South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is known for founding Tesla Motors and SpaceX, which launched a landmark commercial spacecraft in 2012. Elon Musk has always been a thinker and a creator. As a child, he daydreamed in an almost trance-like manner and coded his own video games. He always found resourceful ways to make money, and after he graduated from college, he opted for entrepreneurship rather than wait for an internet company to take notice of him.

Numerous passions inspired Musk, and today he manages companies and projects that specialize in electric and self-driving cars, private space exploration and Mars colonization, solar energy and artificial intelligence.

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Here are the 7 smart ways to think and act like Elon Musk – “The Real Life Iron Man”,

1. World-changing innovation can come from anywhere

Musk’s Hyperloop idea is the by-product of having two companies with a vision, not just to produce cars or space-ships, but to change the way we view transportation. Musk has offered it up to the public as an “open source” idea, amplifying the truism that leaders find ways to involve and enlist larger groups in solving problems.

2. Have confidence

The greatest leaders have unshakeable self-confidence and believe in self. If you pay attention to success literature, one of the first thing that the reader notices is that many successful people believe in leveraging other people’s money to finance their projects, that way if they fail, they do not lose their personal wealth. On the other hand, Elon Musk has such unshakeable confidence in himself and his capabilities that he uses his own money to finance his projects. He invested over $100 million of his own money into SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp), $10 million into SolarCity, and at least $55 million into Tesla Motors. Inc.

3. Continuous learning is a priority

Effective leaders like Elon Musk are constantly generating ideas. As a serial entrepreneur, he has created several billion dollar companies based on his ideas, how does he do it? Musk is a serious reader, who is able to see the interconnection of two things that others cannot see. This allows him to make big leaps forward.

4. Know how to persevere

Elon Musk and other great leaders know that failure is feedback. Musk believes that he can cut the cost of space travel and set out to make it a reality. Along the journey, he faced delays in design and testing, which pushed him a few years behind schedule. His original scheduled launch was a failure because the engine caught fire. The second test did not go as far into orbit as he expected. But he didn’t abandon his project, instead he learned lessons from his failures and made corrections along the way, until his Falcon rocket had its first successful launch in June 2010.

5. Operate with integrity

Musk borrowed money from the government to start Tesla. Recently, he repaid his over $400 million taxpayer-supported loan saying, “I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the ATVM program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate.” Leaders can make money walking on the backs of others. They leave legacies by lifting others up.

6. Articulate a powerful vision

The most effective leaders have a powerful vision, which they share, and lay the path to achieve the vision. They are able to influence others to see their view. On top of that, ordinary people have a vision that is evolutionary, while the greatest and most effective leaders like Elon Musk have a vision that is revolutionary – they know how to leap forward, changing the game. Elon Musk’s response to the traffic problem is a high-speed railway known as Hyperloop, which would transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, that is 800 miles per hour. His plan will take eight years to build at a cost of about $10 billion.

7. Disturb the comfortable

Musk has never been afraid to shake things up. He completely ignored everything we knew about car manufacturing and created something entirely different. And though it’s not the flying car, the inception of Tesla has completely upset the auto industry. Tesla is insanely efficient, completely upgradable (without having to buy a whole new vehicle) and undeniably luxurious. Even the act of purchasing a Tesla is outside the box.

About Author

Biplab Ghosh

Biplab lives his life around technology and is particularly keen to explore the intersection of technology and human behaviour. Always looking for new ideas, and ways that can make things simpler. He is a geek with the flair for travel and has great passion for music and theatres.

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