Elon Musk is now worth more than $200 billion, thanks to the epic success of Tesla, SpaceX and his other ventures. But it didn’t have to be that way. Both of his biggest firms could quite easily have daily. And, according to Musk, they nearly did on multiple occasions.
However, the maverick billionaire understands something that many people don’t: the value of opportunity. He can see business models where other people can’t. And he has the ability to execute them.
In this post, we take a look at some of the lessons we can all learn from Elon Musk about the value of opportunity. Check them out below.
Opportunity Can Arise Where You Least Expect It
When you look back at your working life, does it resemble what you originally planned? Almost certainly not. You probably thought you were on track for something very different from where you ultimately wound up.
That’s the lesson that Musk is teaching us. Even if an idea sounds crazy, he proves that you can make it work. Landing people on Mars sounds like the worst commercial strategy in the world. But, when you think about it more deeply, you see that it opens up opportunities that other businesses couldn’t dream of.
Opportunities Can Come From Bad Situations
The success of SpaceX shows that opportunities can arise from bad situations. Even when everything seems to be going wrong, there is often a silver lining or a way out.
Many companies use SWOT analysis to see where their opportunities lie. However, they don’t always look at how they could turn their threats into opportunities. By ignoring this potential course of action, their businesses can sometimes go off course.
Opportunities Are Usually Bigger Than You Think
If you spot an opportunity to solve a problem that nobody has solved before, the opportunities before you are probably bigger than you think. Often, it’s hard to gauge long-run returns to certain activities, but they can be enormous.
For instance, Musk said that he thought there was a 10 percent chance of Tesla actually working. And he believed that if it did, it would probably take decades for it to become a dominant global car company.
That hasn’t been the case. Tesla is now the largest auto brand in the world, and is increasing deliveries quarter on quarter, far outperforming its rivals.
Opportunities Require Radical Thinking
Elon Musk starts with first principles and then works from there. He tries to figure out whether a business idea can work practically, and what the major stumbling blocks are likely to be.
As such, he never starts from a position that says “that’s impossible because nobody ever did it before.” Instead, he always looks dispassionately at the facts of the matter and tries to work out whether it can be done. He then engages in guerrilla marketing to promote his ideas.
If it wasn’t for Elon Musk, there would be no such thing as a mass-market electric vehicle. There would also be no such thing as a reusable rocket. When evaluating his opportunities, he didn’t listen to anyone else. He just focused on the principles, asking himself whether what he wanted to do was possible.
Matt Hoffer is a crypto enthusiast and gamer. When he's not de-constructing the blockchain, you can find him chilling with some lemonade in the shade or playing a round of golf.