Being a Buffett


“You’re Warren Buffett’s son? But you seem so normal!”

In addition to being an oft-heard remark for author Peter Buffett, the above statement marks the first chapter of his book, Life Is What You Make It, a well thought-out compilation of anecdotes and advice for the self-reflective reader. Despite growing up as the son of one of the world’s most legendary investors, Peter Buffett – both in person and in print – proves that he has remained grounded.

“I never set out to write [a book] – it just sort of organically came out of the fact that really, as I got older and had my own career to look back on and my dad simultaneously got more well known for how successful he’d been … it just sort of all came together and made sense to write about, I guess, why I was so normal,” Buffett revealed, when asked about his transition from music to literature.

In addition to his career as a recognized composer and producer, Buffett is no stranger to sharing his stories with others.  Before penning Life Is What You Make It, Buffett spent time talking to wealthy individuals about how to successfully raise their children and also began a show series called “Concert and Conversation.” Buffett credits this concert series as one of the major impetuses behind his decision to author a book, as well as potential inspiration for future written works.

“I’m doing these ‘Concert and Conversation’ shows all around the country and even the world and I think by next year I’ll have a lot of stories and a lot of feedback on what people are thinking and doing … and that could very well make up a second book … I think it will be almost like a practical guide to how to do the things that the book talks about,” Buffett said.

While a second book may be in the works, Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment stands alone as a successful, thought-provoking and enjoyable read. The book focuses on the journey to finding a sense of individual completion and satisfaction, with Buffett offering his own stories of his transition into the music industry. Although Life Is What You Make It is particularly suited to college-aged students deciding what they want to do with their lives, Buffett’s own college journey was cut short when he left Stanford to pursue his music career.

“It’s a little tricky having college kids read the book, realizing that I left college,” Buffett said, laughing. He was quick to emphasize the importance of a diverse education, however, not only for those who are sure of their path in life, but also for those individuals who may be confused about their passions. Buffett further stressed the value of the “intangible” skills that college teaches young adults, including social skills.

“If I really thought about it, I wish I would have stayed through [the whole college experience] for some of the intangible reasons, but I also got a jumpstart on my career because I didn’t,” Buffett said, when asked if he thought leaving college in pursuit of a dream was feasible for today’s students.

Life Is What You Make It offers insight that is as priceless and illuminating as Buffett’s personal anecdotes. One of the greatest strengths of the book comes from Buffett’s ability to anticipate and perceive potential questions. Buffett consistently remains one step ahead of the attentive reader, employing great attention to detail in his efforts to define and describe concepts like personal success. While the book collectively makes for a though-provoking and inspiring read, Buffett highlights the importance of the epilogue.

“[The epilogue] talks about commitment and what happens when you actually commit to something, and how valuable that is … to say, ‘look, I’m going to do this because I believe in it,” as opposed to “‘because my parents told me to’ or ‘society told me to,'” Buffett said.

Perhaps the greatest success of the book, however, is the portrait it paints of Buffett’s family. Life Is What You Make It is a tribute to the role of Buffett’s parents in his development, and as such, the book portrays the sense of gratefulness that Buffett feels for

his family.

“I think [the book] really amplifies my parents’ values in so many ways … my dad wouldn’t go around trumpeting what a great dad he was, or the things he said to his children, but I can do that in a real and authentic way,” Buffett said.

While Buffett continues to maintain that his life growing up was quite normal, the stories composing Life Is What You Make It clearly convey that, with respect to his family’s role, Buffett’s upbringing was exceptionally fortunate. As the book continues to meet with praise and receptive audiences, the value of Buffett’s experiences, advice and insight is solidified and spread. Readers’ support for Life Is What You Make It, however, may just be icing on the cake.

“My dad read it. I sent him an early manuscript and he loved it,” Buffett said. And with Warren Buffett’s endorsement, what more do you need?