Elon Musk Breaks Rules to Stay Ahead of the Game. Learn How He Does That!

elon musk

Not everyone good at what they do will achieve mega success. Rather, being immensely successful is only reserved for the GREAT.

Mega success doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.

Apart from capability and courage, only one additional attribute enables revolutionary accomplishments: the ability to break the rules. Elon Musk is among the most successful individuals who’ve relied on this strategy to achieve their goals.

Musk was recently named the wealthiest person on the planet, but I believe the title “most influential person” would be more appropriate. Indeed, his influence isn’t a fluke, but stems from deliberately challenging expectations and subverting norms at every turn.   

Why You Should Go Against the Norms

Challenging the rules is what sets doers and dreamers apart.

Sometimes, doers use their immense talent, overconfidence, and egos (or a combination of all three) to justify their actions.

Every now and then, it doesn’t even occur to them that they trod on convention, only seeing the rules as narrow confines from which they must unshackle themselves.

Businessman pushing arrow in the opposite direction. Break ’em rules!

There’s actually a wrong and proper way to ignite the flame that burns the rule book. It may sound ironic, but when you break the rules, ensure you do so with etiquette. All the major rule breakers to have walked the face of the planet knew impulsively to do it.

How to Succeed by Going Against the Rulebook

Let’s unmask Musk’s rise to business success and fame, from his widely acknowledged business accolades to his Twitter game, to establish how entrepreneurs can borrow a leaf from his playbook.

Don’t Fear Pouring Gasoline On the Fire

At the peak of the digital boom, Elon Musk was busy sending sparks flying. He founded Zip2 in 1995, a web-based agency that offered business directories and city guides for newspapers.

It only took him four years to reach millionaire status. This company sold for $307 million, and the entrepreneur parted with $22 million.

As more people became fascinated with Silicon Valley, Musk invited the media for a first-hand look at his achievements. He also invited CNN to witness his one-million-dollar McLaren being delivered.

While the public didn’t really grasp the workings of venture capital and Silicon Valley, Musk instantly became a recognizable icon. The media was hungry for a success story, and he gave them the definitive interview.

Entrepreneurs, especially those specializing in complex sectors, should consider tagging along the pop culture wave.

Make Your Business Personal

Contrary to common knowledge that business isn’t personal, it’s difficult to separate Musk’s persona from SpaceX and Tesla.

This is no accident.

The entrepreneur learned the hard way that no one is irreplaceable in business after losing control of his own entities.

Zip2 investors picked Richard Sorkin, a more experienced leader, to position the entity for an acquisition. Later on, he was fired from his CEO position at X.com after the company became PayPal.

With Tesla and SpaceX, Musk combined his business and personal goals. He tied his public persona to both companies’ performance, thus securing his place at the helm. He even changed his Tesla job title from CEO to Technoking.

Everyone is replaceable. Therefore, strive to intertwine your company objectives with your public persona to keep your seat. 

Set Unrealistic Goals

The general rule is that you should concentrate on a specific, clear path to profitability. But Musk seems to have differing views on this, considering the impossible feats he declares to the world. For instance, he plans to get the first humans to Mars before he kicks the bucket.

Entrepreneurs enjoy going against all odds to root for success. As one of the most influential and prosperous global personalities, Musk positions his entities as “Davids” by coming up with seemingly hard-to-beat “Goliaths.”

Entrepreneurial success requires going beyond operational and financial goals. Set objectives that can motivate your teams, engage more clients, or attract investors.

Disrupt the normal by setting unrealistic goals

Disregard Your Lane

Another common notion is that entrepreneurs must stay laser-focused on their objectives to succeed. Yet while Elon Musk works so hard that he sleeps on an uncomfortable office couch, he never lacks time for the spotlight.

Most scientists don’t like the big screen, except Bill Nye.

Musk is also an exception, and you’ll spot him rubbing shoulders with The Big Bang Theory’s Howard, Tony Stark on Iron Man 2, The Simpsons, and South Park. For someone whose aim is to take humankind to the next level, Musk always dedicates some time to crafting his image.

Your role as an entrepreneur or company leader goes beyond keeping daily operations in order. Chase bewildering engagements to propel your organization into the spotlight, and you’ll enjoy more extensive opportunities.  

Speak Your Mind

Elon Musk’s feats range from contrarian to unusual, like naming his newborn daughter Exa Dark Sideræl and son X Æ A-12.

Twitter is also his personal playground, where he uses less than 280 characters to influence the stock prices of his enterprises and others.

From recalling that Bernie Sanders isn’t dead yet to comparing Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, to Hitler, no one can beat Musk’s off-limits record.

His Twitter posts range from random memes to conversations with global leaders to special announcements about SpaceX and Tesla, like the decision not to accept bitcoin.     

Entrepreneurs must remember that all the things they post are a reflection of themselves and their enterprises.

By sharing nerdy memes, Musk affirms that he is part of a culture that a majority of his clients associate with. By offering emergency assistance to war-torn Ukraine, he’s signifying his business goals’ viability. By sharing his business updates, he’s simply telling his staff and the world that he’s in charge.

What seems like a random post is part of a larger media strategy. So reevaluate the signals and image you wish to portray, then engage appropriately.

You’re an Entrepreneur Because You’re a Rule Breaker

You’ve reached your current position in business because you went against a convention, created something new, or did something unanticipated. Next, you should decide the norms meant to be broken and how to bend some rules in your favor.