When it comes to inspiring startup owners, no one is better than the visionary co-founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX who has a clear concept of how to make tomorrow better and how to make your startup stay up and going.
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1. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Known as an avid bookworm, Elon Musk is rumored to read the Encyclopedia Britannica when he was 9! He has been heard in an interview with Rolling Stone in November 2017 that he was “raised by books.” So, as per Elon’s way and as per his life lessons, read books. The wider knowledge area you cover, the better you do for your business ideas as well. So lose yourself in a book on a regular basis.
2. MAKE A SPLASH TODAY
“The perfect time to take risks? Now! Do something bold. You won’t regret it”, Musk said in his 2014 commencement address to students from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. There’s nothing called a perfect timing. You have to make your time perfect, and you can do it even today. There’s no need to wait until you’re older, the timing is right or you have more experience. Dive in headfirst today and see what happens. Risk taking is undoubtedly among the first steps to be an entrepreneur. And as a startup owner, you have to have the guts to take risks.
3. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM
Failures, no one has never met failures in his life. And Musk too is no exception. He might have risen through the ranks to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, but he’s also no stranger to failure. For example, he was demoted as CEO of Zip2, the first company he founded, and then PayPal, another company he co-founded, was named one of the 10 worst business ideas of 1999. In 2000, Musk also contracted a potentially lethal form of cerebral malaria during a vacation to Brazil and South Africa. Just a few of the personal and professional hardships he’s had to endure would’ve broken many people down, but these challenges just made him stronger.
4. EMPOWER AND LEAD THE PACK
Take the initiative to lead and empower. Don’t wait for others to go for it. Take again Musk’s example who is working beyond normal men and women’s level. He founded SpaceX in 2002 with the mission of colonizing other planets, despite the fact that even NASA hasn’t managed this feat. Being a trendsetter doesn’t have to take you out of this world. Apply Musk’s lesson to your own life by being a leader, instead of a follower. Initiate, ideate, innovate and come up with something everyone else would follow you for.
5. CRITICISM AND FEEDBACK – BOTH ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT
Despite all he’s accomplished, Musk is aware his opinion isn’t the only one that matters. He’s no stranger to taking to Twitter to ask his followers for feedback on various topics, including specific Tesla matters. Musk has the power to take a “my way or the highway” approach to business, but he doesn’t. Apply this to your own life by asking others for advice and really listening to what they have to say. As an entrepreneur, it is very important to be broad-minded and open to all kind of positive as well as negative feedbacks.
6. ADD VALUE
It’s always advisable to utilize your time, energy and effort at places where required. “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value,” Musk said in a 2018 Tesla internal email acquired by news site Electrek. “It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.” You’re a bright person with a lot to offer. If you’re in a place where your expertise isn’t needed or appreciated, politely excuse yourself and shift your focus to a topic where your contributions carry weight. That would not only save you from unnecessary waste of time and energy but would also help you focus on something more constructive.
7. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
Even Musk isn’t immune to rejection from employers. In 1995, he applied for a job at Netscape. When he didn’t get a reply, he went to the building and hung out in the lobby but was too shy to talk to anyone, he revealed in a 2012 interview with entrepreneur and investor Kevin Rose. So, accept rejection. A startup isn’t an easy roadway. It’s full of risks, failures and ultimate rejection. Keep trying of course, but if you still feel rejection is stronger than success, accept it and move on. If you have potential, one or the other idea would surely work.
8. TAKE ACTIONS AGAINST YOUR OWN PROBLEMS
In December 2016, Musk became frustrated while stuck in heavy Los Angeles traffic. He tweeted “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…”. Most people complain about traffic, but Musk took action. By May 2018, the first phase of his tunnel was nearly complete. Musk’s forward-thinking approach applies to more than just traffic. When an obstacle is holding you back, find a way to overcome it. People do complain and rant on a certain issue, but very few actually work towards it. A good and successful entrepreneur should know how to handle his or her problems and how to get rid of those.
9. VAlUE TIME
No doubt, Musk has a lot on his plate each day. To maximize productivity, he divides his schedule into five-minute intervals that allow him to stay on track. Time is a valuable entity you can’t get back. There are only so many minutes in a day, so make sure you’re spending them on the personal and professional activities that matter most. Make a routine and set up a deadline for yourself on daily basis. It would not only help you make a habit but would also help set a certain goal and you would ultimately reach it on time.
10. FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE
Back in November 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Musk revealed he’d been in “severe emotional pain” for several weeks, likely caused by his breakup with actress Amber Heard. During this time, he was working to launch the Tesla Model 3 sedan, so he had to get out of his own head to be present at a company event. “… I had to psych myself up: drink a couple of Red Bulls, hang out with positive people and then, like, tell myself: ‘I have all these people depending on me. All right, do it!'” he said. When the going gets rough, take this approach in your life. Surround yourself with a solid support system and concentrate on the greater good. Remember, staying up in a startup scene isn’t an easy job. But to stay focused for the big picture is very important.
11.BUILD LASTING RELATIONSHIPS
“I will never be happy without having someone,” Musk revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone. Money can buy a lot of things, but love isn’t one of them. Always make time for the people closest to you, because success is nowhere near as rewarding without them. That explains it all in short.
12. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
Nobody’s perfect, including Musk. The beginning of 2018 was a stressful time for the Tesla CEO, as the company’s Model 3 sedan was plagued by issues that caused production delays. “… I need to figure out how to be better. And then we can be better at meeting goals,” he told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King during a tour of Tesla’s Silicon Valley factory. Experience is the greatest teacher of all. Every mistake is an opportunity for growth, so use your mishaps to become stronger than ever. Learn from your failures and utilize the lessons to grow in the next step.
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