How to think like entrepreneur Elon Musk

So yesterday Entrepreneur Elon Musk sent his cherry red Tesla Roadster into space, on the world’s most powerful rocket ship (that he built), with a mannequin called “Starman” in the driver's seat. With this launch, Musk has not only inspired future generations of adventurers, but singlehandedly re-ignited the infinite possibilities of human space travel.

Now that’s what it means to be an entrepreneur.

You can read more about the launch here, but what we want to know is what makes Elon Musk different to every other human being on the planet? What are his entrepreneurial traits that propelled this 46-year-old to build three revolutionary multibillion-dollar companies in completely different fields — Paypal (Financial Services), Tesla Motors (Automotive) and SpaceX (Aerospace), and now launch the worlds most powerful rocket into space?

Be Passionate

Do what you are passionate about – you need to be doing something that inspires you when you wake up each day. If you’re a business owner then chances are you got into business doing something that you are interested in, or that you are good at. But we need to keep re-igniting that passion, through new ideas, ventures or challenges, and inspiring passion in those around us.

Be bothered by inefficiency

To be really successful in business you need to not stand for inefficiency.[i] If a system isn’t working then fix it… running your own business means you have the power to improve any inefficiencies with no red tape in your way. Are the systems and processes in your business as efficient as they could possibly be? Can the business run successfully day to day without you there?

Be innovative

Innovation is crucial to a business’ long-term success, so entrepreneurs have to take time to have plenty of thinking time, and let their minds loose to brainstorm new ideas.

You may have heard of Stephen Covey’s (7 Habits of Highly Effective people) four quadrants of time management. Of the 4 quadrants of time, it is Q2 that focuses on strategy and planning, allowing time for critical thinking and looking at the bigger picture. It important as a business owner not to spend too much time in Q1 (the day to day running of the business) at the expense of the big picture.

strategy and time managementFail Forward

Failure isn’t the enemy, it’s ok to be wrong and it’s OK to fail.[ii] Elon Musk stood in front of reporters this week and said this launch had a 50/50 chance of success –it might be a successful launch or it might be a spectacular fireworks show. But that didn’t stop him from attempting it.

The important part of failure is learning from the mistakes and moving forward with momentum.

Embrace first principals thinking

Essentially, first principles thinking is going right back to the fundamental truth of a problem and working your way up from there, rather than using or building on assumptions that other people have made.

First principals thinking will help you develop a unique worldview to innovate and solve difficult problems in a way that nobody else can even fathom[iii], and its how Elon Musk founded SpaceX in the first place. He wanted a rocket ship and they were far too expensive, so he boiled it back to the basics of what materials make up a rocket ship and started a company to build his own. But he did it cheaper and more efficiently than anyone else.

If you can embrace first principals thinking instead of using other people’s reasoning it will give you a leg up on your competitors and potentially some great ideas for new business.

Can we help you foster your strengths and entrepreneurial traits to succeed in business?

You’ll find having an Action Centre business coach is just like having a marketing manager, sales team leader, trainer and recruitment specialist - wrapped in one - all for one nominal investment. We are the business partner you need without sharing your profits - with over 60 years of collective coaching experience to keep you on track and accountable for your own success.

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