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190+ Motivational Steve Jobs Quotes on Success and Hard Work

Steve Jobs is the legendary and innovative entrepreneur, most commonly known as the founder of Apple. Keep reading for some of the best Steve Jobs quotes to motivate you to go after your dreams, no matter how high they are:

Jobs: Who Is He? What Did He Do?

Legendary innovator, Steven Paul Jobs, was born on February 24th, 1955, in San Francisco, California. He held a passion for technology and design from a young age. In 1974, he dropped out of Reed College to pursue a video game designer role at Atari. Later in the year, Jobs reconnected with an old high school friend, Stephen Wozniak, discovering that Wozniak had designed his own computer logic board. Wozniak was working for Hewlett Packard Company at the time, and when they denied his design, he and Jobs went into business together. Jobs and Wozniak designed the board in Jobs’ garage.

After much time, effort, and hustling to generate funding, the Apple I was created. To make the board marketable, Wozniak pushed even further to create the Apple II, which came with a fully functioning keyboard. With Jobs’ networking gaining them access to financing, publicity, and distribution, the Apple II hit the market in 1977 and was a success. Over the years, they gathered a small team of developers. This then helped Apple make a quick entrance into Fortune 500’s list of companies by 1983. However, with Jobs’ push for the failed creation of MacIntosh computers, tension rose around him in the company, eventually leading to Jobs being fired.

With his newly gained freedom, Steve Jobs undertook two new firms: Next Inc. and Pixar. Over time, he turned Pixar into a major animation studio. He scored billions of dollars and even some accolades, such as the first full-length feature film to be entirely computer-animated (Toy Story, 1995). During Apple’s financial losses in 1996, a new chief executive was hired. They then bought Jobs’ “NEXTSTEP” operating system and brought Jobs back on to lead the team. For the rest of his career, Steve Jobs grew in fame and fortune. His success was due to his versatile, original Apple products, such as the iMac, iBook, iPod, iPhone, and iPod/iPhone Touch.

In 2003, he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. It was eventually cured, but it led to various health issues that led him to his death. He died on October 5th, 2011.

Steve Jobs was one of the most successful entrepreneurs due to his creation of many revolutionary technologies. He left behind a large legacy that continues to impact today’s most innovative minds. Discover some inspiring quotes below that offer advice on business and insight on the beauty of simplicity.

Steve Jobs Quotes
This photo was created entirely by Matthew Yohe.

Steve Jobs Quotes on Passion

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle.” -Steve Jobs

“People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing, and it’s totally true. And the reason is that it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up. It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up.” -Steve Jobs

“And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs

“I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.” -Steve Jobs

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” -Steve Jobs

“You’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.” -Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs Quotes on Success and Money

“I don’t care about being right. I care about success and doing the right thing.” -Steve Jobs

“I think all of us need to be on guard against arrogance, which knocks at the door whenever you’re successful.” -Steve Jobs

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don’t blame them. It’s really tough, and it consumes your life.” -Steve Jobs

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful. That’s what matters to me.” -Steve Jobs

“If you really look at the ones that ended up, you know, being “successful” in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, oftentimes, it’s the ones who were successful and loved what they did, so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough. And the ones that didn’t love it quit because they’re sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it?” -Steve Jobs

“I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things; it enables you to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback and things like that.” -Steve Jobs

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” -Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Quotes on Hard Work and Ambition

“Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.” -Steve Jobs

“It’s very easy to take credit for the thinking. The doing is more concrete. But somebody, it’s very easy to say, “Oh, I thought of these three years ago.” But usually, when you dig a little deeper, you find that the people that really did it were also the people that really worked through the hard intellectual problems as well.” -Steve Jobs

“The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person.” -Steve Jobs

“The really great person will keep on going and find the key, underlying principle of the problem, and come up with a beautiful, elegant solution that works.” -Steve Jobs

“When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences, or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.” -Steve Jobs

“When you’re doing something for yourself, or your best friend or family, you’re not going to cheese out. If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much.” -Steve Jobs

“So it’s a lot of hard work, and it’s a lot of worrying constantly, and if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail. So you’ve got to love it, and you’ve got to have passion, and I think that’s the high-order bit.” -Steve Jobs

“I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.” -Steve Jobs

“I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.” -Steve Jobs

“The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person.” -Steve Jobs

“Ultimately, it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you’re doing.” -Steve Jobs

“The people that have really made the contributions have been the thinkers and the doers.” -Steve Jobs

“The greatest people are self-managing – they don’t need to be managed. Once they know what to do, they’ll go figure out how to do it. What they need is a common vision. And that’s what leadership is: having a vision; being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it, and getting a consensus on a common vision.” -Steve Jobs

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” -Steve Jobs

“You can change it; you can influence it.” -Steve Jobs

“You get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.” -Steve Jobs

“Most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.” -Steve Jobs

“If you act like you can do something, then it will work.” -Steve Jobs

“I’ve never found anyone who’s said no or hung up the phone when I called-I just asked. And when people ask me, I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.” -Steve Jobs

“You gotta act. And you’ve gotta be willing to fail; you gotta be ready to crash and burn, with people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.” -Steve Jobs

“Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask. And that’s what separates sometimes the people that do things from the people that just dream about them.” -Steve Jobs

“If you are willing to work hard and ask lots of questions, you can learn business pretty fast.” -Steve Jobs

“Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.” -Steve Jobs

“We are aware that we are doing something significant. We’re here at the beginning of it, and we’re able to shape how it goes.” -Steve Jobs

black iPod Nano 2nd generation

Steve Jobs Quotes About Technology

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” -Steve Jobs

“On how will the Web impact our society: We live in an information economy, but I don’t believe we live in an information society. People are thinking less than they used to. It’s primarily because of television. People are reading less, and they’re certainly thinking less.” -Steve Jobs

“Obviously, one of the great challenges of an education is to teach us how to think. What we’re finding is that computers are actually going to affect the quality of thinking as more and more of our children have these tools available to them.” -Steve Jobs

“My job is to say when something sucks rather than sugarcoat it.” -Steve Jobs

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people, so they can tell us what to do.” -Steve Jobs

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” -Steve Jobs

“Don’t get hung up on who owns the idea. Pick the best one, and let’s go.” -Steve Jobs

“All we are is our ideas or people. That’s what keeps us going to work in the morning, to hang around these great bright people. I’ve always thought that recruiting is the heart and soul of what we do.” -Steve Jobs

“That was what we learned: was that us, too, we didn’t know much. We could build a little thing that could control a giant thing, and that was an incredible lesson.” -Steve Jobs

“More important than building a product, we are in the process of architecting a company that will hopefully be much more incredible; the total will be much more incredible than the sum of its parts.” -Steve Jobs

“I’ll tell you what our goal is: our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world and to make products we are proud to sell and recommend to our family and friends, and we want to do that at the lowest price we can.” -Steve Jobs

“What I’m best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them.” -Steve Jobs

“What I do all day is meet with teams of people, and work on ideas, and solve problems, to make new products, to make new marketing programs, whatever it is.” -Steve Jobs

“We had everything to gain. And we figured even if we crash and burn and lose everything, the experience will have been worth ten times the cost.” -Steve Jobs

“In business, if I knew earlier what I know now, I’d have probably done some things a lot better than I did, but I also would’ve probably done some other things a lot of worse. But so what? It’s more important to be engaged in the present.” -Steve Jobs

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.” -Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” -Steve Jobs

“Humans are tool builders. We create things to amplify ourselves. The computer will rank at the top – it’s the most awesome tool ever.” -Steve Jobs

“What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” -Steve Jobs

“No, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.” -Steve Jobs

“Most of the time, we’re taking things. Neither you nor I made the clothes we wear; we don’t make the food or grow the foods we eat; we use a language that was developed by other people; we use another society’s mathematics. Very rarely do we get a chance to put something back into that pool. I think we have that opportunity now.” -Steve Jobs

“When we create stuff, we do it because we listen to customers, get their inputs, and also throw in what we’d like to see, too. We cook up new products. You never really know if people will love them as much as you do.” -Steve Jobs

“The point is that tools are always going to be used for certain things we don’t find personally pleasing. And it’s ultimately the wisdom of people, not the tools themselves, that is going to determine whether these things are used in positive, productive ways.” -Steve Jobs

“I do feel there is another way we have an effect on society besides our computers.” -Steve Jobs

silver macbook on brown wooden table

Steve Jobs Quotes on Innovation and Starting a Business

“There is a tremendous amount of craftsmanship between a great idea and a great product.” -Steve Jobs

“I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. You have to pick carefully.” -Steve Jobs

“I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating.” -Steve Jobs

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.” -Steve Jobs

“Many companies forget what it means to make great products. After initial success, sales and marketing people take over, and the product people eventually make their way out.” -Steve Jobs

“It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.” -Steve Jobs

“I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on.” -Steve Jobs

“Sometimes, when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” -Steve Jobs

“Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack.” -Steve Jobs

“You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.” -Steve Jobs

“Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” -Steve Jobs

woman placing sticky notes on wall

Steve Jobs Quotes on Artists and Creativity

“If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves. That’s the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they’re still artists.” -Steve Jobs

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.” -Steve Jobs

“Creativity is just connecting things.” -Steve Jobs

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” -Steve Jobs

“The greatest thing is when you do put your heart and soul into something over an extended period of time, and it is worth it.” -Steve Jobs

“As you are growing and changing, the more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you that it thinks you are, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to go, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy, and I’m getting out of here.” And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.” -Steve Jobs

“Details matter; it’s worth waiting to get it right.” -Steve Jobs

“Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas, and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.” -Steve Jobs

“For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” -Steve Jobs

“I think the artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them. Generally putting things together in a way no one else has before and finding a way to express that to other people who don’t have that insight.” -Steve Jobs

“What I do see is a small group of people who are artists and care more about their art than they do about almost anything else. It’s more important than finding a girlfriend; it’s more important… than cooking a meal, it’s more important than joining the Marines, it’s more important than whatever.” -Steve Jobs

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” -Steve Jobs

think outside the box

Steve Jobs Quotes About Life and Death

“The only thing you have in your life is time. If you invest that time in yourself to have great experiences that are going to enrich you, then you can’t possibly lose.” -Steve Jobs

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know…” -Steve Jobs

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” -Steve Jobs

“I think the things you most regret in life are things you didn’t do. What you really regret was never asking that girl to dance.” -Steve Jobs

“That was one of the things that came out most clearly from this whole experience [with cancer]. I realized that I love my life. I really do. I’ve got the greatest family in the world, and I’ve got my work. And that’s pretty much all I do. I don’t socialize much or go to conferences. I love my family, and I love running Apple, and I love Pixar. And I get to do that. I’m very lucky.” -Steve Jobs

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” -Steve Jobs

“Life goes on, and you learn from it.” -Steve Jobs

“I believe life is an intelligent thing, that things aren’t random.” -Steve Jobs

“Invest time in yourself to have great experiences that are going to enrich you.” -Steve Jobs

“Don’t take it all too seriously. If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.” -Steve Jobs

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.” -Steve Jobs

“You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs

“That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however, you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” -Steve Jobs

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” -Steve Jobs

“Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.” -Steve Jobs

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. -Steve Jobs

“The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it.” -Steve Jobs

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” -Steve Jobs

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.” -Steve Jobs

“Sometimes, life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” -Steve Jobs

“If today were the last of your life, would you do what you were going to do today?” -Steve Jobs

“In the broadest context, the goal is to seek enlightenment – however, you define it.” -Steve Jobs

“Once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you.” -Steve Jobs

“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader.” -Steve Jobs

white framed woman portrait on white wooden shelf

Steve Jobs Quotes About Humanity and Character

“There’s lots of ways to be as a person. And some people express their deep appreciation in different ways. But one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there. And you never meet the people, you never shake their hands, you never hear their story or tell yours, but somehow, in the act of making something with a great deal of care and love, something is transmitted there. And it’s a way of expressing to the rest of our species our deep appreciation. So we need to be true to who we are and remember what’s really important to us.” -Steve Jobs

“One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.” -Steve Jobs

“It’s painful when you have some people who are not the best people in the world, and you have to get rid of them, but I found my job has sometimes exactly been that – to get rid of some people who didn’t measure up and I’ve always tried to do it in a humane way. But nonetheless, it has to be done, and it is never fun.” -Steve Jobs

“Human minds settle into fixed ways of looking at the world, and that’s always been true, and it’s probably always going to be true.” -Steve Jobs

“What are we, anyway? Most of what we think we are is just a collection of likes and dislikes, habits, patterns. At the core of what we are is our values, and what decisions and actions we make reflect those values.” -Steve Jobs

“We attract a different kind of person – a person who doesn’t want to wait five or ten years to have someone take a giant risk on him or her. Someone who really wants to get a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe.” -Steve Jobs

“The most important thing is a person. A person who incites and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.” -Steve Jobs

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Other Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes

“That’s been one of my mantras– focus and simplicity.” -Steve Jobs

“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs

“People judge you on your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” -Steve Jobs

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” -Steve Jobs

“If you want it, you can fly; you just have to trust you a lot.” -Steve Jobs

“I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.” -Steve Jobs

“But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light – that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” -Steve Jobs

“Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.” -Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Narrates Famous Apple Advertisement: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

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