Paypal, SolarCity, Zip2, SpaceX, Hyperloop, OpenAl, Tesla Motors… Do these ring a bell for you?
Just in case you didn’t know, all these companies are only some of the numerous successful undertakings that 46-year old Elon Musk has developed so far. As a matter of fact, so far these brands have brought him the mind-blowing net worth of 20.6 billion dollars and an absolutely deserved reputation of an entrepreneurial genius.
His geeky interests, quirky spirit, sharp mind, and out-of-the-box thinking have made him one of the world’s most admired names when it comes to both entrepreneurship and science. While feeling an endless respect for him, most of us can’t help but wonder how he managed to succeed in all these ventures.
That’s why discussing the key skills that made Elon Musk an entrepreneurial rockstar is a pivotal drill that you need to take up. Earning such skills can become valuable assets on your own career journey.
Skill #1: Asking Meaningfully
Even though this may sound pretty generic at first, asking the right question is actually an incredibly important skill. According to Musk, the ability to ask and discuss impactful questions is one the biggest advantages one can have. The importance of this skill lies in how good questions help people reflect upon a reality that they haven’t contemplated before.
By questioning people, conditions, and events, you give room to investigate unexplored spheres of reality. Plus, a chance to come to some new conclusions and untested truths.
The modern world focuses on providing answers, and therefore, it is primarily driven by those who ask. In other words, some of the worlds’ greatest minds might have never had a chance of giving some impressive answers and solutions if there wasn’t for some ingenious questions that inspired them in the first place.
In short, if you’re inspired by Musk’s and like to follow his footsteps, then never stop questioning the world around you and learning from the answers it gives to you. So, Don’t hesitate to ask.
Skill #2: Transforming Feedback
Once you realize how negative comments are the best possible feedback you can get, you’ll get closer to Musk’s world of perception. If you’re familiar with his Tesla Model S, you probably know the story of his determination to collect all bad comments on this car. He refused to listen to positive feedback, considering it useless and uninspiring. Instead, he went for the toughest criticism knowing that it’s the only way that will lead him to the creation of a perfect model.
But how do you “transform” the feedback?
May sound like an easy one, but treating the negative criticism as a valuable asset usually requires some radical changes in one’s mindset. People tell us what we want to hear and we’re used to hearing what we like. So no matter how open-minded you are, the key fact lies exactly in this is how you treat incoming criticism.
You genuinely need to start opening up to the criticism. Motivate people to talk to you about bad sides, flaws, and poor experiences when it comes to your undertakings. This will help you create something that will perfectly suit their needs. Yes, it can be a painstaking process, especially if you aren’t used to criticism – but it’s definitely worth it.
Skill #3: Transferring Knowledge
When we speak of knowledge transfer, teaching other people or collecting information from them is what we think of first. At the core of this skill is your capability of:
- getting to know more about different areas
- transferring your knowledge from one area to the other to create a functional unity that helps you solve a practical problem
Musk succeeded in making a meaningful relation between science, energy, engineering, and technology on the one hand, and entrepreneurship on the other. Numerous professionals think this is his biggest advantage. But why so?
The thing is, a large number of experts focus only on their primary field of interest or study. they tend to lose the determination to get to know more about some other areas. Ones that may be useful and relevant to the business. In addition, chances of owning thorough information (and accordingly, your chances of creating a life-changing innovation!), are way greater if you learn across multiple disciplines since your knowledge base will be wider and more developed.
For example, if you’re addicted to literature and are interested in software development, you may use your eloquence to become the best support operator ever, or even end up creating a fancy library application, smooth-functioning live chat software, a game related to literature, and so on.
Gaming and medicine? Marketing and molecular biology? Geography and IT? Just give it a go. Nurture all of your major areas of interest – you never know, maybe one of these combinations help you make the world a better place.
Skill #4: Embracing Failure
We’re not talking about ten days of crying under the blanket once things go wrong. Instead, don’t be afraid to think about the failure before it happens. What Musk does to eliminate the always present fear of failure is – prepare for it.
According to Inc.com, talking with Sam Altman of Ycombinator, Musk explained that it’s impossible not to feel afraid when working on interplanetary exploration – it’s a huge thing to do and people get scared on a daily basis, even with far more certain undertakings. But no matter what your projects and fears are, Musk suggests:
- creating a contingency plan
- discussing all possible outcomes and their effects
- coming up with ways to prevent the unwanted outcomes
Obviously, only if you don’t cover your eyes in front of the worst-case scenario but work hard to avoid it, you’ll deal with them efficiently.
Skill #5: Acting Selflessly
Finally, if you want to become rich and estimated, the first rule is not to do things just to become rich and estimated. And it’s a lesson shared by the man who has made billions of dollars. Before getting involved in any type of business, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Does it make you happy? Fulfilled? Are you really, honestly passionate about it?
If you’re thinking about money rather than improving the industry, culture, or even entire society, then you probably should not be doing it. Reason? Well, chances are you won’t get too much of it since you won’t be driven enough to make it.
Yes, we all need money to pay our rents, food, and children’s education. But does that mean the world should deal with the consequences of our potentially reckless acts that might be selfishly motivated?
This question is exactly what Elon Musk started to think of at a pretty young age. As soon as he left PayPal and started to think of new undertakings, he realized his biggest passion and motivation is creating real value and innovate while supporting sustainable development and improving the world we live in. What’s more? According to Wall Street Journal, Musk has never taken his salary at Tesla.
So, What Are the Keys Skills to Help You Succeed Like Elon Musk?
By now, you’ve probably realized that Elon Musk is one of the best proofs of how to build up an entrepreneurial empire. You’ll require a particular way of thinking and proactive and curious spirit. He’s also shown us (several times!) how things we sometimes consider impossible are not necessarily that far from reality that we live in.
So long story short, if you’re willing to take over the responsibility not only for your own success and career but for the world we live in, or want to have a meaningful life, make sure to follow Musk’s advice and:
- Don’t be afraid to ask a meaningful question. Also get to know what questions are genuinely important to you.
- Learn from your own mistakes. Provoke people to share honest criticism with you instead of endless compliments with no constructive purpose.
Don’t hesitate to spend your time learning about everything you’re passionate about – eventually you may get the chance of combining that knowledge in a single undertaking.
- Instead of closing your eyes in front of potential failure, keep them wide open and try to reduce potential risks as much as you can. Be aware of the potential failures by constantly working on ways to deal with them.
- Don’t be greedy. Instead, pay attention to global issues that you may be able to solve instead of simply focusing on your personal needs.
Finally, having Elon Musk as a role model and adopting these hacks can help you work through a better business plan that not only brings profits but also bring in greater benefits for the society. Helping yourself is great but helping your civilization is a constant challenge and an undertaking worth admiring.
Jason is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Celoxis is a comprehensive project management tool that helps companies streamline management of projects, timesheets, expenses and business processes, specific to their organization. Over the last decade, Celoxis has specialized in delivering improved collaboration and increased efficiency for teams of all sizes, both in SMB and Enterprise segments. To know more visit www.celoxis.com