Updated: Apr 17
Musk seems like a go-to-guy to learn how to fail successfully. Failure is probably the least of his worries, rather a necessity.
In his own words: "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
Musk effectively manages his three companies, five children, and even makes time to think about the future. With a passionate and innovative billionaire like Musk, only time will tell what he has in store for us however success for Elon was never that easy...
Ousted from PayPal
Musk founded X.com, an online-payment company which went on to become PayPal. In April 2000, Musk was made the CEO of the company. Soon after, Musk got into an argument with the then CTO over which operating system to go forward with, Windows or Unix. The disagreement eventually resulted into his ousting as CEO from PayPal, while he was on his honeymoon.
While on a holiday to his native country South Africa, he experienced a near-death experience. He suffered from cerebral malaria, a complication of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, which has a 20 percent mortality rate even if treated. It took him six months to recover and he lost 45 lbs during that period. He has often stated that the ‘near-miss’ gave him a renewed focus and energy. The experience has not affected his spirit, and certainly not his sense of humour. His Google+ profile reads- Bragging rights: Not dead yet. He even jokingly once said,
"That’s my lesson for taking a vacation: vacation will kill you."
Son’s sudden death
Seeing your child die is possibly the worst thing that can happen to anyone. Musk had his first son with his long time girlfriend and first wife, Justine Wilson, in May 2002. They named him Nevada Alexander. But he died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at the age of 10 weeks. By the time paramedics got there, he had been deprived of oxygen for so long that he was brain dead. Musk never speaks about the incident.
Musk talks about knowing what you want and to understand your true purpose. Don't just be talented and interested - be passionate. With passion you will never give up because the fun is in the trying, the process....perhaps the journey is more valuable than the result!