Lately, I have been reading quite a lot about entrepreneurship. While at it, I came across an article published on Inc.com about how Steve Jobs followed 7 unbreakable laws of success that made him get to the top. Steve might have died in 2012, but his legacy as an American investor and business magnate who co-founded Apple still lives on. These steps are very practical and still relevant to any entrepreneur who wants to stand out.
These 7 rules are as explained below:
- Be creative.
Steve Jobs attributes creativity to his success. Creativity may entail venturing into a field that you may not be conversant with. In his words, Steve termed creativity as “trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you’re doing”. Creativity makes you unique, an ingredient for any thriving business.
Jobs took creativity to a whole new level when he got an idea for the design of Apple II (the first user-friendly computer) from looking around at kitchen appliance shops.
Many renowned and highly successful businesses have incorporated creative innovations in their business strategy. If you are really keen on making it in the entrepreneurial space, maybe it’s about time you consider being more creative.
- Sell dreams instead of products.
Your buyers are not really focused on your product. They crave for more, they want to realize their dreams and fulfill their hopes.
Steve is fondly remembered for saying, “Some people think they (Mac Buyers) are crazy, but in that craziness, we see genius” during the “Think Different” Ad Campaign in 1997.
Your business strategy should capture your customers’ dreams, ultimately making your product irresistible.
- Focus on an unforgettable customer experience.
For any business to succeed, the customers must be satisfied by both the goods and services that they pay for. But just how do you go about ensuring that this happens? Invest in the right personnel. Your employees may either make you or break you.
Apple invests heavily in its personnel. They hire people who were passionate about the product. When you are passionate about a product, selling it becomes a tad easy. Many large companies like Nike and Samsung also use this strategy.
As an entrepreneur, hire people for their culture, their passion, and their attitude that goes in line with your business model.
- Passion is the game-changer, by all means follow yours.
Jobs always mentioned on how passion played a big role on his success. He is credited for saying “Do what you love” in most of his speeches, notably his famous commencement speech at Stanford University.
Without passion, giving up is quite easy. Every successful entrepreneur knows very well how passion is the reason why they are at the top.
Unfortunately, some aspiring entrepreneurs have no passion for their businesses but have a passion for success. This is why most startups fail. Shortcuts do not pay and going through the whole process is not even an option. There has to be a passion for success to be there.
Finding out what you are passionate about and then going ahead to do it is a strong prediction that it is only a matter of time before you are successful.
- The power of simplicity.
Jobs was a strong advocate for simplicity. He always endeavored to incorporate simplicity in both design and strategy. He even cut down product offerings by 70% when he returned to apple 12 years after he was fired. He called the remaining 30% ‘gems’ and encouraged engineers to work with that.
After his death, designer Jony Ive fondly explained what Job meant by simplicity. He said that Job simply meant that with the very least, it is possible to achieve the most. Human beings easily understand designs that are simple and clear, which is the reason businesses should ensure their products are not complicated.
Since you have very limited time and energy, the least we can do is to go simple. This way, more of your energy will be used on ‘gems.’
- Let your products tell a story, then you become the story teller.
Product launches do not have to be boring sessions where you just explain your product features to the audience. Turn it into a performance.
Steve Jobs was quite the guru at this. When launching the first mackintosh in 1984, Job decided to use story telling for his presentation. He did not have to use slides, the old fashioned way. Instead he clearly showcased the picture of a villain, struggle and a hero. He went as far as pulling the computer out of a black canvas bag from a table in the middle of a darkened stage, much to the amazement of many.
- Find your true calling.
The day that you realize that your business is not just about availing a service or a good, but more about finding your noble cause is the day that you will pursue your calling with renewed energy.
Know your WHY? This will take your business to the next level. It is funny how Jobs once asked John Sculley, a former Apple CEO whether he wanted to sell sugar water all his life, ( Sculley was the CEO at PepsiCo) or wanted to come and change the world with him at Apple.
Wrapping it up.
Being an entrepreneur has never been a smooth ride. It does not really matter whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or still a startup, although it definitely gets easier with time.
Passion is a must have tool for any business to stand the test of time. It is passion that will set you apart from your competitors. It is important to find a noble cause that brings you a sense of fulfillment. Finding your true calling will set the pace on how you can make the best out of your business.
For any business, the customers come first and ensuring that you have superb customer experience should be at the top of your priorities. Let your products fulfill the expectations, the dreams and the hopes of your customers.
Sell your dreams and not products. Sell with all your energy and always tell a story when presenting your products. Tell a story that will be unforgettable to the audience, this way you will spend less energy selling your products.
Be creative and ready to explore unchartered territories to come up with unique and innovative ideas for your business model.
Finally, stay simple while at it. Remember that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Sharon Jemutai is a lawyer and freelance writer who covers topics related to career development, entrepreneurship, personal development, and mental health. She strives to help readers leverage on self- improvement to advance in their careers and businesses. Connect with her on LinkedIn.