Elon Musk: What The Founder of Tesla Motors, PayPal and SpaceX Does Differently 126

Elon Musk- What The Founder of Tesla Motors, Paypal and SpaceX Does Differently

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?

Image by OnInnovation

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What the Richest People in the World Have in Common 2

What the Richest People in the World Have in Common

Getting rich is something everyone dreams about.

For those facing financial hardships, getting rich seems the only way out to tide over shortage of money. For the bourgeoisie – the working class – getting rich conjures up visions of stuff they want to buy for luxury or higher social status. Millionaires also wish to get rich: they want to become billionaires and enter Forbes List of the world’s wealthiest people.

Unless you inherit a fortune or get lucky at lottery or sweepstakes, getting rich can be quite tough.

Yet, there are countless rags-to-riches stories around the world. Enterprises such as Amazon, KFC, Facebook or SpaceX have become runaway successes within a short span. The reason: their founders have several things in common, which is rare among other people.

Here we look at various traits that the world’s richest and most successful entrepreneurs have in common.

The Common Traits of The World’s Richest People

The Common Traits of The World's Richest People

1. Serving People.

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it,” said John D. Rockefeller, who laid the foundation stone for America’s giant petroleum industry and his own enterprise, Standard Oil. The same adage holds good today.

Facebook, for example, was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommate, Eduardo Saverin to allow Harvard University students to share profiles and pictures

There are countless such examples of ordinary people striking rich. However, they share one thing in common: serving people. The main objective of launching these enterprises was to make life easier or enjoyable for people rather than earning money.

2. Reading Books.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, celebrity TV show host Oprah Winfrey, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and several other extremely rich people of the world have one more thing in common: they are avid readers.

Bill Gates reads at least 50 books every year – an average of nearly four and a half books per month.

Elon Musk owes his success at SpaceX, the project to open space tourism to his love for books and the knowledge he gained from them about rocketry. Oprah Winfrey attributes her success to dozens of books, including some 70 top titles she read on her way to success while Warren Buffet spends about 80 percent of his day reading books.

3. Long-Term Financial Strategies.

A report by CNBC states, all wealthy people depend upon long-term financial strategies rather than short-term gains. They utilized their earnings and savings to invest in safe stocks that would assure gains in the long run rather than indulging in risky trading that can offer high returns.

Such financial planning and decisions ensured they do not lose money. Further, they invested money in their enterprises without the hope of immediate returns.

These wealthy people first focused on building a brand, offering value for people to identify with the brand. And later, popularize the brand through word-of-mouth publicity, which is more effective than traditional advertising.

4. Never Say Die.

Yet another common character trait shared by the world’s richest people is, they are not quitters.

Like every other human on Earth, these wealthy folks also witnessed ups and downs in life. Some of these were so overwhelming most ordinary people would have called it quits and gone in search of easier ventures.

Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Bleckharczyk, founders of Airbnb, the world’s largest hotels and accommodations aggregator were plagued with financial problems.


Heavily encumbered with debts, bankruptcy was staring at these entrepreneurs in the very eye. Yet, they did not budge. They innovated their service that made Airbnb the world leader in its field today.

Another excellent example is Colonel Harland Sanders, whose recipe for fried chicken was rejected as many as 1,009 times before it was accepted. Col. Sanders is the founder of global chain Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC.

5. Accepting Criticism.

Most people flee from criticism of any sort. Rather than learning from negative comments arising out of their behavior or work, they take umbrage rather quickly. Yet, they do not bother to amend their behavior or work pattern.

All wealthy people, however, are different. They are willing to be criticized for introducing new ideas or thoughts.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, rightly says that those who will try and do something new must be willing to draw criticism.

Steve Jobs, founder, Apple, Inc. puts it in even stronger words: “If you want to make everyone happy, do not become a leader; sell ice cream instead.”

The success of Amazon and Apple proves their founders were right when it came to accepting criticism.

6. Out of The Box Thinking.

how regular life looks like and why it won't make you happy

Thinking outside of the ‘box’ or a typical mindset is often impossible for most people. Understandably, because everyone draws their mindset from factors and circumstances they are raised and educated in.

This mindset eventually becomes a formidable fetter for anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur. Generally, most people follow the flock and take professions they falsely believe as best suited for their skills. Others try to follow footsteps of their parents.

The wealthiest people in the world never followed flock or took lucrative professions of their parents.

Mark Zuckerberg’s father was a dentist and mom – a psychiatrist. Bill Gates’ dad was a banker father while his mother was a lawyer.

Despite coming from wealthy families, they chose to follow their passion rather than confine their thinking to the proverbial boxed mindset. Col. Sanders had lost his parents at a young age of six years and had to shoulder responsibilities of his siblings.

Other Examples of What The Wealthiest People Have in Common

As we can see, these qualities or personality traits are common to the world’s richest people. It sets them apart from others. Most of them launched small enterprises with the sole purpose of bettering the lives of people. Their products or services gained popularity because money was never their consideration. Widespread use of their technology, products, and services eventually led them to become wealthy.

These traits are not typical to the US or the western world, as one may mistakenly come to believe. A glance at some richest people in India and elsewhere also reveals, they share the same characteristics with their American counterparts. This amply proves that richest people around the world share something in common, regardless of where they live and flourish.

Another common trait that all rich people share in common is philanthropy.

Since childhood, they believe in giving back to the society and helping the underprivileged. They practiced charity when they were not so rich and continue to donate money for the betterment of the society even after becoming billionaires.

These richest people on the planet never waited to become wealthy. Instead, they were philanthropists since childhood – a trait most other people pathetically lack or try to foist upon themselves to gain popularity.

In Conclusion

It is not easy to become wealthy. Or everyone would become a millionaire. People who do make it to the top have a different way of thinking combined with an undying zest for learning new things and educating themselves.

They do not consider conventional learning at universities as the end of their education. Instead, they try and acquire new skills every day and find ways and means to become better humans rather than focusing on fattening their purses.

The world’s wealthiest people also share one common trait: they are not people pleasers, despite their generosity and willingness to serve the society. Because they know, trying to please everyone will get them nowhere and could mean possible failure.