Where Some of the Most Famous Startup Founders Find Their Passion for Work

Not everyone is destined to become the world’s richest person. But there are lessons to be learned in the stories of the most successful people in the world.

So, sit back, and let us walk you through the stories of these incredible people finding their passion for work.

start with why by simon sinek

start with why

by Simon Sinek

⏱ 13 minutes reading time

🎧 Audio version available

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Steve Jobs

Who doesn’t know about this guy? Even though he died about a decade ago, his memory still lives on in the shape of Apple, its products, and its customers. So, how did Steve Jobs end up making more than 10 billion dollars in net worth? Let’s take a look.

Just like most kids, Steve enrolled in college for a degree, but when he looked at the courses he had to sign up for, he wasn’t pleased. He realized that most of the courses didn’t interest him even a little bit, so he decided to drop out. But Steve was hard-working and smart. He convinced the dean of the college to allow him to take the few courses he was really passionate about. He didn’t want college credit or a degree. He just wanted to learn what he liked, and he did. 

This decision affected Steve in incredible ways. One of my favorite of his quotes: “If you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it…you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people, actually.” Steve didn’t know exactly what he was going to do in the future. He just found something he felt good about and he learned to enjoy it.

He went against the tide by doing something unusual in his college life. Steve figured that this was really important. When one finds work can actually be fun, they can use it to their advantage by maintaining that mindset in other aspects of life, especially when an opportunity strikes. For Steve, this opportunity was computers.

Steve Jobs loved computers. But he noticed how impractical and poorly designed they were. Go back about 35 years and think of the computers back then. He saw the need for improvement there. Following your passion can be great, but following your passion for solving problems is so much better.

Steve Jobs worked on design problems completely by himself, out of his parent’s garage. He wanted to create designs that people would actually want to buy. The people around him weren’t particularly supportive of his ideas, least of all the neighbors, who would snicker at him.

There’s another famous saying of Steve Jobs that says: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” This means is that one has to believe that at some point, they’re going to figure things out.

He explained that no one has everything figured out to the letter and that self-belief is important. Well, Steve Jobs continued to work hard until he actually gave a shape to what was being built. The support he got from his friend, Steve Wozniak, also increased when the company started to succeed.

Eventually, the Apple I was created and launched after the company was founded in 1977. We all know what happened next. The company continued to grow until it eventually surpassed everyone else in the industry. 

You may be surprised to know that, after founding Apple, Steve left for 12 years to challenge Apple and created a company called NeXT. Apple eventually bought the company and Steve was called back, which is when he said one of his most famous quotes. It was after this that iPhones, iPods, and iPads were made.

“Apple’s core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.

Elon Musk

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is worth more than 150 billion dollars and even dethroned Jeff Bezos by becoming the richest person on earth for a brief period. A recent setback in cryptocurrency has set him back a little, but he still rests comfortably in the number 2 spot.

He is not only the face of the biggest electric vehicle company, but he’s also planning to eventually take people to Mars. So, how did Musk become this person and where did he find his passion?

A person’s childhood plays a very important role in how they perceive the world, their personality, their likes and dislikes, and so on. As a child, Musk was violently bullied by his classmates. He says he had a miserable childhood. Little to no social interaction meant that Musk would spend a lot of time on the inexpensive computer at home.

Technology and Musk became good friends at an early stage of Musk’s life as it provided him with an escape from a depressing reality. Commodore VIC-20 was the computer he had and it was one of the most basic computers out there. Having spent enough time on it, Musk became quite good at programming at only 10 years of age!

You don’t see many 10-year olds who are proficient at programming. So much so, that he created a game of his own, called Blaster that revolved around space invasions. I kid you not; he was only 13 years old! Oh, and he profited from this venture by selling the game for 500 dollars.

Back then, 500 dollars was not a small amount. Creating his own game and managing to sell it to a company set Musk on the path of entrepreneurship at just 13 years old. Musk learned the lesson of becoming self-sufficient and doing your own thing when most of us were still playing in sandboxes. It only fits that he grew up to create his own companies.

As a child, Musk was a huge fan of comic books and science fiction. So, an incredibly talented kid who immersed himself into technology and who loved nothing better than his comic books and science fiction grew up in a fertile environment.

His love for science fiction and space travel reignited when he created Tesla. We all know how Tesla revolutionized not only electric vehicles, but also green energy and so much more. It was after he became rich and influential that he decided to act on his fantasies and dreams of commercial space travel.

Musk found his inspiration within science fiction movies. Today, he’s the founder and CEO of SpaceX, which aims to introduce space travel for the common man in the near future, and one day, set up a new society on Mars.

At the moment, these goals may seem like wishful thinking, but if you take a look at how SpaceX is dominating and collaborating with NASA, you’d realize that they’ve already accomplished a lot. Elon Musk is the epitome of hard work and success.

These were the stories of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk finding their passion for their work. Their incredible successes in their fields are not a secret. Perhaps we can learn from how they turned their passions into something extraordinary.

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