Why Steve Jobs Was So Successful

I recently finished reading Steve Jobs’ biography, and I have to say that a lot of the principles of success that I have discovered were staples in his personality and modus operandi. But the one thing that stands out among all others was perfectly captured in Apples 1997 advertisement, “Think Different.” If you haven’t seen this, head on over to YouTube and watch it. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

The reason is that the beliefs expressed in that 60-second advertisement line up so solidly with mine: “the people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones who do.” I believe this wholeheartedly. Everyone has the mental capacity to come up with something great that will change the world, and I do mean everyone. We each harness so much power in our minds that the only thing that is impossible is figuring out the limit to what we can do.

Belief is the one thing about Steve Jobs that I’m talking about here. He believed in his product, and, more importantly, in his ability to change the way mankind interacted with technology. The world in which he lived, in which computers were for big business and not for individuals or families, in which technology was difficult to use and often required extensive training to learn, Steve Jobs though differently. He believed that computers could be used to connect the masses, to help people produce and create, to explore and learn. And now Apple is considered the world’s #1 most valuable brand, according to Interbrand’s rankings. It all started with a guy with a crazy thought that went against the status quo.

So, if you want to be successful, make this one of your qualities too. When you look at things, acknowledge that they don’t have to be that way, they only happen to be the way they are now. Think big, and dream big.

Earl Nightingale said that everything around us will have to be done better and more efficiently in the future. Everything is in a constant state of improving over time. Shipping speeds will increase (have you heard about Amazon’s shipping drones?), production will improve and get faster, the internet and cars and fashion and sales and auto finance…they will ALL have to get better in the future. This is why competition is so helpful; it forces companies and individuals to become better, to improve constantly.

The reason Steve Jobs was so successful is because he was able to look at how things had been for decades and think, “ya know, I don’t think it has to be like that.” Apple’s market capitalization is over half of a billion dollars…I’m thinking he was right.

This is why I names my business “Irrational Living,” because I think we all need to live irrationally. We all need to look at how things are and think about how they could be instead. We all need to think of something worthwhile we want to do in life and believe that it’s possible, regardless of how many people say it isn’t or shouldn’t be. We all need to buy into our own ideas and beliefs and protect them from the naysayers.

So, if you want to be successful, find something about which you are passionate, something that you would pay to do, and then do it with all that you have. Learn about it and think about it and live for it, hear the people laughing at your ideas and understand that your time will come with effort and dedication, and believe that there’s nothing that can stop you.

I end with a quote from Benjamin Disraeli: “Everything comes if a man will only wait…I’ve brought myself after long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and nothing can resist a will that will stake even existence for its fulfillment.” Have an irrational belief in your capability and what you do in life, and nothing can hold you back.

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