Catchy title, but no, I don’t have the answer if that’s what you’re looking for. However, the other day, while leisurely browsing a few of the pages that I had previously bookmarked for “later reading” I came across this great article -or rather- response by Justine Musk on Quora.
For those of you that have heard of the name Musk before but don’t quite know who Justine is, she’s Elon’s first wife. And of course, Elon Musk, her ex-husband, hopefully needs little introduction (co-founder of PayPal, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, on the board of Solar City and most recently, also founder of The Boring Company – hint: it has to do with drilling and building tunnels).
But back to topic, somebody posted the question “Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put all the necessary work required?” It caught my attention because my son asked me a similar question not too long ago. Of course, with no personal experience about being a billionaire or becoming one, my answer was not nearly as eloquent as Justine Musk’s who after being married to one for about eight years, had first-hand experience about the lofty goal. Here’s her response:
“You’re determined. So what? You haven’t been racing naked through shark-infested waters yet. Will you be just as determined when you wash up on some deserted island, disoriented and bloody and ragged and beaten and staring into the horizon with no sign of rescue?”
“Shift your focus away from what you want (a billion dollars) and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs. Ask yourself what you have the potential to offer that is so unique and compelling and helpful that no computer could replace you, no one could outsource you, no one could steal your product and make it better and then club you into oblivion (not literally). Then develop that potential. Choose one thing and become a master of it. Choose a second thing and become a master of that. When you become a master of two worlds (say, engineering and business), you can bring them together in a way that will a) introduce hot ideas to each other, so they can have idea sex and make idea babies that no one has seen before and b) create a competitive advantage because you can move between worlds, speak both languages, connect the tribes, mash the elements to spark fresh creative insight until you wake up with the epiphany that changes your life.
“The world doesn’t throw a billion dollars at a person because the person wants it or works so hard they feel they deserve it. (The world does not care what you want or deserve.) The world gives you money in exchange for something it perceives to be of equal or greater value: something that transforms an aspect of the culture, reworks a familiar story or introduces a new one, alters the way people think about the category and make use of it in daily life. There is no road map, no blueprint for this; a lot of people will give you a lot of advice, and most of it will be bad, and a lot of it will be good and sound but you’ll have to figure out how it doesn’t apply to you because you’re coming from an unexpected angle. And you’ll be doing it alone, until you develop the charisma and credibility to attract the talent you need to come with you. Have courage. (You will need it.)
And good luck. (You’ll need that too.)”
So there you have it. Next time someone comes to you asking what it takes to become a billionaire, you can simply refer them to Justine Musk’s answer. And by the way, I highly recommend that you visit Justine’s own Blog at http://justinemusk.com. She’s a very powerful author with very interesting points of view about everyday’s life experiences.
As far as Elon Musk’s life, the best book that I’ve read about him was written by Ashlee Vance and it came out in 2015. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. I enjoyed it so much, that I also purchased the Audio Book to listen to it again while working out, driving, or on the go.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)