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5 Truths Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Elon Musk

5 Truths Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Elon Musk

Are you secretly harboring entrepreneurial yearnings but think you’re not cut out for the life of an entrepreneur? Or are you questioning your current path as a startup founder?

No one said the life of entrepreneurship was easy or sudden success was automatically guaranteed.

If you’re considering following your passion and building the business of your dreams, you might want to sit yourself down and learn a lesson or two from Elon Musk.

Here are five truths as offered by the master of entrepreneurial vision himself:

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”[1]

Entrepreneurs don’t let naysayers dissuade them from following their dream of building great companies.

From Travis Kalanick to Richard Branson, entrepreneurs who believe in the future of their company don’t give in to the volume of dissenting voices.

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Whether that means multiple pivots or changes in customer acquisition strategies, true entrepreneurs remain focused on the long-term goal.

“Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”[2]

Question Yourself

    Even Elon Musk questions himself.

    When you’re an entrepreneur who is also a know-it-all, your chances of success are slim:

    • Be willing to learn lessons from other successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, or venture capitalists.
    • Read their books, listen to their podcasts, or attend their conferences.
    • Don’t assume everything they utter is the absolute gospel as far as your entrepreneurial venture is concerned; there are differing opinions in the world of entrepreneurship.
    • Use what works for you and file the rest away for further contemplation.

    The goal is to continually iterate your best processes; if you’re not getting better as an entrepreneur, you’re standing still.

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    “Life is too short for long-term grudges.”[3]

    A long-term grudge harms you more than it harms your transgressor.

    Rather than allowing anger to fester inside you, turn it into motivation.

    What can you learn and how can you use your newfound knowledge to make your company even better?

    The old adage ‘success is the best revenge’ is definitely true when it comes to holding grudges; move past your supposed wrongdoing and fuel your fire for future business growth.

    “Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.”[4]

    Building a successful company doesn’t happen in an instant.

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    • You must be prepared for years of struggle before success comes your way.
    • Don’t let tech announcements of massive rounds of funding knock you off course; there’s a high probability those young companies will burn through their investor’s cash and be no further ahead than you.
    • Keep your head down, be patient in the pursuit of business excellence, and know you’ll win in the end.

    If Elon Musk can learn to be patient, so can you!

    “I think it’d be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Ummm… you know, just not at the point of impact.”[5]

    Mars Colony Where Elon Musk Would Like to Die

      Mars is a moonshot endeavor for Elon Musk.

      While you may never plan to set up shop on Mars, there’s no reason you can’t have a moonshot dream too.

      Don’t be afraid to dream and be willing to go after your stretch goals.

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      Whether that’s being acquired by Google or having a well-known Silicon Valley investor on your Board of Directors, dreams do come true if you’re willing to chase them.

      You may not be Elon Musk, but there’s no reason you can’t act like him when it comes to building a business:

      He’s not afraid to be labeled a dreamer or radical thinker and he’s not afraid to pursue his passion in the face of overwhelming odds.

      Heck, if he can turn his radical ramblings into business ventures, there’s no reason for you to expect anything less of yourself.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlidB40aoTI


      Consider the above-listed Elon Musk quotes the next time you’re contemplating your entrepreneurial future; you just might be inspired to push yourself to greater heights than you ever dreamed possible.

      Reference

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      Christopher Moore

      Digital Strategist

      Elon Musk Sketch 5 Truths Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Elon Musk

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      Published on November 12, 2020

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

      What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

      Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

      Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

      While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

      Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

      1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

      When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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      Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

      In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

      • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
      • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
      • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

      While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

      2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

      Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

      Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

      Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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      However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

      3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

      Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

      But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

      It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

      4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

      Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

      Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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      5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

      Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

      For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

      How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

      The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

      If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

      Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

      It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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      Final Thoughts

      If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

      If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

      It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

      More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

      Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

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