Elon Musk is someone that should be included in primary school children’s science books. He’s one of the names that will remain in history. Let’s go through a short history of one of the greatest minds in this century.
He grew up in South Africa and went to college at the Wharton School of Business. Later, he moved to California and started his own company, then sold it for some millions. Then he founded PayPal that he later sold to eBay for $1.5 billion.
Following this, he became the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, where he’s currently pushing all boundaries of human travel and space exploration. In 2014 during a USC speech, he highlighted five key points that contribute to a successful life. Here are the 5 secrets to success by Elon Musk:
Elon Musk said, ‘If you do the simple math, say that someone else is working 50 hours and you’re working 100, you’ll get twice as much done in the course of a year as the other company.’ This shows that the most important part of success is working as hard as you can then working even harder than that.
For his second tip, he said, ‘If you’re creating a company or if you’re joining a company, the most important thing is to attract great people. Either join a group that’s amazing that you really respect, or if you’re building a company, gather great people.’
This is similar to the saying that you are known by the company you keep. The people you sit with will eventually help you grow and build your skill sets.
He said, ‘focus on signal over noise. A lot of companies get confused, they spend money on things that don’t actually make the product better.’
He added, ‘so for example, at Tesla we’ve never spent any money on advertising. We put all the money into R&D and manufacturing and design to try to make the car as good as possible. And I think that’s the way to go.’
Many companies spend a lot of money on number of things like advertising and promotion, however, Elon Musk believes that you must just focus on the product or service and it will start to sell itself.
He said, ‘don’t just follow trends. You may have heard me say that it’s good to think in terms of the physics approach of first principles. Which is, rather than reasoning by analogy, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths you can imagine and you reason up from there.’
He addedT, ‘his is a good way to figure out if something really makes sense or if it’s just what everybody else is doing. And its hard to think that way, we can’t think that way about everything, it takes a lot of effort, but if you’re trying to do something new, it’s the best way to think.’
This is an important one if you starting your own company, never go for the obvious or never go with the flow. You want to be recognized then go for what people aren’t already getting out of the market. That is where you will succeed.
He concluded, ‘the final thing I think I would encourage you to do is, now is the time to take risks. You don’t have kids, your obligations are limited.
But as you get older your obligations increase, so once you have a family you start taking risks not just for yourself but for your family as well. It gets much harder to do things that might not work out. So now is the time to do that, before you have those obligations. So I would encourage you to take risks now, to do something bold, you won’t regret it.’
This is the perfect time for you to take as many risks as you can because you don’t have many obligations on you but in later years when you’ll have more obligations, your stamina for taking risks will deteriorate and you’ll watch every step twice before taking it.