Elon Musk, CEO of billion dollars companies: Tesla, SpaceX and Chairman of Solar City is often compared to the equals of Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller, JP Morgan and Henry Ford, who helped shaped America in its early days. To those who are unaware of Elon Musk, let me share with you his journey from being an inquisitive child to one of the leading investors and greatest entrepreneur on earth.
Elon Musk, a South Africa born, Canadian-American left his native country South Africa at the age of seventeen. Over the decade, he was able to carve out a brand identity amidst the silicon valley technocrats like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and successfully built the largest technology empires through his vision and never-say-die attitude.
During the summers of 1995 and at the age of 24, he applied for Phd in applied physics and material science at Stanford, but left college within two days of joining and decided to work in the areas of his interest which included sustainable energy, solar space and internet.
It was during 1995, he founded a company called Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers. The company was sold to Compaq for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock option. He garnered worldwide attention when he founded a startup calledan online financial service in 1999, Space X, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport service in 2002 and pumped in money generated from previous startups in Tesla, incorporated in 2003.
According to Forbes annual ranking of the world most powerful people 2016, Elon is ranked #21 and is worth 13.8 billion dollar. Elon Musk has made great fortune for himself by acquiring infinite knowledge of the industry he wanted to lay his hands on and has worked towards it with immense dedication and persistence.
Elon Musk is perfect example of contemporary visionaries as mentioned in Napoleon’s Hill book ‘Think and Grow Rich’. Here are powerful mantras that can be implied to achieve growth and success like Elon Musk
Innovating Is The Only Way To Win
According to one of Elon’s friend starting a business is like eating a glass and starting into the abyss of death. Which means that while starting up a company, many entrepreneurs get Shiny Object Syndrome. The enthusiasm in the beginning eventually slows down when encountered with harsh realities of life. Its important for an entrepreneur to create and innovate his/her product and make it better than its competitor, because in the end its the consumer who will buy the product they trust and value.
SpaceX has completely revolutionized the aerospace ecosystem. Its reusable rockets and reusable spaceships looks like true 21st century machines. The modernization of the product like DragonV2 is not meant for showing, but to tell the world about their innovation and constant push to advance its technology and change the economics of the aerospace industry.
Work Hard To Get More
Hard Work is what every single employee does at SpaceX and Tesla. Elon Musk in his interviews has mentioned most of the time that a person who works 100 hours a week than the person who works 60 hours has a greater advantage and assurance of completing a project faster than the other. The ideal SpaceX employee is someone like Steve Davis , the director of advanced projects who works sixteen hours a day and gets more done than eleven people working together.
Before starting Zip2, Elon worked seven hours a day coding the software. He lived in the same warehouse where he rent the office, and when he needed to take a shower he had to go to locker rooms of a local stadium
The point over here is not to exhaust yourself, but creating a definite goals and definite plans to accomplish the project before the timeline. Elon’s trajectory of success can be traced when the thought of doing something of his interest (sending people to mars and electric cars )occurred to him at an young age, which got fostered by constant desire and imagination to make it a reality( Space X and Tesla) through planned action and critical management skill( during subprime crisis in 2008, Tesla was almost on the verge of going bankrupt, but Elon decided to spent his entire wealth to revive the company from falling into bottomless chasm. Tesla Motors, despite being unprofitable for 10 years, went for an IPO in 2010 and got listed on NASDAQ with $17 per stock and attracted more than $225 million of investments).
Master Mind Allliance
Elon Musk stated that he didn’t received any college degree on aeronautic studies, but learnt about rockets by reading books and consulting specialized intelligent individuals who previously made a name for themselves in aerospace industry. These intellectual minds helped Elon create a Master Mind Group in both the companies.
What is to be noted over here is that Elon gained immense power by acquiring knowledge of diverse areas and hired skillful individuals who aligned themselves with the vision of Musk to create a unique product and a successful business.
Criticism Is The Price Of Ambition
Elon faced criticism from renowned Astronauts Neil Armstrong who said the government plan to shift its crew-carrying burden to a private company can threaten United States dominance over spaceflight and exploration. But, Elon believed exactly the opposite. He wants to make America self-sufficient and reduce nations dependency on other countries.
Despite the criticism by technocrats and bureaucrats, Elon hasn’t stopped himself from accomplishing the unprecedented feat. He has managed to instill faith and hope among his employees who in turn believe in his vision of making humans an interplanetary species.
One should not get discouraged by criticism, instead work towards doing what one wants to achieve and accept criticism as a feedback like a champ.
Elon Musk’s story proves that once you’ve mastered the art of failing, success becomes the only way you can go. And he had to go through A LOT of failures and difficulties in his life.
No wonder many people prefer to take an easy way out by taking no action at all. Yet, as they say, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” And every time Elon Musk succeeds, it’s awe-inspiring. Still not a fangirl? Go watch those SpaceX videos and then come back to check out “” infographic.
- Elon’s father is an Engineer while his mother was a model. After their divorce he stayed with his father and at age 16, gets Canadian citizenship through his mother.
- At the age of 3, Elon drifts off as if deaf(though he was not). So his parents get his adenoids (tonsil) removed.
- Right from age of 7 he used to read for 10 hours a day.
- At age 12 he sold his video game Blastar for $500
- At school he was bullied and thrown down the staircase.
- At Canada he worked in a boiler room shoveling dirt for $18/hour.
- After cold calling execs, he got an internship at a bank only to be thrown out for using exec coffee machine despite being top performer.
- He left Stanford PhD after 2 days of joining.
- Starts Zip2 with US$28,000 seed funding from his father. He sleeps in office for first 3 months.
- Elon crashes his $1 million McLaren F1 soon after buying it!
- Starts his company which later merges with Confinity to form Paypal. At one point he argues with CTO (Mmax Levchin) over which OS to use!
- In Sep 2000, he gets ousted as CEO from Paypal while he is on honeymoon! Soon after, he almost dies of malaria in this vacation.
- In 2001 he takes trips to Russia to buy rockets for sending to space. Moves to LA to be closer to space industry. Soon realizes that rockets are artificially overpriced.
- In 2008 when Nasa contract of $1.6b saved SpaceX from bankruptcy, Elon cried.
- First rocket launch failure in June 2015 after 19 successful launches.
- Elon’s promise is to send humanity to Mars.
“I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”
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