Elon Musk gained notoriety after emerging from relative obscurity in the technological sector and changing the world with each social media post.
After he tweeted about it, Dogecoin’s value surged by 1,500%. Millions of users switched from the well-known messaging service WhatsApp to Signal after Musk famously tweeted, “Use Signal.” The tweet caused the share price of Signal Advance, a completely unrelated firm, to rise 12,000 %.
Like Musk, I believe that influence is the ultimate manifestation of power. How did Musk become so influential in society, and what can we learn from him?
Elon Musk’s rise to fame and power
Musk rose to prominence through a variety of products and achievements over the years. When he was in his twenties, he became a multimillionaire after selling his start-up, Zip2. He later co-founded X.com, which became Paypal.
Despite the fact that he founded SpaceX in 2002, he did not make headlines until 2012. SpaceX successfully launched the first commercial vehicle into space and to the International Space Station in May of that year, catapulting Musk into the spotlight. Here’s what makes Musk so powerful — and how to emulate him.
He’s a thinker.
Elon Musk is well-known for setting and exceeding lofty goals. He and his brother Kimball used Zip2 to create an online map that highlighted nearby businesses.
It’s a concept that many of us take for granted nowadays, but it was unheard of at the time. Musk’s X.com enabled people to transfer money online for the first time in history. Musk has a proven track record of not only setting, but also exceeding, ground-breaking goals. So when Musk says SpaceX will land on Mars in 15 years or that Tesla will release a flying car, we believe him.
He’s an expert in his field.
It’s no surprise Musk has been able to achieve his goals: He’s dedicated his life to mastering technology. He began studying computers at the age of ten, and by the age of twelve, he had created and sold a computer game.
He majored in business, physics, energy physics, and economics in college. He has continued to learn and grow as a result of that foundational knowledge throughout his various roles. Musk has spent his entire life studying technology in order to improve his inventions.
Choose a focus area and invest in your education. People prefer to hear from experts rather than the average Joe. People will take you seriously if you demonstrate that you are serious about your specialty.
He is approachable and willing to share his story.
Musk’s accessibility is due in part to the nature of his work. Because he works in technology, his new projects and advancements are much more likely to make headlines. Aside from that, he invites people to join his world by connecting with them directly on Twitter. According to one study, 65 percent of participants felt strongly attached to multiple celebrities.
Elon Musk is odd, but that is what makes him relatable. He’s made headlines for holding unusual earnings calls and for assisting in the viral spread of a sheep image. This demonstrates two things: He’s flawed, but he’s well-versed in internet culture. By revealing his quirks and flaws, he becomes more relatable to the general public.
Be truthful as you share your journey online. Nobody wants to watch a fabricated highlight reel. People are more likely to invest in what you offer if you demonstrate that you are a person, not just a brand.
He has the best of intentions.
Musk famously stated that while in college, he considered what he wanted to devote his life’s work to. Finally, his vision for himself was to “enable humanity’s future.” That’s a noble goal, and Musk appears to be working toward it.
Musk is working hard to provide people with the resources they need to finally abandon fossil fuels, from his solar power company to Tesla’s electric vehicles.
While it’s great to be an entrepreneur with financial goals, having a strong moral foundation to back those goals is essential for gaining support from others.
Elon Musk’s power is the product of a number of things, including extraordinary knowledge combined with lofty ambitions, a desire to collaborate, and an openness about his shortcomings. It has all changed since he has positioned himself as a well-liked thinking leader.