Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Don’t Settle

Don’t Settle

If you were lucky enough to have a rare conversation with Steve Jobs and you asked him what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, what do you think Steve would say?

You don’t have to guess. He answered the question in 1995, in a rare interview with the Smithsonian Oral History Project:

"I think you should go get a job as a busboy or something until you find something you’re really passionate about because it’s a lot of work. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don’t blame them. It’s really tough and it consumes your life. If you’ve got a family and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure it’s been done, but it’s rough. It’s pretty much an eighteen hour day job, seven days a week for awhile. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about, otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there."

Jobs says he was lucky, because he discovered what he loved to do early in life. At thirty years of age, however, he got fired. Following a power struggle, then Apple CEO John Sculley if you study the life and words of Steve Jobs, the world’s most exciting innovator, you find that innovation starts with something we all have: PASSION.

Capturing that passion and using it to transform ideas into products and services is where most world-changing innovations find their start. Passion is not a topic taught in M.B.A. classes, because it’s not quantifiable—it doesn’t fit easily into an Excel grid. Yet, Steve Jobs has repeatedly told us the secret to his success: do what you love.