These 12 Elon Musk quotes are all the inspiration you’ll ever need

CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk delivers a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 29 September 2017.


Whatever you’ve wanted to achieve in life, Elon Musk has probably already done it. The Pretoria-born entrepreneur has had one of the greatest engineering careers in modern history, drawing comparisons to Da Vinci, Einstein and Iron Man himself, Tony Stark.

His brain works like no-one else’s: He’s the billionaire behind PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla, but conquering earth isn’t enough for him. His next great mission is to take the human race to Mars. If anyone can do it, it’s Musk.

We’ve found 12 of his most inspirational quotes that really hit us in the feels. His attitude towards hard work, perseverance and, erm, a ‘no-asshole policy’ with who he employs is the reason he’s become the world-renowned success he is today.

The most inspiring quotes from Elon Musk:

On Perseverance:

(REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque)

1. According to our Elon, it really is OK to get things wrong:

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

2. This doesn’t mean you should call it quits when things start going wrong, though…

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

3. Got a dream in your heart? Elon’s giving you the green light to chase it down.

 “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

On the importance of enjoying work:

elon musk space x moon tourism
(JD Lasica / Flickr)

4. Mr Musk believes that all workers need direction, and a goal to work towards:

 “People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”

5. Hate your job? Don’t do it…

“People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”

6. He has an incredibly interesting analogy about workers expressing their individuality, too. If you are lucky enough to meet Elon Musk, please don’t tell him ‘all about the process’.

 “I don’t believe in process. In fact, when I interview a potential employee and he or she says that ‘it’s all about the process,’ I see that as a bad sign. The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.”

Advice on how to be successful from Elon Musk:

Pictured at the The Web Summit 2013, RDS. Photo by Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media.

7. Delving into the world of sports, the Pretorian entrepreneur believes that talent is just as important as hard work, but only if the team also work well together.

“Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sports team, the team that has the best individual player will often win, but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ.”

8. Hard work will pay off. You have to push yourself to the limit, though…

“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”

9. Musk says you have to take criticism. Constructive or otherwise, any flaws that get brought up have to be met with a ‘can-do’ attitude to fix them:

 “Really pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends. … Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.”

Why we’re handing our CV’s in to SpaceX and Tesla…

(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

10. His offices sound like a utopia:

“We have a strict ‘no-assholes policy’ at SpaceX.”

11. If anyone can do something, you can do something. Certainly makes a change from any other boss we can recall:

“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”

12. Finally, just image the scenes here. The coffee run would be a white-knuckle ride, that’s for sure:

 “Everybody around here has slides in their lobbies. I’m actually wondering about putting in a roller coaster — like a functional roller coaster at the factory in Fremont. You’d get in, and it would take you around [the] factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? … It would probably be really expensive, but I like the idea of it.”

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