Right now, most businesses are failing when it comes to the customer experience.
That means it’s the perfect opportunity to swoop in and woo those same customers into falling for your company.
But what if it’s the other way around?
Luckily, there is hope for saving the relationship.
Nurturing a loving customer relationship is a crucial part of creating a successful business. At any moment, an unhappy customer can share their opinion with the entire planet using the internet and social media. That’s why it’s more important than ever to create an excellent experience to assure your relationship moves to the next step.
Make your clients fall and stay in love with your business with these five tips.
1. Do Right by Your Clients – Real Talk in Real Time
A happy customer will tell everyone about how happy they are with your business. They will also tell everyone if they are not happy. And in today’s world of social media everything, negative word of mouth is just one tweet away. Communicate with your customers with real talk and in real time.
Examples of this can be found in abundance on social media. And the ones who are not genuine are easily exposed. The responses come across as impersonal and uncaring. Your clients will not be fooled by the empty words.
Dunkin’ Donuts get it, as shown here in their Twitter response. And just look at how quickly they responded. Make it a priority to address client’s concerns with a timely, genuine response and the sparks of romance will ignite.
2. Exceed Expectations – Over Delivering is the New Red
During the early courtship of your client relationship, take the time to hear out what their expectations are in your partnership. Take those expectations to heart. And then, instead of promising more than you can give, make it a point to give more than you promise. Anticipate your client’s needs and help create customized business solutions that work for them. Under promise and over deliver.
3. Once You Get Them, Keep Them – It’s All About Satisfaction
The #1 reason for losing a customer is because they aren’t “feeling the love.” If your client is not feeling satisfied and nothing is being done to change that, they will be more than happy to move on to a more satisfying partner. Don’t let that happen!
Make it a practice to always provide excellent service to your customers. Not just when you are trying to get their business, but even more so, after you already have it. Respond quickly and enthusiastically if a client appears to be dissatisfied, and be ready to present a special offer or discount to keep them around. There’s never any reason to stop the romance. Another benefit to this strategy is that it opens up the possibility of upselling the customer to buy more of what you have to offer.
4. In It Together – Communication is a Two Way Street
It can’t be said enough. Every nugget of feedback from a client should be taken seriously. If what they are requesting is reasonable, act on it. Because there is no point in listening if you’re not going to act on that feedback. No one wants to feel ignored. And you don’t want that kind of relationship with your clients. Make it a point to encourage your customer’s feedback and let them know that you are there to listen.
5. Always Be Grateful – Express Kindness and Say “Thank You”
Remember that your clients chose YOU. And because of each one of them, your business is able to thrive. Expressing gratitude for that fact goes a long way. And just like in a personal relationship, it’s important to remind them of that fact or else they will feel taken for granted. A little kindness and gratitude for your client’s business will help solidify the relationship for the long term. But don’t just send out a generic “We are grateful for our customers” statement en masse. Make it personal and let them know that you are happy they, in particular, are with you. And always remember to say “Thank you.”
Written by DH
Posted in 2016, Business, client, entrepreneurs, Executive Assistant, Inspiration, Office, relationship, rewards, simple, Small Business, success
Tagged Client Relationships, communication
“All the World Will be in Love with Night” – William Shakespeare
WHAT IS LIGHT CITY?
In just four more days, the event of the year will be premiering right outside our very front door! We feel pretty lucky that all of us here at Officense will have a front row seat.
Light City will shine a light on Baltimore’s abundance of creative, cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary talent with the first large-scale, international light festival in the United States, created right here in Baltimore. Light City will provide a backdrop for the celebration of ideas, ingenuity and creativity through art, music and innovation. It features a 1.2 mile Art Walk with 29 illuminated visual artworks, more than 75 street theater and pop-up performances and 50 live concerts on two stages, all free and open to the public.
Light City’s ticketed innovation programming will generate an ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day through LightCityU – while lights, performances and live music reimagine the Inner Harbor at night. The festival is open from 7pm-11pm March 28- March 31, 7pm-12am April 1-April 2, and 7pm-11pm on April 3.
Light City transforms Baltimore’s waterfront into an amazing spectacle of light, music and innovation. From the Inner Harbor’s south shore to Harbor East, festival-goers can explore 1.5 miles of world-class art installations — all free, accessible and open to the public. This week-long event kicks off in grand fashion on March 28 with the not-to-be-missed Creative Alliance Light City Lantern Parade at 7pm starting from the Big Wheel.
For the festival’s complete concert and entertainment schedule of special events and promotions happening all around town, download the free Light City app or visit www.lightcity.org or call 410-752-8632. Connect with Light City Baltimore through social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #LightCity.
Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Baltimore, Community, Concerts, Events, Outdoors, Parade, Sight Seeing, Spring, To-Do, Tourism
Tagged Baltimore, concerts, Inner Harbor, Light City Baltimore, Light Show, LightCityU, tourism
The business world is swiftly going digital and the legal profession is no exception.
Many attorneys have found that the brick and mortar approach no longer meets the needs of their practice. Between client meetings, peer presentations, and family, they start to wonder if the juggling act can continue or if they’re going to eventually drop the ball. However, with the evolution of business and technology, they’ve found a solution that’s simpler than you may think—going digital with a virtual practice.
Digital solutions are becoming increasingly more common amongst attorneys and when you combine this kind of innovation with a complete virtual office solution, the possibilities are nearly endless. In fact, two local lawyers have found that by embracing technological solutions, they can have their cake and eat it too.
Maximized earnings and minimized overhead are two main benefits pushing this shift toward technical solutions with a shared space provider. Along with balancing convenience and staying relevant with high tech solutions, it’s a more efficient and greener way to run your company. Many customers prefer this convenience and innovation over traditional ways of doing business. This is especially true for millennials. They are more likely to choose an attorney who’s green and savvy enough to share space.
Shared Space solves several issues by removing the burden of excessive overhead and it provides networking opportunities with other professionals in the space. Getting a virtual assistant also allows legal professionals to receive the same level of service as with an in-office employee without the associated cost or the dreaded routine of hiring, training, and replacing staff.
The icing on the cake is that attorneys who choose these time, cost and sanity-saving virtual office options now have time to build their client base through marketing.
Want to explore the possibilities? Click here to rock your business world.
Posted in Administrative Assistant, After Hours, Baltimore, Big Business, Business, Business Address, Business Plan, Capital, Conference Room, Executive Assistant, Financing
I would be lying if I said I was fully prepared for what I was getting myself into. Jumping, or should I say being rolled out of a plane at 15,000 ft., above a lake the size of Singapore, was one of the scariest and most amazing experiences of my life. Although not exactly akin to running a business, there were some lessons I learned which can be appreciated by daredevils and business owners alike.
The jump came with sudden moments of confusion and clarity. My nerves kicked in as our plane climbed to full height. While I have never had a fear of flying, this was something different. Hongo, the Hungarian dive instructor strapped to my back, assured me all of the way to the top that he had done this hundreds of times. His mantra was, “It will be great!”
I realized that all of the research and planning in the world would not prepare me for what lay ahead. As in business, you will find unexpected challenges. Face them as they arrive and adapt your behavior to conquer them.
Hongo kept repeating instructions like, “Keep your head and feet tucked back, like a banana.” He told me to keep my eyes open when we rolled out of the plane. This was supposed to the best part, which passes so quickly that you forget the first few seconds.
Having someone who knew exactly what they were doing got me through the jump. Likewise, having experienced advisors can help you immensely. Network and develop relationships with people who are successful. Stay in touch with those that you can learn from, who will also encourage you on your journey.
As the plane door opened and other jumpers started rolling over the edge, my common sense kicked in. It said things like, “What are you doing? Are you crazy? Don’t do this!” It encouraged me to grab ahold of the plane as Hongo scooted us to the edge, which I did. At some point I stopped thinking, “Oh God,” and Hongo’s voice crept in saying, “Let go of the plane…tuck your arms…be a banana…” There was literally no turning back at this point and the only way out was down. With Hongo’s help, I did it. I also kept my eyes open for the most terrifying part, THE ROLL.
As a business owner, you have already approached the edge and jumped. Keep the reasons you started your business, those motivating factors, in mind. Let them encourage and focus you in those moments of doubt or frustration.
Scared silent as we tumbled the first few seconds of our freefall, it was a blur of images…the ground, the sky, the ground, the sky. Hongo got us into position for the rest of the 60 second freefall. That’s when I started screaming, almost continuously until he released the parachute.
Similarly, it is okay to get scared while building your business. Being able to pull yourself together and having the support of others when you need help is important. This support can come from family and friends, but also your staff. Remember that you have put competent people in place. It is okay to rely on them too as you are all working toward the same goal… success!
Things went much better once the chute was open. I could see all of Lake Taupo, with its blue-green and silver surface. The view was amazing. And, the more we descended, the more I enjoyed the ride.
Likewise, be sure to check-in with yourself as your empire grows. Celebrate and appreciate your successes. Learn from your mistakes. And, remember the beginning and the end aren’t the most important parts.
Also remember that when you are in the thick of it and find yourself in need, there are always solutions within your reach. Officense provides support to hundreds of businesses across many industries. From executive virtual offices and pristine meeting space, to exceptional executive assistants, we’ve got you covered anywhere in the world. Call now (410-814-7500) to find out how we can support you and help your business grow!
Written by JA
Over the past week, the world celebrated the birthday of one of the greatest minds to ever walk the earth. Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss, would have turned 111 years old on March 2nd. Many adults, like myself, grew up reading Dr Seuss and his multiple brilliant works of literature, such as: The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, and many, many more. While some may quickly dismiss that anyone can learn life lessons from a children’s author, here are five quotes from Dr. Seuss, that are also important life lessons, for every entrepreneur.
“I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
No matter what happens in life, there will always be roadblocks. Life isn’t perfect and anything worth having in life will not come easy. Successful people are always the ones who do not let roadblocks get in their way and have the perseverance to overcome every problem that comes their way. A lot of people might not know this, but here’s a fun fact about Dr. Seuss. His first book was rejected 27 times before finally being published. The world may have never known who Dr. Seuss was had he given up after the 26th time. So expect problems and mistakes to occur, but always face them head on and never quit because that 28th attempt to do something might just lead you to success.
‘‘Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!’’
Be yourself! Plain and simple. The most successful people in life are true to themselves and will not conform to anyone’s image of what they should be. Do you think Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, or Richard Branson got to where they are now by sucking up and doing what others thought they should be doing? Cuban was fired from his first job, Gates dropped out of college, and Branson was told he would end up in jail. Now they are all billionaires. Take risks and do what you love, but always remember to be yourself because you are ultimately going to be the one responsible for your successes in life.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
If you are not where you want to be in life, then do something about it. You are not a tree! The most successful people in life are the ones who are never content with what they have, and are always dreaming bigger. You are the only one with the power to improve on anything you want; but you have to be willing to take the risks and try. Many celebrities, such as Tyler Perry, Jim Carey, and Halle Berry were once homeless, but they knew what they wanted and never stopped trying to achieve their dreams. So understand what you want in life and that you are the only one who will determine where life will take you.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Always take time to educate yourself. If you are trying to be the next Steve Jobs, why not learn from his successes and failures? One of the best pieces of advice my former boss gave to me was to always find time to read for 30 minutes a day. No matter how old you are, or how wise you may think you are, there is always something new to learn. Knowledge is powerful and the more you know, the better equipped you will be at handling problems that will occur. So take some time out of your day and read something, whether it be a book or an online article, because the more you know, the more places you’ll go.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Failure is a part of life. Every successful person in life has failed. What separates them from the average person is that they will not let failure be the end of the journey. No matter how many times you fall down, always get back up because if you persevere enough, you will ultimately get rewarded for it. So take the positives from your previous endeavors and learn from the mistakes because the lessons learned will build your character and help on your journey to success. Like the quote says, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
It is truly amazing the impact that Dr. Seuss still continues to have on many people years after he published his last book. The lessons he teaches from them are clear reasons why he is still celebrated today. So conquer your troubles, be yourself, choose your destination, educate yourself, and learn from your mistakes. And for all those that think they cannot learn anything from a children’s author I leave you with another Dr. Seuss quote, “Adults are just outdated children.”
For any entrepreneur that would like to learn ways to improve their business, contact Officense, and find out about the many ways we will help your business succeed.
Written by KF
Posted in 2015, Arts and Entertainment, Biography, Business, Dr Seuss, entrepreneurs, growth, Inspiration, Personal Development
Tagged Dr Seuss, entrepreneurs, Inspiration, Personal Development
It’s Friday night and you’re at your neighborhood sports pub for your usual ½ Price Pizza Pie Night when you notice your weekly pizza-night cohort ordering fish and chips. You think, has my friend been abducted by aliens and replaced with his British doppelganger? Then it hits you…Is it Lent already?!
The Lenten season’s origins can be traced back to Roman times. Potential converts seeking to become Christian would spend several years in study and preparation. At the end of the intensive process, there would be a final period of “purification and enlightenment” for the remaining 40 days preceding a convert’s Baptism at Easter. The rest of the church began to observe the season of Lent in unity with the church’s newest Christians and so Lent became an opportunity for all Christians to recall and renew the commitments of their Baptisms.
Yesterday marked Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras or Shrove Day, the day devoted to indulging before the start of Lenten’s fast today on Ash Wednesday. During the fast, Christians will give up certain meats, and refrain from something they would normally indulge in or particularly enjoy… such as Pizza! Besides pizza, small business owners can use this period to give up some of their business bad habits in favor of good business. Here are a few extravagances to give up:
Meeting in Excess
- Meetings are great and truly necessary to advance projects and ensure everyone is on the same track but nothing disrupts the flow of productivity like unnecessary meetings. With tools like email, instant messenger, video conferencing and chat platforms like Skype, it’s best to only use meetings for introductions and serious discussions that can only be held in person.
- The United State Bureau of labor statistics found that in the USA alone, 11 million formal business meetings are had each day.
- About $37 Billion is wasted in unnecessary meetings every year.
- Founder of Blue Grace Logistics, Bobby Harris, recommends that people don’t accept meetings unless the person who requested it has put forth a clear agenda and stated exactly how much time that will be required.
- Even then, Harris recommends giving the person half of the time they initially requested.
Data Protection Denial
- Shred-it Information Security Tracker 2013 survey, found that:This isn’t just a bad habit—it’s a dangerous one – as seen with the impending lawsuits Sony is facing after their systems were hacked leaking personal employee and celebrity information.
- 69% of small-business owners are either unaware or don’t believe their companies could experience a financial impact if their data is lost or stolen.
- 40% don’t even have protocols in place to secure data.
- About 33% don’t train their staff about information security procedures.
- 48% don’t even have anyone on staff that is responsible for the management of data security
- All businesses need to regularly back up their data, create policies for employee use of social media and the Internet, and install software to protect their networks and their client’s data.
Muffing Mobile Marketing
- vSplash’s 2012 study found 98% of small businesses don’t have mobile-optimized sites.
- 86 million Americans use their smartphones to get retail information and 62% of them use their smartphones to help them to shop at least once a month.
- eMarketer reports that retail sales from mobile devices will top $38 billion this year, climb to $52 billion next year and soar to $109 billion by 2017.
- With numbers like that isn’t it time you get on the mobile bandwagon? Be sure to have your web host utilize responsive design, which will provides users with an optimal viewing experience by offering easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling involved.
Traditionally, after being without during Lent, Easter can be a feast and all of the things you had given up will taste much sweeter upon getting them back. Now this isn’t true of the business indulgences above… give them up for Lent and hopefully you won’t want them back as you and your business will be much better off without them. For video-conferencing and other ways to optimize your business performance, call Officense and find out how we can help at the fraction of the cost!
Posted in 2015, Administrative Assistant, After Hours, Baltimore, Business, Business Address, Conference Room, Conference/Events, Cyber security, entrepreneurs, Executive Assistant, Holidays, marketing, meeting, professional, Small Business, Smart phone, success, Technology, video conference, virtual, Virtual Office, Work, workplace
Tagged Ash Wednesday, Business, business address, cyber security, executive assistant, Lent, live-answer, Mardi Gras, Marketing, Meeting, meeting space, mobile marketing, Officense, offices, Shrove Day, small business, Virtual office
Willy from Death of a Salesman famously advised his sons that in order to succeed, one needed to be “well-liked”. And for decades businesses have run on that concept. The likeable guy pushes his product until the client is backed into a corner called “the close”. Well the truth is that now, potential clientele aren’t simply looking for the likeable salesman. Because those clients being “closed” will soon feel closed in and claustrophobic with pushy business selling techniques. Prospects want someone who knows about their needs and can be an advisor for their concerns.
When you’re growing your business, either from the fledgling stage or an established corporation, there is often the mindset to “sell, sell, sell”. However, when prospects feel like you’re chasing them down, they may perceive it as desperation from an unsuccessful business and that’s the death knell for your sales. If you want to generate a solid clientele base –Let go of selling.
Opening the door for conversation with an open ended question can be the beginning of a lasting business relationship between you and a prospect. The key is, they need to feel that you’re not just selling them something; but you actually have a way of benefiting them. And in order for them to feel that way it has to be true. So be interested in their goals; know the concerns in their industry and offer real solutions, not just whatever is most profitable for you.
If you don’t believe your product or service can help the clientele you are seeking, quit today. However, if you do believe it, then you need to communicate that clearly and in a way that’s comfortable and conversational for those you’re serving.
If your business has been running on “sales” for a long time than the separation from old ideologies may be difficult; but it’s definitely necessary.
When your client feels that your solution is no longer working for them, it’s okay to try to rework it and help them see the value. However, when they simply don’t—bow out gracefully. How you say goodbye to a client is often as critical as how you say hello. When you finish well with a client, they may eventually realize that they still needed you all along and since you were the company that respected their decision, they just may return.
Whether or not your business succeeds is often inextricably connected to how your clients perceive your business. Your support staff is the major key to this perception. Choose and treat your staff well and you will be abundantly rewarded with client satisfaction and business success. Yet sometimes you just don’t have the time or resources to get the staff you desire. That’s where Officense comes in. You can call us or stop by our office and we’ll talk with you about what solutions you may need.
And don’t worry—we won’t close you in.
Posted in 2015, Administrative Assistant, Baltimore, Executive Assistant, Funny, History, Inspiration, manager, Maryland, Office, Small Business, Theatre, Tips, Virtual Office, workplace
There are a lot of reasons why you, the entrepreneur or small business owner, do not have an office. Maybe this is your first start-up. You just got this thing off the ground and are still operating on financial fumes. There’s no money in your budget for a dedicated working space, despite how much you both want and need one.
Or maybe you, the roofing contractor, are out in the field all day every day and have never seen the need for an office. It’s an added expense with no justifiable reason. But then comes the day when you need to dedicate time in front of the computer to focus on those 8349857 estimates that needed to go out yesterday. But your laptop doesn’t balance very well on the center console in your work truck. Not to mention all the dirt and tools being in the way. So you head over to the coffee place twice a week and try to get things done.
The bottom line is as follows: for whatever reason, you think you are stuck working at your local coffee shop. You get there bright and early to claim a table as your own. And then set up camp… Because you will need to be there ALL day. Along with the 15 other solopreneurs.
The coffee shop is not the place to be conducting your business.
Why is it not a good idea? Here is a whole plethora of reasons.
There is zero working space, private or otherwise. Just look at the example above. Every inch of table space is accounted for and odds are you are forced to share those precious few inches of tabletop with another guest. And let’s talk about laptop battery life. Being near an outlet is an absolute must. But if you have a laptop, a beverage, and a snack, there is no way you can work all that. Especially with only half of a standard sized café table that is normally grouped with the comfy chairs in the corner. Unless you’re good at this, of course.
Not to mention the fact that all the other people need the same outlet you do. So the odds of actually being next to one are slim to none.
And speaking of private, working on private client details in public is a big no-no. I realize you’re probably not working on highly classified information every time you’re in a coffee shop, but you may at some point. It’s easy to forget where you are when you get caught up in work. The last thing you want to do is work on confidential client information while in a very public place. You never know who is peeking over your shoulder. Think about when you’re on a train. You wouldn’t have your laptop screen open with sensitive information on the screen while sitting next to someone on the train, right? The coffee shop is no different.
You never know who’s listening. All it takes is one person to hear the right tidbit of highly sensitive information from your phone call. Next thing you know, they are blowing up the Twittersphere with your coffeehouse conference call. It is never a good idea to conduct a private conversation in earshot of 20 other people. Not only is it rude to everyone involved, including your client, but it’s also no longer confidential. So that means you have to step outside and take the call. Even when it’s 20 below in the middle of a snow storm. No one wins here.
The rush hour distractions. High volume times = more customer turnover. As in Grand Central Station turnover with lines going all the way back to the front door. This also means more chaos and loud conversation. It’s hard to stay focused when you can’t even hear yourself think. Going during rush hour is risky anyway because it’s harder to find an outlet seat. Or any seat. Top all that off with our natural human desire to people watch means you aren’t getting any work done.
You have to spend money. Okay this one might be a stretch, but let’s look at it from the “being a good human” perspective. First of all, when you are there ALL day just purchasing one cup of coffee is probably pushing it a little. (Even if it is a $12 venti café mocha soy latte with a double shot, whipped cream and sprinkles.) Just like restaurants, the corner coffee shop is affected by turnover; if, for example, you are not going to the cafe to work, and you know that it will be full of people not getting up from their work and there will not be a seat, you will probably choose a different shop. That coffee shop just lost business due to low turnover of tables. If you are working all day, you would need to buy things at least once an hour to justify your all day occupancy. And don’t forget to tip. Well. This equates to your billable hourly rate taking a nose dive thanks to all those lattes and croissants you have to buy.
I think you’re starting to get what I’m putting down here.
Still need more convincing?
Ok, then. You have a crucial new client meeting. This is THE client you have been waiting to land. If you get this one account you’ll be set. Obviously, you have to make your absolute best first impression. But your current home office is mom’s basement. And that circa 1975 décor with the blue shag carpeting and your bean bag office chair and end table desk will most certainly do the opposite. The only other option is the kitchen. But it’s your mom’s turn to host bridge club. Not exactly professional. So you GPS yourself over to the tiny window table two inches from every other window table at Starbucks. When you walk in you realize it is mommy play day. And you learn that children can screech at the same decibel as a jet engine. Who knew?
You tell me. Is that really your best impression?
I didn’t think so. But we can help.
The truth is you are NOT STUCK working at your local java hut. Why not?
Because of Officense.
You can bring your clients to a Class A premium, well-appointed meeting space at a fraction of the cost of leasing your own space. We can help you make your best first impression every time when you need us. And you don’t have to worry about that extra overhead when you don’t.
Call us today to see how we can get you out of the Coffee Shop of Horrors rut and into the kind of non-branded office space you and your clients deserve.
Written by DH
December is one of the greatest months of the year. Many people from all over the world celebrate holidays during this wonderful month and the New Year is right around the corner. December is also a time when winter graduates finally complete their college experience and embark on their next journey into the real world. I myself was a winter graduate and I remember the scary, yet exciting ideas of what was next in my life. The possibilities were endless. Thinking about all of this brings me to a commencement speech given by one of the greatest entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple. The 2005 Stanford University commencement ceremony speech Jobs gave is arguably one of the greatest speeches of all time. Regardless of your background, career path, or goals, there are incredible lessons to be learned from it. The speech centers around the three themes: connecting the dots, love and loss, and death; with each part equally as fascinating as the others.
Connecting the Dots
In the first part of the speech, Jobs describes his early childhood up to college. Put up for adoption by his biological mother before he was born, he was all set to be adopted by a lawyer and his wife; however, at the last minute they decided they wanted a girl instead. His parents, who were on the waiting list, wanted him but his biological mother refused to sign the papers because his mother never finished college, and his father never finished high school. Jobs’ biological mother finally relented months later when his adoptive parents promised to her that he would go to college one day.
[Seventeen years later, while attending Reed College, Steve Jobs, unable to see the value in higher education, dropped out of college.]Over the next 18 months, Jobs slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, returned soda bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and walked 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. Jobs said dropping out was one of the best decisions he had made in his life; it enabled him to stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest him, and drop in on the ones that did. It was at this time that he started going to calligraphy classes and was fascinated by it. The content he learned in these classes later became his foundation for the Macintosh typography.
The core statement of the introductory part of his speech is about having faith in the future. There is no way of knowing what is in store for you, but you have to trust that everything you’re doing now will all connect together in the future. “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Love and Loss
Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage with Steve Wozniak when he was 20. Within 10 years, the company had grown into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. He was on top of the world at 30, and then he got fired. Steve Jobs had a falling out with the person he had appointed CEO of Apple and when he tried to organize a boardroom coup, the Board of Directors sided against Jobs and he was out. He felt like a failure, like he let the last generation of entrepreneurs down. What helped him persevere through this was that he still loved what he did, so he started over. “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
After getting fired from Apple, Jobs went on to create NeXT, a computer company, and Pixar, which created the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and met his future wife, Laurene. Pixar is now the most successful animation studio in the world, and NeXT ended up being bought by Apple, and the hardware created there became the foundation for Apple’s OS X and iOS.
In this portion of the speech, Jobs emphasizes persevering through roadblocks and loving what you do. The most successful people in life are the ones that fight through the hardships and failures. “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
In closing, Jobs talks about how he was diagnosed with an almost certainly incurable form of pancreatic cancer; however, the doctors discovered that it could be treated with surgery and that he was fine now. Unfortunately, no one at that moment in time knew what was going to happen years later. The cancer returned and Jobs passed away in 2011. However, at the time of his initial diagnosis, Jobs stared death in the eyes and beat it. Having faced death, his message was live everyday like it was your last. One of the most memorable quotes during that speech was, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Don’t be afraid to take chances because the most successful people in life are the ones that did repeatedly.
The speech ends with a story of Steve Jobs and a publication that he loved growing up called The Whole Earth Catalog. On the final issue, there was a quote in it that stuck with Jobs throughout his life and that was, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish.” As he wrapped up his speech, he wished the graduates the same words that he had always wished for himself. 4 simple words yet they tied together all the parts of his speech and life perfectly. So to all the new December graduates looking to start the next part of their lives, Stay hungry, Stay foolish.
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Posted in 2011, 2014, 2015, Apple Inc, Biography, Business, Death, entrepreneurs, growth, Inspiration, iPad, iPhone, Laurene Jobs, leader, leadership, Mac, NeXT, Perspective, Pixar, Speech, Steve Jobs, success, Technology
Tagged Apple, Apple Computers, biography, Business, career, CEO, Entrepreneur, Goals, iPad, iPhone, leader, Mac, speech, Stanford University, Steve Jobs, visionary