So What, You’re Not Like Steve, You Can Still Be Like Rocky

rocky statue

I like stories about Steve Jobs, and I really like Apple products.  I read all 656 pages of Walter Isaacson’s book As we speak I’m writing on a MacBook Pro, I have my iPhone 5s plugged in beside me, and my iPad mini within arm’s reach.

I love what resulted from Steve’s passion and vision – particularly the synthesis of art and technology.  All good stuff, and I really hope that Apple can maintain that vision and keep creating amazing products.

Over the past couple years I’ve seen many, many articles on “being like Steve”, the “leadership secrets” of Steve, how to “innovate like Steve”, how to “build a business like Steve”, why I should “emulate Steve”, etc., etc.  A quick internet search of “be like Steve” pulls down hundreds and hundreds of articles.

Steve Jobs is amazing – a visionary, a leader, an innovator. But I’m not like Steve.  I don’t relate to him.  

In coaching many entrepreneurs over the years I have found many people feel the same way – not just with Steve Jobs but with many of the business leaders and innovators that are heralded (Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, to name a few).  Many people consider them special intellects, really talented creators, and so advice on being like them doesn’t feel congruent to the average person who does their best with what they have each day.

Guess what – you, me, we aren’t Steve.  Most of us won’t get the billion dollar idea, and then have the guts and courage, to bring it to life.  

So what.  

We can still be successful, and happy.

I don’t try to be like Steve.  I’m more interested in being like Rocky, and for you movie enthusiasts I’ll reference some specific scenes:

Rocky I: When he gets up early, drinks the raw eggs, and struggles to run, when no one is awake, and no one is watching.

I want that kind of hustle. 

Rocky I: When he’s talking to Adrian in bed the night before the fight with Apollo and he says that he doesn’t even care about winning – he just cares about going the distance.  Because if he does he proves to himself that he did something worthwhile and that he wasn’t just another bum from the neighbourhood.

I want that kind of internal motivation.  I want to do things for the internal reward. 

Rocky II: When Apollo wants a rematch with Rocky and Duke Evers is trying to talk Apollo out of it saying “I saw you beat that man like I never seen no man get beat before. And the man kept coming after you. We don’t need that kind of man in our lives”.

I want to be that kind of person.  The kind who just keeps coming. No matter what. 

Rocky III: When Rocky realizes that he can’t beat Clubber on his own – he doesn’t have the tools. So he swallows his pride and goes to LA to “start again” with Apollo.

I want to be alert to that kind of feedback, and willing to swallow my pride, if it will get me the results I want.

Rocky IV: When he agrees to fight Drago in Russia, after Drago killed Apollo in a fight.

I want that kind of courage. 

Steve, Elon, Richard, they are all awesome. If they inspire you, and you can relate to them, great!  Me, I’m going to try to be like Rocky.

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