Don’t Try To Be The Next Steve Jobs

I was watching an episode of Charlie Rose the other day in which an idea was presented that really resonated with me, so I thought I would pass it on.

In the episode, Bill Maris and Kevin Rose (both from Google Ventures) were being interviewed when the question was asked: “Who is the next Steve Jobs?”. Now usually when this question is asked a flurry of names get mentioned. Jeff Bezos. Larry Page. Mark Zuckerberg. This time however Bill Maris simply answered by saying that he is not looking for the next Steve Jobs. He is looking for people that are capable of changing the world as Steve Jobs did. People with “a healthy disregard for the impossible”.

This thought stuck with me.

Our own personalities are a collection of the traits, ideas and mannerisms that we have picked up from those around us as we have walked the winding (and often complicated) path that is life.

As children, we learned by copying our parents. As we grow older we continue to copy from those around us and from the people we admire. It’s just part of human nature.

However it is important not to get too hung up on a single person. We shouldn’t be trying to emulate all of the traits of an individual just because they have been judged as a success. As if to think that by copying their personality we too will be able to enjoy the same success.

Sorry to burst the bubble folks, but it doesn’t work like that.

I personally admit to having fallen fowl of copycat syndrome a few times over the past few years. 
As I’ve learned more about the people I admire, I have tried to merge their personality traits with mine. Sometimes consciously, sometimes not. But it has always essentially led me back to the same conclusion.

Getting hung up on trying to act like someone you admire just leads you further away from discovering who you really are.

Don’t try to be the next Steve Jobs, Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg.

Just focus on being the next you.

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