Why Tesla founder Elon Musk isn’t afraid to fail
Experts have called him the Steve Jobs of the car business. Elon Musk was raised in South Africa and as a young boy was fascinated with computer programming. He sold his first game programming at age 12 and was destined for Silicon Valley.
Out of college, he started his first company with his brother, and one of their products was PayPal. They sold it to eBay for $1.5 billion, with Musk getting $180 million as his share of the profits.
But Elon Musk did not stop there and retire to an island. Instead, he started two new companies, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Tesla Motors makes high-end electric cars that go extremely fast and look very sleek. Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive.
With a big fan base and a long wait to purchase his cars, Musk’s car company has become a big hit after a few major bumps in the road. Many experts have touted that if he can make an inexpensive Tesla for the general public, the electric car business will change forever.
Interestingly, Musk thought Tesla Motors would never make it. Asked why he would start a company he thought would fail, he simply stated that when you know something is important, you must try to make it work. His ultimate goal is to make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions.
Most people do the opposite. If failure is a strong possibility, most do not follow their dream, but instead play it safe and never follow it.
Have you followed your dream, knowing that success was a slim possibility? Have you made a significant change in your life without a cushy success parachute?
Fear of failure is the biggest roadblock to finding our true path. We have been taught from an early age that failure leaves a black mark on our soul, so we protect ourselves from it.
Elon Musk does not see the possibility of failure as a stumbling block, so he soars among the great men of our generation. In fact, his SpaceX company has a contract with NASA to refuel and restock the space station.
Musk’s sister understands him. She has said Musk has seen the future and wants to share it with all of us. Our future is much brighter when we have people like Elon Musk leading the charge.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at Austin Peay State University. He is author of the best-selling business book “Full Throttle, ” and speaks to businesses about improving attitude and performance. Learn more at www.drgreggsteinberg.com.