The Obstacle is the Way

Because businesses are about people, they suffer from the same obstacles and difficulties that people do. Success and failure. Trials and tribulations. No-one is perfect and no business is perfect.

Businesses are about people. There are some truisms that stand the test of time, such as:

People buy from people.

People buy for their reasons, not yours.

People don;t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

And more….

Because businesses are about people, they suffer from the same difficulties people do. Success and failure. Trials and tribulations. No-one is perfect and no business is perfect.

I have listened to two books in August that have been very informative.

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Steve Jobs – The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson was a fascinating book about an extremely flawed genius. While, on the one hand, I wasn’t aware of just how much of the things we take for granted today was a result of Jobs (icons, windows user interface, the operation of the mouse, animated movies like Toy Story) it is obvious from this biography that he was far from perfect. There were some major setbacks. It is easy to see Apple’s success and influence today and believe it was relatively smooth sailing. It wasn’t.

While Jobs had obstacles he was resolute in his beliefs and resilient enough to not only overcome them, but use them to his advantage. This is a classic example of the philosophy of stoicism. In his book and that is the second book I have listened to.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday. This again is a fascinating and informative book about not only dealing with obstacles but in using them as opportunities to create an advantage. We need to stop seeing obstacles as problems and accept that difficulties will happen. It is only how we respond to them that dictates how negative they are.

Audiobooks are a fantastic opportunity to learn at times that would otherwise be wasted. cutting the grass, washing the car, walking the dogs, driving. I now get through three times as many books as before and there are some that I probably wouldn’t have read, but am happy to listen to (the Steve Jobs one is a case in point).

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