Saturday Listening Lesson: Steve Jobs Rules for Success



(1) Persevere: To not quit

You need to persevere if you want to be successful. Keep trying!

(2) Talent Scout: Someone who searches for good people to hire

Our talent scouts have found some great engineers for our company.

(3) “You know”: An empty phrase we say when speaking. It has no meaning.

I, you know, have to go to the doctor on Tuesday.



1. What is Steve Jobs first piece of advice about being successful?

a. You have to love what you do

b. You have to hire good people

c. You have to be insane

2. What is his second piece of advice?

a. You have to love what you do

b. You have to hire good people

c. You have to be insane

3. Why does he say things like “um” and “and, and”?

a. He’s confused

b. He’s insane

c. He’s thinking about what he wants to say next


Saturday Listening Lesson


By Jeremy Schaar

In today’s listening lesson, we’ll look at what Steve Jobs thinks is needed to be successful. You’ll get some great advice from a great man and learn how to listen better.

First, here’s what he says:

People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is, uh, is because 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, and you don’t really love it, uh, you’re going give up. And that’s what happens to most people actually. If you really look at, at, at, the ones that ended up you know being successful unquote in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t. Often times it, it’s the ones that are successful loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough. And, 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? So it’s a lot of hard work. And, and it’s a lot of worrying, constantly. And, uh, um, if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail. So you gotta love it and you gotta have passion. And I think that’s the high order bit.

The second thing is, um, you gotta be, you gotta be a really good talent scout. Because no matter how smart you are, uh, you need a team of great people. And you’ve gotta figure out how to, how to size people up fairly quickly, make decisions without knowing people too well and hire them and, um, you know, see how you do and refine your intuition and be able to, to help, you know, build an organization that can eventually just, you know, build itself. Because you need great people around you.

First, let’s look at his two ideas.

The first key to success, he says, is to be passionate. You have to love what you do. He says that to be successful you have to work really hard. Sane people, he says, would quit. It means that only crazy people keep going. And they keep going because they love what they do.

The second key to success is to hire good people. You can’t do everything yourself, so you need good people to help you. In the end, the organization will build itself. It means you start something that grows without you controlling every single thing.

Next, let’s look at some listening advice.

Notice that he says “you know” a lot. “You know” is a phrase we use in English. It doesn’t really mean anything, but we say it while we think about our words.

Second, notice how many times he says “um” or repeats words like “and”. He’ll say “and, and”. This is another way we keep talking while we think of the words we want to say. When you’re listening, you need to not pay attention when people speak this way. Just listen for the important words.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.


Answers To Today’s Questions

A, B, C


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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