Elon Musk Has Proven That Limiting Beliefs Make No Sense
Have you ever found yourself giving up on creating a new product or solving a problem because you didn’t have proper knowledge? You’re not alone; it’s not unusual to stick within your comfort level — especially when money is involved. But, if you continue with that kind of thinking, your business cannot grow.
Now that his space shuttle is getting astronauts to the Space Station, it’s clear that Elon Musk probably has one of the most can-do attitudes in the world. He achieves his goals by thinking outside of the box, assuming that he even recognizes that there is a box.
If he could achieve such a feat with no prior knowledge of space travel, then you can learn from him. Here are some tips gleaned from his impressive history.
It Starts With a Big Vision, Followed by Baby Steps
Musk’s mission goes beyond travel to the Space Station, and he clearly sees past just building rockets. He also envisions the logistics that will help to achieve his goals, one step at a time.
In January, MSN reported that Musk recently bought two oil rigs from an offshore rig company shortly before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While the SpaceX Falcon already launched a crew to the Space Station from Kennedy Space Center last year, Musk had a larger vision. His plan is to convert the rigs into floating launch pads. No doubt, a trip to the Space Station is only one step toward a much larger plan while reducing his reliance on the government.
Your vision for your business may not seem as lofty. Perhaps you just want to develop never-stick staplers for exclusive sale in your stationery store. Of course, you still have to learn how to invent office equipment, how to manufacture and test them, where to buy materials, and even how to protect your new invention through the patent process. The details may seem overwhelming; however, you can get there, if you take the baby steps necessary to predict and address every imaginable issue.
If You Don’t Have the Skills or Knowledge, Maybe You Can Learn Them
Obviously, Musk is a smart guy, and he knows it. But, he also knows what he doesn’t know, such as the science behind rockets, and he recognizes when he needs to turn to experts who can give him the knowledge that he needs.
According to a report from CNBC, Musk cold-called subject experts who could guide him toward the things that he needed to know. He met with resistance from some of his targets, but others were so helpful that they eventually became partners in his SpaceX venture. It’s no surprise that Musk ravenously read and absorbed information from countless books, as well.
Even if you can’t learn everything needed to move ahead on your own with a project, you still need to know as much as possible before pushing forward. You may have developed a line of lavender-scented personal products in your kitchen, but mass production requires you to know everything from chemistry to packaging. Your clear understanding of the details is invaluable in recognizing how to create safe, long-lasting, and stable products — and distinguishing the pros from the cons of every decision that you make along the way.
The Right Partnerships Make a Difference
As Musk absorbed knowledge about his massive plan, he also developed an impressive network of experts in the field. By taking a similar approach, you can also combine your own awareness with the right people to get your project off the ground. Some of those people might eventually become valued long-term partners in your venture. Some of them may even join your business.
Of course, not all partners can be absorbed into your business. For example, NASA’s resources may be essential to helping Musk to achieve his vision, but SpaceX will never acquire a massive national space agency. Sometimes you have to go outside of the four walls of your workplace and add the expertise of outsiders in order to bring your vision to life.
Let’s say that you have developed a brand of ginger ale that’s like eating a fresh piece of ginger. Granted, you would have me as a lifetime customer, but you probably have many other loyal aficionados, as well. Still, your ginger ale sales would greatly benefit if you offered an alcoholic version of your brew that could expand your customer base.
Maybe you know something about brewing alcoholic beverages because you have a still hidden in your back yard. Your ability to create basic booze doesn’t mean that you know much about making an alcoholic beverage that tastes as good as the original. Have you considered that a local distillery or brewery might jump at the chance to use their expertise to develop such a drink? Such a venture might be almost guaranteed to be a winner. Why not toss some bottles in your car, and pay them a visit for a taste test? Of course, once that brew is invented, let me be the first to volunteer to be a quality tester!
The Right Attitude Can Catapult You Beyond the Moon
John Wooden, the renowned basketball player, coach, and inspirational teacher, gave lots of valuable advice over his lifetime. His saying, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do” is particularly important during these continuing tumultuous times.
But, don’t stop there. With some self-education and the right resources, there is no reason why you can’t do things way beyond your current perceived capabilities. For Musk, the moon is only one step toward travel to Mars. You don’t have to be Elon Musk to adopt some of his attitudes about how much can be achieved. Embrace your wildest visions for your business; then, enlist your best planning instincts to achieve your dreams one step at a time.