For quite a while now I have been fascinated
by Elon Musk’s ability to accomplish incredibly difficult things and often
at a ridiculously fast pace.
Love him or hate him,
you can’t deny that Elon Musk is a pretty productive guy. And,
as someone who loves digging in to see what makes
successful people tick, I recently started to wonder what are the
habits and practices and mindsets that drive Elon Musk’s ability
to get things done.
After reading AshleeVance’s biography on Musk
as well as digging into some of his Reddit AMAs and past online interviews,
I came up with five lessons that answer this question. And,
these five lessons are things that anybody can put into practice in their own lives. And,
we’re gonna start withone that is deceptively simple.
At an AMA he did on Reddit in 2015,
one of the most updot, updoted, updooted.
One of the most updooted (laughs).
I should just say updooted.
One of the most updootedquestions was what daily habit
do you believe has thelargest positive impact on your life?
To which Musk simply replied,”Showering.” Now,
I’ll admit that min initialreaction to this question was that Elon was basically
trolling this person. And,
hey, it’s possible that he was. But,
it’s also possible thathe was serious about it. And,
reading his answer mademe think about a broader,
but still related lessonthat I’ve learned myself.
When I take my personalappearance seriously,
I take my work more seriously as well.
If I wake up in the morning and I shower immediately
and I wear clothes that make me feel confident,
I’m likely to have a really productive day
even if I’m working here at home where nobody can see me.
And, this is something that many entrepreneurs learn really early on
when they start working for themselves. And,
it’s a lesson that many students
learn when they go to college and they get
out of their parents’ houses. And,
the fewer externalstructures you have in your life,
you know, managers, parents,incredibly tough fairies
named Jorgen Von Strangle,the more you have to rely
on your own self-discipline and willpower to get things done. And,
those two traits aresurprisingly influenced by your hygiene, by your
and by the organization andcleanliness of your environment. So,
if you wanna be more productive in your work on a daily basis, take these things seriously.
Shower every day, or at least often enough that you don’t smell
like a beta tester for a cologne
made by Oscar the Grouch. And,
dress well. And,
by that I don’t mean you have
to wear a suit and tie to class, but
wear clothes that make you feel confident and that make it look like you’re taking yourself seriously.
Another thing that I noticed about Musk, which
forms the basis of our second lesson, is
that he sets an example for his team.
Musk is a famously demandingCEO, expecting his employees
to work long hours,outwork the competition
at every point, and basicallygive up any semblance of a work-life balance. And,
this can make himseem abrasive and uncaring.
Here’s one thing that he said to one of his employees at Tesla.
“ I want you to think
ahead and think so hard every day “that your head hurts.
“ I want your head to hurt every night when you go to bed.” Now,
despite this abrasivenature, most of Musk’s current
and former employees havea lot of respect for him. And,
they’re willing to sacrifice a balanced life
in order to meet his demands.
Why is this? Well,
one reason is that Musk doesn’t expect anyone
on his teams to work any harder than he does.
In other words, he sets the example.
Musk puts in anywhere between85 to 100 hours per week,
often working the full seven days. And,
he also has an intensesystem of bashing his tasks
in order to wring every minutefor all that it’s worth. So,
while Musk’s employeesare working hard,
he’s working harder.
Of course, an integral part of setting an example,
is making sure that example is visible to the
people whose morale will benefit from it. And,
that’s why Musk choseto put his desk at Tesla
on the factory floor in the middle of all the other engineers’ desks.
Steve Jurvetson, who’s one of the board members
at Tesla explained Musk’s reasoning for selecting this location.
“He picks the mostvisible place on purpose.
“He’s at Teslas just aboutevery Saturday and Sunday
“ and wants people to see him and know they can find him.
here’s how this relatesto your personal productivity.
” Now, Deliberately choosing to set a good example for those around you,
will further motivate you to consistently improve.
When you know other people are watching,
especially people that you’ve put demands on,
you’re not gonna rest on your laurels. Plus,
when you’re working on a group project,
or if you eventually get into a situation where
you’re managing other people, setting an example
is gonna help to makeyour team a more cohesive and effective unit. And,
for Elon Musk, havinghis teams be cohesive
团结 高效至关重要 因为他常常会
and effective is crucialbecause he is constantly
setting stretch goals, which is the basis for our third lesson.
One of Musk’s most notorious character traits,
is a tendency to set incredibly ambitious deadlines
for his companies’ various projects. And,
this can sometimes be unrealistic.
If you’re familiar with Tesla’s early history,
you might remember that they initially promised to
ship the first Roadster back in 2006,
a date that was furtherpushed back and back and back
until the Roadster finallyreleased in late 2008.
On the flip side, these seemingly impossible deadlines have a powerful effect on his teams.
Here’s how one formerexecutive at SpaceX put it.
“It’s like he has everyoneworking on this car
“that is meant to get fromLos Angeles to New York “on one tank of gas.
“They’ll work on thecar for a year and test “all of its parts. “Then,
when they set off forNew York after that year,
“ all the vice presidents think privately “
that the car will be lucky to get to Las Vegas.
“ What ends up happening is that the car gets “ to New Mexico,
twice as far as they ever expected,
“and Elon is still mad.
“He gets twice as much asanyone else out of people.” And,
I wan na put special emphasis on that last sentence there
because it perfectly illustrates the power of stretch goals. Essentially,
a stretch goal is
a goal that’s beyond your current capabilities
or sometimes your currentperception of your capabilities.
If you think that you can do five pull-ups and you have
a coach who tells you to jump up on the bar and
做10个 他就为你 设定了一个拉伸目标
do 10, he’s just set a pretty challenging stretch goal for you. And,
what’s gon na happen is you ‘re probably not gon na get 10 pull-ups,
but you are gon na get seven.
Often the seemingly impossible stretch goal
is exactly what’s needed to push us past our previous conceived limits.
You have to have the guts to go for something
that you don’t think you can currently achieve because
in pursuit of it, you’re gon na bring your skills up to the level that they need to
be at to actually get it done.
This kind of growth doesn’t happen when you
keep aiming for things that are just as doable
as what you’ve done before. And,
Elon Musk knows this well.
Another thing that Musk knows well is the value
of developing a wide knowledge base.
Among the CEOs of all the tech companies out there,
Musk stands out as one of the few who actually understands
a lot of the sciencebehind the cars and rockets
that his companies create. And,
this wide understandingof physics and math
and engineering allows Muskto actually follow along
when his engineersexplain problems to him. And,
he can often suggestsolutions that do end up working. Additionally,
this wide breadth of knowledge allows
him to push past mental roadblocks and to
motivate his team to innovate and do things
that others thought were impossible.
The idea of reusing rocketsis a great example here.
In his book, Ashlee Vance notes that,
“There’s a camp of spaceexperts who think Musk
“is flat-out wasting histime, and that engineering
“calculations alreadyprove the reusable rockets
“to be a fool’s errand.” And,
yet in March of thisyear, SpaceX launched
the same Falcon 9 rocket intospace for the second time.
Reusable rockets are here. Now,
Musk’s knowledge of science and engineering isn’t solely a product of his pre-CEO years.
Even as he worked to run his companies,
he also strove to learn the fundamentals of what his engineers were building.
Here’s a great passagefrom Vance’s book on this.
在SpaceX工厂 他会让工程师陷入窘境 询问工程师关于 阀门或者专门材料的问题
He would trap an engineer in the SpaceX factory and set to work grilling him about a type of valve or specialized material.
“ I though at first that he was
challenging me “ to see if I knew
my stuff,” said Kevin Brogan,
one of the early engineers.
“Then I realized he wastrying to learn things.
“ He would quiz you until he learned 90 % of what you know.”
Musk’s insistence on learning about every aspect of the engineering that goes into his companies’ products
makes him a T-shaped person,somebody with a deep knowledge
and skills in one particulararea, but also a shallower,
yet still fairly substantialamount of knowledge in a broad array of other
topics and disciplines.
By contrast, an I-shapedperson, a specialist,
has a deep knowledgein one particular area,
but that’s about it.
They basically stay in their lane. And,
there’s also what you could call a dash-shaped archetype.
These are your jack of all trades, master of none type people.
Out of these three archetypes,
you should be striving to become a T-shaped person, because doing so
gives you the best of both world.
You develop expertise in one particular area to a degree where
you can make a truly meaningful contribution to it, but
having broad knowledge in a lot of other areas
allows you to be more creative, and allows
you to look at problems from a new perspective
and solve things in a different way. And,
that brings us to our final and most important lesson from Musk.
Always assume that you can improve.
I wanna start this section off with what is hands-down my favorite quote from Elon Musk.
“I think it’s very importantto have a feedback loop,
“where you’re constantlythinking about what you’ve done
“and how you could be doing it better.
“I think that’s the singlebest piece of advice:
“constantly think about how youcould be doing things better “and questioning yourself.”
Elon Musk is never satisfiedwith where he is now.
He may be proud of his accomplishments and what his companies have been able to achieve, but
he knows that in every single area
there’s always somethingthat could be done better.
永远有更好 更快 更酷 或者成本更低的方式来做事
There’s always a better, faster, cooler, or cheaper way to do it.
One of my favorite examples
of this mindset in action is when he got a $ 120,000 quote from a supplier
for an electromechanicalactuator, which is a part
that needs to go into a rocket. Now,
most aerospace companies probably would’ve accepted the quote price, shoved the part into their rocket,
and passed the expense on to their clients. But,
Elon Musk, instead,laughed at the supplier
and told an employee to gobuild the exact same part
from scratch with a budget of $5,000. And,
that employee, whose name was Steve Davis,
ended up building the part for $ 3,900,
which was even underthe budget that Musk set and that part ended up going to space in the Falcon 1 rocket. So,
所以 总会有更好 或者是案例中更廉价的方式来做事情
again, there is alwaysa better, or in this case, cheaper way to do it. Now,
there’s a name forthis method of thinking.
It’s called the growthmindset and it’s potentially
the single most importantfactor that separates successful people from their
less successful counterparts.
A growth-minded person thinksthat they can learn anything as long as they’re willing
to put enough effort into it.
If they fail, they’re gon na get back up and they’re gon na
try again, this time with new knowledge about what not to do. And,
at the end of the day,
they realize that their potential is only limited by their willingness
直到他们更加努力 尝试用新方法 方可成功
to work hard and keeptrying new approaches until something works.
People who don’t think thisway, have a fixed mindset.
They tend to see the world as something that is the way it is,
it’s not really gon na change. And,
that they themselves arenot really the kind of people that get better.
They may also believe that the way they currently do things is the best way to do it.
These are the kind of people that think
if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But,
the thing is, this type of thinking is what gets people stuck in ruts.
It causes stagnation. Meanwhile,
those who live a growth-oriented life are going to make progress. And,
even if the progress they make
甚至每天1% 的进度 随着时间的增长 会积累增多
is small, even if it’s just 1 % per day, over time, well, that adds up. Now,
earlier on we talkedabout how Elon Musk
is a T-shaped person, howhe has that deep level
of expertise that’s augmentedby a broad knowledge base of many different topics. And,
this is something that you should be striving to become,
especially as more and more companies
are leaning on algorithms and automation
to solve the reallystraightforward problems. If,
say you’re an engineering student, you
definitely wan na spend most of your time focusing on
the main things like fluid dynamics and algorithms. But,
if you spent some
在营销 平面设计 人工智能的机械学习
of your independent time also dabbling in things like marketing or graphic design
or maybe even a tech areathat you’re not familiar with
like machine learning AI,you’re gonna be able to use
your main skill set morecreatively and you might find
that you actually find a job at the intersection
of two fields that you didn’t even know existed in the first place. And,
if you wan na start building some initial competence in these outside areas,
you should aim to do it actively. And,
one of the best places that you can do that is Skillshare.
Skillshare has over17,000 courses and a ton
on different topics including all the ones
包括我刚才提及的平面设计 人工智能 机器学习 营销等等
I just mentioned above: graphic design, AI and machine learning, marketing.
In fact, they have afantastic marketing course
from Seth Godin who is one of my favorite authors
that you should definitely check out. And,
the best thing about all their courses is
that they have hands-on, practical components. So,
instead of just watching videos, you’re gon
na be able to sink your teeth into some challenges that
will really stretch your capabilities and accelerate your learning. Now,
while they do have thousands of courses for you to choose from,
I do wan na recommend one course
in particular this week.
And that’s Keith Yamashita’scourse on storytelling.
Human beings are wired to love stories.
So if you can learn the elements of good storytelling
and how to craft one yourself, you’re gon
na have an easier time connecting with people and getting
them onboard with your ideas, whether you’re giving
a presentation or interviewing for a job. So,
if you wan na go through that course or dig
into any other area that you’re interested in,
give Skillshare a try. And,
the first 500 people who click the link
in the description down below and sign up, will
get a two-month free trial of unlimited learning.
After that, a premium subscription starts
at less than 10 bucks a month and you can cancel at any time. So,
go check’em out and I wan na
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give a huge thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this video and continually supporting this channel.
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