If there’s one entrepreneur in the current era we all can take inspiration from when building a company, it’s got to be Elon Musk.
He’s among the leading visionaries of the current times who have changed the face of technology for good. Elon Musk has shown the world what building a company looks like and how to transform setbacks into success. He has tried his hands in various business ventures and excelled in all.
Perhaps the most incredible thing about his journey is that despite achieving so much, he shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to work on new technology and ideas, following his passion relentlessly.
All of us know starting a company is not an easy feat. For most people, it’s taking that first step that is most challenging. So who better to take lessons from than the most extraordinary visionary and entrepreneur currently? Without doubt, there’s a lot you can learn from Elon Musk about building a company.
Lessons from Elon Musk You Can Use to Kick-Start Your Company
Before we list out tips from Elon Musk that can help you establish your company, here’s one thing you must keep in mind. His journey makes it pretty clear that those people who attain success follow their vision. So use the tips and lessons and seek inspiration from his journey…but do not try to copy Elon Musk. Focus on carving your own path!
1. Focus on the problem instead of the product.
Did you know that SpaceX was not initially meant to build its own rockets?
That’s right. Elon Musk, with his team of advisers, had traveled to Russia to buy refurbished intercontinental ballistic missiles.
But there was a problem. The Russians did not know Elon Musk’s abilities. They did not know what he was capable of. Hence, he was offered the rockets at an incredulous price.
This led Musk to wonder about building his own rocket. And that’s what started the journey for SpaceX. We don’t need to tell you how that worked out for the company.
So if you want to build your company, you have to focus on the problem at hand. Whenever you encounter a roadblock, think about how you can work your way around it instead of fixating on it.
2. Research is mandatory.
Elon Musk had to prove to his investors and the team he knew precisely what he was getting into. He had a bachelor’s in economics and physics, and he used the same approach to target his new field as well.
Before he commenced working on the rockets, he read every available material about it. He did not leave anything out, whether it’s the old Soviet technical manuals or the iconic book on propellants by John Drury Clark.
Musk researched the topic in-depth, which also told him how many before him had tried to take a shot in rocket science but failed. He read about their progress, too, to identify the mistakes they committed. Even as he met rocket scientists, he continued his research, probing them, asking questions, and looking for answers.
So, here’s the next tip. If you want to build a company, you must know about your field inside out. Don’t leave anything out. As long as you are willing to learn, you will be able to avoid those mistakes you have committed before.
3. Face challenges head-on.
You are bound to encounter problems as you establish your company.
Elon Musk was no exception. He initially intended to inspire people to get more funding for NASA. But he soon realized NASA’s problems went beyond funding.
He tried to identify the reasons why everything was so expensive for NASA and tried to come up with solutions. He worked on bringing down the cost of space travel.
Not everyone shared his vision. In fact, when he first shared his idea of starting a rocket company, many found the idea incredulous. He was even asked to save his money.
But Musk could not be deterred. He had a vision, and he was determined to make it a reality. He did not focus on his detractors. Instead, he worked hard to find believers among the crowd. He looked for like-minded individuals willing to take on a challenge, people who believed they could achieve whatever they set their eyes on.
And Musk did find his team. Among the five to whom he offered jobs, two accepted, and before anyone knew, SpaceX became a force to reckon with.
Hence, if you want to build a company, you have to ensure you aren’t distracted by what others say.
Surround yourself with optimistic people willing to take on a challenge with enthusiasm. Don’t dwell on negativity and focus on how to make your idea a reality.
4. Give employees a sense of belonging.
Your team has a lot to do with the success of your team. Your team should feel a sense of loyalty and ownership to the company. This is what motivates them to give the job at hand their best shot.
Elon Musk did the same with the employees at SpaceX. He leverages their sense of ownership by giving them large chunks of the stock. This motivated his team to think more innovatively to enhance profits. And everyone benefitted from their efforts.
The team learned to be optimally productive, using little resources to achieve incredible things. Naturally, everyone can’t afford to give their employees a share. However, you have to instill that sense of belonging in your employees. You have to make them feel that your company is theirs too, and its success reflects on their capability.
The Journey to the Top Begins With a Step
Elon Musk’s rise to the top makes it clear that every successful business relies on a great idea. If you have the vision and belief, nothing can get in your way.
So, if you are struggling to take that first step and want to find out how you can establish your company, take a lesson from Elon Musk’s journey. Never think about what your detractors say. Pursue your ideas relentlessly, and everything will eventually fall into place.