Ten years ago, I wrote to Microsoft and asked for an interview with Bill Gates. They sent me a rejection letter that said, “Bill really appreciates your interest in his perspectives on what it takes to succeed, but he regretfully must decline.” It was such a nice letter, I wasn’t even discouraged. I thought, “I’ll just keep doing my research and maybe some day I’ll get to talk to Bill.”
Well, that day was today. At the TED conference, I walked around a corner and stumbled into Bill Gates. I went up to him and introduced myself, we chatted for a while, and I told him about our 8 To Be Great Educational Program for colleges.
Then I said, “Would you like a copy of my book, 8 To Be Great?” But, as the words came out, I noticed he had no briefcase or bag to carry a book. So, what did I do? I stupidly tried to talk one of the world’s most influential people out of taking my book! I said, “Well, maybe it’s too hard for you to carry.” Bill said, “How big is it?” I said, “It’s small,” and dug into my backpack for a book. He took it, looked at it, and said, “Thank you! I’ll read it.” And he was very sincere.
A few hours later, a man came up to me and said, “I just saw Bill Gates, and he was carrying your book under his arm.” Needless to say, it made my day. But not because it’s “my” book. Because it might help get the content out to more young people who are struggling, and give them a boost in life.