“I never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.” – Steve Jobs, 1994


I’ve actually found something to be very true. 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.

I always call them up.

I called Bill Hewlett when I was twelve years old and he lived in Palo Alto and his number was still in the phone book. He answered the phone himself, “Yes.”

“Hi, I’m Steve Jobs and I’m twelve years old. I’m a student in high school and I want to build a frequency counter. I was wondering if you had any spare parts I could have?”

He laughed and gave me the spare parts to build this frequency counter. Then he gave me a job that summer at HP working on the assembly line. Putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters. He got me a job in the place that built them. I was in heaven.

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

Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask. That’s what separates sometime the people who do things from the people that just dream about them.

You gotta act. You’ve gotta be willing to fail, 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.

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