Elon Musk is one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. With his genius and handful of companies, he is changing the world, one innovation at a time. Now, with Tesla and SpaceX, he’s revolutionising both the way we travel and the possibilities of travel. He continues to inspire entrepreneurs and pioneers all around the world.
Here are a few things all businesses can learn from his experience:
1. Don’t focus on yourself; focus on the bigger picture
Elon Musk might have been the inspiration for the superhero character in the “Iron Man,” but the truth is, he doesn’t really care about image or fantasy. Even before he was with Tesla, Elon Musk was trying to solve the real problems of the planet: sustainable energy, better transportation and ways to enhance life for all of humanity.
2. Admit that you don’t know everything
“You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong,” Musk has said.
Once we can humbly acknowledge that we still have a lot to learn, it’s easier to get past the criticisms of others and see helpful criticism as an avenue to help us grow. As a new business, you will meet those who have traveled the entrepreneur journey before you. So if you can acknowledge and recognise your own mistakes and adapt quickly, you’re on the sure path to success.
3. Embrace and learn how to manage failure
“Failure is an option here,” Elon Musk said regarding his risky and challenging projects. Mind you, this is someone who has been launching rockets and doing things others could only dream of. But he sees failure as an asset. He once said, “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
4. Build the right team
“When you have a company full of passionate people who are mission-driven, what you think you can do isn’t the same as what you can actually accomplish,” Musk testifies. Once you have all your team and co-workers on the same page, you can accomplish more.
5. Persevere, even when the going gets tough
Not everything you do will meet with success. Elon knew this and made space for change in direction. If you wonder if you should push through with something even though it’s risky, Musk has this to say:
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
6. No matter what happens, make time for those who matter most
“Sunday morning: to bake or not to bake cookies — that is not even a question. Definitely bake,” he tweeted in August 2016 about pending activities with his young sons. Clearly, here is someone who knows where his priorities lie.
7. Know your truth
This brings us to the next valuable point: In times of crisis, how do you know which crucial decisions to make?
“Boil things down to the most fundamental truths. Then reason up from there,” Musk says.
Once you know what defines yourself and your startup, as well as what your goals are, you can move forward from there. It’s all about simplifying life to only the essentials.
8. Invest business earnings into new possibilities
Rather than using his first millions to spend at leisure, Elon Musk put them to even better use. He’d invest in emerging industries and create a brand new business. With $10 million of his sales from Zip2, he founded the company that would later be known as PayPal. After selling Paypal to eBay, Musk used $100 million of it to launch SpaceX.
Whatever your business and goals, you can reach them and be successful if you take these few lessons to heart.
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