5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs From Elon Musk’s Purpose Pursuit

Elon Musk is a different breed of innovator and entrepreneur. Reading his biography, one can't fail to notice the definiteness of his purpose from early on as a boy. You can quickly tell he was gifted and talented specifically for what he is today.

So, when he fantasizes intercity space shuttles transporting people from one city to another within an hour, he is within his force-field of purpose.

I have come to realize that for the most part, we will ideate mostly about things that we are passionate about. The starting point of any success, therefore, is purpose in life.

It would nearly be impossible for Elon Musk to achieve what he already has if there lacked a purpose. As one of the few people that have been able to stay truly focused on seeing their purpose through, there's more to admire and learn from him.

Here are the top 5 lessons for entreprenuers looking to accomplish their purpose in life;

  1. Dream on Purpose

Zig Ziglar once said: “People do not wander around and find their way on top of Mount Everest”. There has to be something that you are passionate about. Something that either is generated by the anger you have when things go wrong or the compassion you have to make things right.

As an entrepreneur, you cannot afford to live without a purpose. Look within your field of talents, gifts or your heart and see what’s in there.

For Elon Musk it was always something to do with space. It has never changed over the years. If anything, it is actually getting better. Believe me, chances are that one day we shall travel in rockets from one city to another in just under one hour.

  1. Dare to Push The Limits

I remember reading an incident where Elon Musk and two or three friends went to Russia. They were looking to purchase low-cost rockets that they could use for space travel.

They came back disappointed because the Russians mistreated them. However, while his friends were complaining during their flight back, Elon was busy punching in numbers in a spreadsheet.

Shortly he announced to the crew: “We can actually build our own shuttle.” His friends looked at him as if he just got off a bus. Needless to say, Elon was so daring with his purpose that nothing would stop him.

A great visionary once told me that one of the tests that you are on purpose is that people will either reject you or misunderstand you. Dare to stick it out anyway.

As long as it matters to you and it is strong in your heart, stick with it. Keep looking, seeking, asking and knocking on doors of possibilities - until you find a way forward.

  1. Embrace the Mini Detours

Elon’s main purpose is innovation in the way we travel. But that is not what he started with. His first startup was an online business directly called Zip2 before founding X.com which morphed into PayPal - that was sold for over $1.5 Billion to eBay.

That was the break he needed before investing more than 70% of the millions of dollars he received from eBay's acquisition of PayPal into SpaceX.

At times in life, you will be forced to go on a tangent that is not necessarily your main passion. However whatever you do, you ought to give 200% excellence to it.

It is normally the breeding ground or the rung for your next step. You get clout from what you have already done. If you were lousy in what you did because it wasn’t your main purpose, you will forever be known by that reputation.

So learn to embrace the small detours that life inevitably gives you on your way to deploying your main purpose.

  1. Get started, Passion will follow

Reading Elon Musk - the book, one is confronted with a machine-like pragmatic person who is not waiting for inspiration to come.

I read somewhere, when someone said that “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us we wake up and grind”.

Honestly, if you are purpose oriented, you might not need to get passion from somewhere. Actually, one of the sickest things about humanity today is people who lack passion.

The only passion we see is on weekends when people are supporting English Premier League soccer clubs.

When Elon Musk wanted to build his own rockets, he did not have all the information. He just had one piece of information that was as crazy as it gets: It can be done. Let’s get this crazy (at least) with some of the ideas that we have.

  1. Stick It Out

Tesla almost went bankrupt, only to be saved at the very last minute. Just because you're on a purpose does not mean you will have a smooth sailing.

Un-explainable circumstances will test your patience to the limit. Your goal is to stay as persistent as possible.

In all the projects that Elon Musk has undertaken - from Zip2 to now SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity - there has been none he pulled off without a massive dose of persistence. In some cases, he has been ousted as CEO of his own companies.

Purpose is an incredible force with two dimensions to it: Knowing it and working it. Elon Musk is someone we all need to emulate especially on the part of working on our purpose.

Lawrence Namale is an Author, Keynote Speaker and Life Coach. Check out The Life Signatures for more of his writings.

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