The Elon Musk Plan
I love Elon Musk.
The man is brilliant. I feel like Elon is the epitome of working smarter AND harder.
In 2006 he published a "Master Plan" for the next 10 years of Tesla. Here's the short version:
Build sports car
Use that money to build an affordable car
Use that money to build an even more affordable car
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options
He built the Tesla Roadster (step 1), used that money to build the Model S (and the Model X -> step 2), used that money to build an even more affordable car (Model 3). During that time he also managed Solar City which was then acquired by Tesla and now Tesla is also offering home battery storage solutions in addition to residential solar roofs (step 4).
I'm just scratching the surface here, but the plan ultimately comes down to make some money with a product to finance a bigger product to finance a bigger product to finance a bigger product.
Now, if you know anything else about Musk then you might recognize that this master plan doesn't just apply to Tesla. This master plan is at plan in Musk's own career.
He launched PayPal. Then he has used the money from PayPal to launch Solar City, SpaceX, AND Tesla.
Small, big, bigger, biggest. All one step forward in a logical and financial progression.
I'm generalizing and skipping over a lot of details because I want you to see the big picture here.
This is a brilliant approach to managing a career and making a difference.
My friend, Ryan, mentioned something similar in one of his recent blog posts. The entire post is a great read, but the piece I'm stealing is pt. 1 of the post.
Ryan posits that there are two kinds of entrepreneurs: opportunists and innovators.
In Ryan's post, his examples of being an opportunist come from early on his career when he did things like sell candy, teach guitar, cater hookah and create promotional products. All of those were opportunities for Ryan to leverage something he had for a return on his investment.
While PayPal was in fact an innovation, Musk and his co-founders were also taking advantage of an enormous opportunity in front of them to fill a gap in the market. I'm sure there's more to the story, but Musk leveraged his experience as an opportunist to then become and be seen as an innovator with his involvement with Solar City, SpaceX, and Tesla.
Most people leverage their opportunities to build comfort.
They work, build up a nest egg and settle in. There's nothing wrong with that. Instead of innovation, they aim for comfort and whatever their definition of happiness looks like.
But we need more Elon Musks. We need more Ryan Kulps. People that are willing to risk it all in the pursuit of better and greater.
Yes, Elon Musk is rich and getting richer, but he is making legitimate efforts to make the world a better place.
I'm sure I'm a bit naive, but I have yet to find a better plan for making an impact on a personal level than the one Musk has used to get where he is today or the one Ryan has used to get where he is today.
Start small. Think big.
That's how it starts. Things like SpaceX aren't dreamed up in a board room. They're created in bars, coffee shops, coworking spaces, garages, and basements.
I'm not Elon Musk and neither are you. That's okay. You've got to start somewhere.
Even if it's just a simple line of code or a domain name purchase.
Start small. Move forward. Always thing big.
It will make a difference.