There was once a man who was an entrepreneur and inventor. He had big ideas and dreams, but struggled for some time to get any of his ideas off the ground. He experienced failed attempt after failed attempt. Finally, after failing to get multiple businesses and product lines off the ground, he had a success. He took on a partner and created a business that slowly began to increase in profitability and influence in his chosen market. Yet, after just a few short years, he had a power struggle with the Board of Directors and was forced out of the company he had created. Faced with yet another failure, he got back on his feet and founded yet another company and began to grow it.
The entrepreneur was Steve Jobs and his powerful relationship with failure led him to become one of the most influential inventors and businessmen in history. His perseverance allowed him to leave a legacy unmatched by few others in the world.
Jobs did not allow himself to wallow in self pity or defeat when he was forced out of Apple. He never stopped. No matter the failure, he put it behind him and moved on. In 1985, Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets, most notable because Apple later bought it. Jobs struggled to make Pixar a hardware company and failed miserably, until finally selling it to Disney for $7.4 billion. Jobs brought Apple from near bankruptcy to profitability by 1998 and revolutionized the computer industry as well as bringing us products like the IPod, IPad and IPhone. He knew we needed things we had no idea we needed.
He was a visionary… and a failure. But the thing that set Steve Jobs apart was his ability to learn from his failures, tweak, and try again.
I love the quote: “Failure is simply stopping before you have reached success.” Steve Jobs is a perfect illustration of this point. He succeeded because he never stopped trying. We don’t remember his first failure, or his fifth one that went belly-up. Remember Lisa? Neither do I… it was his first go at designing a personal computing platform. We remember him for his successes. We remember him for his legacy of an unstoppable innovator that change the personal computing market.
In a country that thinks there are things “too big to fail,” we often cheapen our ability to transform because we never get the opportunity to learn from our failures. Failure is your friend.
CALL TO ACTION: What do you want to be known and remembered for? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? Where do you need to STOP stopping and push ahead to success without looking back? Put a plan in action today to keep moving forward.