Steve Jobs: A Profile in Failure and Courage

It is my pleasure to introduce you to this week’s 8pm Warrior of the Week.  He is a college dropout.  He was fired from a company he started in his garage and now he’s fighting the worst kind of cancer.

We’ve all heard of Steve Jobs.  Like him or not, there’s very few people who would disagree that he’s inspiring, creative, and brilliant.

He is also a true 8pm Warrior.

In 2004 he was successfully running both Apple and Pixar (now he sits on Disney’s board) while fighting for his life against Pancreatic Cancer, a disease that claims 95% of victims within 5 years.

That was 7 years ago.

Now Apple is the #2 most valuable company in the world and Barron’s recently declared that Steve Jobs was “without a doubt” the most valuable CEO in the world.  Fortune magazine named him the Smartest CEO in the world.

Success!

However, I think many people (primarily young Warriors) forget about what always preceded his success:  failure.

1) He couldn’t find success in college, so he started a company.

2) He was fired from that company, so he started two more.

3) Some of his products were disasters, so developed new ones such as Macs, Computer Animation, iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

4) Now, his ventures and products are wildly successful, but he has one battle he may not win, Pancreatic Cancer.

Yet, he will no doubt fight on.

Before one of the brightest business stars in history passes from this earth, I wanted to personally recognize him, his struggles, and the 8pm Warrior story we can all learn from.  In some of my darkest moments in business, his story has reminded me of what is possible when you don’t give up doing the work you love.  His story reminds us to press on.

Here’s a timeline:

  • Born & Adopted (1955)
  • Drops out of Reed College after one semester (1972)
  • Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne start Apple (1976)
  • Power struggle leads to his forced exit from Apple (1984), so he starts NeXT (competitor)
  • Creates Pixar Animation Studios (1986)
  • Serves as executive producer of the first computer animated movie “Toy Story” (1995)
  • Apple buys NeXT, Steve returns as CEO of Apple after 13 years (1997)
  • Pancreatic Cancer attempts a hostile takeover (2004)
  • Steve remains as CEO of Pixar until merger with the Walt Disney Company (2006)
  • Jobs undergoes a Liver transplant (2009)
  • Apple becomes the world #2 most valuable company and Barron’s declares that Steve Jobs is “without a doubt” the most valuable CEO in the world. (2011)

Thanks for the inspiration Steve.

Aaron@Biebert

More good reading about Steve Jobs:

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Warrior of the Week: Aaron Rodgers

As the onfield executive of the Green Bay Packers offense, Aaron Rodgers brings new meaning to the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard”.

However, this post isn’t about football.  It’s about a fellow 8pm Warrior.

While I think Aaron has a ton of natural talent, I think it will be his 8pm Warrior ways that will put him in the NFL Hall of Fame.  When others relax or have fun at night, his teammates say that he huddles with his laptop and studies his next opponent…planning, thinking, gaining an advantage.

Nothing new for him.

He’s been working like this since the beginning, even though every NCAA Division I team declined to offer him a scholarship out of high school, 23 NFL teams passed on him in the draft, Brett Favre ignored him, critics doubted him, and thousands of football fans ran to New York and Minnesota chasing after the biggest “has been” in the history of the NFL.

Yet Aaron fought and conquered, never giving up.  That’s why he’s this week’s 8pm Warrior of the Week.

Curious about Aaron?  Here’s some reading material:

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert

He’s Got Our Attention

As a response to being named this week’s “Warrior of the Week”, Jordan Zimmerman posted further commentary on his blog.  I felt his thoughts on our way of life warranted sharing (link to full article below):

Attention, Business Warriors

This blog is a sure sign that I’m not the only one out there who has figured out that one of the secrets to success is hard work and little sleep.  But I also know that this lifestyle is not for everyone.  Maybe you require more than three to four hours of sleep every night. And that’s ok.

The question you should be asking yourself is, “What is my secret to success?

Once you find the answer, own it…no matter how crazy it may seem. Do you know how many people over the years have told me I’m insane for getting so little sleep and having such large goals?  I lost count a long time ago!  But I always tell them there’s a thin line between brilliance and insanity.  You can’t be normal to be great.  Life is not about being normal – it’s about being abnormal.

So figure out what makes you tick…what drives you towards greatness. Now get out there and own it.

If you haven’t subscribed to Jordan Zimmerman’s blog “You Sleep When You Die”, you may want to do that.  He’s provides straight talk and a great commentary on the 8pm Warrior way of life.

JZ, thanks for being a great “Warrior of the Week” and we’ll definitely be paying attention (as well as sharing, and retweeting) as you post new blogs, tweets, etc.   We’ve added your blog to the 8pm Warrior discussion news feed on Linkedin and we look forward to more discussion.

Have a great day,

Aaron@Biebert

Warrior of the Week: Jordan Zimmerman

Burnout? I don’t think this “Warrior of the Week” has ever heard of burnout.

It’s a pleasure to introduce you to Jordan Zimmerman (also known as JZ).  Since starting his own advertising agency in 1984,  he has been the ultimate 8pm Warrior.  For the past 27 years he never stopped, barely slept, and kept up a work regimen that is truly rare in our 9-5 world.

All that hard work is paying off.

Today he has over 1,100 employees in 10 states, runs the 14th-largest agency in the nation doing close to $3 billion per year in billings, and is a partner in the Florida Panthers.  (if you’re curious about family, he also has a wife and four kids)

What advice did he give me to share with his fellow 8pm Warriors?

“I just don’t think we really need that much sleep. After all, there’s plenty of time to sleep after you’re dead!”

…typical Jordan Zimmerman.

Here’s a quick video with some more quotes from him:

This is what his typical “off time” looks like.

  • Try to get home for dinner
  • After the kids go to bed, he works a few more hours in his home office studying research, reprioritizing accounts, or working on his blog
  • He’ll go to bed around 11 or 12pm
  • He gets up every morning at 3:30am and is at the gym to lift weights by 4 am
  • By 5:30, he’s back home and then out on his bike.  (He rides 25 miles before breakfast)
  • He eats breakfast with the three youngest kids and takes them to school if he’s not traveling that day
  • Then off to the office

If he’s not an 8pm Warrior, then I don’t know who is.  I used to be proud of myself for keeping sleep down to only 5 or 6 hours…but he’s running on 3.5 to 4.5!

Does he sleep on weekends?

“Why would you sleep when that’s your time to live?” he says. “Sleeping isn’t living. You sleep when you die.”

Not surprisingly, “You Sleep When you Die” is also the name of his blog.

He’s got so many great thoughts on business and life so we’ll be featuring his material all week on the 8pm Warrior twitter feed and facebook forum.  In the meantime, here are some other ways to connect with him:

If you have a favorite 8pm Warrior you think should be featured, please let us know by sharing a link to their blog/website in the comment section, tweeting @8pmWarrior, or posting info on the 8pm Warrior facebook forum.

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert