When Bill Gates hosted the latest edition of his Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’, the question on everyone’s mind – besides ‘what’s your favorite beer?’ – was how this self-made billionaire become so successful. Gates responded to the question by revealing the real secret behind his success and riches.

The Credit For his Success

The co-founder of Microsoft is one of the richest and the most successful entrepreneurs in the world with a net worth of $92.1 billion – so when he hosted his 6th ever ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Reddit, he was bound to get questions about how he became so rich and successful. Surprisingly, Bill Gates credited his success to good education and the support of his teachers and parents in helping him find his passion in technology and entrepreneurship.

According to Gates, his success had almost nothing to do with his family’s income, instead, it was the education he received which played the most crucial role in building the huge tech empire he has today.

The question asked by the Reddit user was framed in a unique way: Had Bill Gates come from a poor family, would he still reach the same heights of success as he has today? The Microsoft co-founder explained that he had been enrolled in public schools till 6th grade, after which he joined a good private institution.

If he hadn’t received the timely exposure to computer science and mathematics in school, things would have turned out differently for the billionaire.

Giving Other Children Opportunity for Good Education

Of course, it matters that Bill Gates came from a well-off family and grew up under the wings of a prominent lawyer. Had he come from a low-income family, his parents would have never been able to enroll him in a private school. The entrepreneur was only 13 when he joined one of the best private educational institutions in the country called Lakeside School.

After graduating from high school, Gates went to Harvard and within two years of his college career, he had stumbled upon a brilliant idea for starting his own software company. Gates dropped out of college in sophomore year to pursue his billion-dollar idea, and his decision has paid off in a big way today.

Now, Bill and Melinda Gates have made it their mission to give children from low-income families, access to quality education. Their foundation pledged almost $2 billion dollars last year only to prioritize educational reforms in developing countries. Gates, who had dedicated most of his life to Microsoft, says that he has achieved the highest level of success in his business and now its time to focus on improving other areas of life such as dedicating more time to his children and the Foundation.

Passion for Programming 

Bill Gates in 1995

The charitable CEO of Microsoft said that he remembers three specific phases in his life when he felt truly successful: his teenage years, his 20s and his 30s. In high school, Gates was one of the brightest students who worked hard and achieved good grades, but it wasn’t until his 20s when he became exceptionally great at coding.

The tech obsession crept over the billionaire when he was only 13 and he spent a majority of his free time learning the basics of programming and machine learning. By the time he was 16, Gates already had a job as a programmer at a TRW. Having most of the knowledge that he required for college, Gates skipped his senior year in high school and enrolled in Harvard for two years.

Bill and Melinda Gates 

Programming was the only skill that Gates had complete confidence in. In college, he partnered up with friend Paul Allen to pioneer a programming language for Altair, the first commercial computer in the history. Impressed by the duo’s work, Altair offered Gates and Allen a position in the company. The two later became the founders of Microsoft. Gates was only 26 years old when he became a millionaire, and by the time he turned 31, his millions had multiplied into billions.

When asked by a Reddit user how he defined success, Gates responded that as long as he felt loved by the people around him and felt that he was making a difference in other people’s lives, he considered himself successful.

Do you think education is more important than passion in making an individual successful?

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