There were many personality traits that helped Steve Jobs become the most successful entrepreneur of our time. We can all learn a lot from him. In addition, whether or not you've already reached success, Steve Jobs provides a fantastic blueprint to follow. I personally know many very successful entrepreneurs who still follow several of his principles and traits to this day.
The first trait that I think is most important and unique is his unbelievable imagination. It's one thing to envision your company growing and taking market share from another competitor, but it's another thing to envision that your company's products and services will change the way people communicate, work and live their lives. He built his company under the assumption that Apple's products and services would change the world.
His uncanny ability to develop and design technology products (now everyday products) that people love was like no other entrepreneur's before, during or after his time. He's truly a legend in the concept of innovative and interactive design. He focused on design and was insistent that it be absolutely perfect. It was his belief that design is a critical component to developing next-generation products that people love. I think there is a lot to be learned here. He made one aspect of building his business (that is, design) very important as opposed to other areas. This evolved into Apple's competitive advantage and the company's brand.
He was also extremely passionate and fearless when it came to growing Apple. Many actions in his career were controversial and at certain points risked the future of the company. He had an extraordinary ability to push his company and employees to the limits without going over the edge. In addition, if you were a potential customer or an existing one, he made you understand why you had to have Apple's products or services. He was the ultimate salesperson.
These are just a few of the many traits Steve Jobs left for us to learn from and embrace with our own companies. Your business journey won't be the same as his, but you can certainly follow many of his revolutionary ways of building a great company.
Ryan Himmel, CPA and registered securities analyst, is the founder and CEO of BIDaWIZ.com, a professional network for small businesses and entrepreneurs to obtain trusted advice and services from a team of CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Financial Planners & Tax Attorneys. His team provides answers to the many finance and tax questions that small businesses encounter every day. Ryan has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fox Business and Crain's New York, among other publications. Ryan also regularly contributes to the community with his finance and tax blog.