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The Success of Elon Musk

Elon Musk

The mind blowing visionary Elon Musk is transforming the way we live today. He founded his first company (Zip2) at the age of 23 and sold it for $300 million. But that was not enough to quench Elon’s thirst for startup success, so he opened a new online payment platform called PayPal which allows users to safely buy and sell online.

Since then, Elon has made solar energy affordable for the public through his company SolarCity, and has made the dream of an electric car possible and inexpensive with Tesla Motors. If that wasn’t enough, his SpaceX space travel adventures have proven to be a major success with a very promising future.

Musk‘s mind was set to focus on things that would most affect the future of humanity: The internet; clean energy; and space.

 

Elon Musk’s Early Years

Elon Musk YoungElon taught himself computer programming at an early age, which allowed him to sell his first program by the age of twelve. A space game he created named “Blastar” for $500.

Leaving home at seventeen, Elon avoided serving the South African Military, and decided he wanted to live in the U.S, believing “It is where great things are possible.

Elon moved so that he could acquire his Ph.D. In applied physics and materials science at Stanford University in California but ended up dropping out early to fullfil the dream of launching his first startup.

 

Elon’s Career

 

Zip2

(Founded In 1995)

Elon Musk Zip2Elon’s first taste at being an entrepreneur was through the creation of ‘Zip2‘. A website that provided online content publishing software for various news organisations, which he started with his brother Kimbal Musk. It wasn’t long before they managed to get investment for Zip2 from such companies as: The New York Times, HEARST Corporation, KnightRidder and many others.

Although ‘Zip2‘ was only a small business. Compaq’s AltaVista bought ‘Zip2‘ for over $300 million, which made Elon and his brother multi-millionaires by twenty-eight years of age.

“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that… you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.” – Elon Musk

 

PayPal

(Founded In 1999)

Elon Musk PayPalMusk used $10 Million of his earnings from Zip2 to create an online financial service and e-mail payment company in 1999 called ‘X.com‘. Musk acquired ‘Confinity Inc‘ which was initially a Palm Pilot payments and cryptography company. The merged company’s intentions were to keep the name ‘X.com‘, but public surveys eventually showed that major consumers considered the name ‘X.com‘ vague and mistakenly pornographic at which they found ‘PayPal’ more appealing to its intentions.

After an initial public offering, the company was bought out by eBay.

“We could either watch it happen, or be a part of it.” – Elon Musk 

 

Space X

(Founded In 2002)

ELon Musk SpaceXElon’s obsession about space was showcased from the game ‘Blastar‘ he had created when he was twelve years old. Eventually exhibiting the world that he could beat NASA in space technology. At which he produced the company ‘SpaceX‘.

His greatest vision was to yield technology that takes you and I to another planet! And funded the project alone coming close to $100 million, spending a majority of his net-worth during that time.

In September 2009, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fuelled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth orbit. On 25 May 2012, Elon’s launched his next project “the SpaceX Dragon” vehicle successfully docking with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and dock a vehicle to the International Space Station.

Last week Elon Musk announced that his team has built a system that allows one to design rocket parts with “hand movements through the air.”

“There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.” – Elon Musk

 

Tesla Motors

(Founded In 2003)

Elon-Musk-Tesla-MotorsMusk‘s idea for electric cars had stirred into his mind long before ‘Tesla Motors‘ was present. Co-founding ‘Tesla Motors‘ and contributing to the company as head product designer, Musk managed to build the first viable electric sports car to help humanity break away from fossil fuels. The high-end electric car, the Tesla Roadster, was sure enough in high demand, which allowed ‘Tesla Motors‘ to produce an affordable model to launch to the public.

Musk hit a snag in 2007 as ‘Tesla Motors‘ was falling short of available funds. The cost to build the cars at a high quality were over $140,000, at which their intentions were to sell the cars for $65,000. At this point, Musk had to take responsibility for the companies declination. Hard decisions had to be made and Elon spent additional dedication to the company, forcing the company to replace Martin Eberhard as CEO, which Elon claimed the duty.

Tesla Motor’s come-back was outstanding and almost over schedule, by substituting a daimler smartcar’s gas engine with the Tesla drive-train and battery. At which the company gained $70 million.

“You want to be extra rigorous about making best possible thing you can, find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback, particularly from friends” – Elon Musk

 

 

Elon’s Financial Crisis

Musk faced the worst crisis of his career, all 3 of his companies were collapsing. Things that appeared unneeded had to be closed down. Musk had to lay off almost 1/3 of his staff and close Tesla’s branch in Detroit.

SolarCity‘ began staggering, the bank that had backed their leases, pulled out of the deal.

Musk was in the fight of his life. With only a week’s worth of cash in the bank. There was little time to resolve. Musk never thought it was possible to have a nervous breakdown. Forced into only one direction, in hopes of keeping his empire afloat, Elon decided to raise $40 million to keep the company going out of his own pocket to keep the dream alive.

After six years of funding and advancing his companies, the fourth launch through SpaceX was a great success.

NASA decided to team up with Elon and fund ‘SpaceX’ for a $1.6 billion contract. Much to the publics surprise, Elon managed to pull through with An unexpected and heroic recovery.

 

His Critiques

Entrepreneurs and other company workers starved to see ‘Tesla Motors‘ fail due to the company’s products being seen as an attack on mainstream vehicles. Musk launched the electric cars to the public, which had the public and other companies in doubt of the success of ‘Tesla Motors‘. Poll votes and TV hosts belittled Tesla cars and told the public they weren’t worth buying.

But Elon did not care and decided to push through to make it happen. He released an offering to the Public in 2010 for Tesla, and was granted a place in the stock market, there hadn’t been an IPL since Henry Ford and the net-worth grew to $2 billion. This courageous move put faith in other companies to finance and produce electric cars.

 

Fun Elon Musk Fact:

Jon Favreau, the director of the movie “Iron Man” decided to base Robert Downy Jr’s character off the real life billionaire inventor Elon Musk, and to show his appreciation, he even invited Elon for a short cameo appearance in Iron Man II.

 

Conclusion

Most of Elon’s innovative ideas and visions became true. His learning curves from failure and loss, didn’t vanquish his visions and amazing goals for the future. Elon Musk never seizes to dream big, whether it be travelling to the moon or Mars to changing the way that we drive and operate cars, or creating sustainable energy, changing the culture and technology of the commerce businesses, to financing dreams of space travel in advancing what was forty decades out of date.

Elon Musk continues to pursue his goals to change humanity and live up to the expectations he set for himself in risk taking and self-confidence. Even when years of effort seems to be a loss in the moment. He believes that his success still will prevail.

What a Legend!

 

Elon Musk Picture Quote

Elon Musk Entrepreneur Picture Quote For Success

 

Feature Image Courtesy of Wired

Jesse Brown is an aspiring writer and musician who loves to study successful individuals and share his new found knowledge with others around the world.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. pawan

    Jan 1, 2014 at 3:47 am

    He will be next Steve Jobs !! Who will make dent in the universe.

  2. Sebastian

    Oct 16, 2013 at 11:50 am

    That’s the definition of an innovator.

  3. Ann

    Sep 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

    its really inspiring mob thanks to you guys

  4. Dionne

    Sep 3, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Oh my god! That will be me one day! We have the same mindset

  5. SharifiZ (@SharifiZ)

    Sep 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    There’s a reason they call him real-life Ironman. He really is revolutionary. A guy that could change the world.

  6. cutieflexy

    Sep 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Great inspiration

  7. Zack Geffrey

    Sep 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Elon, what a genius!!!
    Good article to, thanks for this inspiration.

    • Sian

      Sep 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Amazing

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Entrepreneurs

5 of the Best Proven Growth Hacking Strategies for Your Business

best growth hack strategies for your business
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Tough competition can make growing a new brand seem near impossible, despite the hundreds of new companies that are created every day. Creative solutions offer the answer, allowing you to move in a positive direction with your brand start-up at an affordable investment. To achieve this, speed is the key. Growing your user base fast will allow profits to come in fast, too. This is what growth hacking is all about.  (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

5 Soft Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

soft skills for entrepreneurs
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There are countless components that go into building a successful company, but soft skills act as the fundamental building blocks of a functioning business. Hard skills are considered to be job-specific, whereas soft skills are interpersonal skills, like listening and communication. 

Nearly 93% of employers said that soft skills are an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions. With the right blend of hard and soft skills, an entrepreneur is capable of great things.

Here are five soft skills that can help entrepreneurs scale their growth and lead successful ventures:

1. Confidence

A successful company starts from individual confidence. In order to motivate and inspire others, an entrepreneur must find reassurance in themselves. Other businesses and consumers will believe in your company if you consistently believe in yourself. 

Being confident also means becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable— taking risks will expand your business and place you above competitors. As an entrepreneur, and leader, it’s crucial that you not only possess confidence, but exhibit it throughout every step of your business ventures.

2.Self-Awareness

It is vital that an entrepreneur have a clear insight into their personality, especially their strengths, weaknesses, thoughts,and emotions. 

When an entrepreneur is self-aware, it can lead them to beneficial partnerships and agreements. Without good self-awareness, leaders become easily persuaded and spineless. Self-awareness also includes control. Becoming overly emotional, for example, can lead to detrimental impulsive decision making. 

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

3. Collaboration

From the day we begin talking, the ability to work well with others is pivotal to any project. As an entrepreneur, it is important to recognize and understand your own responsibilities. To do this, you must identify your business culture and have tools on hand to manage mutually dependent relationships. 

Active listening inspires collaboration within teams and creates learning opportunities. Without open collaboration or sharing and discussing information, the success of your business is  limited.

4. Time Management

Time is the greatest equalizer. No matter who you are or what you do, we all have the exact same amount of time in the day. Successful management of that time separates the great entrepreneurs from the bad ones. 

Entrepreneurs have many responsibilities; they are often jumping between tasks, hopping on calls, and attending events. They also tend to make every decision within the business.

It is crucial for business owners to find an organization system that works for their company and their goals. Creating a long term road map of company ambitions is an excellent way to distinguish high versus low priority initiatives. Entrepreneurs should create prioritization systems that employees can follow each month, ensuring business targets are met.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Tony Robbins

5. Resilience

Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, unexpected hurdles and setbacks are inevitable. The process of starting a business will not be perfect. What matters most is how you progress when the outlook seems bleak. Your ability to stay tough and weather the storm speaks volumes to your leadership— and will lead to a huge payout at the end of the day. 

Maintaining entrepreneurial resilience throughout rocky times will empower your employees while simultaneously building your credibility. Resilience will also inform potential clients and customers that you are willing to fight through thick and thin.

Soft skills are the backbone of every successful entrepreneur. While hard skills like financing and marketing are crucial to conducting business, soft skills provide the essential groundwork. Developing these soft skills will come with time, mindfulness, and an eagerness to grow. Take the initiative to prioritize these skills in yourself. Once you’ve done that, you can then cultivate those same qualities in your business.

Do you think soft skills tend to be more important than hard skills in today’s business world? Share your thoughts with us below!

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Entrepreneurs

The 7 Successful Habits of Entrepreneurs

habits of entrepreneurs

A while ago, I wrote an article on the 51 mistakes that can sabotage your business. However, that was one piece of the puzzle. You have to run your business well to be a successful entrepreneur, but, what’s more important is that you run yourself so well that your business follows suit. In order to do that, you need some good habits that can seriously boost your chances of success.

Here are the 7 must have habits that most successful entrepreneurs have:

1. Mindfully Meditate Everyday for At least 10 Minutes

Tim Ferris, who has interviewed thousands of world-class performers and entrepreneurs, says that the most common practice of all world-class performers is mindfulness meditation. There are different types of meditation, and each serves its own function.

However, mindfulness meditation is meant for controlling your mind so as to be able to focus more intensely on the task at hand. Higher focus equals higher productivity and becoming more effective at whatever you do.

Working in a distracted state leads to substandard work and also takes up more time. If you want to be able to get in the zone like most top-notch entrepreneurs, you need to mindfully meditate.

Now, there are some caveats you need to be aware of before you begin:

  1. Like medicine, mindfulness meditation has a minimum effective dose and that minimum is 10 continuous days for at least 10 minutes each day.
  2. Practice guided meditation before you try meditating on your own.

2. Read a Lot

Warren Buffett was once asked what the secret behind his wealth was. He pointed to a stack of books and said the secret was to read 500 pages like that everyday. Mark Cuban is also a voracious reader and spends almost 3 hours everyday reading in spite of being busy with his businesses. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg also read a book every week.

Now, I am not telling you to read so much everyday but at least make an effort to finish 2 books every month. This is a very common habit among the top-notch entrepreneurs and as Warren says, “knowledge builds up like compound interest.”

Also try not to read on any digital medium except that of Kindle. In spite of it being convenient to read on your phone or tab or laptop, these devices tend to distract us with their notifications and push us to other procrastinating habits.

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl

3. Keep the Phone Away, aka take a Digital Detox EVERYDAY

With multi-national companies all vying for our attention, we need to learn to use our phones less everyday. While it can be extremely tempting to open your phone while you are waiting in line or are taking an Uber ride, you should resist and embrace the boredom. This has two effects:

  1. It teaches you to sit through boring and monotonous tasks for longer periods of time and not get pulled away at the tiniest amount of distraction.
  2. It builds up your will-power and your discipline.

I see a lot of entrepreneurs try to do this and even successfully do this but they don’t build it into a habit. They do it once a week or once a month and think it will have a beneficial effect on their lives. Sadly, just like eating your vegetables once a week is a very stupid idea if you want to live a healthy life, taking a digital detox occasionally is useless.

4. Dump Coffee for Tea

Most Americans are heavy coffee consumers and can’t live their lives without coffee. But wait …The main ingredient behind coffee is caffeine which is a natural stimulant. If you take a stimulant regularly, your body adapts to the stimulant and you fail to get the benefits of coffee such as greater energy and focus which other non-regular drinkers get.

On the contrary, tea’s natural stimulant relaxes your body and enables you to put in more hours of work without the “crash” effect that coffee drinkers face. If you are up to the suggestion of making tea a part of your daily habits, I suggest you try out green tea which has 15% more caffeine than a cup of coffee. It also possesses l-theanine, which helps the consumer put in a greater state of focused awareness into his/her work.

But if you are a newbie tea drinker and can’t stand the taste of coffee (I don’t know how that’s possible though☹), try out flavored tea.

5. Sleep Around 8 Hours Daily

I think the most damaging piece of advice out there is sleep less and do more work. If you do that, all that’s going to happen is that you are going to wake up the next day feeling drowsy. The net result is that your productivity will suffer.

Also, the notion of early to bed and early to rise is not true as your biological clock may be differently tuned than that of others and your biological prime time may be late at night. However, don’t be too late to sleep as that hinders the DNA repair and as a side-effect your mental fatigue remains.

If you can’t get to sleep early, try to not use your phone or watch the TV or any sort of screen whatsoever, as the blue light can slow down your natural sleep cycle.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” – John Steinbeck

6. Take Cold Showers

You know what troubles most entrepreneurs? They’re good at planning yet it’s the execution part where almost all of them fall flat. It’s because the execution of ideas throws the harsh realities of the business world onto the face of the entrepreneurs, and they are forced to reconsider if they can actually ever succeed.

It is here that the winners get separated from the losers. And guess what separates them? Willpower. I have the best tactic to help you build it and it’s so simple too! Take cold showers early in the morning or late at night, when it is already chilled outside. If you live in a place that is hot, then this tactic may not have the intended effect on you.

However, try taking cold-showers in the winter. You will see that your brain makes all sorts of excuses so as to not go under the chilling water and if you succeed in pushing your brain to do the work, you will have succeeded. You are then, the master of your mind and not the other way around.

7. Plan and Review Daily

If you want to live a truly productive life and get things done instead of having a mounting pile of to-dos, you need to plan ahead. You need to divide your daily schedule into blocks of time and dedicate tasks to each block.

Parkinson’s Law states that the work we need to do stretches into the time we give ourselves to finish it. Therefore, if you need to get work done and don’t give yourself any time-limit or deadline, you will find your work stretching for enormous amounts of time and eating into the time reserved for other tasks.

However, when you first start planning, you will find most of your plans are utterly useless as most tasks will stretch far beyond the time you have allotted for them. This is where the second part comes along – which is to review the plans and reschedule them.

However, there is a particular style of reviewing and this is how you can go about it. First, you need to make a plan of what you intend to complete in a week and what you intend to complete in a day. Then, before going to bed every night, open your calendar and make a note regarding what you failed to complete today and how you will accommodate them into your weekly goals. This should be done before going to bed daily.

Now, it’s your turn. Share this post and spread the word. What’s the most important habit according to you? Do you have any such habits that you use? Let me know in the comments!

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Entrepreneurs

Build Your Business One Brick at a Time

building a business

A good friend and business associate once approached us asking for business advice. “I have $25,000,” he said. “How do I turn that into $50,000? Actually—wait, how do I turn one million into two million in one year?”

We looked at each other, and then we looked back at him and said “You don’t take a million and turn it into two million. It’s not that easy. There are no shortcuts in life, and there are no shortcuts in business.” We recommended he do things the old-fashioned way.

He understood—and we understood—that, of course, some people do double their money in the blink of an eye. It’s not impossible, but it’s incredibly risky. And it’s also not what we are about. We’re not promoting the Bernie Madoff model of Ponzi and phony, get-rich-quick deals; we all know how well that worked out in the end. Businesses have to have a real economic model that is built one brick at a time.

Start, Build, Sell

Growing your business is an incremental process: you start, you build, and you sell. You build more, you sell more. If you have a viable product or service that customers want, they’ll come back to you again and again. They’ll also tell their friends. 

Positive word of mouth is as important as the product itself, because it helps you continue to grow. As Albert Einstein once said (and Warren Buffet often quotes), “compounding interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”

Buffet, known as the smartest investor of the past century, invests in management teams and products he believes in through his company Berkshire Hathaway. He is also said to only invest in products that he likes and uses, and that fall in his circle of competence. Therefore, as a big holder of both their stocks, you can assume he loves Coke and McDonald’s. He also eats and drinks both regularly. Keep his investment interests in mind as you build your business.

“The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

The Value of Viability and Balance

What kind of product or service you decide to build is important, too. You have to be insanely fortunate to have success selling an entirely unique product. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try, but always remember it is easier to sell a product that is easily understood. When you’re just starting out, and even if you’re not, it’s much easier to sell something people completely understand rather than an avant-garde product.

Whatever you want to try in business, whether you have a brand-new type of shop or a nail salon in a strip mall down the street from another nail salon in another strip mall, the essence is the same: work harder, work smarter, and constantly improve.

One challenge you may find at this stage of your entrepreneurial journey is the difficult task of finding balance between preparing and over preparing. As you build and sell, focus on the details, but don’t let them overshadow your big picture.

Spilling the Oil

In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes of a boy who wants to learn about happiness. The boy’s father sent him to the wisest man in the world: the sage. The boy traveled for forty days to reach the wise man, finally finding him in a bustling palace. When the boy asked for the secret to happiness, the sage responded by suggesting the boy take a walk through his palace and come back in two hours.

The sage had one additional request: he handed the boy a teaspoon with two drops of oil and instructed him not to let the oil spill as he walked the grounds. He toured the palace, his eyes never leaving the spoon. When he returned, the sage asked the boy if he had enjoyed the Persian tapestries and the intricate gardens, but the boy replied he hadn’t seen them; his eyes were focused on the spoon. Although he had spilled no oil, he had also seen none of the glories of the palace.

The sage refilled the spoon with two drops of oil, instructing the boy to savor the details of the palace. When the boy returned, he realized he’s spilled the oil, but he was able to describe in detail the colors, tastes, smells of the palace that were beyond his wildest imagination. The sage responded, “The secret of happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

The same is true in business; keep an eye on both the details and the big picture—neither of which you can do if you’re cutting corners or letting the fear of making mistakes stop you from moving forward. Fail often and fail quick. Learn from your mistakes. And, if you are smart, learn from other people’s mistakes, too.

What was your favorite tip from this article? Share your thoughts with us below!

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