Co-founder and CEO of both Tesla and, more recently, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Elon Musk personifies a leader who is constantly pushing the innovation envelope. Ambitiously innovating travel on land and in space, Musk has not only revolutionized the electric car industry through Tesla, but now also oversees the development of advanced rockets and spacecraft for missions beyond Earth orbit. All this after Musk co-founded and sold PayPal, the world’s leading Internet payment system. And Musk isn’t stopping there – he dares to even envision a goal of creating a self-sustaining city on Mars.
5 lessons we learn from Elon Musk – the real-life “Tony Stark”:
1. Let bold decisions determine your life more than your circumstances limiting it!
Looking at each significant event in Musk’s life from childhood to the present, “it’s fair to say he is a product of his decisions more than his circumstances. Musk seems to have been decisive and deliberate from the start.”
2. Let adversity make you stronger!
Musk had a very difficult childhood that he himself even described as “non stop horrible” and an emotional torture (both at home and being bullied violently at school). But he attributes his strong character and resolve to this adversity.
3. Be a voracious learner in your area of talent and/or passion!
Musk read everything he could get his hands on, sometimes reading as much as 10 hours a day as a child. He also picked everyone’s brain that he could to learn and to get input on his ideas all along the way.
4. Never be afraid to learn more and faster than societal norms say you can.
Musk learned in three days what was supposed to be a 3-month basic programming course! And as he told one journalist, “Frankly,…I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.”
5. Never stay sad about an opportunity that didn’t work out!
Musk has always believed there are more opportunities ahead so it doesn’t make sense to be sad about lost ones. There’s no failing – just learning and moving on.