16 Nov 11 Life Lessons From Steve Jobs
Life is A Lesson – Steve Jobs
We all have a lot to learn from Steve Jobs – a man who was as much a digital visionary as a logical thinker.
During his amazing life, he shared his fair share of influences, both good and bad, and as with every good story, there are lessons to be learnt that can make our life easier and smarter.
His remarkable story partly fuels my desire to build the best online marketplaces you can find – a quest that consumes my time and effort.
Here Are 10 Life Lessons We Learn From Steve Jobs
1. In Every Obstacle, There’s A Lesson
Lots of times, obstacles in our path are our answer to prayer.
If you want to get ahead, change your attitude towards obstacles, it just shows you there’s a way around it, there’s another solution, it’s time to think differently and get smarter about what you want to accomplish.
When Steve Jobs ran out of money while developing the first Apple computer with Wozniak, instead of giving in, he sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator.
You have something in your hand that’s the solution to your problem.
2. Take Risks
Without risks, there’s no growth and no progress.
As you take risks, you learn in real time what you can do.
You have to develop a product or a solution in faith, not knowing the outcome beforehand, but absolutely convinced of its eventual value to the marketplace.
Notice, I didn’t say what you can’t do, because that’s a failure mentality.
Steve Jobs was willing to develop the iPhone, knowing full well that it would help to make the iPod obsolete.
But he did it anyway and totally changed the mobile phone market forever.
3. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
With every inventor or pioneer, there’s always that tendency to be a micro-manager and be really picky about every detail and every step of the process.
But you can’t be a manager, accountant, creator, technician all in one.
Eventually you’ve got to open the door and be willing to share your great idea with others and expect them to improve it.
Hire people who are great in their professional task and let them get to it while you focus on what you’re talented in.
I guess that’s why every Apple upgrade comes packed with innovative features and add-on’s that make those long lines ahead of Launch Day such a normal part of the day.
4. Find The Right Partner
There is no more important decision in your life than the person you decide to share it with.
The Bible says, “How can two walk together unless they agree.”
If your partner scorns or is disinterested in your life goal, then you will not achieve your ultimate potential, and you will not enjoy life.
What good is life if you can’t enjoy it? Choose wisely (as Steve did), and you have a partner who will help see you through daily challenges.
5. Expect Greatness
Imprint an image of greatness in your mind and you will rise to the occasion. What people think of you means nothing.
It’s what you think of yourself.
Influence your staff by imprinting that same image in their minds. Most of them will be loyal to you. They will never forget it. People tend to rise to expectations.
6. Skate To Where The Puck Is Going To Be
In 2007, Steve Jobs said,
“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple, since the very, very beginning. And we always will.”
Steve’s ability to anticipate future trends helped Apple dominate burgeoning markets like digital music sales.
7. Accentuate The Positive
Don’t focus on the negative. Focus on the positive. It would have been easy for Steve to blame life for a bad start. He was given up for adoption. Yet, that obstacle (remember point 1 above) turned out to be a blessing. His
adoptive parents, gave him the room and environment he needed to uncover his talent and make mistakes, and eventually rise to greatness.
8. Learn from Others
Humble keeps you grounded.
There is always something to learn from someone else. Whether it’s the teacher, sweeper, security guard, all around you are people who have something to impart in you.
Many times, it’s a service, an attitude, a sense of purpose, or simply sheer genius. If you think you can do it all alone, you’re destined for gloom.
By 21, Steve had worked for both HP and Atari, starting out from the bottom. At one point he was a simple clerk.
In both these companies, he asked questions, he saw what these companies were doing and learned what he wanted to do differently with Apple.
9. Fake it Before You Make It
When your image doesn’t quite fit your preferred image, fake it until you make it.
In Jobs’ case, he couldn’t afford the swanky office in Palo Alto where the most innovative computer companies were based. He found a solution. He set up a PO Box in Palo Alto and hired a voice answering service.
A potential client would get the impression that Apple was a big company in the heart of Silicon Valley – even though the truth was that it was still just two sweaty guys in a garage across town.
10. Don’t Value Money
It seems the more you chase money, the more elusive it becomes.
That’s because money is always as a result of doing something – not the end goal itself.
It’s the reward for a service or skill. Steve Jobs was motivated by a quest for excellence rather than the salary and that kept him through the tough times.
Of course, with time, the stock skyrocketed and so too did his net worth.
But it came after time, not all at once.
11. Fail Forward
At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address, he had this to say about it:
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Everybody fails. It’s how you respond to those failures that makes all the difference.
In 1984, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Have you been fired before?