Do it for the right reason

I’m sure we’ve all heard this before, but exploring Musk’s business journey made it crystal clear to me. Musk was incredibly successful with PayPal and pocketed $165 million after selling the company in 2002. That was more than enough money to retire and relax for the rest of his life. However, Musk decided to invest and develop new projects that ultimately became Tesla and SpaceX. These were risky decisions that unnecessarily placed his financial security on the line. However, Musk had a vision and a legacy that he wanted to imprint on this planet and that is what drove his decision-making process.

What we learn from Musk is that we have to do things for the right reason. Obviously, businesses exists to make a profit. However, having personal profits as the driving factor is dangerous because eventually your motivation won’t be there and a new money-making opportunity will arise and grab your attention. Based on reading the brutal business journey that Musk experienced, I can’t imagine money was the main motivator. If it had been, he would have quit early on in his career, as there were so many hurdles that he had to overcome to see his innovative ideas come to fruition.

Money is not his motivation, and, quite frankly, I think it just happens for him. It’s just there. He knows he can generate it.

Careful what you wish for

We all have this idea of being a successful entrepreneur, creating amazing products. We see the lifestyle as cool and sexy. Well, if you read this book it will burst your bubble. The truth is that you’re going to come up against a lot of resistance. We see the final product, but forget the process that’s involved to get there. When you’re trying to innovate, other companies are going to take notice and oftentimes try to limit what you’re able to do, instead of trying to step up the quality of their own product. This book shed light on the brutal realities of being innovative. The motor and space industry didn’t take Musk seriously, and once they realized he was on to something, they used political, financial and social power to try and crush Musk.

We are always told to reach for the stars, and that is something I agree with. However, we need to recognize that the process of achieving greatness comes with more pressure. We want to build the next game-changing product and create a massively successful company, but we have to understand that this involves becoming more accountable for our actions.

If the rules are such that you can’t make progress, then you have to fight the rules.

Positives

unique insight

Vance provides you insight into the industry of innovation and how someone like Musk goes about creating and developing a product. That was something that was very fascinating to me, to be able to see what goes on in his mind and all the processes that are involved in developing a new product and being innovative.

Balanced

Vance shows us the good, the bad and the ugly sides of entrepreneurship and business. We hear from people that worked for, with and against Musk as well as the impact work had on his personal life. Vance offers a balanced look into all facets of Musks life and exposes some of the flaws that come along with such grand ideas and illustrious success.

This book is for you if…

  • You are an aspiring entrepreneur – Learn about innovation and all the trials and tribulations that occur during the processIt will give you raw, unfiltered insight into the world of innovation and help you understand the potential challenges you’ll face along the way

  • You are seeking inspiration – The amazing journey that is Musk’s life helps you realize that if you put your mind to something and have the drive and vision to persist, you can achieve the unimaginable