It's not every day you get treated to a master class in life and business from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Excited chatter filled the halls of Columbia University's Lerner Auditorium this past Friday afternoon, as students eagerly waited to have their questions answered by the two renowned billionaire businessmen.
Moderated by Charlie Rose of PBS's The Week, the duo shared their life experiences, thoughts on philanthropy and politics, and how they manage their empires.
In case you missed the Facebook Live broadcast, here are the top seven tips Gates and Buffett had to offer today's aspiring young entrepreneurs.
1. Let your curiosity lead you.
According to Buffett, one thing he and Gates connected on was a sense of wanting to learn more about the world.
For Buffett, that curiosity was fulfilled through reading books about investment. "I was at the library here at Columbia; that changed my whole life," he said. "You can learn so much."
Gates agreed, emphasizing the importance of reading and learning. "You try and predict what's going to happen, then when it doesn't, you think: What is it about my model of the world that's wrong?"
2. Pay it forward.
"I was so amazed how he comes to investing with this broad model of the world," Gates said, complimenting Buffett's humility and sense of humor. "He enjoys what he does and shares that with other people."
3. Don't let failure derail you.
Life can be a roller coaster, which is a metaphor both Buffett and Gates know all too well. If Gates had stopped after one of his first ventures, Traf-O-Data, went down the tube, he would never have co-founded Microsoft.
4. Follow your bliss.
Buffett also stressed the need to find a job that compliments your passions. "I always advise students to look for the job that you would take if you didn't need a job," he said. "Don't give up until you find it."
5. Invest in your fears.
When Buffett attended Columbia Business School, he was "petrified" to speak in public. Instead of refusing to speak, he decided to develop the skill he most lacked.
"I read an ad [for a public-speaking class] in the New York Times and I signed up for a course," Buffett said. "I gave the guy $100 in cash. It changed my life."
6. Luck matters, but only to a point.
Maybe Gates wouldn't have created Microsoft if a computer hadn't been brought into his high school. Going down memory lane, Gates noted that his passion and the introduction of the computer chip happened to coincide perfectly.
But Gates depended on more than just luck. Strategic planning also helped him stay "risk-averse" when running Microsoft. "I always made sure we had enough money to pay everybody for at least a year," he said, adding that he felt a little out of place as a 20-year-old CEO.
As for Buffett, he shared that he was "wired" for investing ever since he was 7- or 8-years old, and that having the right temperament allowed him to think for himself.
7. Let your relationships help you.
Both Buffett and Gates reminded the audience about the importance of maintaining good relationships--particularly with people you admire. "You'll move in the direction of the people you associate with," Buffett said. "You want to associate with people you'd like to be."
Gates couldn't agree more, as he gushed about his wife, Melinda, and her work for the Gates Foundation. "You're always there to help them, and vice versa."