Do you think I’m insane? This is the question he asked Ashlee Vance, the author of his autobiography. This was a more a question for himself than for anyone else.
Musk pushes boundaries that turn big ideas into big products that serve humanity. He has a willingness to tackle impossible things that most people say is not possible and won’t tolerate people who say no to him.
Making his initial money in the dot.com boom with Zip2, a google maps meets yelp platform which was sold for $307 million, Musk personally making $22 million. His next venture saw him invest not part but all $22 million into Paypal. He was so broke that he slept on his mates couch during the startup phase.
In 2002, Ebay bought out Paypal for some chump change of $1.5 billion. Yes, billion!
Do you think selling your company would settle Musk so he could live the high life?
No, he is a man on a mission. He found himself couchsurfing yet again and reinvested his $170 million share from Paypal into SpaceX and Tesla. He dedicates his life to his mission and doesn’t want to waste a moment. He is willing to take an insane personal risk in what he wanted to achieve. His life demonstrates not chasing the riches but serving humanity to bring it into the future.
Musk wanted to know of a way to not eat, and get all his nutrition in a way that would save him time so he could work more. That is what happens when you are so driven and on mission, your lower body needs less sleep, food and sex because its living by its highest value and inspired.
This man has the ability to see a vision with such clarity in his mind’s eye and bring it into reality. This made him sure of himself and then he was prepared to not always be the nice guy because he wanted his vision fulfilled. Most people are so hazy in what they want to achieve they don’t get started or play the nice guy or girl that they sacrifice their vision to please.
He truly lives “When the voice and the vision on the inside are greater and more profound than those on the outside, you have mastered your life”
When Musk was young he would block out the world and concentrates on a single task. Beautiful skill to master in today’s day and age because there are so many shiny objects to distract us. Maybe this single focus came from his tough upbringing. Maybe he was escaping and shutting out the world and at the same time training resilience to deal with big challenges in his future.
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You think such a brilliant man, he must have been bright at school. Nope, “there was no sign this boy was going to be a billionaire” said a classmate of his. Musk never has a leadership role and wasn’t considered bright as a child.
Like any entrepreneurs journey he had his fair share of ideas in business. He started a business with his brother Kimbal but the business never took off because they realized they didn’t love it. Loving what you did is a key factor because you don’t feel like you’re working, you don’t need holidays and time off, it’s your life’s work because you love it.
He has a challenging personal life with marriages and divorces. He openly said that “being with me is choosing the hard path” It’s a crazy ride that he has been on and has its share of pain of being with a billionaire who is changing the world and pleasure of being with a billionaire who is changing the world.
Musk isn’t averse to failure. The harder something gets, the better he gets. He has the ability to push through rejection, no’s failures, pain. He has been a few times down to the wire to generate money to save his companies.
Tesla had to overcome some big challenges; batteries weren’t efficient enough, the car models didn’t perform and massive financial hardship to name a few. He continues to rise to the occasion.
Musk has created a community of people who want to join the Tesla club, like Job’s did with Apple. Tesla’s sales model was $100,000 bought you into the club and you received a free car. Genius!
SpaceX was looking like a failed venture. Yet 6 years after the company started, four and a half years longer than Musk expected, 500 people’s energy and effort, SpaceX had its first successful launch with Falcon 1. It also received payment from NASA and the company received $1.6 billion as payment for 12 flights to the space station.
Musk is a visionary of multiplanetary living stemming from his love of technology and science fiction. His goal is sending humans to Mars. It is possible now but it is probably in the future and Musk wants to be the man that makes it happen. Not everyone will identify with Musk’s mission but the fact that there is someone out there pushing exploration and our technical abilities to their limits is important. He becomes impatient with mistakes that hold him back and feels like his is the only one understanding the urgency of his mission. He is solving problems that have been consuming us for decades.
This is the first book I have read where I have had goosebumps after goosebumps after goosebumps. Hands down one of the most inspiring autobiographies I have ever read. It’s a must read.
What inspiring vision do you have for your own life?
Hugs and heart,