“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Steve Jobs preached to an eager crowd in his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005.
That was long before his death, in 2011, which occurred on this date seven years ago today. And all these years later, as I look back on Jobs’s famous quote, I wonder how he’d feel to find out that I actually spent a day in his life …
Jokes aside, Jobs was referring to the idea that you should always trust your inner voice, and have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. After his passing, my inner voice led me on an entrepreneurial pilgrimage to seek inspiration, and feel what it was like to live like the great visionary in the famed Silicon Valley.
Over the course of a week, I toured the HP Garage, strolled down El Camino Real and visited each of the places mentioned in his biography, trying to understand how his story unfolded — and how mine might unfold, as well.
That’s why today, on the anniversary of Jobs’s death, I reflect back on that experience, recognizing the role my Silicon Valley sojourn took in shaping me as an entrepreneur. Here are the top five inspirational lessons I gleaned, to hopefully help guide and motivate you on your own entrepreneurial journey.
1. Find someone who inspires you
It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur. From the outset, leaving a secure job and paving your individual method may be frightening; it sets you on a path crammed with uncertainty. Then, the journey solely gets more durable from there.
So, if you inevitably attain that point whenever you ask yourself if it will be better to give up, drawing inspiration from someone whose values resonate with you possibly can preserve you chasing your dreams.
For me, and for numerous others, Steve Jobs was — and still is — that inspiration. I like his mind-set about product design, his commitment to quality and repair and his advertising prowess. I even borrowed for my enterprise (at a easy degree) his sensible thought for the Apple stickers, as a strategy to construct brand recognition and cultivate model evangelists. I’m not alone on this: For entrepreneur Ruschelle Khanna, a photo of Richard Branson on her cellular phone served the same purpose.
In either case, the thought remains the same: As an entrepreneur, you have to dig in every day and work toward achieving your vision. By identifying someone as your inspiration who has already “been there, carried out that,” you could find the motivation to hold on, and be taught from that person’s successes and failures.
2. Don’t be afraid of a challenge
After I landed on the San Francisco airport from Hungary, to kick off my adventure in Silicon Valley, I was met by a highly skeptical immigration officer. When requested the explanation for my visit to the United States, I informed him that I had plans to reside a day in the lifetime of the late Apple CEO. The immigration man didn’t buy it.
After a number of hours of interrogation, I used to be lastly released, and reminded that such challenges are a normal – and invigorating – ceremony of passage for entrepreneurs. People will at all times be skeptical of the work you’re doing and the dreams you’ve gotten; however that shouldn’t stop you from chasing them.
This similar concept is one emphasised by Stephen Key, co-founding father of inventRight: “Profitable entrepreneurs challenge themselves,” Key said. He also said: “The best way to remain competitive is to actively try to problem your preconceived notions.” With that in mind, you need to never be afraid of a challenge — and by no means let others get in the way in which of reaching your goals.
3. Never settle for anything less than your vision
In that gentle, my journey to Silicon Valley opened my eyes to the sheer amount of imaginative potential that we take for granted. As an entrepreneur, you may get slowed down in day-to-day duties and lose sight of your larger goals. Nonetheless, it’s essential to remain tuned in to your vision, and always remember that something is possible.
Recounting a humorous anecdote about Jobs, a former Apple engineer defined that when the prototype for the first iPod was complete, Jobs examined it and rapidly rejected it for being “too big.” The engineers responded by explaining that the system was a modern work of art and couldn’t be made smaller, Jobs answered again by dropping the iPod in a fish tank, pointing to the bubbles and saying, “Those are air bubbles. That means there’s area in there. Make it smaller.”
In the identical manner that Jobs relentlessly pushed his vision, you should by no means settle for something less than yours. Silicon Valley may possess among the brightest minds and engineers, but you can find brilliant individuals anywhere. In my hometown of Budapest, for example, you’d be stunned on the number and quality of engineers available. That truth illustrates that you may accomplish something you and your group set your minds to.
4. Join or create an entrepreneurial community
As I walked the streets in Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurial spirit was palpable. It grew to become clear that by constructing sturdy startup ecosystems, like those in Silicon Valley, and surrounding yourself with like-minded people who support one other, you’ll discover it a lot simpler to get ahead.
Moreover, startup ecosystems foster a sort of self-perpetuating innovation, as startup employees acquire the information and expertise they need to later change into entrepreneurs themselves.
For instance, take into account the fact that former Apple employees have gone on to create a number of profitable corporations, including Nest, Android, Salesforce and many others. Salesforce founder Marc Benioff — who only spent one summer time working at Apple in the Nineteen Eighties — even noted the profound influence the experience had on him, writing, “That summer, I discovered it was possible for an entrepreneur to encourage revolutionary ideas.”
For that reason, actively collaborating in your native startup neighborhood is of utmost importance. By gathering together group members, trading struggle tales and sharing tips for success, these people are integral for the inspiration of younger entrepreneurs. Such communities can exist anyplace, too. For example, while our startup ecosystem in Hungary may be very young, that doesn’t change the fact that it crucially serves to keep entrepreneurs, akin to myself, motivated and inspired.
5. Pick up a book, and don’t stop reading
Every time I travel by airplane, I try to cease by the airport bookstore to select up some studying for the flight, and my journey to Silicon Valley was no different. However, once I left the airport, I used to be truly surprised by the sheer variety of bookstores that lined the streets. Frequently, I’d wander in, order espresso and leaf via one thing in the business section — a observe I discovered to be both incredibly mentally stimulating and rewarding.
And, in fact, I’m not the only one. Invoice Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and a whole host of other world-class entrepreneurs are known for his or her shared behavior of reading. Gates even publicly recommends five books for summer reading every year. And it is sensible that such successful entrepreneurs share this habit; one study found that a whopping 88 p.c of financially successful people learn at least 30 minutes per day.
In the end, reading not only makes you smarter, but can function a device for inspiration. In my case, the books Delivering Happiness, by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, and The Accidental Billionaires, which tells the story of Facebook, have been each incredibly inspiring, and jogged my memory that something will be accomplished. So whereas “studying” may seem to be a easy advice, it’s additionally an indispensable observe for each entrepreneur.
Wrapping it all up.
We regularly take with no consideration the alternatives, sources and inspirations we have accessible to us. And normally, it isn’t until we lose them that we’re capable of recognize their importance.
While I had at all times admired Steve Jobs, it wasn’t until his passing –and my subsequent pilgrimage to Silicon Valley — that I acknowledged simply how lucky I was to be an entrepreneur, and how vital it is to be inspired. So hold the following pointers in mind throughout your own journey as an entrepreneur, and by no means lose your inspiration.