4 Financial Lessons from Steve Jobs

Even PC users must admit that we can all learn a little something from Steve Jobs and the way he lived his life.

The Apple co-founder was a great mind of our time, forever changing the way society thinks about personal computer use and digital media experience. Much of his perspective on innovation can be easily applied to finances and money.

Steve Jobs Apple

I’ve curated a few of Jobs’ most memorable quotes into four valuable money lessons.

1. Don’t be afraid to fail.

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” (Business Brief)

This doesn’t just apply to those looking to establish the next great tech startup. It makes sense for our everyday finances too. When it comes to our money, failure and mistakes happen. Learn from your financial mistakes and move on.

2. Always choose quality over quantity.

“One home run is much better than two doubles.” (Business Week)

When I graduated from college, there was one thing I wanted to spend some graduation money on: an iPod classic. The tunes streaming from my much-beloved purchase got me through many a grad school paper, tedious desk work, 14-hour trips between Syracuse, New York and Lexington, South Carolina, and even two marathons. That one purchase, though pricey at the time, has given me more ROI of happiness than I could’ve dreamed. Make purchases based on quality, not quantity.

3. Find what you love to do, then make money doing it.

“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.” (Source unknown)
Whether or not Jobs would’ve done the same work for no money is difficult to know. However, he is quoted telling Atari in 1976 that he was willing to give them a product he developed just so it could be produced. Regardless, he found something that he loved to do and then discovered how to make a living off of it. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream. Once you find it, ask yourself, “How can I make a living doing this?” Wouldn’t you rather make money doing something you love?

4. Keep at it.

“Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could – I’m searching for the right word – could, could die.” (TIME, 1997)

My husband and I spent the last six months or so saving up for a new scooter. (You might remember that our old scooter “Reba” is dead in the water. We’ve signed a do-not-resuscitate order.) We kept saving until we had the cash and waited for the right time. We finally found “Blanche,” a 2008 yellow-gold Buddy, and all of the waiting and saving was well worth it. Whether you’re searching for your dream job, paying down student loan debt, building up an emergency savings fund, or saving for a scooter with an old lady name, don’t give up! It really will be worth it in the end.

The Final Word

Steve Jobs’ life can be an inspiration, even for those living paycheck-to-paycheck and wondering how to pay the next bill. While you may not aspire to “put a ding in the universe,” why not strive to make progress in your personal and financial life goals?