Updated: Oct 7
Is Elon Musk just a bad role model who got rich and famous through sheer luck and nerdiness? would he be remembered in history like Edison? I don't think these questions matter, but I do think Elon Musk needs to be studied - because
If he could do it, many people could have done what he did.
Why cann't everyone be Elon Musk? What is the secret to become rich like Elon Musk? What should I do to be as rich and successful like Elon Musk? how special do you have to be to be as rich as him?
Elon Musk's success is extraordinary. That is because he did not pick an ordinary path.
The secret to become him is this:
Start to get into business early;
Trust and work with other people;
Work on important problems.
To be fair, everyone is a success. If you do well in school, get a great job and perform, you have a 9-5 work and family, that is tremendous amount of work. This is success.
But the world also has a competitive game of success. It is based on how inspirational and well known you are and how much companies you created.
What is Elon Musk's secret?
Work with great people; He never acted alone. He always worked with great co-founders, especially his brother Kimbal Musk. As an engineer, he knows what money is and how it works. He never tries to prove “I am a great engineer”.
Start to gain business mindset early, start failure early;
Be willing to read and learn outside of school.
He was heavily bullied in school. But he grew up smiling a lot.
He redefined nerds - for a nerd, he is so confident, well dressed, and so cool.
Elon Musk's first company is Zip2 - it was a great business idea - to supply New York city news papers with city guides - the company was started by him and his brother Kimbal.
Elon Musk's second company is X.com, a company that he later merged with PayPal.
Elon Musk worked with a brilliant team called Tesla - he gave Tesla 6.5 million dollars of angle investor money ... he is a rare long term investor, not a flipper or hitchhiker investor, and he gave a lot of money on the onset.
Elon Musk with with Tom Mueller, a space industry veteran, to start the private rocket firm Space X. Elon Musk gave 100 million dollars.
What was his youth like?
When he was a teenager Musk grew up in a business oriented family in South Africa. He gained business mindset early from his family background. At 12, he was already writing computer games for the market. He was a builder.
Is "doing well" in school out?
Elon Musk is not trained in school only. He went to a good school - UPenn, to study hard subjects - Physics and Business. However, he also bailed out of Stanford - he was admitted to Stanford graduate school to study high energy physics - but he left after two days to start PayPal.
School does teach people how to success in society - just not that kind of extraordinary success. Great people don't succeed because they did no go to school - they find their effective ways to learn, by experience, in real world, in physics world.
Failure is the secret of big success
The secret is to learn out side of school and lean in real world with experience. This results in crashes and failures, but they are critical for earning the mindset.
People who try to think smart to avoid mistakes never get to experience the first inevitable failure, and therefore never learn the critical lesson - that failure is OK.