I was lucky because I found what I loved to do early in life. When I was 20, Wozniak and I started Apple in my parent’s garage at steve jobs. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the 2 of us in a garage into a 2 billion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We had just created our finest creation “The Macintosh”
A year earlier, and that I had just turned 30 then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company that you have started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone. Who I thought was very talented to run the company successfully with me and then for the first year or so things well. But later on, our vision regarding the company’s future began to diverge. Due to this, we had a falling out. When we did our board of directors sided with him. And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone and was devastating. I really didn’t know what to try for a couple of months.
I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneur down, that I had dropped the baton because it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly.
I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley but something slowly began to down to me. But I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I used to be still loved. And then I decided to start over. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have over happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the foremost creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company with the name of “NeXT” and one another company with the name of Pixar. During this period of my life, I fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife at the end. Pixar went on to make the world’s first computer-animated feature, “Toy Story”, and is now the foremost successful animation studio around the world.
In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and that I returned to Apple and therefore the technology we developed at NeXT is at the guts of Apple’s current renaissance. My wife (Lauren) and I have a wonderful family together. I’m pretty sure none of this world has happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It awful tasted medicine, but I assume the patient needed it. steve jobs
Sometimes life’s getting to hit you within the head with a brick. Always don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the sole thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. “You have got to find what you love”. That is as true for your work because it is for your lovers. Your work goes to fill an outsized part of your life and therefore the only thanks to being truly satisfied are to try to what you think is great work. The result, the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the guts, you’ll know once you find it. You can see any great relationship it just gets better and better because of the year roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.