Elon Musk is quite a big name in the startup world. He’s not just an entrepreneur, but a serial one. And few people get to call themselves so.
That means that he’s worked hard to turn a big idea into reality, get it out there for people to use, and managed to replicate his success more than once.
You may know him as the face behind Tesla Motors, where he’s the CEO and product architect.
Or the mind behind SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies – an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company).
He’s also the co-founder of PayPal.
That makes him a business magnate, engineer, inventor, investor and startup founder. And knowing how hard it is to get to the top of more than one field and how few people have such a massive success, he should be doing some things differently than the mass.
Let’s see what these are and try to follow his advice and use his techniques:
1. “When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.”
Let’s face it, some people just don’t dare to dream big. And it comes as no surprise that they don’t experience big transformations in their life, don’t set and achieve big goals, and don’t leave a mark in the world.
Because if you’re scared and aren’t sure of your success before you’ve even started, then you’ve already failed.
Elon Musk is not just dreaming big and creating billion dollar products and companies. He’s making changes in the way we think and live, he’s reaching out to the space, he believes that in 30 years the majority of cars in the US will be electric, he wakes up every morning ready to build a completely different world.
That’s one of the things he does differently and one of the key ingredients to the results he gets.
Most people are scared of change, they like living in their comfort zone, they can’t even imagine that space tourism would be possible in the future and feel uncomfortable talking about big goals in front of others.
And that’s what they don’t do differently. Which means they are being a part of the crowd, and will stay there until they are ready to embrace change.
Here’s what Elon Musk says:
“My vision is for a fully reusable rocket transport system between Earth and Mars that is able to re-fuel on Mars – this is very important – so you don’t have to carry the return fuel when you go there.”
“I think we are at the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration.”
“Land on Mars, a round-trip ticket – half a million dollars. It can be done.”
“The future of humanity is going to bifurcate in two directions: Either it’s going to become multiplanetary, or it’s going to remain confined to one planet and eventually there’s going to be an extinction event.”
2. “Great companies are built on great products.”
Some people are in this with the money in mind, and that’s a wrong approach. Others just want to create a powerful brand and win people’s affection. There are also people who just want to get to the CEO position.
But things like that don’t change the world.
Elon Musk knows that in the end of the day, it’s all about the product. It’s what people use, what they give money for, what they like or don’t like, and what – in the long term – becomes a permanent part of the daily life of a whole generation.
You can’t make money, build a great company or create a recognized brand if you don’t have a remarkable product. And to have that, you need to care about what you’re doing, be passionate about it and solve a problem people share by offering them your product or service.
“Obviously Tesla is about helping solve the consumption of energy in a sustainable manner, but you need the production of energy in a sustainable manner.”
“SpaceX has the potential of saving the U.S. government $1 billion a year. We are opposed to creating an entrenched monopoly with no realistic means for anyone to compete.”
“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.”
3. “Actively seek out and listen to negative feedback.”
Too many people focus on the good about their product. Elon Musk wanted to know what must be changed and improved.
He told his friends: “Don’t tell me what you like, tell me what you don’t like.” And knew that even his enemies could provide useful opinion.
“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. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”
To hear more ideas like that, and learn more about his visionary projects, check out his TED talk in the video below:
Do you think big changes like these are possible in the near future? And – most importantly – do you believe people like Elon Musk are what we need more of in this world? Which one of the industries he’s trying to influence do you consider key?