The Man Who Will Change the World

The business and entrepreneurship world has a long history of spawning people who went on to become superstars, like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs, but very few of them became actual superheroes.  As a matter of fact, there are two. The first is Howard Hughes who served as the model for the character of Tony Stark, and second is none other than Elon Musk, who is an inspiration for the current cinematic depiction of the genius billionaire.
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Who is Elon Musk?

The hype around this guy is huge and it’s mostly justified. He was born on June 28th, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. In 1983, he sold a home-made computer game to some magazine for today’s $1.200, which is pretty awesome for a 12-year-old. In 1995, he started the web software company Zip2, sold it in 1999 and used the acquired money to co-found X.com, an online payment company, which we know today as PayPal. This is when things start to get interesting. Instead of living a quiet life as a rich nerd until retirement, Musk sold PayPal to eBay and made an insane leap of fate by founding the rocket manufacturer SpaceX, whose purpose was to revolutionize the cost of space travel and enable the eventual colonization of Mars. In the following years, he launched the electric car company Tesla, and SolarCity, whose purpose is production and distribution of solar-panel systems, which is another step in reducing humanity’s dependence of fossil fuel. Today, his net worth is $12.7 billion and he is one of the only two men who started three billion-dollar companies, but, even though he is filthy rich, you just can’t hate him. All of his projects are aimed to change the world into a better place, and like Bill Gates, Elon Musk has pledged to give all of his money to charity.

“To boldly go where no man has gone before”

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Counting all of Musk’s achievements could go on forever, and he is still on the roll, but it would be much better to see what we can learn from him. Firstly, it is important to dream big and to never be afraid of working on an idea that seems larger than life. We should look into emerging industries because they have lower competition and higher growth potential but we should also be ready to constantly explore new ideas and branch into new businesses, instead of sticking to the one that we have mastered. As we’ve seen, something new, from Internet banking to space travels, is always on the rise. Know your limits, Musk was principal investor in SolarCity, but didn’t want to overextend himself and left the company under his associates’ management. Work hard, and if you think you know what hard is remember that his fortune didn’t come out of nowhere. Elon Musk has a 100 hour working week.  Last but not least, be persistent. When Musk’s empire was facing collapse after few unsuccessful projects in 2008, he knew what he’s doing is important, kept going and made a spectacular turnaround, which brought him to the place he occupies today, in just a few months.

What more is left to say about the man of whom already everything is said? Well, if you are trying to succeed as an entrepreneur, follow Musk’s steps. We could surely use more men like this leading us into a brighter future.

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Posted by James D. Burbank

James D. Burbank has worked for years in traditional as well as online marketing. He has worked in Central Asia, Europe and Australasia for years, helping US-based companies exhibit at trade shows in those parts of the world, among other things. He’s been on the ground for years and for the last few years, he has also been working in online marketing. James is currently on well-deserved hiatus and blogs about his experiences, the stuff he’s learned and more. Business and marketing all the way. He is also a father of two and a huge Utah Jazz fan.