Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) is the chief evangelist of Canva, was once the chief evangelist for Apple, and is the author of many paperbound books — his latest is Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life.

What We Discuss with Guy Kawasaki:

  • How to focus on using the success of others as fuel for motivation rather than poison for envy.
  • How we can embrace the unknown when we’re looking at new ideas for our business or career.
  • Why Guy believes it’s better to be lucky than smart.
  • What we can and should — and should not — emulate from visionary leaders like Steve Jobs.
  • What Guy means when he says the key to career success is to get high and to the right — even though we’re in California, it’s not what you might think!
  • And much more…

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Before there was anything like social media, influencers actually had to do, be, or create something that warranted such influence. By this definition, Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life author Guy Kawasaki has been a qualified Silicon Valley influencer for decades, beginning with marketing the Macintosh line for Apple back in 1984.

But Guy will be the first to tell you he’s missed just as many opportunities as he’s won. On this episode, we’ll dig into the treasure trove of Guy’s life lessons and gaze appreciatively upon the sparkling nuggets of wisdom he’s picked up along the way. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

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When Guy Kawasaki tells us he’s been asked by American teenagers if he’s Jackie Chan, he can’t help but hope Jackie Chan has been asked by teenagers in Hong Kong if he’s Guy Kawasaki.

Like Jackie, Guy does all of his own stunts and he’s written all of his own books — currently numbering at 15 with the latest, Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life.

As someone who’s been a genuine influencer in Silicon Valley since he was on the team that famously marketed Apple’s Macintosh in 1984, he doesn’t see eye to eye with today’s so-called influencers who advocate dropping everything to “follow your passion.”

“I can’t build a case that you don’t want an education,” says Guy. “I disagree with the theory of telling high school students you don’t need a college education and you should just start a company. Maybe that worked for Steve Jobs, but it doesn’t work for most people. You need four more years. You need a broad base of knowledge to prepare you for life.”

And Guy further notes that the most visible influencers you’ll find on Instagram and other social media platforms urging impressionable, aspiring influencers to “go all in” are more of a lucky exception to the rule rather than the rule itself.

“I don’t know how many Instagram influencers there are, but there are not that many. There are not tens of thousands of them. That, I think, is the equivalent of telling a kid, ‘Quit school to become a professional baseball/hockey/soccer — you name it — player.’ Yes, there is LeBron James. There is Wayne Gretzky. There are those kinds of people. But the reason why they’re famous is because they’re so rare, not because everybody achieves that stature.”

The odds are better that a young person starting a career today can land a good job with the proper education and preparation than striking it rich as an overnight Instagram or YouTube sensation — or professional athlete.

Guy even contends that the biggest titans of modern industry arrived to their lofty perches more out of luck than by following any surefire formula or wishy-washy notion of “passion.”

“I don’t think that Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk or Steve Jobs had this plan,” says Guy. “I think one thing led to another. I surf a lot, and every once in a while I turn around, I don’t even paddle, and I catch a wave. It’s not because of skill, it just happens! But that’s not a strategy to surf.”

Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about why Guy believes in helping others up to your level when you succeed, why it’s important not to underestimate the role of luck in success (while making sure you’re not counting on it as a strategy, either), how you can use the success of others as fuel for motivation rather than poison for envy, why you should embrace the unknown when you’re looking for new ideas, why Guy believes it’s better to be lucky than smart, what Guy picked up from his time working with Steve Jobs, and much more.

THANKS, GUY KAWASAKI!

If you enjoyed this session with Guy Kawasaki, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

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