“I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.”

A life of reinvention and redemption
Reinvention and Redemption: Steve Jobs Adrift in the Wilderness

An excerpt from Book One in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find more meaning and passion in your life.

Maybe the most famous real life story of reinvention and redemption belongs to Steve Jobs in three acts.

It is the classic Hero’s Journey, according to writer Brent Schlender

Wandering in the Wilderness

“Act 1 – The Founding of Apple Computer (and the launch of the PC Industry); 

Act 2 – The Wilderness Years; and 

Act 3 – His Triumphant Return as a CEO of Apple and Pixar, and ultimately his tragic death.”

While like Russell’s second act where both found themselves adrift in the wilderness, Jobs finally settled down, married and had a family.

But he was on a mission, obsessed with revenge and for showing the world he was “more than a one-trick pony,” as argued by Schlender.

Pivot at Pixar Studios

At Pixar Jobs learned what he needed to help him succeed in his third act at Apple.

Jobs,  John Lasseter and Ed Catmull executed a less famous but typical Jobs high-risk, strategic pivot from selling high-end computer technology.

“’At our heart, we really are a content company. 

Let’s transition out of everything else. 

It’s a higher-risk strategy, but the rewards are gonna be much higher, and it’s where our hearts are. 

‘Let’s go for it. 

This is why I bought into Pixar. 

This is why most of you are here. 

Let’s go for it.” 

After his tragic death in 2011 a veritable cottage industry emerged to tell us every tip and secret we should know about his life and work.

Stuff we need to incorporate in ours.

Connect ideas from different fields. 

Creativity is connecting things – people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss.  

What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers? 

He informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation. 

Don’t live in a bubble. 

Sell dreams, not products. 

They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. 

Some of his more famous quotes:

“People with passion can change the world for the better.” 

“I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.” 

“Put a dent in the universe.” 

“Create insanely different experiences.”

During his famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford delivered after he discovered he had cancer, he said

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life. 

It is life’s change agent.”

“You know not to waste life living someone else’s choices.”

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”


(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.


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