4 Key Steps To Design A Strategic Life Apple Style
Have you ever looked at a really successful brand or person – a celebrity, say, or a big company – and wondered, “How on earth do they do it?”
Apple is one of those brands for me.
Almost everything the company puts out succeeds.
The company has enjoyed almost unparalleled revenue growth since it started and still continues to grow daily.
But Apple’s success isn’t just a matter of making a lot of money or selling a lot of products.
How many brands that have completely changed the game in their niches the way Apple has?
Not only that, but Apple’s done it several times over, despite some strong criticism from the naysayers.
The iPod, the iPhone, the iPad … all of these products pretty much revolutionized their respective market space.
We all Know Apple!
You probably have at least one Apple product in your home.
Or if you don’t have one, you know someone who does.
Apple has become shorthand for ubiquitous, sustainable success and instant recognizability.
Apple has a small stable of products that they do exceptionally well.
They are focused and strategic in their product development and marketing.
And their big not-so-secret weapon?
They invent something and then keep refining it.
This approach to innovation and incremental change is something you can easily adapt to your own life.
Keep it Simple
Steve Jobs made a strategic decision to keep Apple’s focus tight.
He simplified their product lines down to four computers.
You can easily simplify your life right now by eliminating the elements that waste your time and resources.
Start by cutting down or cutting out TV and video games, which are both low-return uses of your time.
Then think of how you can downsize your resources from switching to a smaller car, a smaller house, de-cluttering, to not buying more stuff you don’t need.
Free up time by shopping in bulk and batch cooking.
Learn to Iterate
Any psychologist will tell you that small, incremental lifestyle changes are much more successful than the big sort that tries to change everything at once.
Think of how successful most New Year’s resolutions are.
Make a commitment to a significant life change, like early retirement or budgeting for more vacations.
You can make a series of small changes, like switching from an-on-the-way-to-work coffee to having one at home.
Then add in complementary changes, like cutting down on takeout, downgrading your subscriptions and buying a smaller car.
Small iterations compound over time and can make a massive impact on your life.
One of Apple’s big successes is its research and development capacity.
They are committed to not missing an opportunity to learn and grow and improve over time.
Stay ahead of the pack by being curious, by always being open to learning and change, looking for new opportunities, tweaking your goals, and always staying committed to improvement.
Be Okay with Imperfection.
One of Apple’s mottos is ‘just ship’ meaning that they don’t wait to get a product absolutely perfect before they launch it into the world.
Being okay with imperfection doesn’t mean you just leave it there and turn out low-quality work.
It means you keep hustling.
You give it your best shot, get it out, and then make improvements.
You keep moving, keep thinking, keep improving.
Ready to Redefine Success?
When you are somebody like Steve Jobs, jumping curves, defying/ignoring the experts, facing off against big challenges, obsessing about design, and focusing on unique value, you will need to convince people to believe in what you are doing in order to see your efforts come to fruition.
People needed to believe in Macintosh to see it become real.
Ditto for the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.
Not everyone will believe—that’s OK.
But the starting point of changing the world is changing a few minds.
This is the greatest lesson of all that I learned from Steve.
May he rest in peace knowing how much he changed the world.
I’ll let Steve Jobs have the last word:
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
Now I’d Love to Hear from You!
What most caught your attention about what I just talked about?
How has Steve Jobs inspired you?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
I would love to hear your stories.
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