Back in October 2016, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance was recommended to me by my mentor. As I read it, not only did I learn how wildly smart Elon Musk is, but I learned that you can do absolutely anything that you put your mind to. Why? After Elon Musk built Zip2 (literally, replacing the yellow pages with the internet) and PayPal, he decided that he would learn how to build reusable rockets and started SpaceX.
While Elon Musk is a gifted guy with an extreme work ethic, what set him apart from anyone else was the fact that he was so hungry to learn and was always challenging the status quo.
For example, if an employee were to tell Elon Musk that a deadline or cost requirement is not possible, he would often kick them off their job on the spot and do it himself, while managing Tesla AND SpaceX!
“Elon will say, ‘Fine. You’re off the project, and I am now the CEO of the project. I will do your job and be CEO of two companies at the same time. I will deliver it,'” says a former employee of SpaceX. In this example, Elon Musk had asked an employee to build the computing system for SpaceX’s rocket with a budget of $10,000, where the standard spend was $10,000,000! (As a note, Elon Musk delivered on this…)
While this could be perceived as a form of arrogance, what I learned from Elon Musk and his book is: to always challenge the way things have been done and that nothing is impossible.
“The first step is to establish that something is possible–then probability will occur” – Elon Musk
When I joined my company last year here in Southern California, my boss (and now mentor) gave me a small book called “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. At the time, I did not have much of a desire to read. To be frank, I never did. For some reason, I felt the need/urge to get through it because I was new and thought I was being put to the “test.”
I read through the book and it was pretty good. Essentially, it was about the ability to overcome challenges (the obstacle) and to not get so fixated on how you hoped things would play out with your given situation.
Unbeknownst to me, my boss put me on the spot in front of our management team to explain the book to everyone and how it relates to our company. Thank goodness I read it!
From this experience and reading, what I ultimately learned is: Books are the way to success. Not only are they good for content, but people’s perception of me changed because they knew I was educating myself on my spare time. This was the beginning of my love for books.
As my good friend, Richard, and I go through the ups and downs of trying to start our own online business, we continue to keep one thing in mind: why we started.
We started because the overall satisfaction from our normal jobs is sub-par. Having to do a lot of grunt work and schmoozing just to progress in our career or to get a 10% raise is just not gratifying. We both have a lot of talent (as does everyone else). Why not channel this talent and energy into something that will give financial freedom and unlimited fulfillment.
In college, I began admiring Arnold Schwarzenegger for his bodybuilding accomplishments. I listened to this speech everyday for about 3 months until I knew it by heart, word for word. My subconscious thoughts now include these 6 rules and I live by them. My favorite: work like hell.
“I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster, I would recommend.”
While learning new things is fun and exciting, it is hard to keep track of the things that you learn along the way. The purpose of this site is to log all of the significant learnings from my first business venture, daily readings, and experiences.