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From the Vault - Lessons Small Business Owners Can Take from Steve Jobs.

From the Vault - Lessons Small Business Owners Can Take from Steve Jobs.


As I was reviewing, researching and reflecting on what I felt compelled to write about in this weeks blog, and what information I could share that would be most beneficial to you, the business owner, leader or manager, I took a look through my 'back catalogue' for inspiration. I've been writing blogs, on and off, for more than 10 years and sometimes you forget about ideas that never came to fruition or just weren't right for the time.


In doing this exercise I stumbled across this, and it's one of those things that has an immediate emotional reaction, shivers down the spine kind of thing. You know, those times when you remember how you were influenced by someone, and felt so compelled to share the impact. Well that's the reaction I got when I found this, I had totally forgotten I had written it. 


I wrote this on the 6th October 2011, after the passing of Steve Jobs but didn't share it. Sometime later after watching the documentary "Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy" on ABC, I ended up sharing it to a few for a short period of time, I think at the time I felt a little vulnerable sharing these thoughts.


On reflection, almost 9 years later and what feels like a lifetime in my own business journey I still get the same reaction when thinking about the impact I felt at this time. There are many, many leaders who inspire us all, at various times, but some influencers linger longer. 


So here it is, the busines lessons I think all of us, small business owners included, were gifted from Steve Jobs. 


Thank You Steve Jobs, Written 6th October 2011

Today the business world lost a leader, an innovator, and inspiring human being and a remarkable talent.

Like many others I feel compelled to write this reflection on the impact Steve Jobs has had on business leaders, existing or aspiring in small business everywhere. I am not a long time Apple devotee, in fact I am a late comer to the I-Volution. This is not about the outstanding products and technology, it's about the individual behind the ideas and vision which made them possible.

Most of us will never have the opportunity to lead an organisation which is as revolutionary, as successful or as purely awesome as Apple. So for those of us who continue to run small businesses, whether they may seem important, impactful, interesting or not, what lessons can we take from this reluctant corporate super star?

Conviction whilst of course I didn't know Steve Jobs personally, and never had the opportunity to see him present, what was painfully clear to me in what I read and the presentations I have watched is the courage of his conviction. He had ideas that people probably once thought were ludicrous, inconceivable and destined for failure, but he persevered and followed his passion. I think if most small business owners had nearly half of his conviction they would be immeasurably better for it.

Talk to your customers, intelligently, excitedly but in lingo they get! I am no IT geek, but I get I-Lingo. When Steve Jobs spoke he engaged his customers, and I don't mean the long term followers, the cutting edge IT lovers or those that 'must have' all the current tech gadgets I mean the masses. The guy didn't revolutionise the way we listen to and buy music, work, communicate and function without having 'the masses' on board, energised and convinced.

Embody your brand. Many may disagree, but Steve Jobs was Apple. He embodied, projected and communicated everything that brand has to offer. Let's hope he taught those who learned from him how to do the same, so we can continue to see the brand and organisation develop. 

Enthusiasm is contagious. There is something I find mesmerising about watching and listening to clips of Steve Jobs discussing the latest Apple technology, and the wider technology and communications world. Not only did he 'get it' in a way many will never, but he clearly loved it, was excited by it and was enthusiastic about whatever he was discussing. His enthusiasm, whilst sometimes contained and understated was infectious you just couldn't help but want to know more!

So to those small business owners everywhere, I encourage you, take just one lesson from this inspirational individual and implement it into your business, or life, today.

Author:Kristy-Lee Billett
About: Kristy-Lee has worked in the field of HR and recruitment since 1999. She holds undergraduate qualifications in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resource Management, is an Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Connect via:LinkedIn
Tags:HRSmall BusinessBrandCulturePerformance Management

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