Deepak Machado : on personal growth

5 Key Qualities that All Successful People Have In Common! (From The Life of Elon Musk)

If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.

elon musK

I am fascinated by Elon Musk.

So I picked up the book about Elon Musk written by Ashlee Vance called, ELON MUSK.

If you already do not know, Elon Musk is associated with world changing companies like Tesla, Spacex, Neuralink, The Boring Company. In the past he sold his company X to Paypal and then sold Paypal to ebay.

I learned about Elon Musk around 2015 when there were all negative media surrounding him and his company Tesla. You see, people like me have less grasp about how to change the world. I brushed off learning more about him following how media named him a failure and that his companies would go bankrupt. It took me a long time to figure out what he was up to and how he would change the world as we know it.

But things changed. Because of what Elon Musk brought to the table. And in the process of reading and learning about him, I uncovered what makes Elon Musk, ELON MUSK.

#1. Successful People are Relentlessly Focussed:

Elon Musk’s personal mission statement:

“If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure.”

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Right from his childhood Elon had a good habit of reading. He read widely across various subjects and did not stick to one particular genre.

This is what drives him to take the risks that he has taken. And I believe this single focus on trying that is important has driven him to invest in companies like:

Let’s now look at the mission statement of each of these companies:

#Tesla: Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

#Spacex: Making Humans Multiplanetary

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”

Elon Musk

#Neuralink: To create ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers.

#The Boring Company: To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic by building a network of transportation corridors underground.

The same goes for highly successful people like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mukesh Ambani, and so on.

All of these successful entrepreneurs are relentlessly focussed on their mission. Even on the brink of bankruptcy, Elon Musk did not budge from his ultimate mission. He kept pushing and making progress. This has helped him and all his companies to flourish and thrive.

This also applies to you if you work in a corporate set up.

#2. Successful People are Resourceful:

Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.

elon musk
marketing school business idea
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Many of us complain that we do not have enough resources to overcome a problem.

Tony Robbins has following to say:

It’s not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.

As rightly said by Tony Robbins, we can all complain about not having resources to achieve our goals. But that is not the reason for you not to attempt that. What matters is the ability to find quick and clever ways to find solutions to problems.

Early on in my career, I used to complain a lot about ‘if only’ my teachers and professors had told me to take up another course, I would have been somewhere else at a better position.

When an entrepreneur or an employee of any corporation brings out solutions to existing problems with available resources, we can call them resourceful. Often these situations are challenging and not straightforward. Resourcefulness comes from being able to think on feet and provide creative solutions to challenging situations.

One of the main drivers of cost for Electric Vehicles was the battery. The more cost reduction meant that the car was affordable. Elon Musk faced this problem. The solution here was to source products and raw materials and do more research on constituents of the battery technology and bring the costs down. He has been successful eventually in bringing the battery costs down through innovation and creativity.

Successful people realize that resourcefulness is of utmost importance in order to solve problems in this world. Rather than complaining about your current situation, you must look for solutions to the problems that are at hand.

#3. Successful People are Flexible:

I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.

elon musk
a writing on the wall
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

When I initially started my journey of investing in the stock market, I had this confirmation bias: I will eventually make money from my investments.

Needless to say, I have been bitten. Although the stock market is the best way to make money, it may not be the right place for you. I held onto my investments although I was under loss. This was a huge mistake that I made. The same goes for my business. Although I faced losses, I kept going at it thinking I would someday make it happen!

On both these occasions, I wasn’t flexible with my approach. Contrast this with one of my friends who owned a restaurant. The moment he realized that things were not working out, he shut down the business and concentrated on what mattered most to him.

Successful people are always flexible with their business plans or whatever they plan. They don’t give in to emotions. They closely learn how the world is changing and adapt their style to match the changing economic situation.

Being flexible will not be easy because you have to come out of your comfort zone to be flexible.

So when your Manager asks you to lend a hand in an upcoming project, be flexible with your approach.

#4. Successful People Constantly Reinvent:

I could either watch it happen or be a part of it.

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person holding light bulb
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Like in the above point of Flexibility, successful people know to regularly check on themselves. This key quality comes from regularly reading books and useful websites online.

One of my friends is into wholesale of meat and related products. Business was going on well. But then Covid19 stuck. All his business dried up within a few weeks.

Did he lose everything?

No way.

He was watching the trends closely and opened a retail (B2C) platform online. Within a month of the start, the business grew to reach a 50% capacity of pre-Covid19 levels. Wow. All because he was flexible with his approach.

This is a way to reinvent yourself. Don’t get dejected by failures. To thrive in this economy, you need to constantly reinvent yourself. Keep going. Keep Walking.

#5. Successful People have ‘Success-through-Determination’ approach:

When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.

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concentrated female entrepreneur typing on laptop in workplace
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

“Success-through-Determination” sounds very ambiguous. Determination shows how firm you are on your purpose. If you do not have a purpose, I highly recommend that you have a purpose in your life.

Your purpose drives everything in your life. My purpose is to help others achieve success.

Determination can be applied to any walk of life. If you are a sports person and want to win a tournament, your determination is to win the tournament. If you are an entrepreneur, your determination is your business success. If you are in love with someone, your determination should be to win over the heart of that person.

When Elon Musk faced a situation where he wanted to win over the heart of his first wife. Although he did not know how he was determined to win her over. She did not show up for their date at an ice cream parlor. But he did not give up. He researched on what flavor of ice cream she liked and showed up at her college with her favorite ice cream cones. They had 6 children together.

Successful people have a quality of achieving success through persistence and determination. If what you’re trying to do is important to you, stick with it and take a scientist’s approach in how you determine the next step.


Success does not come easily. But you can pave way for a smooth ride if you have the above-mentioned qualities. At many times, you will come across situations when you really want to give up. But is it the right thing to do? You may know someone who has achieved a great deal in their life. Ask them how they did it. They will be happy to share. Let others know about their experience.


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