1. Do Not Live a Limited Life
People are afraid of living their life differently from the rest of society. What do I mean? We tend to follow the path that many consider safe – or “correct” – without taking risks.
Go to school, college, get a job, have a family, and do not dare to attempt a different direction. People are afraid to take risks However, those who choose to escape that preconceived notion of life are capable of making a successful and significant change in the world.
Though many people have followed the expected path, and in doing so, have been incredibly successful, that does not mean everyone will be happy to follow the seemingly sure route. Can you imagine how different today’s world would be if Steve Jobs had decided to live a “normal” and “correct” life? iPhone’s, iPad’s, and Mac’s simply would not exist.
Though he established his name by providing society with amazing technology, he has also inspired millions of young entrepreneurs to follow his unique way of life. He is one of many people who decided to make their own rules: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, and many others have also found success in being different.
You are just as capable and intelligent as the entrepreneurs and rule-breakers in the world. So, it would make sense, to renew what has been created, and turn it into something even more amazing. Life can be so much more than getting a job out of college, if you choose.
You can become an agent for change, and to do so, you need to overcome challenges and still be able to stand out. You do not simply need to accept that you are going to live and die. You can shape life, and pry at it, and make it your own.
As Jobs states, “that’s maybe the most important thing, to shake off this harmonious notion that life is there and you’re just going to live it versus embracing it and improving it”, and once you accept that you do not need to live an expected life, you can start to influence change, and create your own legacy. Steve Jobs surely understood this reality and this knowledge helped him to succeed throughout his life.
2. Have Passion
Successful people emulate a lot of patterns and mantras, but Steve Jobs clearly mentions one in particular: successful people love what they do. Many people study subjects that they do not love, and, as a result, end up loathing their careers.
This disdain enters into other sectors of their life, such as their home life, and begins to set people up to fail. When you love what you do, success becomes more easily attainable. It is far easier to wake up every morning, and know that you are going to do something that makes you happy.
It is possible to love your career, and to live your dreams. There is a lot of work involved, and there are many times where you will make mistakes, but at the end of the day, if you love what you are doing – truly love it – all of that hard work becomes worth it.
In an interview, Jobs states that, “people say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing, and it’s totally true. And the reason for that is because it’s so hard if you don’t.” Jobs points out a simple fact: people do not want to work on something they do not love.
If you do not love what you do, you will realize that you need a change and you will eventually give up on it. People who love what they are doing have found success – either on a small or large scale. Steve Jobs uses his employees as an example, “[when it] got really tough, and the ones that didn’t love it quit because they’re sane, right?
Who would want to put up with stuff you don’t love?” Jobs spoke about his employees from the early stages of Apple. Starting a company is never easy. In fact, many people give up when they realize how hard it truly is, and that is okay, because, according to Jobs, if you do not love it than you will fail anyhow. You need to maintain your passion if you want your company to survive and thrive. You need to remember what made you start the company, and find a way to keep your passion alive.
3. Design for Yourself
Think about why you want to create something, before you begin to assemble it. It is important to create, and innovate for yourself first, and consider everyone else later.
Before you take something to the market, make sure that it is an item that you can enjoy, and makes you proud. If you create a product just for the sake of selling and making money, then you are building it for the wrong reasons.
For instance, Steve Jobs did not immediately sell his products; instead, he started by testing, and simply embracing the creative process.
He did this for himself, taking his time to build, de-bug, and enjoy the computers that he, and his small team of colleagues, built. People will want what you have, not because of marketing techniques, but because the care that was put into creating the product is transparent.
Steve Jobs was not concerned about building a technological empire, he wanted to build an item that he loved, and that he thought others would also enjoy. Steve Jobs said that when Apple first began, he and his team had no idea what they were going to do with the products.
He started by designing a product that he would find useful. The reason that he and his team worked on their first computer design for six months in his parents’ garage was passion. They would spend forty hours building each computer, followed by another twenty to forty hours debugging it.
They did not even realize that their computer could be worth selling until they started to show their product to their friends. – “we showed some of our friends,” Jobs said, “and immediately everyone wanted one”.
Jobs and his team were inspired to design a printed circuit board, which cut down on over-all assembly time, when the team started to get exhausted by this long process.
Apple branched out from purely family and friend consumers when a bike store owner asked Jobs for fifty computers out of his already built hundred, “and in that moment,” Jobs said, “we had some feeling that we were onto something, but the feeling is so different from the experience of actually seeing it happen right now”.
Jobs, and his team, began by creating something that was important to them. His passion and drive to build something for himself was what helped shape Apple into the corporation that it remains today.
4. Do Not Sell Crap
The companies that receive the most praise are the ones who can sell good quality products, and offer a wide range of great options. Though it is not easy to build a company based upon quality, your reputation will continue to build through the products.
When you have passion for something, you care about it, and that is reflected in the quality.. If you only care about sales and money, it is more likely that you will settle with one single good product that may boil down to good luck in the eyes of consumers.
Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs make sure to find success in a line of innovative, good quality products, rather than betting on one good product and a lot of less great items. All of Apple’s products have something special that makes them different from the rest.
None of their products seem lazy or dull, but, rather, they all look amazing and exciting. Though they can be expensive, the quality makes paying a premium worth it. They have built their brand upon reliability and reputation, and as a result, consumers trust that Apple will deliver quality and performance unlike other brands, and that is what makes Apple – and Steve Jobs – different.
While interviewing Mark Parker, the brains behind Nike, Robert Safian brings up Steve Jobs’ advice – “don’t sell crap”. Jobs said to Parker, “I do have some advice… Nike makes some of the best products in the world. I mean a product that you lust after, an absolutely beautiful, stunning product. But you also make a lot of crap.”
This exchange between Jobs and Parker brought up a good point: why make high quality products if you are also making low quality products? A customer is not going to look at the range of products that your company offers in order to form an opinion on it.
Logic states that if a customer sees a high quality product, they will have a positive opinion about it, however, if they see a low quality item, their opinion would probably be negative.
Like people, a company will always make mistakes but the important thing is to learn from your mistakes. There will always be a chance that your product will have a negative impact on the consumers’ opinions about your company, but it ultimately comes down to how a company manages that risk.
5. Build A Great Team
There are many brilliant people on this earth; however, just because these people know how to make a
product does not mean that they should manage people. One of the characteristics of a true leader and
visionary is that they understand which people really want to help their company, and its employees,
to succeed. They understand that the best leaders are not necessarily the people with the most
The people who you know and interact with everyday – your friends, your family, and your
coworkers – want you to succeed, and will help you to build your future. If the people that you
surround yourself with do not believe in you, and do not encourage, or inspire, you, it becomes far
more difficult to succeed. Positive ideas affect us as much as the negative ones. When you surround
yourself with great leaders, and positive role models, you become more likely to gain the motivation
to keep going.
Jobs spent many long hours trying to find the right people to lead and motivate his employees. One of
his coworkers on the hiring team recalled the stress of trying to find the right employees, “we
agonized over recruiting,” he said, “We had interviews we had to go back and look at something in
the interviews again. They would start at nine or ten in the morning and go on through dinner.”
In the end, Jobs ended up hiring and keeping an English literature major, not the previous professionals that were, perhaps, initially, perceived as more qualified. The professionals spent their time arguing over what the computer should be, and not how to get the product into the world. When he hired someone who was not critical or negative about the product, but supported his employees, Jobs had gained the manager that he needed.