In this post you’ll learn a few of the lessons I learned from Elon Musk that you can apply today to your life and business.

Elon Musk is one of those figures who has attracted lots of attention and respect across the planet. When it comes to success in business and life in general, it pays off to try to figure out what the ones who are already winning are doing right, as opposed to trying to figure everything out by ourselves. There are many people out there who can perfectly serve as a model from which to emulate the right attitude and mentality, and one of them is Elon Musk.

Lessons I Learned from Elon Musk

Referred to by many as “the real life iron man”, Elon Musk’s career and advice is a good source of wisdom for the ones who want improve their knowledge of the world as well as business skills. Below are a few ideas taken from past interviews and the career path of Elon Musk.

1. Take risks

If there is one thing that the majority of people who are even remotely aware of Elon Musk’s path is that along with is wild success, there was some degree of risk taking. Sure he was with successful wit PayPal, but unlike most of us do when we become successful the didn’t rest on his laurels. To invest your fortune on two businesses that could potentially turn out to be unsuccessful is a risk that can make even the greatest of the risk takers think twice. Risk is more like a two-sided coin in which one of them represents the amount you could lose, while the other represents the picture of how much you can win if you don’t lose. As Arnold Schwarzenegger said on the book total recall: “big risk big reward”.

Sometimes we get so caught up in looking for the safest and most comfortable paths that we don’t get to reach our full potential. Elon Musk said once to “do something bold”, and this is a good way of living life, since life is not only short, but also chances are that we only get one of them.


2. Do something important

One interesting thing I heard in a YouTube video about Elon Musk was to try do to something important. What he meant by “important” was all in the sense of not what’s important for us, but more on the mind frame of what might be important for us and everybody else. If you can make your business about making the world a better place while making money, you get to enjoy doing business more than the ones who do it only for money. The problem with worldwide matters is that the risk is as great as the size of their importance. So, the question quickly becomes: “what if I fail”? For this question he has an answer, and it goes somewhere on the lines of: “if something is important enough you should try even if the probable outcome is failure”.

By doing something important such as trying to find a way to colonize mars, he gained a whole new level of respect not only as a businessman, but also as a person who is looking for ways to make the world move forward.

When you tackle important matters you not only get to make more people respect you, but you also get to feel better about yourself. On the book The rise of superman, Steven Kotler Other talks about the idea that working for a greater cause such as helping others can be so rewarding that it propels you to a state of flow, in which you can feel your best and perform your best.

3. Spend your money on what really matters

“A lot of companies get confused. They spend money on things that don’t actually make the product better”

This is an idea that we all think we have a complete grasp of but we don’t. A big part of learning something is on actually doing it, and when it comes to spending money on the things that matter, we tend to only talk more than actually doing it. This is good advice for businesses, in which it’s easy to reserve a portion of money to activities that don’t really make the business and the products/services any better. One great book that targets this issue is the book The lean startup by Eric Ries, in which the author mentions the importance of testing new products and features, and learning from the reviews whether the new feature/product had the desired effect or not as quickly as possible.

This point is obviously in the core of the way he builds businesses, since as he once said:

“At Tesla we’ve never spent any money on advertising. We put all the money in R &D, and manufacturing and design just trying to make the car as good as possible”.

4. Look for the right people

This tip from Elon Must closely resembles what Warren Buffet calls “hiring well”. For him, the best people to hire are the ones who are able to solve problems, and according to one interview, one way to figure out whether the person in front of you is a problem solver or not, is by asking him/her about the kinds of problems she solved on the past. As he said on the interview:

“If someone was really the person that solved it, they’ll be able to answer it in multiple levels”

It’s easy to think that the leader of the company is the one who has to make all the decisions concerning the business down to the detail. This is what goes by the name of micromanaging, which although it might give us the impression that it’s the best way of managing people, it might spook away the ones who don’t enjoy working like pre-programmed machines. By picking people who like to solve problems you not only reduce the stress load from the leader, but also get to improve the quality of the solutions that come from the business. On the book Work rules by Laszlo bock, the author mentions the fact that many of google’s insights for the search engine and other products came from not the leaders at the top, but from individual employees who were natural problem solvers.


These are a few of the most important lessons I learned from Elon Musk. Try them for yourself, and see how it works 🙂 .




It is all about knowledge and experience 😉

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