There has been a lot of chatter recently from news organizations as well as the financial and investment community about Elon Musk and Tesla Motors. Tesla has been making some newsworthy announcements recently, and should become a profitable company in the very near term, but I’ve been more interested in the man behind the company.
Elon was born and raised in South Africa, and became an avid fan of computers at an early age. By the age of twelve Elon had written the code for his own video game, a space game called Blastar, which he sold for a profit. I’m guessing it was this that got the entrepreneurial gears turning.
Since those early days he’s gone on to become a bit of a serial entrepreneur. He’s had a hand in, founded or co-founded Zip2 Corporation, X.com, Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Life is good for the 41-year-old billionaire. So what is it that drives his success?
Here at the 5 reasons why I think Elon Musk has been able to live such a wildly successful life as an entrepreneur.
He’s Incredibly Motivated
Musk knew the odds were against him when he began, both with his internet companies as well as Tesla and Space X. He wasn’t planning to fail, but at least if he did, he was going to commit to failing in a way that nobody else had before. It is because of this drive to succeed and create a new way going forward that he took risks that ended up paying big dividends. He isn’t just out to grow a business, he’s out to change the world.
He Thinks Big
A lot of people dream big, but how many are actually able to think it through and formulate a winning plan in business after business after business?
He has rethought how we drive, how we pay for things, futuristic power charging stations and how we will power society in the future, yet his biggest goal still remains: extend the life of humanity and make humans an interplanetary species. He’s even gone so far as to say he’d be one of the first to start a colony on Mars. He says, “I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”
He Follows His Passions
Long believing that all earth-bound transportation will become fully electric, Tesla Motors manufactures and sells electric cars. Additionally, Musk serves as chairman for a company called SolarCity. Based on a concept originally hatched by Musk, SolarCity was founded in 2006 by brothers Peter and Lyndon Rive and is provider of solar power systems to the U.S.
Each of these companies were created because of Musk’s desire to make a difference for the planet — through cleaner energy and the pursuit of exploration. For SpaceX and Tesla, he invested his revenue from PayPal even though he said he thought both ventures would fail. He called it “disruptive change.”
He’s Got A Ridiculous Work Ethic
As in Will Smiths 10 Lessons For Success, it’s important to remember that talent is innate, but only through tireless effort do you become skilled. So no matter how great his vision or intelligence is naturally, he’s had to work tirelessly in order to accomplish all the things he has at such a young age. In an interview Elon says, “I don’t need to work, from a standard of living point of view, but I do, you know. I work every day and on weekends and I haven’t taken a vacation for years.”
He Builds On His Successes
Clearly not one to waste time, he’s been building on his success ever since he sold his first business. He has used his original seed money to go on seizing opportunities everywhere they present themselves while wasting very little time in between projects. I for one can’t wait to see what he’s got planned next.
Inspirational Quotes From Elon Musk
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” – Elon Musk
“I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk