Yes, Elon Musk is Crazy

SpaceX_logo2I read an article recently that said Elon Musk asked his biographer, Ashlee Vance, if he thinks he, Musk, is insane.

My answer, if Elon Musk asked me, would be yes. I think Elon Musk is insane, just as I think Ted Turner was insane, and Richard Branson was insane.

I don’t mean that in a negative way. I don’t think they need to be committed. I use insane in a positive, you-have-to-be-crazy-to-do-what-you-did, kind of way. As I lay out in my book What Next, you don’t go from a billboard advertising company to pioneering 24 hour cable news with CNN, as Ted Turner did, unless you’re a little crazy. You also don’t do that in a straight line. It takes twists and turns as you find the right path and go around or over obstacles.

Entrepreneurs hear that word, crazy, a lot. Imagine you said to friends or family that you were going to start a rocket company. Even if you had hundreds of millions of dollars, I think you would be called crazy. No, I know you would be called crazy because that’s exactly what Elon Musk’s friends called him.

But did you miss the big revelation in his story? Elon Musk had no expectation of making money at this venture. It was his passion and belief in something bigger that compelled him. In my previous post about this video called Crap Filter, Elon says that you have to be compelled to start a company or be the boss because it’s not easy. What is compelling you to do the things you do, and are you responding or pushing it off for later?

I think a lot of people confuse the word crazy with confident and compelled. Elon Musk is not crazy in the sense that we think of it, he’s just crazy enough to confidently follow through on what compels him.

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I’m Crazy – So What!

It’s only crazy until it works. That’s the title of the second chapter in my book, What Next A Proactive Approach to Success, and it’s fitting since, for me, writing a book seems, well, crazy – who the hell am I – what makes me qualified to write a book?

The fact is that we are all qualified to do whatever we want as long as we recognize that success can’t be gained overnight, that it takes work (lots of work), and that you really, REALLY have to want it.

Deep down I’m embarrassed to tell people about the book. There’s a little voice in my head telling me “you’re nobody, how are you going to convince them that this book, the idea of “what next” is a good idea? You have nothing to offer!”

If I really want it though, I have to overcome that fear, that embarrassment and be willing to tell everyone I meet about this project. Well that’s exactly what I’ve started to do.

Yes it seems crazy that I’ve written a book but it’s only crazy until it works!

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