Achieving generational wealth has been the goal for many people. But the problem that the majority faces is how to take that first step. According to billionaire Ray Dalio, the first step to achieving that goal is you have to be honest with yourself about some of your biggest weaknesses.
. Dalio has experienced his share of success as the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. The hedge fund, which Dalio founded in his New York apartment in 1975, now manages roughly $160 billion in assets.
Dalio is a person that loves to speak his mind and often times shares great advice on his Twitter feed. In a recent tweet, Dalio shared advice from his 2018 book “Principles: Life & Work,” which highlights the billionaire’s top principles for achieving success, including how people can learn from their mistakes.
“Everyone has weaknesses and they are generally revealed in the patterns of mistakes they make,” Dalio wrote in a Twitter thread.
“The fastest path to success starts with knowing what your weaknesses are and staring hard at them,” he wrote.
“Start by writing down your mistakes and connecting the dots between them.”
Another thing Dalio suggests is that you identify write down your “one big challenge”, the weakness that stands the most in the way of you getting what you want. Then aim your focus on improving no more than three weaknesses you identified. Identifying three major weaknesses is the best way to make progress without spreading yourself to thin.
Of course, everyone has different weaknesses that require varying methods of improvement. But “the first step to tackling these impediments is getting them out into the open,” he writes.
Dalio has also been open about sharing some of his past mistakes including the moment he calls his “big failure.” In 1982, Dalio says he “bet everything on a [economic] depression that never came” and ended up losing nearly all of his money when the stock market went on a bull run, forcing him to lay off all of Bridgewater’s employees at the time.
“I went broke and had to borrow $4,000 from my dad just to pay my family bills,” the billionaire wrote in his book.
However, Dalio doesn’t look at this experience with shame and as something that was bad for him. In fact, he thinks it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to him. The mistake put him in a tough spot and he was forced to confront his weaknesses and get them out into the open.
He believes it gave him the humility he needed to balance his aggressiveness and shift [his] mindset from thinking ‘I’m right’ to asking himself ‘how do I know I’m right?’”
Dalio isn’t the only successful businessman preaching brutal honesty about your strengths and weaknesses.
Tech billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban offered similar advice to entrepreneurs looking to turn around their businesses in a 2018 interview with the Amazon Insights for Entrepreneurs series.
“You have to look at your own company and be brutally honest with yourself and say, ‘What do we do well?’ That’s great. But also be honest and say, ‘What do we not do well? Where are our challenges? And then how can we improve them?’” Cuban said at the time.
Cuban believes it’s extremely important you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business before your competitors figure them out and use them against you. You need to solve those issues as soon as possible before they come and bite you.
“What I like to tell people is, ‘when you have a company when you are an entrepreneur, you have to figure out how to kick your own a– before someone else does it for you,’” Cuban said.