Quirky businessman and co-founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and PayPal, Elon Musk, grew up in South Africa before moving to Canada aged 17. Having been through many ups and downs—and faced many doubters along the way—his journey shows that success does not come to those who sit and wait but rewards those that work hard and overcome rocky roads. With a net worth of $20.9 billion, Musk is joint number one among the world’s most innovative leaders and was the 12th richest person in tech in 2017.
If you want to follow in Musk’s footsteps, here are five tips for success:
Never give up
Musk has experienced several setbacks in his career. His company SpaceX failed to launch a rocket when instead it exploded and destroyed its surroundings. However, it never occurred to him to give up. Today, his company SpaceX is the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, launching Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two. Failure is just a stepping stone to success.
Really like what you do
If you enjoy your profession, then you will continuously think of new and different ways to improve and grow. You will not get distracted and discouraged easily. Your passion and vision will serve as motivation to keep going regardless of any setbacks.
Don’t listen to your surroundings
If you have your mindset to achieving something, then focus on ways to get to that goal without being influenced by any distractions or negativity around you. Musk’s friends apparently tried to talk him out of starting SpaceX, which now is the largest private producer of rocket engines in the world. He did things that were unlikely to succeed because he believed in his product and really liked his work.
As long as you only need to worry about yourself, take risks. As you grow older your responsibilities increase so doing things that require taking risks might be tough to do. Taking risks does not mean you will succeed at every try, but that is ok. Still, failure can be a lesson to help you grow as a person. Great achievements often require you to get out of your comfort zone, for instance by speaking on stage, starting a new business or investing your money into something uncertain. However, the feeling of succeeding is the most rewarding experience as an outcome.
Gather great people
Attract and gather great people—if your people are great and genuine then your product will be also. The success of your product or the achievements of your brand/company reflect how talented and committed your employees are. Therefore, invest your time in gathering great people to represent you.