Looking for Success? Take Steve Jobs At His Word
When Steve Jobs, Apple’s legend, said something he was almost always right. So when I saw an article featuring some of his best quotes I was more than ready to absorb some good thoughts. And of course I did. His observation about success was completely accurate.
Jobs said, "I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."
He goes on to make the point that everyone advises us to do this – go the extra mile.
How many really do?
How many actually follow that advice and truly persevere? That’s probably the key question that we could all ask ourselves when we find an idea did not fly as we had expected or a project did not accomplish what we wanted. Did we really give our all to it?
How often do we really give and then give some more? How often do we put in the extra hours, and then do more research? How often do we do and redo projects, knowing we can go just a bit further?
Jobs indicated he felt the really dedicated, full on, hard workers are definitely in the minority. But of course we already knew that. We have all seen this at quitting time when the office instantly becomes amazingly quiet, or early in the morning when only a very few come in early to get a head start.
He advises taking the opposite tact, stepping up whenever and wherever we can if we really want to succeed.
Looking at dedication in action.
I once worked for a man who owned a packaging company. In talking with him about his success, he said he always went for a 110 percent, knowing he would not achieve it, but also knowing that the effort would bring him that much closer to 100 percent. That man built an empire in the luxury packaging business and most of his packages were amazingly close to 100 percent.
I worked for another director who often flew around the world. Many many times I would find him, sitting down at his desk mid-day, having just flown in from some distant city, and then coming back to the office to cover a few more bases. His employees always knew he would be available when there was a problem to be solved, and always willing to actually go the extra mile.
These are the people who know success does not just light on your shoulder like a surprise butterfly. Success demands that someone who shows up, and then shows up again and again for real hours, deep thinking, and incredible amounts of effort to move beyond the ordinary.
And when we establish that pace, the results really do become extraordinary. Steve Jobs being the obvious example of how that all worked.