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Motivational

steve_jobs (600 x 400)

Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be overestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.

Over the years, I’ve become a student of sorts of Jobs’ career and life. Here’s my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our “inner Steve Jobs.”

  1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.” That’s how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.
  2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” Don’t lose sight of the big vision.
  3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical use in his life — until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.
  4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the “A-Team” on each product. What are you saying “no” to?
  5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?
  6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.
  7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don’t care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you’ll win them over.

There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that’s the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

Published By: Carmine Gallo, Entrepreneur

breakfast (600 x 400)

Mornings are a mad-cap time in many households. Everyone’s so focused on getting out the door that you can easily lose track of just how much time is passing. I’ve had hundreds of people keep time logs for me over the past few years and I’m always amazed to see gaps of 90 minutes or more between when people wake up and when they start the commute or school car pool.

That would be fine if the time was used intentionally, but often it isn’t.

The most productive people, however, realize that 90 minutes, 120 minutes or more is a long time to lose track of on a busy weekday. If you feel like you don’t have time for personal priorities later in the day, why not try using your mornings? Streamline breakfast, personal care and kid routines. Then you can use 30-60 minutes to try one of four things:

  1. Play, read, or talk with your kids. Mornings can be great quality time, especially if you have little kids who go to bed soon after you get home at night, but wake up at the crack of dawn. Set an alarm on your watch, put away the iPhone, and spend a relaxed half an hour reading stories or doing art projects. If you have older children, aim for a leisurely family breakfast. Everyone talks through their plans for the day and what’s going on in their lives. If family dinners aren’t a regular thing in your house, this is a great substitute.
  2. Exercise. You shower in the morning anyway, so why not get sweaty first? Trade off mornings with your partner on who goes out and runs and who stays home with the kids. Or, if your kids are older (or you don’t have any) work out together and make it a very healthy morning date.
  3. Indulge your creative side. Lots of people would like to resurrect a creative hobby like painting, photography, scrapbooking, writing, even practicing an instrument. What if you went to bed a little earlier three times a week? Skip that last TV show or those last emails and get up a little earlier the next morning to put in some time at your easel before the day gets away from you.
  4. Think. Strategic thinking time is incredibly important for seizing control of our lives. Spend 30 minutes in the morning pondering what you want to do with your time. You could also use this time to pray or read religious literature, to meditate or write in a journal. All of these will help you start the day in a much better place than if everyone’s running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Note: Are you looking for a better start to your day, or to use your time more effectively in general? I’d like to do a few time makeovers of readers over the next few weeks. Email me if you’d be interested in logging your time, trying a few strategies, and sharing what you learn. Thanks!

Published By: Laura Vanderkam