每日跟讀#597: In a Close-Up View, The Making of a Mogul
A user of Quora, a question-and-answer website, recently posed the question: “How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson?”
An unlikely individual responded, quietly offering some telling insights that have created a bit of a stir among the mogul-cognoscenti and beyond.
The individual is Mr. Musk’s former wife, Justine Musk, who was married to the Tesla and Space X chief from 2000 to 2008.
Ms. Musk, an author, had a ringside view of one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen.
“Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things,” Ms. Musk wrote. “Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success.’ These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way,” she added, noting, “Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.”
She boiled down the one ingredient for extreme success: “Be obsessed. Be obsessed. Be obsessed.”
But Ms. Musk wasn’t being critical. “Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic,” she wrote, “so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.”
Money is not the first aim, but a byproduct of their maniacal focus. “Shift your focus away from what you want (a billion dollars) and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs,” Ms. Musk wrote. “It helps to have an ego, but you must be in service to something bigger if you are to inspire the people you need to help you.”
In another post, she did address how money – billionaire money – is thought about. “Money is rarely just money,” she wrote. “Sometimes it stands in for love or self-esteem or freedom or a sense of control over your destiny (especially if you lacked these things in childhood).”
“Sometimes it is a way of controlling others, including family members, because you don’t know how to connect to them in any other way,” she added. “Money can also serve as a scorecard to indicate how well you are doing, the impact you are having, if you are winning. Sometimes it’s not so much the money that matters, but the win is everything – particularly when you are invested heart and soul in your mission.”
Ms. Musk said the reaction to her posting was a surprise: “I had no idea it would blow up the way it did.” She has received hundreds of comments and many emails.
She insisted that “I wasn’t specifically talking about Elon” and said she was “uneasy” that people might be reading too much into her words. Still, she said that “Elon is a fascinating character.”
Ms. Musk called herself a “watcher,” not an “insider,” saying, “I’ve been on the edge of it for a long time.”
One email she received asked, “Does Elon have any hobbies?”
No, she said. His job is his hobby.
“The nature of these things is so all consuming. Unless you see that up close it is hard to understand,” she said, adding that “ ‘obsession’ has a bad rap.”
And what does Mr. Musk think about his former wife’s reflections? According to Ms. Musk, she got an email from him: “Well said,” he wrote.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/278632/web/