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Elizabeth Gilbert and Steve Jobs Don't Settle

You will no doubt have seen the Steve Jobs Stanford graduation address where he says “Don’t settle”. This is a hallmark of Steve Jobs. He never settled. In his private life. At Apple. At how he ran teams of people. At his expectations of himself. At his expectations of what he felt was possible. So I thought of Steve while I was watching the inspirational story of Elizabeth Gilbert. She spent some of her life as a diner waitress while all she wanted to do was write. And she was rejected, and rejected, and rejected. But never gave up. What is clear to me from the start-up world is that the one sure way to give up is to do exactly that: give up. However, hanging in there, persevering, trying and trying no matter how many times you fail, means you have a chance. And a chance is better than no chance. She says “Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential”. And at what point do you say that failure is not your problem, it is the other person’s problem for not realising greatness? It’s a tricky one. The Design Thinking school would say that failure is your problem in that you were not empathetic enough with the customer. Steve and Elizabeth would say otherwise. But what is motivating about Elizabeth’s talk is that she is writing not for the success or failure of the books – indeed, she expects some of her books to fail, as they have – but she writes for the love of writing. Very inspirational. Watch it below [ted id=1983]

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