Steve Jobs and the 7 rules of success

How often do we make things more complicated than they need to be? Just this morning I read a comment made by an author who stated that the single most important thing to do in building a business is to clarify what your company does.

Nothing fancy, just plain simple English. Short and sweet.

When asked about their company most entrepreneurs have trouble explaining it in a few short sentences and instead go on and on about what they are trying to achieve.

A few entrepreneurs explain their businesses in one or two sentences. These entrepreneurs usually succeed.

Clarity does two things – it makes it clear to our customers what we do, and, more importantly, it forces us to focus on a core principle which then defines everything we do.

Success often begets success, but for many entrepreneurs success makes them lose focus.

They start adding services in hopes of appealing to a larger audience.

They try and be everything for everyone.

This often ends badly.

Yesterday’s world was filled with a few powerful companies that people trusted to buy everything they needed. Growing up when it came to audio products Sony was the obvious choice.

Fast forward to today and we are inundated with choices. A simply google search on audio products will give you a list as long as your arm.

With so many choices, it’s hard to know which to choose. Thankfully, all that’s needed to find out what fits our needs is another search.

In my house I have Sennheiser headphones because they’re simply amazing. Zagg earphones for my iPhone. I’ve got a Canon printer. A Panasonic washing machine & dryer combo. A Denon stereo. Celestion speakers. An Oakley backpack. A Microsoft mouse. You get the idea.

Why those products? Because they’re good.

I used to go with big name brands. Today I go with the best products.

And what’s great in today’s world is the most expensive doesn’t always equal the best. You just have to do your homework and find out what’s right for you.

Reading the article below on Steve Jobs and his rules for success I couldn’t help but think about how every successful company out there lives by a very similar set of rules.

So what sentence would I use to describe my business – Sharing good ideas that make a difference with people who care.

Way back in 1980 Steve Jobs mission statement for Apple was “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”

I think he succeeded, wouldn’t you agree?

Adrian Shepherd

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Steve Jobs and the 7 Rules of Success

By Carmine Gallo | Entrepreneur

Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile.

As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.

Over the years, I’ve become a student of sorts, of Jobs’ career and life.

Here’s my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our “inner Steve Jobs.”

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.”

Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.”

That’s how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” Don’t lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss.

He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical use in his life — until he built the Macintosh.

Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did.

When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period.

Why? So he could put the “A-Team” on each product.

What are you saying “no” to?

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience.

When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives.

Everything about, the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller.

Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated.

The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it.

Your customers don’t care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions.

Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you’ll win them over.

There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice.

His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that’s the best advice he could leave us with.

See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

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