Elon Musk is one of the most ambitious and visionary entrepreneurs of the modern era. He sold his first video game when he was just 12, sold his first start-up Zip2 in his late 20s, and went on to start PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX. This guy knows a thing or two about building businesses, solving monumental problems, and changing the world. Here we take a look at the top 10 Elon Musk quotes that inspire you to dream bigger and work harder.
Musk never hesitates to speak his mind. He has often discussed his failures publicly. He isn’t scared of dreaming big and taking bigger risks. These are the ten Elon Musk quotes you’d want to read if you want some inspiration.
10- “I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.”
Elon Musk created PayPal to make it easier for people and businesses to send online payments, even internationally. He created Tesla to harness the solar power to reduce carbon emissions and global warming. He launched SpaceX to set up a self-sustaining human colony on Mars to ensure that humans don’t go extinct if something happens to our planet.
9- “People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else”
Some people say “Follow your passion” is terrible advice. But if you do what you love, you’d feel fulfilled. Musk is passionate about engineering and design, and that clearly reflects in his companies’ products. Motoring magazine Motor Trend has named Tesla Model S as the best car in the magazine’s 70-year history. SpaceX has successfully built and tested reusable rockets that have dramatically reduced the cost of space travel.
8- “It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket”
The popular advice is “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” That’s because if you concentrate all your energy and resources on one thing, you’ll be at the highest risk of losing everything if something goes wrong with that basket. The popular advice is to diversify your resources to reduce risk. Musk believes it’s OK to put all your resources in one basket as long as you can control what happens to that basket.
7- “Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself”
Elon Musk believes in having an open “feedback loop.” He urges entrepreneurs to seek “negative feedback.” Even if you don’t like the feedback, it could help you improve yourself. Surround yourself with people who can give you consistent and truthful feedback.
6- “I could either watch it happen or be a part of it”
This is one of my favorite Elon Musk quotes. The world is constantly evolving, and progress in different aspects of science and technology is inevitable. You might think that there is no meaning in doing something that is inevitable. If you don’t make it happen, someone else will. It doesn’t mean you should stand on the side and watch others doing fascinating things. You should hit the ground, be part of it, and accelerate the inevitable.
5- “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur”
Elon Musk is known for publicly setting impossible goals for himself and then doing everything he can to make it happen. When he founded SpaceX in 2002 with a goal to colonize Mars and make humanity a space-faring civilization, many people laughed at him. Reusable rockets were considered impossible. Now that SpaceX has built giant reusable rockets, everyone is optimistic that the company will be able to send first humans to Mars in a decade or so.
4- “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough”
Entrepreneurship is all about risk-taking and trial-and-error. You can’t expect yourself to be right or successful every time. Tesla’s first car Roadster was a flop, but the Model S and Model 3 have been immensely successful. SpaceX tried to land its rockets vertically, but failed several times before eventually tasting success. Don’t be scared of failing again and again.
3- “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up”
On numerous occasions, Tesla and SpaceX were running out of money. It was extremely difficult for Musk to keep both these companies afloat. He would put his own money into these startups and come up with innovative ways to raise funds from investors. Tesla and SpaceX didn’t fail because Musk refused to give up.
2- “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary”
Yeah, some people are born geniuses. But most of the extraordinary people who went on to change the world were born and raised as ordinary humans. They continued to improve themselves and focused on getting better at what they do with each passing day.
1- “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor”
Elon Musk’s mission is to save the planet by implementing greener technology, and to save humanity by making it a space-faring civilization. Both these things are important to him. That’s why he has established massive factories to produce solar panels and batteries at low-cost. That’s why he is making electric cars and has set up charging stations across the United States. And that’s why he created reusable rockets that dramatically reduce the cost of space travel. Yes, it took him almost two decades to do all these things. But he did it because it was important to him.
Bonus quote: “Optimism, pessimism, f*ck that – we’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work”