Elon Musk is revered as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. Since his rise with PayPal’s innovation, he was quick in launching into braver start-ups. In 2002 he formed SpaceX, a daring collaboration with NASA, to fly astronauts into the international space station. The very next year, Musk formed Tesla Motors, which would go on to birth one of the first popular electric cars.
Initially, his dreams and ideas seemed almost impossible, but he persevered and brought them to life against all odds. He is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and young minds to pursue their ambitions regardless of the hurdles. His success story is a marvel, and there is so much we can learn from them.
Here are five crucial business lessons we can learn from Elon Musk.
- Don’t Chase the Dollar Bill
From Elon Musk, we can take that the free market rewards those individuals who desire to solve problems and are not seduced by the green bill. Valuable and productive enterprises go after quality services and products, and not just profits.
One of the reasons why Tesla Motors triumphed is because electric cars address the problem of limited fossil fuel supplies. It was not money for Musk, but the desire to create less fuel-intensive and more sustainable transportation that fuelled him. Musk tapped into an ignored business territory by successfully studying what the market wanted and not how to raise profits for himself.
If you want to be successful, pay attention to the problems that need to be solved and not try to turn into a billionaire.
- Be Different!
From PayPal and Tesla, we can learn that though we can succeed by using someone else’s idea, being different can unlock a whole new world of opportunities and success. Sure, you can work on an idea that is already there, but pushing your boundaries and bringing something new to the table will put your business on the world map and, perhaps, change humanity?
Try to offer a different solution to existing problems. This will help you stand out from the rest of your competitors. Innovation drives businesses. A big reason behind the success of Musk was that he was not afraid to shake the status quo. He was not someone who followed the crowd, but by offering innovative products, he was a trendsetter.
- Hard Work
As cliché as it may sound, you cannot taste success without hard work. Musk has continuously pointed out that starting your own company will demand longer working hours and more sacrifice than if you were working under someone else. Just because you have the motivation to start a business does not guarantee success. If you want to taste success, you will need to keep going.
And be mindful that it is not just the usual things associated with your company that can create problems. Still, even changes in the sector or the economy can be very challenging times. You can't be ready for every eventuality, but the point is to prepare yourself for different scenarios. On your path to success, it is not going to be a smooth road, and you better be ready for some rough times.
- Appreciate the Criticism and Feedback
Throughout his career, Musk has never been afraid to be a critic of his own work. An inevitable part of your business career will be receiving criticism and feedback, which at times, can be very harsh as well.
Musk never allowed his ego to engulf or blind him; instead, he was willing to listen to other people and learn from the criticism to improve his business. Criticism should not bring you down. Instead, it is a valuable opportunity to grow your business. It will be wise to absorb as much feedback or criticism as possible. If you admit that there is a mistake in your business, you will be able to implement a strategy to address them and find a solution. If you are averse to criticism, you run the risk of becoming stagnant.
- Embrace failure
Sometimes, even with perfect preparation, you will experience failure. It may be hard to believe, but Musk failed numerous times. He lays down that if you are not failing, then you are not innovative enough. Two of Musk's rocket launches failed, costing him about 60 million! But every time, he persisted and pushed himself for achieving a successful launch. SpaceX eventually went on to sign a 6 billion dollar contract with NASA.
Think of failure as a stepping stone. Every time you fail, you learn something that did not work, and you get that much closer to success. Instead of being afraid, embrace it!
This brings an end to our small peek inside Elon Musk’s mind. The five lessons enumerated in this article are instrumental life lessons to guide your business ventures. Success does not come overnight. By being innovative, patient, working hard, and embracing challenging times and failures that may occur along your way, you will establish the toad to your success. Work hard and be patient; we might be writing an article about you next time.
Emily Johnson is a marketing consultant with 10+ years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. She is interested in writing and helps SMBs and large firms with her rich experience. Currently, she heads the marketing department at Blue Mail Media, a renowned B2B data solution company based out of Irving, Texas. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.