When my friend Andrew incorporated the phrase “Invest Like Buffett” into his online presence, I couldn’t resist from sending him a tongue-in-cheek email that asked:
“Warren or Jimmy?”
“Warren, of course,” replied Andrew, a teacher based in Singapore and the author of Millionaire Teacher, which ranks in the Top 10 among Amazon’s bestselling investment books.
Then he told me the most awesome Warren Buffett story I’ve ever heard.
Considering You’re The Only Person I Know in Omaha …
You see, Andrew has been investing in stocks for a long time. He made his first million by age 38, despite earning a schoolteacher’s salary.
His wealth comes from a combination of frugality and investing acumen. Andrew rode his bicycle to work and invested the would-be gasoline money.
So in 2006, when he decided to fly to Omaha, Nebraska for Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting – well, his frugal sensibilities just couldn’t stomach the inflated hotel prices.
Knowing that Warren Buffett and his business partner, Charlie Munger, are also famously frugal, he sent them a postcard asking if he could crash at their home.
“… Considering you two are the only people I ‘sort of’ know in Omaha, I was wondering if I could stay in one of your living rooms or garages,” he wrote.
Buffett forwarded the postcard to the Wall St. Journal, which ran the story. So did CNBC and Channel News Asia, a major television station in Singapore.
Then Buffett and Munger met Andrew in Omaha.
“I brought him a T-shirt (that says) ‘Coca Cola’ in Thai,” Andrew told me. “And I brought Charlie Munger one of those T-shirts suggesting that ‘Singapore is a fine city’ because there’s a fine for everything.”
Who knew asking to sleep in Buffett’s garage could lead to such an adventure?
“The cool thing is that when I write to Warren Buffett, which I do from time to time, I get a response back,” Andrew told me.
Isn’t it crazy how taking a risk – even when the outcome is rejection – can change your life?
What Happens If They Say Yes?
Here’s another one of my favorite stories about a guy who took a chance, despite near-certain rejection.
Jia Jiang, a 31-year-old based in Austin, Texas, has always battled his fear of failure. He decided to undertake a personal challenge called 100 Days of Rejection Therapy.
For 100 days, Jia decided, he’ll make one absurd, off-the-wall request per day. He asked the manager at CostCo if he could speak over the intercom. He asked a FedEx worker if he could ship a package to Santa. He knocked on a stranger’s door and asked if he could play soccer in the guy’s backyard.
“My goal is to desensitize myself from the pain of rejection and overcome my fear,” he wrote on his blog.
But something happened that he never expected. Someone said yes.
About a week ago, Jia walked into a Krispy Kreme and asked the woman behind the counter, Jackie, to make him five doughnuts linked together in the shape and colors of the Olympic symbol.
Oh, and the order had to be ready within 15 minutes.
“I was honestly just hoping for a ‘no’ and to go home,” Jia wrote. But Jackie from Krispy Kreme whipped out an Olympic doughnut creation in 15 minutes. Then she gave it to Jia for free.
“I have already failed (at my quest to be rejected),” Jia wrote, “but I did so with such amazement and happiness.”
Thanks to Aaron Friedman for today’s photo.