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8 Things We Can Learn from Elon Musk and Entrepreneurship

8 Things We Can Learn from Elon Musk and Entrepreneurship

Elon Musk was one of the founders of PayPal. Since that successful start-up exit he has been working to revolutionize the way we move, both here on the ground through Tesla, and in space through SpaceX. Here are eight things we can learn from Elon Musk and the spirit of entrepreneurship that drives him:

1. How to manage risk

The rockstar entrepreneur of our time, Mr. Musk has had to put his fortune on the line more than once making him an expert on risk.

On the subject of risk, he says: “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

2. How to prepare for the future

With insight into the technological future through his leadership with SpaceX, Musk has the ability to tell us what’s ahead of us unlike any other entrepreneur of our time.

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He says: “There’s a fundamental difference, if you look into the future, between a humanity that is a space-faring civilization, that’s out there exploring the stars … compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event.”

3. Have solid foundations for your ideas

Elon Musk has changed the way that we exchange money online. His ideas have proven themselves not just game-changers but revolutionary. His advice is simple …

Elon Musk says of ideas: “[Physics is] a good framework for thinking … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.”

4. How to choose a new hire

The most successful business owners in the world will tell you there is nothing more important than hiring right and firing fast. Because hiring the right people can make or break your company, Musk stresses to look past their talent and rely on your intuition.

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On hiring, Musk says: “[My biggest mistake is probably] weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”

5. How to persevere when things get hard

Sometimes the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is picking yourself up when you fall. Odds are, if you have started a business before or plan to in the future, not all of your ideas are going to succeed.

Musk has advice for you if you have doubts about whether you should proceed: “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

    6. Be ambitious

    The hardest part of any journey is the first step. When it comes to ambition Musk states: “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”

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    7. How to progress with purpose

    After your first step, there’s a long climb to the top of the mountain. Keeping the right foot ahead of you is not hard, it’s how you handle a phone call three months into your project when you have to answer yet another demand from your investors asking for results.

    Of making progress he says: “I came to the conclusion that we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.”

      8. Know what motivates you

      Keeping your eye on the ball is key. Always remaining true to your passions and the change that you would like to see in the world is how leaders are able to separate themselves from the herd.

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      On his motive, Musk says: “Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective, ‘What’s the best way to make money?'”

       

      In his most recent venture, Zip2, Musk is taking on online education through how-to videos. By using the leadership of this trailblazer you can create something in your industry that is unparalleled. A good example of this is Mr. Checkout, which has created an innovative approach to distribution unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Apply these lessons to your own company and build something that the world couldn’t imagine.

      Featured photo credit: http://www.businessinsider.com/11-elon-musk-quotes-2013-9 via businessinsider.com

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      Joel Goldstein

      Entrepeneur

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      Last Updated on November 5, 2019

      How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

      How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

      Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

      “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

      But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

      Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

      1. Always Have a Book

      It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

      Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

      2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

      We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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      Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

      3. Get More Intellectual Friends

      Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

      Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

      4. Guided Thinking

      Albert Einstein once said,

      “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

      Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

      5. Put it Into Practice

      Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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      If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

      In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

      6. Teach Others

      You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

      Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

      7. Clean Your Input

      Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

      I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

      Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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      8. Learn in Groups

      Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

      Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

      9. Unlearn Assumptions

      You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

      Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

      Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

      10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

      Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

      Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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      11. Start a Project

      Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

      If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

      12. Follow Your Intuition

      Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

      Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

      13. The Morning Fifteen

      Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

      If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

      14. Reap the Rewards

      Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

      15. Make Learning a Priority

      Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

      More About Continuous Learning

      Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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