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Steve Jobs’ 7 Unbreakable Laws of Success For Expats in Costa Rica

In life, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told us to “think different” in the infamous campaign that shot MacIntosh computers to the forefront of the tech revolution in 1984.  And in his time spent writing three books about Steve Jobs, author Carmine Gallow shared the seven rules for success that he learned from following the mogul.  Here they are, reapplied for those considering making the move to start to “live different” in Costa Rica

1.Follow your passions.

“Do what you love” is more than a line Steve Jobs delivered in his now famous Stanford commencement speech.  “People say you need to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true,” Jobs said. “The reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t have it, any rational person would give up.”

Out of those who have already visited Costa Rica, it is likely that many have experienced the passion evoked by the natural surroundings and pura vida lifestyle.  It is this passion that propels prospective buyers to navigate the foreign real estate market and all of the challenges that this presents. But if you can just make it to our office, we can help alleviate a lot of the stresses that people find about the home buying process in Costa Rica.

2.Find your noble cause.

When trying to woo a PepsiCo CEO to join Apple in 1983, Jobs asked “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?” They took the job.

Once upon a time, people used to move to first world countries like the USA and Canada to seek out new opportunities.  Today, many people are turning to places like Costa Rica where living is less expensive, the climate is idyllic, the people are friendly, welcoming and non-judgmental, and the politics are geared towards sustainability and social equality.  Costa Rica is a destination for people who don’t just look for business models; they look for noble causes and ways to give back to their local community.  It’s easy to be inspired by those around you in a place as diverse in caring causes as the Costa Ballena.

3.Simplify everything.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Jobs once said. He strived to build simplicity into everything, from design to strategy, focusing on only the “gem” products.

You have only so much energy and attention to give, and Costa Rica provides a back-to-nature-and-community platform from which to simplify everything and focus on the gems.  And the gems that are clear here are nature, family, friends, taking in the moment, clean food, clean energy, clean air, clean water, peace and tranquility.

4.Unleash your creativity.

Jobs once said the secret to creativity “comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you’re doing.”

Creativity happens when we expose ourselves to ideas outside of our field.  Those who come to Costa Rica learn quickly that this is not a country like the one they came from.  People here take their time. They are often late; they decide on if they will do something based on the weather that morning, or if they have nothing more important to do that day.  And rather than get frustrated, the expats who are successful in their Costa Rica endeavors learn from this culture that stress is unnecessary and often counter-productive; that family and safety take precedence over money or deadlines; and that “mañana” truly is another day.

5.Create “insanely great” customer experiences.

The key to the Apple Store success is its people. Apple hires for personality because they can teach anyone to sell an iPad; they can’t teach friendliness.

The lesson here is to hire people who are passionate for the brand, and who have pleasant personalities and good culture.  So how does this apply to Costa Rica? Well, I’ll tell you that it applies in our office, and in a lot of what we see in our Costa Ballena communities.  Costa Rica wants only the best people here. We want our neighbors to be kind and caring and to look after their piece of Costa Rica with the same intentions as the rest of the nation, which are to conserve the environment and to welcome guests with warmth and respect.

6.Become the storyteller-in-chief.

Through the expert use of storytelling, Steve Jobs painted a picture of a villain, a struggle and a hero.

Costa Rica wants to tell you a story.  It is not a product to buy but a lifestyle to own by living it.  People come here to make their dreams of living a healthier, more physically connected life a reality.  From the moment you wake to the songs of the morning birds and howler monkeys, and the bright warm sun on your face as you step outside your door, your whole day will continue to be filled with powerful, emotional experiences from people and places that touch deep into your core.

7.Sell dreams, not products.

In a public presentation in 1997 to launch the iconic “Think Different” ad campaign, Jobs said, “Some people think they [Mac buyers] are crazy, but in that craziness we see genius.”

Expat audiences don’t care about the place, the politics,  or the ideals of a destination as much as they care about themselves, their own hopes and their own dreams. The Costa Rica expat’s genius is that they can tell that this is going to be a place that inspires them, that feeds their creativity, and that helps put them in the right place – body, mind and spirit – to bring their dreams to life.

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