4 Best Money Lessons From Elon Musk

Paris: 2023 Elon Musk Vivatech, France - 16 Jun 2023
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Elon Musk — still the world’s richest man, with a $243 billion net worth as of July 10, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — is at the helm of several companies. From Tesla to SpaceX, and from Neuralink to The Boring Company — and most recently, Twitter — Musk is no stranger to controversy and is known for speaking his mind.

Not everything Elon Musk has done, financially speaking, has been exemplary. However, Musk’s best money moves are at the center of many commentaries, however, and four follow.

PayPal: An Early Mind for Bold Investing

Musk founded X.com, later named PayPal, and sold it to eBay for $1.4 billion in 2002, according to The Wall Street Journal. He collected $100 million from the deal.

“One of Elon’s best financial moves was placing most of his net worth into Paypal, at a time where the ‘.com’ world was seriously taking off,” said Sebastian Jania, owner of Ontario Property Buyers.

Upon successful growth of this company, he sold it and was paid handsomely — but instead of cashing out of the “entrepreneurship game” and living on the proceeds, he recycled his money into three more businesses which also took off as successes, said Jania.

“This was a very wise decision as he was able to take his successes in the tech industry and diversify across solar, automotive, and space industries. This move protected him in case the tech industry or other industries would crash.”

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Musk Reinvests Profits Into his Visions

Elon Musk has made billions of dollars from his ventures but doesn’t all profits on lavish lifestyles or frivolous things, said Anna Koval, co-founder and CMO at Tarotoo.

“Instead, he reinvests his profits into his vision of making humanity a multi-planetary species and advancing clean energy and transportation. This shows his passion, dedication, and long-term thinking, which are essential for any successful entrepreneur.”

Koval added that while he takes calculated risks and learns from failures, Musk is not afraid to take bold and ambitious positions — such as launching rockets into space, building electric cars and creating hyperloops.

“He knows that these risks come with challenges and failures, but he also knows that they are necessary for innovation and growth. He learns from his failures and improves his products and services, rather than giving up or settling for mediocrity,” she added.

Musk Is Not Afraid of Out of the Box Ideas

Musk begins by asking the most basic of questions — usually to find cost savings or a better user experience, said Brian Chevalier-Jordan, CMO at NationalBusinessCapital.com. And by not taking anything for granted, he uncovers new insights that help him run his businesses better than his competitors, Chevalier-Jordan added.

“The lesson for the rest of us is: question what we’ve always thought was true about ourselves, our habits, and our behavior around money,” Chevalier-Jordan suggested. “For better or worse, Elon isn’t afraid to go somewhere where he has very little or no experience. That can lead to unexpected insights such as the idea that a tunnel under cities could help alleviate traffic if it’s used for public transportation. He used that concept to found not one, but two, companies: The Boring Company and Hyperloop.”

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Musk Understands That Branding Is King

According to Chevalier-Jordan, while Musk may come across to some as immature, that might be a feature, not a bug.

“You certainly can’t say he isn’t having fun while becoming the world’s richest man. From the Tesla feature called Emissions Mode that makes fart noises — to the recent cage fight challenge which he proposed to Mark Zuckerberg — he puts his eccentricity on display. That has won him the loyalty of others who share his sense of humor. This trait has bought him a permanent place in many people’s minds,” he said.

Chevalier-Jordan added that while Musk is “clearly a king of bombast,” that doesn’t mean he’s not savvy with his communications.

“His marketing acumen is on point with names like The Boring Company for his tunnel-digging company, or the model names of Tesla’s cars that, when put together, spell S3XY (‘sexy’).”

“When he turned Occupy Wall Street into a rallying cry for his rocket company, Space X, using the phrase ‘Occupy Mars,’ he showed branding is king,” Chevalier-Jordan concluded.

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