Steve Jobs: good business, bad humanity.

Steve jobs

Steve jobs

This week I finished “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.

It’s quite an easy read for such a big book – and as a major Apple fan, I’ve always been fascinated by the man who created Apple, and was part of changing the world as we know it.

I’m extremely grateful for all Steve Jobs (and Apple) did…but I never want to be a person like he was.

He’s someone who was incredibly intelligent and brought so much good to the world, but at the cost of bringing great pain, trouble, hurt, anger, and frustration to so many good people along the way.

From reading this book, and watching the films about Jobs, and using his products, there are many lessons about doing good business. And also lessons about being the best person I can be.

To use my talents, yes. But never at the cost of things like kindness. Service. Graciousness. Compassion.

Qualities of Jobs:

  • Genius
  • Wanted control
  • Lied
  • Arrogant
  • Served himself above all
  • Rules didn’t apply to him
  • Wanted perfection
  • Loved simplicity
  • Wanted complete loyalty (to himself)
  • Useless without his company (entire identity wrapped up in it)
  • True intuition (almost magical)
  • Pathological
  • Relentlessly curious
  • Loved negotiation, hated compromise
  • Selfish
  • Remarkable creativity
  • Obsessed with his own image
  • Not willing to change
  • Would stop if it wasn’t right
  • Didn’t get kinder (even when death stared him in the face)
  • Uncanny ability to create things we don’t need, and suddenly can’t live without

That’s a serious list. There are only five items on it I would like to emulate, which are:

  • Loved simplicity
  • True intuition (almost magical)
  • Relentlessly curious
  • Remarkable creativity
  • Would stop if it wasn’t right

All the others are a good example of who not to be. (I skipped ‘genius’ because although it’s positive, it’s not something you can work on. You’re either genius, or you’re not.)

Some of my favourite quotes of his (or about him and Apple) really made me think about my business, and how I run it. There are some powerful, good lessons to learn – even from a man whose character I don’t admire.

“We believe that it’s technology married with humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.”

“The journey is the reward.”

“What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.”

“Even with a small market share, Apple was able to maintain a huge profit margin while other computer makers were commoditised. In 2010, for example, Apple had just 7% of the revenue in the personal computer market, but it grabbed 35% of the operating profit.”

“Sure, it’s great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings.”

Who do you want to be? Who do you admire, in both character and results?

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ON THE GRAM

Instant change can shock or surprise you. 

You don’t know what to do with it, so you can default to fear. Or confusion. Or reverting to the way you did things before. 

One of my coaching clients is working on changing his approach with the business owners he talks to.

“Up til now I’ve been very me and company centric,” he told me. “And it’s time for that to change.” 

It’s always been accounting, bookkeeping, numbers focused. Nothing about motivations or emotions. 

He read the Accountant Marketer and is now working through each of the sections with me so he can apply them to his firm. 

But even slight changes like asking new prospects, “So, what motivated you to start this business?” is an adjustment. 

But we make changes because we want some kind of change to happen. 

This firm owner wants to get more of the kind of clients he loves working with: and that means opening up with prospects. 

Asking deeper questions. Listening. 

This change will have an impact on the firm’s numbers. On their operations. On the conversations they have as a team. 

We talked about sending out emails to existing clients to offer a conversation about strategy and big picture and motivations, but after testing it with a few clients, he got no takers. 

They’re not used to this. It’s too big, too dramatic. 

So instead he will adjust gradually, in stages. 

In the next client meet, ask one small question. 

How were things in the business this week? Anything which is particularly tough for you right now? 

Something to start that level of conversation going. 

They may not answer it. They may not feel comfortable with that: and that’s okay. But the very tiny changes will be easier to accept than something dramatic. 

Instead of going 0 to 100, can you stage it? 

20-80…

then 50-50…

then 80-20…

…and then when you’re ready, 100-0. 

#theaccountantmarketer #change #stages #justkeepgoing #onestepatatime #progress 

➡️This is from my “creative headspace” notes which go out every Friday. These remind you to change your perspective. Pause. Look around. Breathe. To be on the list, follow the link in bio.💪✨
100 consecutive days of video: DONE!!! 

I’ve stuck to my challenge. I haven’t missed a single day. And now I get to start the reflections. 

I’ve made a real effort not to over-reflect early: but to focus on getting the challenge done. Then I can look back and see what I’ve learned, how it’s impacted me and my business, and what I’ll take from it for future videos. 

Here are just a few of my initial learnings: 

1. Plan the video. The earlier in the day I shoot it or consider what it will be, the easier and smoother everything goes 

2. Capture little bits of video throughout the day (or days) to be used with a theme later. One second, ten second, one minute videos came in really handy when I did a compilation video - of walking, or water, or travels, or working. 

3. Being “on” every day - being present on social media and not missing a single day for 100 days - is bloody hard. I am really looking forward to being able to not open instagram if I don’t want to. And I’ll look forward to falling asleep at 11pm without the gasp of “did I do my video today???” 

4. I’m really grateful. For all I’ve learned and seen and heard and experienced and shared: and for how it will impact my future videos. 

Thank you for being with me on the journey. ❤️

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #justkeepgoing #doneanddusted #finish #challengecompleted #nailedit #video #progress #learnings #businessowner 

Day 100/100 Video Challenge
There’s something about water I find so soothing and invigorating at the same time. 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #water #sea #isleofmull #refreshing

Day 99/100 Video Challenge