3 ways to overcome a devastating setback | 2KnowMySelf

3 ways to overcome a devastating setback

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What you don't know about Steve jobs

So many people think they know the full story of Steve jobs but the truth is that there are so many important details about his life that most people aren't aware of.

Steve founded Apple and ended up owning around 11% of its shares (because venture capitalists and other partners owned the rest). After a lot of conflicts between Steve and the board because of his attitude and management style they decided to fire him from apple (when you don't own 51% of the company you can get fired by the board even if you were the founder).

Now let's get to the part most people don't know. After firing him the board denied Steve any role at apple. He eagerly tried to convince them to let him handle the Macintosh department but they refused. Steve walked out of apple desperately as he burst in tears.

Steve then sold all of his shares at apple (around 6.5 million shares that were worth 100 million) and only left one share so that he can attend shareholders meetings.

Steve then started a new company called Next and took with him 5 of his loyal Apple employees. At this point the board sued Steve for stealing apple's candidates.

Even though Steve was brilliant, had a lot of money and a great team Next didn't do well and he was losing money fast. (see also Why did jobs like to walk barefoot)

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick

Steve acquired Pixar, a company that was developing hardware that can be used for making computer animations. The acquisition cost him around 10 million. His efforts to make Pixar profitable weren't working as well.

He was also Still losing money in Next. After sometime Steve realized that he wasted around 50 million dollars, almost half of his fortune. With no shares left at apple and two losing companies that were burning cash fast Steve's life was collapsing. (see also The rules of success explained)

I personally think that when Steve said "Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick, don't lose faith" he was talking about that phase of his life. His reputation was also hurt by the lawsuit filed against him.

You might think that a person who has 50 million must be happy but when you put yourself in Steve's shoes you will realize that you would have been really sad if you were in his place. After all he wasted half of what he ever had in few years and if he continued that way he wound have ended up being nobody in few more years. (see also Why did robin Williams commit suicide)

3 ways to overcome a devastating setback

Steve realized that Next was going down so he focused on Pixar and after some really hard work they managed to create toy story, a 3d animated movie that achieved tremendous success. It's worth to mention that when Pixar went public, almost one week after the release of toy story, its market value became 1.2 billion dollars. Apple at that time was not doing well and realized that they needed the technologies Next was using to improve their products. So Apple bought Next bringing Steve back to the board.

Steve got his place back, his Pride and his little baby Apple. The rest of the story is known to most people. Steve has became the Legend we know today.

Now what do you think were the most important factors that helped Steve recover from that devastating setback?

  • 1) Not caring much about reality: Most people would have been hit hard by those facts if they were in Steve's shoes. During the extensive research i made about his life i noticed that he didn't care much about reality as much as he cared about creating it (see Steve explains how you can change the world)
  • 2) Sheer perseverance: Steve was known for his extraordinary perseverance. Unlike most people he would never take no for an answer. So many people give up as soon as a door is closed. Steve on the other hand keeps knocking until the person on the other side gives up and opens (see also How persistence leads to success)
  • 3) Extraordinary self confidence: Steve wasn't just confident but he was arrogant. He believed he was enlightened where as most people were not. Although arrogance is not a good thing sometimes very high level of confidence can pull you out of the deepest hole ever.

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