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10 Great Business Lessons From Steve Jobs, The Founder Of Apple

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Business Lessons Steve Jobs


The announcement of Steve Jobs’ decision to quit as CEO of Apple may, on reflection, not be entirely unexpected, but it draws to a close one of the finest chapters in entrepreneurial history.  The ailing Jobs, who took a medical leave of absence in 2009, said that the “day has come” where he can no longer carry out his duties as CEO. Steve Jobs leaves behind a company that recorded a thumping $7.31 billion profit in the last quarter. But his influence on business, technology and popular culture has been far beyond mere numbers.

Here are the 10 lessons that budding entrepreneurs can take from Steve Jobs’ stunning success.

10 Great Lessons to take from Apples Steve Jobs

 

1. Keep a strict focus

It’s clear that Jobs was always going to work in the tech space, from when he dropped out of college, started attending classes he wasn’t enrolled in and got a job at Atari.

But although he was working in a nascent industry when he started Apple in a garage in 1973, he always kept a tight focus on the products that would build the business, from the Apple I computer in 1973 to the iPad last year.

He once said: “Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we’ve got less than 30 major products. I don’t know if that’s ever been done before… it means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

 

2. Embody your brand

Apple has become a company that almost transcends business and tech – it is a popular culture icon and adored by its customers on a level that most other brands can only dream of.

Many of these things can also be said of Jobs himself. He embodies the innovative, cutting edge, design-savvy image of the business. Entrepreneurs can’t afford for there to be any jarring dis-connect between their own image and that of their company.

Above all, you need passion. “You’ve got to find what you love,” Jobs has said. “And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.”

 

3. Surround yourself with the best people

Jobs may be viewed as a technological genius, but if it wasn’t for some extremely talented allies, it’s unlikely that we would’ve ever heard of him.

He had few friends before meeting computer whizz-kid Steve Wozniak in the early 1970s, who proceeded to build products that no-one could match in terms of innovation.

Although his business skills have arguably never quite matched his design nous, Jobs has been savvy enough to bring in people who offer what he can’t. Hence, Tim Cook, very much a “numbers man” as COO, was in prime position to take over as CEO.

Jobs only took delegation so far, however, when it came to entrepreneurial instinct. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice,” he advised.

 

4. Improve on what is currently offered

Apple is known as a highly innovative company that has completely transformed the way we think about entertainment and communication.

But in reality, the business has built its success on improving what went before. It made the MP3 player better with the iPod. The mobile phone was improved with the iPhone.

The story goes that the iPhone came about after Apple execs complained to each other about what irritated them about their mobiles. Jobs focused on what wasn’t working in current trends and overhauled it.

 

5. Keep the customer in mind

Famously, Apple under Jobs never hired consultants or conducted market research. He relied on his innate sense of what consumers wanted and, crucially, what they will want in the future.

While this approach won’t work for every business, there are several lessons you can take from Jobs when it comes to customers. One is to put yourself in their shoes.

“We figure out what we want. You can’t go out and ask people ‘what’s the next big thing?” he has said.

6. Learn from failure

The relationship between Jobs and Apple hasn’t always been a cosy, harmonious one.

In 1985, Jobs had a bust-up with then-CEO John Sculley, causing him to walk out of the company he co-founded. Rather than mope, he bought studio animation firm Pixar before returning to Apple in 1996.

He immediately binned a range of products that he felt were a waste of time and went about pointing Apple in a new direction, focusing on just four products, firstly with the brightly-coloured series of Macs and then onward to the iPod and beyond.

 

7. Think big

Whether it’s taking an axe to Apple’s product range or creating entirely new categories with devices such as the iPad, Jobs has never been afraid to think big.

Everything about Apple under his command has been geared towards the brave and genre-defining. Jobs’ product presentations, to packed crowds, added a sense of theatre and occasion to the Apple brand.

That doesn’t mean that ambition can be fulfilled without hard work. As Jobs put it: “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

 

8. Demand the best

Jobs may have a favourable image in the media, but those who have worked under him describe a man obsessed with perfection. As well as thinking big, Jobs liked to be across the detail too.

“My job is not to be easy on people,” he once stated. “My job is to make them better.”

 

9. Succession planning

Jobs’ exit may have shocked many observers, given that his long absences from Apple in the past two years have never been fully articulated, but it’s clear that a solid succession plan has been built behind the scenes.

Cook has already got runs on the board as acting CEO and will be tasked with driving the company forward, with help from Jobs as chairman.

If you fell under a bus, who would replace you? Hopefully, you will have an answer as Jobs did: “My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.”

 

10. Create a signature look

Jobs made the black skivvy look his own. He probably has a wardrobe stuffed with hundreds of them.

Maybe you should adopt a distinctive style. Bow tie perhaps? Or maybe a hat worn at a jaunty angle?

 

The Lost 1984 Video: young Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh

 

Article By Oliver Milman from Startupsmart.com.au

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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