Elon Musk always says, “anything is possible” and he’s proved it over and over again. These five mistakes that he has made and has lost the most time and money on, and has made his entrepreneur trip a lot harder. He found that success came to him a lot harder from not doing these things – the good news is he shares his wisdom so that others that want to have greater success can learn and grow more quickly.
1. Partnering With the Wrong People / Partnering Up
There is no reason to partner with anyone unless someone brings a tremendous amount of value to your business or organization. You don’t want to partner with friends or family, it’s not necessary to throw a 20-year relationship away over a small business venture idea.
Elon started a company and was running out of money so he partnered up with a family member that said they would invest, they just tagged along for the ride until the business finally crumbled. Another company he started he was friends with a woman that he had thought she was the best thing ever – he didn’t do his due diligence and partnered up with her. After an entire year, nothing came of their partnership.
2. When Partnering Check Them Out Thoroughly
Again, you only want to go into business with someone that can add real value to your business. Was this potential partner doing their craft 6-months ago? What does their criminal record say? Have you spoken to their previous employer as to what kind of work they provide and what their working character is?
Get to understand who this person is. Are you checking their social media accounts? What type of persona are they projecting? You want to know who you are about to put in all your energy and time with. You don’t want to be cutting a check to someone who is not putting in the time that you do or is just riding on the wave of your own success.
This goes for hiring employees as well. Even if you get very excited about working with someone, take your time to consider it carefully (at least a few days). You don’t need to make a snap decision if something will be costing you $5k – $10k a month take your time and make a good decision by fully accessing the situation.
3. Jumping the Gun
Starting the work before you are really ready. Elon had a really good month in one of his early businesses, so good in fact that he hired more team members. In the months that followed the revenue was not consistently coming into his business so he ended up losing a lot of money by paying his employees when he didn’t have it to pay them. He found that he hired a bigger team than he actually needed.
Part of this has to do with your mindset and the deals that you are making. Are you in conversations with some good prospects? Do not think the deal is done until the contract is signed and the money has been transferred to your bank account. Many business owners slow down their momentum because they count on deals that are in the works but never come to fruition. It’s important to always be hustling and have leads in your pipeline to convert to real customers.
4. Have More Than One Bank Account
There are times when you may get a chargeback for a credit card purchase and the account could be frozen. Or someone may steal funds from an account and the bank could put the account on hold. It’s important to have various sources of collecting funds such as two sources of credit card processing online.
If someone is ready to pay you the last thing you want to do is be stuck trying to fix a bank account that is frozen for 48 hours, you want to keep moving in order to work with the customer. Having multiple business accounts and is the best to go and keep track of them. The people that are successful in life keep moving forward even when things are going wrong…they keep progressing.
Do not miss your window of opportunity to work with someone because you cannot accept their payment. People can change their minds quickly about doing business with you if you don’t seal the deal. Elon has seen it time and time again – one day someone will be red hot for his offer and the next day he cannot get them on the phone. Or ever again for that matter.
5. Paying the Least
You don’t always want to pay the least amount of money just to save a tiny bit. When you hire a company that beats out everyone else’s prices, there’s a reason why they are that cheap. They more than likely will not deliver the results you are looking for or don’t have the manpower to give you what you’re paying for.
Elon talks about how he sees a lot of companies hire a really cheap website developer and they end up paying for three more to do the work or complete one website. In the end, it ends up costing them more than if they had hired just the one competent company that was charging more in the first place because they do the work the right way.
People that charge more offer better value to you. Just think of McDonald’s – yes they are dirt cheap compared to the steakhouse but in the end, if you are filling up on all that processed junk and grease you’ll get health problems too. If you eat the good, quality food you’ll be better off in the long run. Invest in the best if you want to be the best. Do not be cheap on running your service or in terms of your brand. No one wants to refer a business that looks cheap.
Invest in Yourself
The better you look the more someone else will invest in you. Let’s take a headshot for example. Once people see you looking like a million bucks they’ll want to invest in you too.
Last Thing You Don’t Want To Overlook
Taking care of yourself is THE most important thing. Sleep is vital – you cannot operate at 100% if you’ve got only 70% of the sleep that you need. You don’t want to go into a deal if you’re tired or out of shape, or just not looking healthy. People like to work with happy, energetic, healthy-looking people. So make sure you eat, drink enough water, and get enough exercise. Exercise will circulate the blood and you’ll get more oxygen. Even if you are making money it won’t fix your bad health if you aren’t taking care of yourself. It will also affect how you think as well. This will affect your entire business too.
Eat good organic food. If you think it’s too expensive, try having health issues, those are really expensive. If you fix your eating and exercise habits you’ll be successful.
To conclude, make sure you are making good overall decisions that will not lead to your demise. Do not pick bad partners, check out who you’ll be working with, have multiple bank accounts so you can be financially thriving, do not pay the least amount of money for your business or personal life, and take care of you! If these are good lessons for Elon Musk they are good enough for you too!