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Elon Musk’s first wife Justine Musk, explains what it takes to become a Billionaire

LightHouse

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Q - (Via Quora): Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put in all the necessary work required?

Answer (emphasis mine):


No.

One of the many qualities that separate self-made billionaires from the rest of us is their ability to ask the right questions.

This is not the right question.

(Which is not to say it's a bad question. It just won't get that deep part of your mind working to help you -- mulling things over when you think you're thinking about something else -- sending up flares of insight.)

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?

We live in a culture that celebrates determination and hard work, but understand: these are the qualities that keep you in the game after most everybody else has left, or until somebody bigger and stronger picks you up and hurls you back out to sea. Determination and hard work are necessary, yes, but they are the minimum requirements. As in: the bare minimum.

A lot of people work extremely hard and through no fault of their own -- bad luck, the wrong environment, unfortunate circumstances -- struggle to survive.

How can you *leverage* your time and your work?

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 roadmap, 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.)"

https://www.quora.com/Will-I-become-a-billionaire-if-I-am-determined-to-be-one-and-put-in-the-necessary-work-required
 

Kingmaker

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She wrote this also:

How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson?

Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things. Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider 'success', so know that you don't have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle. Your odds of happiness are better that way. But if you're extreme, you must be what you are, which means that happiness is more or less beside the point. These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way. They developed strategies to survive, and as they grow older they find ways to apply these strategies to other things, and create for themselves a distinct and powerful advantage. They don't think the way other people think. They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights. Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

If you're not obsessed, then stop what you're doing and find whatever does obsess you. It helps to have an ego, but you must be in service to something bigger if you are to inspire the people you need to help you (and make no mistake, you will need them). That 'something bigger' prevents you from going off into the ether when people flock round you and tell you how fabulous you are when you aren't and how great your stuff is when it isn't. Don't pursue something because you "want to be great". Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic, so if the work itself doesn't drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.

Follow your obsessions until a problem starts to emerge, a big meaty challenging problem that impacts as many people as possible, that you feel hellbent to solve or die trying. It might take years to find that problem, because you have to explore different bodies of knowledge, collect the dots and then connect and complete them.

It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina. If you are not blessed with godlike genetics, then make it a point to get into the best shape possible. There will be jet lag, mental fatigue, bouts of hard partying, loneliness, pointless meetings, major setbacks, family drama, issues with the Significant Other you rarely see, dark nights of the soul, people who bore and annoy you, little sleep, less sleep than that. Keep your body sharp to keep your mind sharp. It pays off.

Learn to handle a level of stress that would break most people.

Don't follow a pre-existing path, and don't look to imitate your role models. There is no "next step". Extreme success is not like other kinds of success; what has worked for someone else, probably won't work for you. They are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths. They are unconventional, and one reason they become the entrepreneurs they become is because they can't or don't or won't fit into the structures and routines of corporate life. They are dyslexic, they are autistic, they have ADD, they are square pegs in round holes, they piss people off, get into arguments, rock the boat, laugh in the face of paperwork. But they transform weaknesses in ways that create added advantage -- the strategies I mentioned earlier -- and seek partnerships with people who excel in the areas where they have no talent whatsoever.

They do not fear failure -- or they do, but they move ahead anyway. They will experience heroic, spectacular, humiliating, very public failure but find a way to reframe until it isn't failure at all. When they fail in ways that other people won't, they learn things that other people don't and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.

They are unlikely to be reading stuff like this. (This is *not* to slam or criticize people who do; I love to read this stuff myself.) They are more likely to go straight to a book: perhaps a biography of Alexander the Great or Catherine the Great* or someone else they consider Great. Surfing the 'Net is a deadly timesuck, and given what they know their time is worth -- even back in the day when technically it was not worth that -- they can't afford it.

http://www.quora.com/How-can-I-be-as-great-as-Bill-Gates-Steve-Jobs-Elon-Musk-Richard-Branson/answer/Justine-Musk?srid=iAix&share=1#
 

Bila

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I agree that it takes an extreme type of personnality.
I am not sure it is worth is though .... Usually the sacrifices are huge ( their motto : big rewards require big sacrifices ) ...
 

rwiman

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Great post, I read your answer on Quora before you posted it here, I remember that I upvoted it because I think it was spot on!

big rewards require big sacrifices
Commonly referred to as the risk/reward ratio. It may not be a fixed ratio that holds or applies to each and every situation, but a very good rule of thumb.



I believe Elon Musk can be placed under the category of Venture Capital and Private Equity.





 

timmy

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She wrote this also:



They are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths. They are unconventional, and one reason they become the entrepreneurs they become is because they can't or don't or won't fit into the structures and routines of corporate life. They are dyslexic, they are autistic, they have ADD, they are square pegs in round holes, they piss people off, get into arguments, rock the boat, laugh in the face of paperwork. But they transform weaknesses in ways that create added advantage -- the strategies I mentioned earlier -- and seek partnerships with people who excel in the areas where they have no talent whatsoever.

They do not fear failure -- or they do, but they move ahead anyway. They will experience heroic, spectacular, humiliating, very public failure but find a way to reframe until it isn't failure at all. When they fail in ways that other people won't, they learn things that other people don't and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.

They are unlikely to be reading stuff like this. (This is *not* to slam or criticize people who do; I love to read this stuff myself.) They are more likely to go straight to a book: perhaps a biography of Alexander the Great




Love this part in particular. Great post.
Just think of what could be learned from such high achieves that don't suffer from fear and anxiety,
 
OP
OP
LightHouse

LightHouse

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I agree that it takes an extreme type of personnality.
I am not sure it is worth is though .... Usually the sacrifices are huge ( their motto : big rewards require big sacrifices ) ...
I think this a lot when i hear people say they want to be a billionaire.... why? is 10-20-50 million not enough to never have to work and do what you want? It takes an incredible person to withstand what you would have to go through in addition to being a natural leader to be able to build the kind of team that requires.
 

Guest

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Thank @LightHouse and @TheKing, great posts. This is an amazing refresher on what it takes to be successful.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Mrs. BRKb

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Maybe ten years down the road, they will remarry. LOL.

Possible! He did remarry wife #2. It didn't go well:


When Elon Musk split up with wife Talulah Riley for the first time, he told the whole world.

"It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever," the entrepreneur Tweeted to the British actress in January 2012. "You will make someone very happy one day."

Eighteen months later, that happy person apparently was him, as they tied the knot again in July 2013.

But the rekindled romance didn't last.

http://www.people.com/article/elon-musk-talulah-riley-divorce-split-again
 

H. Palmer

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She's a good writer.

His rebuttal is here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/correcting-the-record-about-my-divorce-2010-7

Always two sides to a story. Both seem to be passive aggressive toward each other. Maybe ten years down the road, they will remarry. LOL.
This from the article:

"In a California divorce, the wealthier spouse must pay both sides of the battle even if they are not the aggressor.

The legal and accounting bills for the divorce total four million dollars so far, which is an average of roughly $170,000 per month for the past 24 months."



I can't get my head around this.

Is the Californian government owned by lawyers or what?

What mechanism is doing this? What is the reason behind legislation that forces people to pay lawyers almost 200 grand per month?

Elon Musk is "loaded", at least on paper, but does this really warrant lawyers charging him the equivalent of a multi-family house every month?

How complicated can a divorce be? If you read the article there was already something similar to a pre-nup.

WTF!
 

EricFromCanada

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Q - (Via Quora): Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put in all the necessary work required?

Answer (emphasis mine):

No.


One of the many qualities that separate self-made billionaires from the rest of us is their ability to ask the right questions.

This is not the right question.

(Which is not to say it's a bad question. It just won't get that deep part of your mind working to help you -- mulling things over when you think you're thinking about something else -- sending up flares of insight.)

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?

We live in a culture that celebrates determination and hard work, but understand: these are the qualities that keep you in the game after most everybody else has left, or until somebody bigger and stronger picks you up and hurls you back out to sea. Determination and hard work are necessary, yes, but they are the minimum requirements. As in: the bare minimum.

A lot of people work extremely hard and through no fault of their own -- bad luck, the wrong environment, unfortunate circumstances -- struggle to survive.

How can you *leverage* your time and your work?

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 roadmap, 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.)"

Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put in the necessary work required? - Quora
Just came across this. Great read
 

Solid Snake

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Most self-made billionaires from my observation, and the insights of a person who interacts with billionaires, are generally very cunning.

What people think is "luck", they see as finesse.
 

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