How Steve Jobs Made Me An Entrepreneur: 19 Lessons and Quotes Worth Living
“I want to put a dent in the universe.”
– Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011 [Tweet this quote]
Two weeks ago today, we lost a Legend. Perhaps the most wold-changing Legend of our time. It’s quite possible that Steve Jobs had an impact on every single modern day adult across the world. It’s hard to believe a statement like that could be possible with any one person.
The sad thing, and the thing I find so fascinating, is despite how big of a deal something is at the time – How many headlines an event steals or How many news rooms dive on it. Within a few days or a few weeks, it’s often like it never happened. The day Steve Jobs died, Twitter blew up. The whole web blew up. So did every news house around the world. Articles and links were everywhere. This continued for a few days.
But sadly, only a couple weeks later, I see hardly any mention.
Steve Jobs’ death hit me hard.
It hit me harder than I thought it would. A lot harder. And I had already been planning on it being a pretty tough blow…
The day I heard, I immediately thought about canceling that day’s article and pouring out my condolences. But then I remembered how quickly we forget. So I decided to wait a couple weeks.
This is my public tribute to one of the biggest Living Legens of our time. I hope it at least slightly reignites the passion for a day or two. Please share and tweet this as much as you feel is appropriate.
How Steve Jobs made me an entrepreneur…
Anyone who’s recently watched his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech, will realize just how aligned the purpose and beliefs of Live Your Legend are with the words he covers in those 15 minutes. It’s uncanny how unbelievably powerful every one of those words are. Since I first saw that speech five or so years ago, I’ve watched it almost monthly. Ironically I keep it saved on my iPhone. I don’t care when the last time was that you watched it. Watch it again. And again. This stuff has to be brainwashed.
His life. His approach. His philosophy, solidified a fire that had been burning inside me for years.
His music motivates me, his phone entertains me, his animation comforts me, and I even wrote my first book on his MacBook air. This guy has had an impact.
Here are some of the lessons he’s taught me…
*Important Note: To make it easy to share the love and respect, I’ve added a special [Tweet this quote] link to each of the quotes below. Each link is unique and will tweet that specific quote out to those you want to inspire.
19 Steve Jobs Quotes and Life Lessons to Live By
1. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” [Tweet this quote]
Embody your why. Have a reason for being. If you can communicate a compelling enough reason, you can influence anyone. How else do you poach a CEO from Pepsi to run your business when you aren’t even 30? Live and breathe it. And as Simon Sinek says, always, always Start with Why.
2. “Focus and simplicity…once you get there, you can move mountains.” [Tweet this quote]
Keep it simple. Stay focused. Two of the most valuable tools in business. Also some of the most underused. It wasn’t until I dedicated my focus solely to my two passions: helping people do work they love and helping people own good businesses through the stock market, and dropped all the other side projects, did the pieces start to fall together. That’s when the community here at Live Your Legend began to form. That’s when the impact started to be clear.
3. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” [Tweet this quote]
Believe things will work out. How was I ever to know that the girl who broke my heart in university would lead to my soulmate? How was I to know that the ‘dream job’ I was rejected from out of college would lead me to a year of entrepreneurship and adventure in Spain? How was I to know that taking a miserable job back in the states would be just the push I needed to vow to never do something I wasn’t passionate about again? Everything works out. I mean everything. As long as you believe it will. When you do, you will find the silver lining. That will take you to the next level.
4. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” [Tweet this quote]
Do what you love. Need I say more? From the first day my dad gave me a copy of What Color is Your Parachute to the birth of Live Your Legend and the creation of How to Live Off Your Passion. All the actions, all the decisions to move on to greener pastures in the past decade come back to the belief I have, thanks to Steve, that doing what you love is not something for the lucky few. It’s for the ones willing to work their ass off. The ones who want it badly enough. Those who refuse to settle. Just like all you…
5. “Death is very likely the single best invention of life.” [Tweet this quote]
Don’t wait. The second you realize how fragile and short life is, is the second you get your ass up and start doing what matters. There will never be a good time to do something. There is always a reason to put it off. The timing is never perfect. Do it anyway. Later turns to never too quickly.
6. “And no, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.” [Tweet this quote]
Create something bigger than yourself. Don’t do it for you. Do it for them. Do it for the people you will help. Do it for the impact you could have on the world. Live Your Legend has become what it is because it is bigger than I could ever hope to be on my own. It is what it is, because of all of you. The path to doing great things is uncertain. It always will be. Walk it anyway and do something epic.
7. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” [Tweet this quote]
Don’t cut corners. This goes as much for business and products as it does for friends and loved ones. Do you know the easiest way to stand out? Simply take pride in what you do. Put your heart into it. Sadly many people don’t. Excellence will always be the biggest differentiator of all. Know your excellence and own it.
8. “It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.” [Tweet this quote]
Focus. Thirty minutes in the sun is refreshing. Thirty seconds under a magnifying glass will light you on fire. Don’t under estimate the power of focus. With it literally anything is possible. People sometimes ask how I am able to run the two businesses that I am. They don’t understand how I have the time. What they don’t realize is that I don’t piss away time on things that are meaningless to me. It becomes a lot easier to do that when what you’re doing actually matters to you.
9. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” [Tweet this quote]
Be different. It’s easy to copy someone. And in many cases modeling makes the most sense. But never give up who you are. Adopt a successful framework but find your own way to be different. Or turn everything on its head. Our investment partnership only charges investors fees if we make them money. We don’t do our job, we don’t get paid. Sounds obvious until you realize less than 1% of funds operate that way. Be different. You’ll be noticed.
10. “Our goal is to make the best devices in the world, not to be the biggest.” [Tweet this quote]
Know what you want (and what you don’t care about). Most people want it all. The problem is when you try to accomplish that, especially at the same time, you get nowhere. Have the type of pride in what you do to know you can’t be everything to everyone, and instead commit to being something meaningful to someone.
There are a million ideas that came through my mind when launching this site. In the end I left all but a couple for the others out there to keep doing. I had my own idea. Thank you for supporting it. You don’t need as much money as you think. You don’t need as many followers as you think. You don’t need as many customers as you think. Focus on what matters to you. The results will be obvious.
11. “Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” [Tweet this quote]
Make your own impact. I don’t care how big or small it is. All that matters is you do something unique to you that helps people in a way you care about. Don’t be intimidated by the big and famous successful folks. Be inspired by them. If you believe it’s important. Then it’s important. Do that enough and the world will agree.
12. “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life.” [Tweet this quote]
Be good at something. Every one of us is excellent at something. The sad thing is that most spend the majority of their life doing something else. Know what you’re awesome at. Know what you can help people with more than anything. It’s a waste to you and a waste to the world to do anything less. It’s never too late. You can’t put your dent in the world if you’re sitting in a cube doing work you’re not even good at.
13. “We hire people who want to make the best things in the world.” [Tweet this quote]
Be attractive. Have pride. Like Warren Buffett says – the best defense against a nasty economy is to be really good at something. Once you figure out what you want and how you want to change the world, stop at nothing until you find a company who believes the same. It will be love at first sight. Or find a partner or start a business that embodies it.
14. “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” [Tweet this quote]
Excitement trumps everything. If you can’t get excited about what you’re doing, you have to leave. That’s why I fired myself from corporate hell only seven months into my first official job. Excitement is contagious. But so is depression. With enough enthusiasm, anything is possible.
15. “Half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” [Tweet this quote]
Don’t give up. That’s the only way to ensure you never fail. If you can keep charging forward, no matter how fast or slow, over time your competitors will find ways to defeat themselves. It would be embarrassing to divulge to you the number of times a fleeting thought of giving up has flashed in my mind. A few years ago it used to stick around for minutes and even days. But I loved what I did. And I knew it mattered. So I kept going. And I keep going. Love motivates like nothing else.
And a few others:
16. “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” [Tweet this quote]
17. “I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year. It’s very character-building.” [Tweet this quote]
18. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” [Tweet this quote]
What’s Your Legacy?
30 years ago Steve Jobs said he wanted to put a ‘dent’ in the universe…
Then he got fired from a company he created by a man he hired.
What’d he do?
He kept going.
He built another company. Two in fact.
One gave us Toy Story.
The other got him back to Apple.
Then he changed the world.
He had a Reason Why that the world could get behind. He stood for challenging the status quo, expressing creativity, empowering the individual.
He stood for not settling. For doing work you love and stopping at nothing to achieve it.
Not even the threat of death.
He was determined to make a difference.
Even after he was given 6 months to live. He changed the world for another 6 years.
Steve always planned to leave a legacy.
He grew up dead set on changing the world. He wasn’t sure how he’d do it, but he was pretty sure he would.
A lot of people told him he was crazy.
He did it any way.
It’s sad to see such a Living Legend pass on but the beauty is not just what he created but also in what he left with us now that he’s gone.
It begs the question.
What legacy are you leaving?
Are you putting the dent in the world you know you can be?
It doesn’t have to some grand world-changing idea. It just has to matter to you.
If not then why not? How can I help?
Is what’s holding you back really that powerful?
If you haven’t started, now’s the time to begin planning your legacy. And Living Your Legend.
Don’t waste your time living someone else’s dream.
With the loss of Steve, we need you now more than ever.
So… what legacy will you leave?
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
– Steve Jobs [Tweet this quote]
Share Steve’s Legacy.
Tweet this. Share it on Facebook. Email it to those you care about. Use the links below.
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