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Motivational Stories Worth Telling: Make the Call

Motivational Stories from Speaker Mikki Williams Blog - Steve Jobs

I typically write about social media - connecting online - but an old interview with Steve Jobs (circa 1995, before Apple Act 2) reminded me that we should not forget about actually talking to each other too, even if by phone.

When he was 12 years old, Steve Jobs was building a frequency counter (I know; that concept alone is a little mind-blowing) and he needed some parts. Looking around Silicon Valley, Steve figured that Hewlett Packard, the tech behemoth of the day, must have some spare parts lying around.

Thinking about who he might "know" at HP, the name "Bill Hewlett" came to mind. So in a day before unlisted phone numbers, Steve Jobs looked up Bill Hewlett's number in the phone book and called him.

"Hi, I'm Steve Jobs. You don't know me. I'm 12 years old and I need some spare parts for a frequency counter that I'm building."

Not only did an apparently impressed Bill Hewlett give Steve Jobs the parts, but after a 20-minute conversation Hewlett offered Steve an internship that summer at HP. During that internship, the young Jobs saw the first personal computer ever made, the HP 9100.

What would the world be like today if Bill Hewlett didn't take that call? Knowing a bit more about Steve Jobs all these years later, I'm pretty sure that David Packard gets the next call and everything works out anyway.

But why do the rest of us assume that we can't, or shouldn't, call Bill Hewlett? The worst that can happen is that you don't get to talk to Bill, same as if you didn't call him. We all live inside boxes of our own creation, operating to our assumptions and self-limiting beliefs. Henry Ford once observed that "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right!" Steve Jobs typically thought he could, and so can the rest of us.

Who's your Bill Hewlett? Why not reach out to him or her today?


Dave Nelsen Dialog Consulting Mikki Williams Blog

About the Author: Dave Nelsen

Dave's formal title is President, Dialog Consulting Group. From 2005 to 2009 he was CEO of TalkShoe, a social media company now serving more than one million monthly listeners.

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