We all know Steve Jobs, the genius who has brought us our most beloved gadgets for the last decade. From the immense success of the iPod to the hysteria over the iPad, Steve Jobs’ innovation has changed the world forever. The world’s biggest tycoons can only dream of seeing half the success which Steve Jobs enjoys every year.
For me it is not his monetary success which makes him admirable but rather the way he is shaping the world. Take the iPhone as an example of something which has unquestionably transformed the tech world but also transformed the world as a whole. The iPhone has given people a platform to develop new and innovative applications which form the basis of new, creative businesses.
Steve Jobs can therefore be a role model for freelancers, but if you analyse him closer, he can be a role model for anyone in business. Looking up to Jobs as a role model is not even necessary to learn from his success. One thing is for sure; whether you love him or hate him you must admit that studying his success is very beneficial and also somewhat crucial. I therefore give you, what I think, Steve Jobs advice is to freelancers.
1. Enjoy it
Jobs said “Do what you love”.
I had a friend called David whose father wanted him to study to become an accountant. David hated mathematics and his passion was in creative writing. When David would write something, it would become spellbinding and real, such that one would feel compelled to finish reading it. Regardless of David being an undiscovered diamond who would have probably authored literary greats, he studied accounting and now has a 9 – 5 job leading a life he hates.
Steve Jobs enjoys his field of work and that drove him to change his field. From Avicenna to Einstein every person who shaped our world was driven by their love and passion for what they did and never conformed to lead another life.
The majority of freelancers are freelancing because of their passion. I have yet to come across a freelance designer who was forced into it or a freelance writer who doesn’t love writing. The problem which arises with freelancers is that their passion is usually overshadowed by monetary needs and therefore, even your passion can become a chore.
I think Steve Jobs would say: Do it because you love it, not because you have bills to pay or a living to make. Do what you love and the rest will follow.
2. Don’t waste your time
Steve Jobs said “you watch TV to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.”
As a nation, we watch an average of four hours of TV a day. That doesn’t include the hours we spend watching videos on Youtube or stalking people on Facebook! If those hours were translated into constructive time, then we would be significantly more successful.
Take the example of David from the first point. He can still come home after work and instead of spending hours watching TV, he could write. I know many part-time freelancers who work as an employee because of some necessity and then work from home. The reason of why it was possible for them to be as successful despite working less is because they love it.
Spending time with your loved ones is not wasting time, but if you genuinely assess your day you will notice the majority of the day is spent of frivolous activity. Spend the time in your day doing something more productive.
I think Steve Jobs would say: Throw your TV away and block Youtube. Concentrate on your passion for freelancing.
Steve said “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.
Steve Jobs was only able to be as successful as he is due to the innovation he brought to the tech world. You probably think that it is hard to innovate as a freelancer and this is probably true. It is not hard, however, to innovate as a freelance designer, as a freelance photographer or within whatever respective field you work in.
Whichever field you are a freelancer in, you have the opportunity to innovate and change that field positively. Just look at the leaders in your field, they have all innovated and transformed their field somehow and that is what put them ahead of the herd.
Jobs would advise: Innovate and take your field to a new level.
Steve said “People are not used to an environment where excellence is expected”.
Look at the fans of Apple versus the fans of Microsoft. Apple’s fans are die-hard and are fervent followers of Steve Jobs. This is because they expect excellence and he delivers to the highest degree.
When you work on a project for a client, don’t be pleased with your work when it is satisfactory or good. Strive to be excellent. When they receive such a standard of work you will be clientophilic (mix well with clients) and they will definitely recommend you.
Steve would say: Try to beat your own standards and one day you will be standing at the pinnacle of your field.
5. Give something back
Steve Jobs said: “We’re constantly taking things. It’s a wonderful, ecstatic feeling to create something that puts it back in the pool of human experience and knowledge.”
What is the point of learning and not giving anything back? The great thing is, there are loads of ways you can give, from teaching your skills to someone else personally or through a blog like we have done here on FreelanceSchool.
Another way of giving something back is to support a charity. This may not have anything to do with freelancing, but the message is so important, it need not be. We, the people of the west, live in the top 1% of the world’s population. There are 99% of 7 billion people of this world who are poorer than you. Those people who are in the bottom 30-40% especially need our help and we need to help them. When you have seen financial success, give some of it back.
Steve Jobs would say: It’s no fun without sharing our experience with others.
We are not born great; rather we choose the path we walk in life. Choose greatness for yourself and strive for it and one day someone will write an article like this about you. For more awesome content subscribe to our RSS
Places To Find Work For All Types of Freelancers
Elance – They have over 30,000 jobs posted. They also cover many different categories, almost any type of freelancer can find work here.
oDesk – With almost any set of skills you have, you should be able to find freelance work here. They have a wide variety of categories. This is a heavily posted website.