Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Mark Zuckerberg Asked Bill and Melinda Gates and Lin-Manuel Miranda What Advice They'd Give Their Younger Selves 'Asking for a friend.'

By Nina Zipkin

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Who among us wouldn't want Bill and Melinda Gates or Lin-Manuel Miranda as mentors?

This week, the trio headlined a talk at New York's Hunter College to, as Melinda Gates described it on her Facebook page, have "a conversation about why we think the world is getting better."

The event was streamed on Facebook, and at one point, a commenter by the name of Mark Zuckerberg chimed in with the question.

Related: How Billionaire Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates Settle Disagreements

"If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Asking for a friend," the Facebook co-founder and CEO said.

The Gateses and Miranda were happy to oblige.

"Trust yourself. You probably know more than you think you do," Melinda advised, noting that trust extends to believing that you can learn anything.

Bill's advice was also from the vantage point of learning new things.

Related: 12 Inspiring Tweets From 'Hamilton' Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda

"I was so naive about different skill sets. I thought if somebody had a high IQ, they could be good at everything. And the idea that you needed to blend these different types of skills together, that always continued to surprise me," Bill shared. "There was this simple idea of smartness and it could go and solve everything -- I wish I had known better than to think that."

And Miranda said he would tell his teenage self to be a little kinder to himself.

"If I could look at high school me and just say, 'it is not that deep,'" he said. "Everything feels like the biggest deal in the world at all times, particularly socially. There is a day when it feels like everybody hates you and it feels like the world is going to end that day." But he said to remember that the stakes are not nearly that high and to think about things with a longer perspective.

What advice would you give your younger self? Let us know in the comments.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


Gift Business Travel Stories with Autio for $150 Through Memorial Day

This platform features more than 23,000 location-based audio stories, which make for great travel content.

Business News

Apple iPhone 7 Users May Be Owed a Slice of a $35 Million Settlement — Here's How to Claim Your Share

Previous (and current, no judgment) iPhone 7 users may be entitled to up to $349. The deadline to file a claim is June 3.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

OneAir Elite uses AI to search the web around the clock for flight deals.