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Elon Musk happens to be one of the most inspirational figures of the modern day. Whether it is cracking a joke about the chemtrails being made by aliens on April’s fool day or talking about his Boring Company, Musk has been creating a buzz everywhere. He is the man behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, PayPal, SolarCity and Hyperloop. It is really overwhelming to see a single entrepreneur reinvent multiple industries in such a short period of time. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the risk of human extinction by making life multiplanetary by setting up a human colony on Mars. Elon won the Heinlein Prize for space work and was a TED speaker.
Here are few lessons budding entrepreneurs can learn from this amazing personality.
1. Think beyond normal
In order to be successful, entrepreneurs must learn to think beyond what others in traditional business do. Before Tesla Energy came into existence, people were convinced that battery packs would continue to be expensive, no matter what. Similarly the only reason SpaceX worked was because they dared to be different and work unconventionally. SpaceX faced tough competition from Boeing, but, came up with the brilliant idea of reusable rockets. Think differently. The ideas might sound crazy at first but once implemented will give fruitful results.
2. Welcome the criticism with open arms
Without being able to accept criticism, an entrepreneur can’t have much growth because this way one can get engulfed in his/her own views and won’t care about new or fresh views & ideas. One should learn the art of creating something positive out of a criticism which is known as ‘Constructive Criticism’. Elon has invested his savings in ventures that he believes in, at the risk of going broke & is not afraid of criticisms and does not compromise on his vision. The lesson here is that you need to make sacrifices when you really like what you do.
3. Determine your Motivation
There is an important question entrepreneurs must ask themselves- What fuels my fire? What motivates me to give my best? Elon musk, with this train of thoughts launched all his companies and fulfilled the vision of putting the Internet in space. Not even the failed launches of Falcon 1 or the near bankruptcy of both Tesla and SpaceX in 2008 stopped Musk from conquering greatness. Motivation played the key role here. Musk’s never giving up attitude gives him the ability to stick with it. One should be intrinsically motivated.
4. Hire talented people
If, being an entrepreneur, you want to have a great business, hire great people. In a competitive hiring environment, be like Elon Musk and make it easy for employees to do their jobs. Great employees want to be challenged, so create an environment that challenges the employees. SpaceX and Tesla are very demanding places to work – 12-16 hour days are the norm – but people want to work there because they feel they’re making a difference. A business is only as good as the people working on it, and according to Musk a great engineer is worth three good ones.
5. Don’t run after Money
For entrepreneurs, it is natural to run after money but it is more important to strengthen the product. If the product is relevant for the clients, one will eventually end up making money for the same. However, if the product isn’t good, nothing can help you in the long run. Moreover, no great person who changed the world in any way did it for money. There was something beyond fame and wealth that motivated them to do great things. Elon Musk believes in charity. He alone has pledged to donate most of his personal fortune as a part of Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge.
6. Follow the Feedback Loop
One would think that someone with Musk’s achievements might be satisfied with his efforts, but that’s not the case. Musk claims he constantly strives to improve himself. Entrepreneurs around the globe should follow a feedback loop to question their own performance & to understand where they are lacking. This habit of self-reflection at regular intervals is critical for success. Elon Musk believes that one must questions like – What have I done? How could it be made better?