There isn’t a person in the world who would turn down the chance to learn from Elon Musk. His career is varied, but always amazing, and he does things that most people can only dream about.
This is part of what makes him such an amazing entrepreneur and leader, and what makes his work and life a great example to learn from.
Elon Musk is a South Africa-born inventor and investor. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla Motors, and Chairman of SolarCity. He is an early investor in SpaceX, PayPal, Inc, Tesla Motors and Zip2 .
Elon Musk is one of the most creative and innovative men on the planet at the moment. He has dedicated his life to innovation, to creating new technologies to benefit the world.
ImportantHe revolutionized space travel, online payments, and electric cars. Now, he is aiming to develop supersonic electric airplanes as a part of his quest to colonize Mars.
With the passing of Steve Jobs he has rightly taken the pole position in the realm of business leaders who are considered visionaries.
Often described as a builder and an inventor all rolled into one, Elon Musk is definitely one of the greatest achievers on the planet. Here are 7 mind blowing lessons we learned from Elon Musk on success.
Part of Elon Musk’s success has come as a result of his capacity to be innovative and shake up the status quo. Elon Musk has always been the pioneer in his projects and never a follower .
Elon Musk is known as an eccentric, and he both accepts that label and seems to use it.
Elon Musk’s ventures have always been characterized by their innovation, creating new products and moving into new industries that weren’t saturated with competition .
The autonomous cars of Tesla were incomparable to anything else on the market. Likewise, PayPal’s secure online transaction system was unprecedented upon its release.
In order to be successful, entrepreneurs must ensure that they have something unique to offer.
ImportantAlways at the forefront of his projects, Elon Musk believes in being innovating, starting early and having that edge over other competitors, giving him an unique edge in the world of entrepreneurs.
It is also necessary for an entrepreneur to think out-of-the-box irrespective of the circumstances and hurdles that lie on your path.
In fact, Elon Musk is a great entrepreneur for many reasons including the ability to think out-of-the-box and challenge the tried and tested approaches . He has an innovative and fearless mindset that has driven him successful.
If you think out-of-the-box and do not follow the trends that exist in the startup ecosystem, then you will automatically be a pioneer.
Do Not Chase Money
One of the main take homes from Elon Musk’s journey as an entrepreneur is that the free market rewards those who solve problems . There are people who have achieved amazing results in life but none of them have done the same for the sake of money.
The most productive, and profitable businesses focus on their products and services rather than simply chasing profitability.
The success of Tesla Motor’s has occurred because electric cars solve the problem of limited fossil fuel supplies. By paying attention to what the market wanted, as opposed to simply raise profits , Elon Musk found an untapped business opportunity.
Money, one of the greatest motivator in life, but comes with plenty of disadvantages when you make it a primary goal to everything you do.
ImportantIt’s our duty to find something that will continuously inspire and motivate us in achieving our dreams and goals. If we choose to make money as a goal in everything we do and eventually have all the money in the world, what can motivate us to achieve greater goals?
Entrepreneurs who pay attention to what problems need to be solved will be much more successful than those who simply chase profitability.
If you want to achieve great heights, you need to focus on the difference that you will be able to create in the world and not on the financial rewards or glory that you will get from it.
Chasing profitability is a shortsighted strategy as profitability is obtained through solving problems.
Never Give Up
Persistence is an essential aspect. You should never give up until you are forced to. Without persistence, you might miss out on success .
All successful entrepreneurs know that failure is feedback and key to success.
Even the greatest entrepreneur experiences countless failures . However, the one thing that sets us apart from them is that they have the ability and determination to turn any challenges or difficulties into their motivation for success.
Irrespective of what our aim is unless we have decided to be in it for the long haul it is very difficult for us to scale the heights that we are capable of.
Elon Musk in 2008 was in dire straits. SpaceX and Tesla were both running out of money but he was in it for the long haul. He didn’t care about short term setbacks. He always looked to the future with hope and was over optimistic in most cases.
Even when you have the perfect idea and perform at your best you come up short.
ImportantThis doesn’t mean that you should be hesitant to start your business, but that you should accept that failure is part of the free market . Whenever you start a new venture be prepared in the event of failure.
Even with all the preparation in the world, you fail an endeavor.
When Musk lost $60 million while failing to launch a rocket twice, he developed an emergency plan swiftly and eventually won $6.1 billion worth of contract with NASA.
Persistence might make you a little uncomfortable, but it works.
WarningElon Musk’s example of persistence is brutal. Would you want others to say of you “He doesn’t understand the word no”? On a personal level it might seem insensitive or rude, but when it comes to achieving your business goals persistence pays off .
Work as Hell
There’s no alternative to hard work. Back in 1995, when Elon Musk started his first software company Zip2 with his brother Kimbal Musk, he worked round the clock.
Whatever great idea you have, hard work is needed to meet your fortune. The phrase work life balance is not in Elon Musk’s dictionary.
One has to work 80 to 100 hours a week to relish success. If you work 100 hours a week while the others work for 40 hours a week, it will take you four months to achieve what they can in a year.
If you want to win BIG then be prepared for a lot of pain. Elon Musk has the amazing ability to work under tremendous pressure.
This is the key to his success. People close to Elon Musk say that they have not yet met anyone else who has the tolerance to pain that he has. Alas that is the key to his success or for that matter anyone’s success.
Elon Musk doesn’t care about failure and is able to endure whatever pain is needed to overcome all the setbacks thrown at him. He is unstoppable.
ImportantIn addition to the hard work, intense focus and uncompromising drive that’s required, it often means sacrificing other things as a trade-off . Elon Musk’s capacity for hard work and intense focus was developed through his South African upbringing and he carried that forward into his businesses.
Everyone likes the idea of being successful but very few people realize that success comes with a price.
Be Passion Driven
Elon Musk is interested in a wide variety of things, and he has shamelessly followed those interests . And with each of his interests his empire has expanded, and even more importantly, his skillset and understanding of the world has expanded as well.
It is obvious that Elon Musk has a passion that outlasts him as a person.
WarningThe point is Elon Musk is so passionate about his vision that he doesn’t allow anything happening around him even things that might disrupt his business to get him to change his views.
Too often we’re told to specialize, until we find the one thing that we can bring to the world. And we’re never told that we don’t have to do that.
ImportantLearning new things teaches us new skills, new ways to interact with the world. And as Elon Musk’s success shows, this can be of great benefit both to our own lives and to the future of the planet itself.
Passion trumps talent anytime and every time.
Like many other highly successful people, Elon Musk is known for being an avid reader . This simple habit has built his entrepreneur foresights and led to the success of his billion dollar businesses.
Elon Musk believes in what he’s doing, to the point where he’s ready to put everything on the line.
He’s ready to do anything and everything within his power to make it work . I find that inspiring and challenging at the same time. Could you say the same thing about the projects you are working on now?
Most people are afraid of criticism, but Elon Musk seeks it out as a way to improve his business and his ideas. We would rather enjoy compliments, criticism tells us what is wrong with us or the things that we do .
Compliments simply tell us how great we are. The main difference between the two is that criticism helps us to become better by pointing out our mistakes.
Though praise and recognition are important, criticism plays an important role in your success.
ImportantCriticism, if taken in the correct spirit, can teach you what you’re lacking. It can show you the weaknesses you need to change . It can also be the difference between success and absolute failure in life and in business.
Criticism is a valuable opportunity to improve your service. And, a better service is of utmost importance for a startup.
WarningEntrepreneurs who are averse to criticism, or avoid taking a critical outlook on their businesses run the risk of becoming stagnant. For Elon Musk, criticism has been the driving force of the refinement of his businesses .
If you admit that a business process or service could be better, than you are able to implement a strategy to improve your weak spots.
When Elon Musk spoke with the automobile engineers during the development of the Tesla electric car, he asked them to tell him what was wrong with his design instead of what was good about it. In this way, he learned his mistakes and fixed them.
Look for constructive criticism and learn from it.
No matter what you need to do, you can do it better with a great team. Effective leaders hire people because they are going to help them succeed; not to fill a vacancy .
Research shows that hiring the wrong person for a job can be catastrophic in terms of the amount of money and time wasted.
That’s why Elon Musk often interviews new employees himself, to make sure he gets people who can do the job to his standards and keep up with his vision .
When interviewing candidates for SpaceX Elon Musk looks for Type A personalities and he also has a standard SpaceX problem which requires 500 lines of code to be written. He wants people who ooze passion.
Some entrepreneurs tackle difficult problems by trying to throw a whole lot of warm bodies at them. Not Musk.
It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer , will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.
Successful leaders set also their people up for success. They do not try to force square pegs into round holes.
ImportantIf you want to get the most out of your team, put them in roles that are natural to their behavioural drives. If you try to turn your employees into something they are not, you will lose talent . If people are happy and energetic in their roles, they are going to want to company to succeed.
Elon Musk is well known for his ruthless leadership style.
WarningHe fires employees over small mistakes. He will never accept that something is impossible. Anyone who suggests this gets fired too. He has very high performance expectations of the people around him .
Elon Musk is trying to save the world with his mind, his inventions and his interests. But there is more about the way he lives his life that you should admire. He is unashamedly himself .
Elon Musk is often labeled as the real life ‘Iron Man’ who can do just about anything and everything . His standards are impossible to match and he can be curt.
He is marching towards his vision with relentless passion, hard work and phenomenal capabilities.
WarningI think there are always things we shouldn’t learn from visionaries but what we can appreciate is Elon Musk’s audacious vision and his capacity to dream of a bigger world.
Anyone can be like Musk if you’re willing to push hard and pay the price.
ImportantWe may never be dot-com multi-millionaires like Elon Musk, but we can all apply these lessons in our lives and in our businesses. Success is all in context even when our decisions have fewer zeros in them .
By following his lessons of success, we can become pioneers in our own fields too . Let’s follow our wildest and boldest dreams too.
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