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What Made Steve Jobs So Successful?

By: jwilder, 1/27/2022

I've seen this question a few times and thought I would address it.

First of all, what is success? It could be fame, innovation, or wealth.

Second, what is the reason for asking this question. Is the asker looking for advice or secrets to success?

Let's just deal with success as creating a business that creates desirable products and generates a profit over the long term.

In reading Jobs, the biography by Walter Isaacson, what struck me were three prominent attributes that Steve Jobs had at a young age.

  • The desire to sell.
  • The willingness to take risks.
  • The urgency to take action.

Anyone with these traits will do well. Whether you sell cars, houses or furniture, if you have the desire to sell then you will attain the abilities and refine these abilities over the years.

One story from the biography demonstrates the three abilities. Steve Wozniak read an article in 1971 about how to make long distance calls using a certain frequency. He was excited and called Steve Jobs. He was a senior in highschool at the time. Jobs was excited about the article and they immediately began building a digital frequency generator called the blue box. They built it together, but the first version didn’t work. Woz continued and eventually got it to work.

Jobs immediately saw the value in the blue box. Needing some money he randomly asked a stranger sitting next to them at a restaurant if they wanted to buy a device that makes free long-distance calls. The rest of the story is crazy.

Clearly, the first idea that comes to jobs is to sell the product. This was a natural gift that Steve would develop and improve throughout his life.

In this one story we see how jobs recognized value, took action to build, and used a natural ability to sell. All of this involved risk.

As creators and dream builders we might not have a natural gift for selling. However, selling can be learned and must be learned.

We might not be great at selling, but skills improve deliberate effort over time. If we have the mindset that selling is creating, then selling doesn't seem so bad.

To your success!

James Wilder

I write about success principles and practices that help dreamers take action and achieve their goals! I believe that success is for anyone that truly desires it.

Join me on the success journey! Subscribe to my weekly Keys to Personal Success email and gain momentum in the right direction! Sign up here: James On Success.


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