Have You Seen the Ghost of Steve Jobs?
Dear Apple Public Relations,
I hope this note finds you well. My name is Jeanette and I would like to take one minute of your time to tell a story about the way Mr. Jobs changed my life and why my first contact with Apple this morning was so sad.
When I was 13, my family became affiliated with a religious organization that we later came to realize was a cult. I spent ten years in two convents, first in France and then in the US. When I left the convent, I taught in a small school, spent some time in college and started a family. Eight years ago, my husband, five children and I began the long and arduous process of leaving the cult and trying to construct new lives. Imagine being a 13 year-old in a 30 year-old body with all the responsibilities of a wife and mother and so little knowledge of who I really was and how to live in the world.
I finished college at night and, after 12 years, walked across the stage and proudly accepted my diploma. Profoundly passionate about public speaking and helping people to overcome the fear of addressing large audiences, I want to start a small business teaching the ideas and techniques that helped me to rebuild my identity after the destruction of nearly three decades in a cult.
I was scared to try to present my workshops until I found Steven Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address. It changed my life because it inspired me to get serious about launching a communications service that specifically targets fear of public speaking.
This morning I found a You Tube of Mr. Jobs telling the story of when, at the age of twelve, he called Mr. Hewlett of HP and asked for spare parts to build an electrical device. Mr. Hewlett gave Steve the parts and a job in his factory during the summer. Would Apple be here today were it not for those acts of vision, creativity and belief in the dreams of a little boy? Steve told us all to pick up the phone, dare to fail, reach out for help because, if we have the courage and the determination, good people will always offer to help.
So I did it! I called Apple to talk with Mr. Schiller, director of Marketing, about fear of speaking and employee training. This is the number one fear in America and seventy-five percent of those polled by the World Health Organization listed this as the greatest terror in their lives.
What if Apple used innovative approaches to help their own employees overcome this fear and unlock the power of identity as Mr. Jobs inspired me to do in a very real way? The phone rang and Mr. Schiller’s administrative assistant answered. It was a special moment for me. My little voice reached across a thousand miles to my beloved former home of California, to the very temple of entrepreneurial essence. I knew that the Ghost of Mr. Jobs must walk those halls, perpetuating the belief that when a company helps new talent, amazing world-changing things can happen. Okay, so I’m an incurable romantic, but that’s what created Apple in the first place, wasn’t it?
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