Throughout history there have been exceptional men who’ve inspired us by the way they lead their lives and accomplish success. This is VK Nagrani’s Badass Guys Series.
Many men throughout history have inspired me in my life. The industries and contributions range, but all share an inner badass-ness most people live their whole lives without feeling. Current CEO of Tesla Motors and CEO/CTO of Space X, Elon Musk, has possessed this aura from an early age, allowing him to make groundbreaking efforts through engineering, investing and inventing.
From Silicon Valley and beyond, Musk is a reliable source of inspiration for countless people. While his list of accomplishments is long, we’ll break down why we at VK Nagrani think Elon Musk is badass.
1. He’s a Man of the World
Musk was born and grew up in South Africa before getting his Canadian citizenship through his mother’s ancestry. After spending two years attending Queen’s University in Ontario, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a B.A. in economics and B.S. in physics, he then took things to the west coast where he bounces up and down the coast from his Southern California home to his couch surfing adventures in Silicon Valley.
2. He’s Co-Founded Three Billion-Dollar Companies
Money is not the most important thing in the world, but when you’ve founded three billion dollar companies in a row with PayPal (via X.com), Space X and Tesla Motors, you’re something of a genius. Oh, and his first company, Zip2, sold for a paltry of 307 million dollars.
3. He Does What He Wants
After graduating with two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Musk enrolled in a PhD program in applied physics at Stanford University, only to drop out after two days due to his entrepreneurial dreams in renewable energy, the Internet and outer space. “If something is important to you, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it,” said Musk about how he’s persevered to-date.
4. He Views Failure Optimistically
When most people experience failure, they get discouraged. When Elon Musk experiences failure, he crosses an innovative option off the list, or rethinks how to make it work better.
Musk once said regarding risk and failure, “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing you are not innovating enough.”
5. He Solves Issues Outside of Himself
Geniuses are rare, but even rarer when they put it all together to accomplish things the world benefits from. Musk is making transportation cleaner through renewable energy and pioneering space exploration voyages. He’s changing the world and changing history. He’s a selfless genius.
6. He Can Be Ruthless
It’s hard to make groundbreaking innovations and push concepts forward most people would roll their eyes to if you didn’t have some ruthlessness inside you. Musk reportedly is a tough boss to work for, always pining for more hours in the day to work. He allegedly made a remark that Tesla had gotten soft, in the office, on a Saturday, with hundreds of employees working.
7. He’s All About the Product
According to Musk, Tesla hasn’t spent any money on advertising. Every dime has gone into research and development, engineering, design and manufacturing. Musk only spends money if it directly improves the product and drives it forward. It’s all about the product, baby.
Keep checking the VK Nagrani blog for more installments of our Badass Guys Series.