Friday, February 13, 2009

Perseverance and the Apple Super Bowl commercial

There's no question times are tough out there for a lot of folks. When things are good, everyone thinks they know how to be prosperous. Bad times give many people a rude awakening. What you thought you knew doesn't apply anymore. Working your way up the corporate ladder to a comfortable retirement seemed to be a safe way to go through life, until layoffs and disappearing retirement funds came along. Working for yourself as an entrepreneur seemed to be another good way to succeed- until suppliers dried up, clients stopped paying, and bankruptcy loomed. The truth is there is no sure fire way to do well in life and avoid all pitfalls. But there are some things you can do to help you get through tough situations. Perseverance is key.

Case in point, I was reading an article not long ago that referenced Apple Computer's first Super Bowl ad. It came out in 1984 and helped launch Apple into a fight against IMB for computer industry dominance. Apple became a household name, the artistic anti-brand that stood out among boring PC clones. Leap forward 24 years and Apple is doing very well. Look to the person on the left of you, then to the person on the right- chances are they both have an iPod. They may both have iPhones too. It's easy to look at Apple as a revolutionary and successful company. But they also had a dark period. Any Apple fanboys reading this of course know that going into the 90's the company had fallen on tough times. They lost their fight against IBM, their market share was down,  and Steve Jobs, Apple's legendary founder, had been pushed out of the company. But Jobs wasn't done for, nor was Apple. Perseverance is such an easy thing to teach our kids, but it is much harder in practice. The purpose of this post isn't to write at length about the history of Apple or label Steve Jobs as some type of god. It is simply to remind us all that perseverance can pay off. If your an entrepreneur, keep doing what your doing. Find someone who has been through tough economic times before and learn about things you can do to help. If your working in a company fearful of being let go, don't sit around in panic mode, get your resume ready and freshen up some of your skill sets. If you're out of a job and don't see any work on the horizon, think about what you can do to make yourself stand out when companies are hiring again. Perhaps learn a second language, or go back to school for a little bit. I know reading a simple blog post isn't going to fix what's wrong, but doing nothing won't fix what's wrong either. I'll close with a post of the Apple Super Bowl ad- there is no better time than now to shake things up the same way the ad's lead character does.

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