By a more than $10 billion margin, Bill Gates sits alone at the top of the list of the world's billionaires. Currently the head of the world's largest charitable organization - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - saving lives in the developing world and working to revamp the American educational system. Born in Seattle, Washington on October 28th, 1955 and currently worth a whopping $86.9 billion (as of April 2017). Gates would co-found Microsoft in 1975 and go on to be a lead pioneer of the computer revolution, overseeing every line of that early code and even writing much of it himself. He's been on the world's wealthiest list since '87, and at this point he's got so much cash, he's flying over the world working with other billionaires to get them to give almost half of it away or invest in world improving causes. So what wise word's can the man with fattest purse impart on us? Though not known for being the most loquacious type, when Mr. Gates speaks, he doesn't waste his words. Here's 7 quotes from the man himself.
"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."
This first pair of quotes speaks volumes. Robert Greene, in his 48 Laws of Power, warns of the dangers of success, and how it affects the mind at times. Winning is great, and Learning from other people's mistakes saves time, but nothing gets your game sharper than falling on your ass. Don't let past successes go to your head. Experience is the best teacher.
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."
According to Napoleon Hill great leadership can broken down to these 11 attributes: Courage, Self-Control, Keen Sense of Justice, Definiteness of Decision, Definiteness of Plans, The Habit of Doing More than Paid For, A Pleasing Personality, Sympathy & Understanding, Attention to Detail, Willingness to Assume Full Responsibility, and Co-Operation. It's all about how you make others feel, and do you make your team better for your being on it? Do you elevate your locker room or tear it asunder?
"Life is not fair; get used to it."
Pretty self explanatory, but understanding that it's unfair for all of us, that some times things just suck, helps us reshape our perspective. Reshaping perspectives - or shifting paradigms - gives you power over the circumstances, instead of the circumstances having power over you.
"I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act."
Confidence is a product of competence. Inaction is fueled by a lack of knowledge. When people know what to do and how to act in a given situation, they're more likely to take quick decisive action.
"We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction."
Wow, I had to chew on this one for awhile. Looming problems seem worse than they really are. Taking time to establish a bird's eye view helps you see the bigger picture and not let your imagination blow things out of proportion. At the same time "objects in the mirror are closer than they appear." The winds of change that are the future creep up on us quickly. Keep a vigilant eye, light feet, and a flexible mind ready to adapt.
"We make the future sustainable when we invest in the poor, not when we insist on their suffering."
This statement rings true particularly in today's turbulent times. We're only as strong as our weakest link and the more we build each other up, the higher we can all stand.
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.