By popular notion, to be a successful entrepreneur you need to possess a creative drive, good management skills and more ambition than you can handle. While legendary game-changers like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg certainly accrue to these principles, they fall in line with the ‘drop out of college to build a business’ narrative. Elon Musk’s story, on the other hand, is as exciting and real, as it is unique.
His designation(s) of Founder, CEO and co-founder for companies like ‘SpaceX’, ‘Tesla’ and ‘Neuralink’ has (arguably) deemed him the title of being the world’s most important entrepreneur. While Gates and Zuckerberg have also extended their focus onto fields and projects outside of software and code, Musk is the pioneer of the ‘dip your toe each in a series of different waters’ concept.
With a portfolio that lists revolutionary startups to later unicorns – PayPal, Zip2 and SolarCity, you would think Musk has had his fair share of experimentation. But the 46- year-old, who briefly became a member of the US President Donald Trump’s ‘Strategic and Policy Forum’ – is always on the lookout for setting another astonishingly unique but workable idea into motion.
While we wonder what business hailed the billionaire magnate to Sweden, and how and when he’s going to blow our minds next, we today celebrate his 46th birthday by listing some of his most inspiring and thought-provoking quotes on life, success and everything in between.
- “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”
- “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.”
- “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
- “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”
- “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”
- “It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.”
- “You want to have a future where you’re expecting things to be better, not one where you’re expecting things to be worse.”
- “I’m interested in things that change the world or affect the future. Wondrous new technology where you see it, and you’re like, ‘Wow, how did that even happen? How is that possible?’”
- “Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and question yourself. I think that’s the single best piece of advice.”
- “There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.”
- “It is a mistake to hire huge number of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one). Rather it tends to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.”
- “Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell.”
- “You have to be pretty driven to make it happen. Otherwise, you will just make yourself miserable.”
- “People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”
- “Great companies are built on great products.”
- “If you’re a co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed… No task is too menial.”
- “Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.”
- “There are really two things that have to occur in order for a new technology to be affordable to the mass market. One is you need economies of scale. The other is you need to iterate on the design. You need to go through a few versions.”
- “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.”
- “I came to the conclusion that we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.”
- “I think life on Earth must be about more than just solving problems… It’s got to be something inspiring, even if it is vicarious.”
- “If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.
- “You shouldn’t do things differently just because they’re different. They need to be… better.”
- “I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.”
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