By Mark Macias
I frequently come across old stories I wrote for different publications. This morning I read a story I wrote for an entrepreneurial magazine after Steve Jobs died. As one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, we can all learn from his vision, execution and tenacity.
Here’s a shorter vision of that story I wrote on Steve Jobs shortly after his death – in my attempt to become a better entrepreneur.
I think I know what Steve Jobs would say about all of this news coverage.
“Write something different. Obituaries are for dead people.”
When I write, I want to learn. I want readers to walk away with something they didn’t know, but how does a writer accomplish that when every news outlet on the planet is covering the Steve Jobs death in the same way.
Here’s how I would cover this story if I were still a journalist with NBC or CBS. I would try to channel Steve Jobs.
I never met Steve Jobs nor do I claim to know his thoughts, but I do promise these quotes are directly from Steve Jobs’ mouth. Their analysis – however – is from me, which means only time will reveal if these insights are true for you. For now, go along with the journey.
Steve Jobs: “I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started?…What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. 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.”
Mark Macias: Every entrepreneur, journalist, and businessman wants to be creative, but few know how to achieve it. Steve Jobs is the inventor of creativity, so let’s take his advice. Creativity is about losing yourself. When I was an Executive Producer with WNBC, I learned that power is an aphrodisiac and once you taste it, you never want anything else. That’s fine if you can sustain the habit, but fame and power are both fleeting. Sooner or later, it will escape your grip. Steve Jobs learned something at an early age that every person in power fears: Power constricts your creativity because you are so focused on the act of maintaining control. Creativity and control are juxtaposed. They don’t work together. As a man who gained and lost power, I can tell you when a person loses power, his ability to think becomes clearer and as your mind becomes clearer, the spirit of creativity is manifested.
Steve Jobs: “When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation…On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself.”
Mark Macias: So many of my friends worry about losing their jobs and it’s an understandable fear. But rather than fret about the unknown, let’s apply Steve Jobs’ advice – “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” When we are hungry and foolish, we have nothing to lose and that’s how entrepreneurs succeed. When we have nothing to lose, we will take the gamble because we know inside, there is no place to go but up. When you’re hungry, you work harder to find food. When you’re foolish, fear disappears. The only thing I fear – right now – is the day when I lose this foolish fear of hunger pains.
Steve Jobs: “Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new…Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Mark Macias: Steve Jobs left behind a fortune worth billions of dollars. He could have done anything he wanted or traveled anywhere, met any person. Luckily, he grasped the big picture of life and that is, in my analysis: Life is just the first act, and as soon as you realize that, it suddenly gets fun. You don’t worry what people say or believe and as a businessman, journalist, or entrepreneur — you don’t follow others. My Dad always told me to create my own path. I didn’t understand that as a nine-year-old. I thought he was trying to tell me to get lost in his own polite way. Now, as an adult, I think he was telling me what Steve Jobs told us: Have the courage to follow your heart.
Macias PR was named the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. The firm was founded by Mark Macias – a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. Macias is a weekly contributor with CNBC.com and author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media, which has been featured in the NY Times, Fox Business, NY Post and others. Macias PR has run media campaigns for tech startups, financial groups, service providers, nonprofits and politicians.