  8. Know When to Quit. Buffett learned early in life to get out of any investment situation that wasn't working. Basically, Buffett understood Kenny Roger's The Gambler:

    You've got to know when to hold 'em
    Know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away
    And know when to run

  9. Assess the Risk. Buffett wants us to determine the best and worst case scenarios when investing on doing anything. Determine the probable outcomes to your choices...then decide. Essentially, think before you act.

  10. Know What Success Really Means. Buffett, the richest man in the world, knows that money is not the guarantor of being successful. "I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. When you get to my age, you'll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you, actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you've lived your life."

What Buffett believes, especially with his last rule, is something that Randy Pausch said having danced with death. Live and enjoy life. Love your friends and family.  Take care of those who need you and can benefit from your help. Simply amassing money doesn't put meaning in life. "The key question to keep asking is, are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have." Buffett understands that.

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

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Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

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