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Mark Zuckerberg’s Seven Years of Personal Challenges

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our times. The Founder of Facebook, who has changed tremendously the way people network, is famous for his passion for technology and innovation and the aim do to business with a greater purpose. Zuckerberg has become an inspiration for many entrepreneurs. He leads by example not only in the essence of his work but also on a personal level.

To be a successful entrepreneur, one should go beyond the business and learn how to grow as a person. Mark Zuckerberg is famous for the yearly personal challenges that he sets for himself. The message he sends is powerful: never stop learning and never stop self-improving.

And he announces each challenge publicly – it is a great motivator to actually stick to the goal!

So, before you think about the next challenge you would like to set for yourself, let’s take a look at the seven years of personal challenges of Mark Zuckerberg.

2009 Personal Challenge: Wear a tie every day

Before he settled for his signature grey T-shirt, Zuckerberg wore a tie to work for a whole year. But he did it for a reason – to send a powerful message. After the recession the world was hit by back in 2008, Facebook was expected to have a difficult year ahead. Zuckerberg wanted to show that he and his company are taking this challenge very seriously and wearing a tie was a way to highlight the seriousness of the situation.

2010 Personal Challenge: Learn Mandarin

What a challenge! But Zuckerberg’s efforts really paid off as he stunned the crowd by speaking Mandarin at a Beijing event back in 2014.

2011 Personal Challenge: Only eat animals he kills himself

Well, we have to admit that this is an odd one. But again the message is powerful, as Zuckerberg has explained: “This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have to eat.”

2012 Personal Challenge: Code every day

Running a company like a Facebook must be so demanding and challenging, probably leaving Zuckerberg without time to do the thing that he has been doing with a passion for many years – to code. He has admitted that he had very limited time for programming in the recent years, so he had to set a personal challenge to write at least a line of code every single day in order to connect better with his employees.

2013 Personal Challenge: Meet a new person every day who doesn’t work at Facebook

Facebook is all about revolutionizing networking, so this one is no surprise. Meeting in person different people every single day and actually talking to them can be a fulfilling experience that broadens one’s horizon.

2014 Personal Challenge: Write at least one thank-you note every day

Zuckerberg apparently understands the power of being grateful and the importance of saying Thank you often enough. Do you say Thank you! enough?

2015 Personal Challenge: Read a new book every two weeks

When Harry Truman said: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers,” he knew what he was talking about. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg knows it too.

2016 Personal Challenge: Code an AI Assistant

Now, this one is a bad ass! Zuckerberg’s 2015 personal challenge was to build an AI voice-controlled assistant for his home, resembling Tony Stark’s butler Jarvis. In a Facebook post, he explained what it took to build the digital butler for his San Francisco home, which took him over 100 hours. Surprisingly, he wrote that “In some ways, this challenge was easier than I expected.”

2017 Personal Challenge: To visit all states to “get out and talk to more people”

Do we sense a presidential ambition? 😉

We can’t wait to see what his 2018 personal challenge will be? Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to share with us your personal challenges!

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