Everybody in the engineering and tech world knows who Elon Musk is. He is currently the 3rd highest paid CEO and top 7 richest man on Forbes 2020.
And if you happen to be one of those people who don’t, it’s time that you do some research about this kickass man who plans to take you to Mars in the future: he’s the founder of Tesla and SpaceX and has made incredible achievements in the world of business, technology and engineering.
While his achievements may be so out of reach for most of us, there are things we, as young engineers, can learn from him.
With an impressive background and countless achievements under his belt, what can this extraordinary mogul teach us? What lessons can we get from him that we can apply in our engineering careers?
The most challenging thing to achieve is finding the right questions.
As an engineer, we’re dealt with difficult situations where our job is to fix/solve problems. But before we get to the bottom of every problem, we must learn how to ask the right questions first.
Musk loved The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and one of the important lessons he got from it was: “It taught me that the tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask, but that once you do that, the rest is really easy.”
Always stay curious.
Constantly ask yourself questions if you’re doing the right thing or if you’ve done enough.
This should be part of an effort to be a better version of yourself. According to Musk, “It’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.
I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”
Work on your personality.
If you’ve got the talent but you don’t have the right personality for the job, chances are you won’t get too far in the industry. In order for you to climb the ladder, it helps a lot if you work well with the people around you.
As Musk said, ”My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”
Quality over quantity.
Musk always preferred working with few people who have talent over a large number of people who can’t get the job done.
You’ve got goals, do your best to achieve them and never ever give up.
Do what Musk said, “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”
Don’t do it for the money.
Of course, money is important for us to thrive in this world.
But if you want to achieve more and make a difference to the community, you should not worry about the money involved in the things you do.
Don’t be afraid to dream.
As engineers, we’re taught to dream big and think of inventions we can create, products we can develop and systems we can work on that’ll make an impact to the society.
However, as we start to enter the real world, a lot of factors stop us from dreaming big and aiming high. Take it from Musk himself. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your big dreams.