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4 Business Lessons Learned from the Late,
Great Steve Jobs
When it comes to business, there are few people who have made an impact like the late, great Steve Jobs. His life and his business have left an undeniable mark on all of us. The way we continue to conduct business, today, is a result of his genius.
From dropping out of conventional school, and starting his creations in his garage, Jobs has always marched to the beat of his own drum. He was the quintessential entrepreneur, who left us hundreds of business lessons. Here are four, that you’ll benefit from knowing.
Steve Jobs definitely had a burning passion. His excitement for everything he created, from his first idea, to his last, was contagious. It’s one of the many reasons he found such success. In any endeavor, in business or in life, it’s imperative to build momentum. In order to get the ball rolling, you first have to convince yourself, by being your own best salesperson. Any great idea, at the start, needs little encouragement. However, over time, self-doubt and insecurity can set in. In order to keep the level of excitement elevated, be sure to keep it contagious.
When you fully believe in what you are doing, and where you’re business is heading, your energy will excite those around you. Before long, they will demand to be a part of it.
“Jobs was well known as an excellent presenter, and his skills are on full display in his introductory speech. He uses repetition well. He’s enthusiastic. He’s natural. But most important, he believes what he’s saying, and he’s not afraid to put himself out there. If you don’t get passionate about your idea, no one else will.”1 offers Justin Bariso, Founder of Insight
As an entrepreneur, you’re used to doing things yourself. In fact, you like doing it all. It’s the reason you are where you are. But, sometimes, a little delegation is necessary. In fact, it’s required. In order to grow your business, you’ll have to let go of the reigns a little and trust those around you to help run your business. In fact, valuing the input of your employees is the sign of a true leader. Jobs wasn’t always open to the opinions of his employees, but eventually learned how to step back and let them do what he had hired them to do.
“Between Steve Jobs’ first stint at Apple and his last, he became a much better manager of people. He still could tear the hide off someone if he didn’t think they did their job, but his outbursts were far fewer and far less hostile later in life than before. He learned you can’t do it all yourself in your career — at least not if you want to see your work succeed on a massive scale.”2 remembers Eric Jackson, Founder and Managing Partner of Ironfire Capital, LLC.
There is much to be learned from letting go and watching others continue your idea.
Lead and They Will Follow
It may sound contradictory, but as important as it is to delegate, it’s also just as important to lead.
Striking the balance between leading the way in your business and loosening the reigns, is a challenge for any business owner. It’s a constant struggle between control and chaos. Do you remember the reason you began your own business? Trust those instincts.
Entrepreneurs are generally people who have bucked the system, in a sense, and enjoy making their own rules. That’s the intuition on which your business is based. Be the leader that your employees expect. They’re counting on you to show them the way.
Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva, Author and Speaker fondly remembers the exceptional leadership qualities of Steve Jobs, “Steve Jobs did not listen to experts. Quite the contrary; experts listened to him.”3 Believing in yourself and trusting your sense of self will allow you to be this type of leader.
Do What You Love
Steve Jobs proudly reflected, often, on the fact that he had dropped out of college, stating, “Dropping out let me drop in – on all the classes I really wanted to take.” At the time, his parents were less than pleased that he had withdrawn from his college classes. His positive spin, was all of the interesting things he was learning instead. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see how his plan worked. At the time, he probably gave the impression of being a young, lazy dropout. Maybe he was. Many entrepreneurs are successful because they are driven by finding work that makes their lives easier.
According to FreshYoungMillionaire.com, “Jobs wasn’t a lazy beer drinking bum. He stayed on the campus and started popping into classes that were interesting. He was continuously being educated, continuously learning and continuously working at things he loved to do. He dropped back into life – in a big way.” 4
The irony here is, that by dropping out of his enrolled classes, he likely doubled his load with the amount of classes he took on. Many entrepreneurs chase the dream of owning their own business, and escaping the 9 to 5 cubicle world, only to work twice as hard for themselves. There is something to be said about doing the work that you love. The hours seemed to pass differently when you’re your own boss. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Steve Jobs has taught us everything we need to know about business. He learned these things through his own experiment. We were the lucky recipients of all of his hard work and continue to be.