How to achieve greater than all your friends

Elon Musk has 7 young kids, 1 divorce, and 3 multi billion dollar companies- what’s your excuse for not changing the world?

Elon Musk is a modern day renaissance man working tirelessly to change the world. His technologies and businesses have kept him in the headlines for the last several years. In 2020 he became the richest man in the world for a short time. With all of his achievement, it might ease your psyche to think he came from a privileged background, had a massive support system growing up, has no children, and just has it easier than you to make this all happen. But all of that would not be true!

Elon came from an average middleclass family, his father was not supportive of him and he is divorced with 7 young children. I know you do not want to hear this but I have to ask, if Elon can do this under these insurmountable conditions and immense pressures, what’s your excuse for not achieving greatly?

So many people think you have to have the time, the money, family privilege, the connections, or be single and free of children to achieve anything great. But I am going to show you that none of that is necessary if you start to change the way you look and think about the world. We are going to us Elon Musk as a model because no one in the last 100 years has failed more and succeeded more grandly than Musk.

The 8 principles to follow to succeed greater than all of your friends.

1. Work and family can be the only way you spend your time

To have 7 young children and 3 multi billion dollar companies you must have a blisteringly disciplined work ethic. “Call me 24-7, even on a Sundays or Christmas to resolve these issues, I don’t care!” is a line he tells his engineers and employees. No one in business today is doing this better. He is also helping to run his personal household. Believe me, TMZ is never going to have footage of Musk partying at the club every night or even vacationing with friends. His social time with other people are spending time with his kids and at his big events revealing his next innovations.   

2. Have a resolute perseverance in the face of failure

There has been no one that has had his failures more on public display like Musk. His rockets crash and literally burn on live TV and he broke the window on his new Tesla CyberTruck with a baseball after saying the glass was shatterproof at a Tesla event. His failures are more spectacular and at a higher cost than most anyone in the world right now. People and investment speculators have be hating on Musk since the very beginning. Even a presidential candidate has called him a failure. And yet, he just keeps going. His resilience against failure is off the charts and it’s not just that he is different than the rest of us. He believes that massive failure is just part of the process. He embraces failures to be just as important as successes. He also has something else that feeds this we will go over in principle 3.

3. Have the ability to work very long and hard with little to no gain and still keep going.

Have you ever spent 5 years and all of your money on something and have it still not work? I doubt most people would go that long. Musk spent all of his millions and used up all of his time on a project that failed and at the same time, he was going bankrupt. Yet again, he keeps going. How many people do you know that could do that? To achieve like Elon, failure is just part of the process. While most people avoid failure, he’s embracing it. He feels that his projects are not for him but for humanity. Humanity needs him to fail and try again. That’s the difference. He separates himself from the project. None of his companies are named after him. They are not about him. Most people cannot do that. They fear failure because they will look like a failure, and feel like a failure. Ego is the greatest hurdle to owning a business. You must get over your fear of failure and reverse it to work for you because it’s not going away. The greater the dream, the greater the failures you will experience to get there.

4. Business failure is not nearly as scary or risky as not doing the business at all

For a lot of people entrepreneurism is very scary and risky because of its historical failure rate. But for people like Musk, being average and ordinary is far scarier than failing at something great. They think, life has to be more than about solving little mundane problems of an average life. You have to have a reason to get up every morning and life should be fun. Ultimately what super-achievers fear the most is the regret of not doing things. This is a driver to do even greater things at spectacular levels. It’s never enough to just achieve but rather achieve in a way that has the most impact. They also feel it is important to inspire others with their own actions. This is why introverts like Musk are also very high achieving. They rather show you by doing, over telling you how to do it. In short, not doing something impactful is a much bigger risk than the financial or social risk and failure that comes with it. Believe me, what an entrepreneurs fails at or loses,- most people never had to begin with. How can that be considered a failure?

5. You have to care far more about your vision than paying your rent or the criticism of others

This one can be really hard for most people. Paying rent and caring what your peers think is how we will live and get along with others. But to people like Musk, those things aren’t even secondary. The vision is the primary target and all that other stuff will either works itself out, or it won’t. It doesn’t matter because the end results of their work are all they have time to think about! What’s the worse that is going to happen with the little stuff like rent? You’ll get kicked out, so what! Are you going to let the whole world down because you do not have a place to live? Believe me, so many world changing technologies and influential people were founded by a person without money or an apartment while living on a friends couch! They do not care about paying bills on time or worrying what people think. They become totally desensitized to petty shit like that. Average people pay rent on time but visionaries change the world.  

6. You do not care about the competition, In fact you might help them!

We are all primitive animals deep down. When it comes to business, making money, or getting a job we are no better than a pack of wolves fighting over a kill. We are so worried about getting the first movers advantage, someone stealing our idea, or how many people are applying for the job you want. The concept of competition is consuming. Although it does create a competitive edge forcing us to do our best but it also creates a scarcity mindset. Be competitive but look for areas your competition cannot compete with you in or how you are changing the dynamics of competition. Musk encourages competitors to keep up with him hoping to change the overall landscape of auto industry and space travel. Create the standard by which your competition has levelup to compete to stay in the game. Or create the wonderland of blue oceans where competitors cannot compete with you at all! Competition is not going away, just make it so they have to work harder to compete with you.    

7. Give up on the notion of talent and inborn gifts

Musk is very smart but honestly, we are all smart. He has done nothing any one of us couldn’t have done. Musk does not consider himself talented or have inborn natural gifts for success. The difference is, he puts his head down and puts more time into it than most anyone else would without giving up. As Einstein once said,

“I was not smarter than everyone else, I just stuck with a problem a lot longer than anyone else.”

One of the biggest problems in achievement careers today is the premise that talent, good genes and inborn gifts are the driving force of success today. “You just have to be lucky” everyone thinks. If you look deeply into what is making people super-successful, you will find that effort, work, sacrifice, and fearless consistency is far more significant than the unproven idea of just being born great. Forget everything else and just put in the time!      

8. There is no B plan for your dream

Do you remember back in school when teachers would ask you what your B plan was? They would ask what you want to be when you grew up and then say, “Being a Veterinarian is a wonderful career choice but what’s your B plan if that doesn’t work out?” This is even happening today to my son and daughter. For people like Musk, there is no B plan for their dreams. “It will either work or I will make it work!” is their school of thought. One of the biggest problems is the illusion that something is not working out. What makes people think it’s not working out anyway? Everyone fails, everyone loses money, why cast it as a not working out? Musk has blistering determination and never falls back on a B plan. It may take 10 years and $100 Million dollars but I assure you, he will get it done without giving up! There is a colossal difference in someone that struggles for many years on one dream and someone that gives up at the slightest hint of difficulty. Having the option for a B plan is why most people do not succeed at vast levels. 

Keep in mind that Elon Musk is no different than you are. The only thing he is “doing” different is he spends all his time on work and family, he does not fear failure, he never gives up, and he believes his business are for the betterment of humanity. Risk and possibilities are his comfort zones and being average or mediocre scares the hell out of him! To achieve greater than all your friends, embrace all 8 of these every day!

Daniel J Bockman.         

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