Posted on May 30, 2018 by Matt Pressman
Elon Musk may be renowned for being one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, but it hasn't been smooth sailing throughout his entire career.
Above: Elon Musk (Instagram: mel.gruening)
Although Musk is considered by many as a business icon, he's experienced many failures in his life. In turn, these "epic fails" have helped him learn and transform into the great success he is today. There's no doubt Musk will endure many more failures in his life, but even some of his biggest setbacks can be outweighed by his successes — after all, when you look at Musk's companies you can see why he's set to become one of the world's richest men.
Not many people can endure being ousted as CEO of their own company and then (later) get fired from another company while on honeymoon — not to mention surviving both a major crash and cerebral malaria! Let’s walk through Musk's history of successes and failures.
Back in 1995, despite not having significant experience in computer science, Musk applied for a job at Netscape but was too shy to follow up and speak with anyone after his application was denied. Almost immediately after this happened, he founded a company called Zip2 but was promptly fired by the board of directors. On many occasions Musk was told he didn't have the skills to be a successful businessman and CEO, however his recent string of successes proves otherwise.
Above: Elon Musk continues to face ongoing challenges (Youtube: CNBC)
Fast forward a few years to 1999 and Musk founded X.com which got voted as one of the worst business ideas. Later, this transformed into PayPal — one of the most popular online payment systems worldwide.
Then, despite Musk not having an aerospace background, he approached the Russians in 2002 in order to acquire rockets for SpaceX. They turned him down. Following this, Musk decided to build his own rocket, which he first launched in 2006. But it wasn't easy — his first few rocket launches ended in explosions.
Between 2008 and 2016, Musk started to focus heavily on Tesla and SpaceX and despite them both nearly going bankrupt early on, Musk managed to pull through and bring them back to success.
Needless to say, every business goes through a whirlwind of both failures and successes. Musk’s ventures aren't an exception. If you’re planning on starting a business and you're afraid of the potential pitfalls that may occur, just remember this key tip from Elon himself: “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
For more, take a look at RS Components’ infographic timeline...
Source: RS Components