Elon Musk: 3 Key Characteristics

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / May 16, 2022
Many people wonder how Elon Musk managed to become so successful. Here's a look at three key characteristics that undergirded his journey.

There’s perhaps no one who can claim to not know who Elon Musk is unless, of course, they live in a cave. But even then, it’s tough not to have heard of the guy who has managed to take the world by surprise. Indeed, legendary thinkers and entrepreneurs need no introduction. Elon Musk is one such name.

And like every other legend, Elon Musk, too, has characteristics that have enabled him to become a pioneer in his field.

There’s so much he has achieved in such a short span. He is the founder, CEO, and chief architect of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product designer of Tesla Inc.; and co-founder and CEO of Neuralink. And just recently, of course, he purchased Twitter, becoming the owner of one of the leading social media platforms.

But what made him such an incredible success? How did he manage to achieve so much in such little time? If you chart the journey of any entrepreneur, you will find them possessing a set of unique traits that contributed to their success.

And Elon Musk is no exception. He is no ordinary CEO. You have to be unique to build the world’s more innovative organization. And the world can learn a lot from his journey.

The Three Key Characteristics That Make Elon Musk Who He Is

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

It’s clear that Elon Musk does not know how to back down. Once he sets his mind on something, he pursues it relentlessly, not stopping until he has achieved his goal.

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If anyone wants to take inspiration from his success, they have to study his personality attributes and characteristics. Let’s take a look at the key characteristics that made a significant contribution to Elon Musk’s success.

Once Elon Musk sets his mind on something, he pursues it relentlessly.

Once Elon Musk sets his mind on something, he pursues it relentlessly.

1. Hard work and impeccable work ethics.

Naturally, you can’t achieve so much without considerable hard work. And this is undoubtedly one of the key personality traits of Elon Musk. He is a hard-working innovator who believes in being productive at all times. Indeed, he works for nearly 100 hours a week.

Think about it. He is in a position wherein he can delegate many of his responsibilities to his subordinates. He doesn’t need to work so hard now.

But that hasn’t stopped him. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to consider him the hardest working employee of his company.

And this sets the standards for his colleagues, too. His work ethic promotes a positive workplace culture and encourages everyone to put their best foot forward at all times.

Despite working so hard, Elon Musk never seems to get tired. Why? Because he made a career out of his interests. He loves every moment spent working. Learning and executing new strategies makes him excited.

2. Tolerance for high stakes.

There’s significant risk involved with every startup. In fact, a study has revealed that 96% of the startups fail after ten years of being launched.

Naturally, Elon Musk, too, was facing the same odds. But that did not stop him from giving up his comfortable life to move forward in his dream.

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Did you know Elon Musk left his Ph.D. program at Stanford University to launch Zip2, his first company, in 1995? Risky? Definitely! But it paid off. The company was later purchased by Compaq Computers and Musk earned a profit of over $20 million.

As we know, Musk did not stop there. He invested millions of dollars in establishing X.com, one of the first online banks.

In fact, every single company or idea he launched was risky. But that did not deter him. He believed in his vision and did not let the fear of failure cloud his judgment. And it nearly always paid off.

3. Ongoing willingness to learn.

It’s often said that those who stop learning stop living. One of the critical characteristics of Elon Musk is that he’s an avid learner.

Not many know that Musk actually is self-taught in programming. And not just programming; he’s learned many advanced level subjects on his own.

He reads books and every bit of material he can get his hands on to quench his never-ending thirst for knowledge. The result? He’s a leading authority in many diverse concepts.

This is something of immense importance. You must never stop seeking answers. You should never be satisfied. Musk’s relentless pursuit of knowledge is what enabled him to venture into so many fields and become a force to reckon with in all of them.


Elon Musk: An Inspiration for Entrepreneurs

Although we have outlined merely three main traits of Elon Musk, there’s actually a lot more than people can learn from him.

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One of the best things about Elon Musk is that he continues to work on himself despite achieving so much. He asks for constant feedback from his companies and never abstains from self-analysis. His goal is to develop strategies that will help him attain clear and unprecedented results.

In fact, he goes a step ahead. Elon Musk is known to seek out his critics and speak with them. His self-reflection has enabled him to become a better version of himself.

Elon Musk wouldn’t have become the success he is today if he didn’t believe in himself.

He trusted his instincts and had confidence in his own capabilities. Not only that, he expressed his full faith in his founding team too. This is what allowed him to gamble on a large scale and take such drastic risks without any fear.

His clarity and confidence are significant contributors to his success. People like Elon Musk are never satisfied being one among the crowd. Their goal is to shine and stand out at every possible opportunity. If entrepreneurs and everyone else sought inspiration from his journey, Elon Musk has a lot to teach.

About The Author


Tauseeq Magsi has been a writing geek for the past six years. He has written about Tech, Finance, Leadership, Business, and more. He loves helping others achieve their goals, and he hopes to continue helping people through his writing for many years to come. In addition to writing, Tauseeq Magsi loves to travel and learn new things.


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