7 principles of Steve Jobs: #1. Do what you love!

Although Steve Jobs never had principles for innovation, he did have 7 principles that drove him. These principles are Steve’s, but the interpretation is mine, based on my own experience fused with some of Steve’s commentary.

1. Do what you love
In any career there will be serious problems, setbacks and frustrations. If you don’t love what you do, no matter how good you are at it, you will be likely to quit or lose interest if you experience any big problem down the road.

2. Put a dent in the universe
It is hard to succeed in a big way if you have small goals. It is natural to think small, but train yourself to think big. If you have big goals and huge aspirations, you stand a chance to make a big difference in the world. Maybe not as much as Mr. Jobs, but, more than most other people!

3. Kick start your brain
Steve believed that having a wide variety of experiences helps you think more broadly. If you throw yourself in a variety of difficult situations, you will learn to think effectively in a wide variety of contexts. If you are always in the same place dealing with the same issues, you will not have the opportunity to grow much!

4. Sell dreams, not products.
One steakhouse sells steak, but the other sells sizzle. Which one gets the business? Nobody cares much about having a new toy, unless that toy will transform their lives. Even if you are in a small business catering to small clients, if you provide amazing service that makes their lives so much more pleasant, you will leave them with a dream-like nice feeling that they will remember! Salesmen tend to be good at selling dreams, but those dreams often turn into nightmares if they fail to deliver on promises. Have your product deliver dreams — not your salesman.

5. Say no to 1000 things.
I once read that the difference between a successful person and a very successful person is that a very successful person says no a lot more of the time. In real life, to get optimal products and optimal people, you have to narrow down your selection. Most people are mediocre. But, even among the very best people, their characteristics might not perfectly fit a team. The normal company selects one new employee after 100 points of contact such as an email, phone call or interview with a prospective employee. To have perfect employees, it might be better to go through 10,000 prospects to find that perfect one and a few backups.

But, in the innovation process, saying no has its place as well. You might need to try thousands of experiments and refinements until you get it just right! It is a long and tedious process, but if you do it right, you get a product that will be awe inspiring! if you settle for the third mediocre idea that you test out, and say, “Good enough,” you will never be world famous! Remember — good enough is the enemy of better!

6. Create insanely great experiences
I keep telling this to BPO companies. Why just drag yourself through your processes and beg people for more when you do a mediocre job on what you are doing already. Even the way people answer the phone tells me a lot about how good or bad they are. If you are passionate about your work, the way you answer the phone communicates that to the world. The way most BPO companies answer the phone, I know right away that I am going to have a miserable experience that I will regret for the rest of my life. Instead of offering acceptable or mediocre customer experiences, why not be the best in the universe? You’ll make more money, and will definitely be remembered.

7. Master the message
Many sales experts and motivational speakers are saying the same thing Steve is. Don’t sell by selling. Sell by telling stories that are magical about how someone’s life was transformed, or could be transformed by a particular product or service. If they do the math and realize the product will be good, they might go for it. But, most people think emotionally, so you have to make them feel an amazing feeling about your idea, otherwise, they will not be that active in supporting it, especially in bad times. I remember in a movie about rap artist BIG, someone compared living for paper, with living the dream. You have to sell your dream to others to get their support. So, master the art of crafting emotionally riveting stories to implant your feeling in the hearts of your listeners!

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