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62 Motivational Elon Musk Quotes on Success and Leadership

62 Motivational Elon Musk Quotes on Success and Leadership

Whether we’re talking about online payments, science, technology or space travel, the name Elon Musk must pop up in your mind.

Referred to as the Nikola Tesla of our generation, Elon Musk is an entrepreneur, business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor. This guy definitely knows his way with money. He became a multimillionaire in his late 20s, when he sold his first start-up company, Zip2. Musk is revered for his revolutionary leadership style and his innovative practices, which are two skills that definitely makes Elon Musk quoteworthy.

RELATED: Elon Musk Now Owns Twitter, and 6 Other Facts - Is He the IRL Tony Stark?

The founder of SolarCity, Tesla, SpaceX and, now, Twitter, Elon Musk believes in humanity and wants to change the world, and this is not just wishful thinking. The man is actually working on reducing global warming and establishing a human colony on Mars to prevent human extinction. What more proof do you need to believe that everything you set your mind to is possible?

Here are 62 of the top Elon Musk quotes to make you start working on your dreams, no matter how impossible they might seem right now.

Elon Musk Quotes About Success


"The first step is to establish that something is possible then probability will occur."

"When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."

"I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself."

"Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster."

"If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not."

"Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."

"Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up."

"You have to say, ‘Well, why did it succeed where others did not?'"

"Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80- to 100-hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100-hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve."

 Elon Musk Quotes About Leadership

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Source: @elonmusk

"If you're a co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed… No task is too menial."

"People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working."

"I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens."

"I don’t spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems."

"I always invest my own money in the companies that I create. I don’t believe in the whole thing of just using other people’s money. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to ask other people to invest in something if I’m not prepared to do so myself."

"I’ve actually not read any books on time management."

 Elon Musk Quotes About Growing a Company

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Photo by Tesla Fans Schweiz on Unsplash

"I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done."

"I think the best way to attract venture capital is to try and come up with a demonstration of whatever product or service it is and ideally take that as far as you can. Just see if you can sell that to real customers and start generating some momentum. The further along you can get with that, the more likely you are to get funding."

"I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to sell a company."

"Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive, and determination of the people behind it as the product they sell."

"There are really two things that have to occur in order for a new technology to be affordable to the mass market. One is you need economies of scale. The other is you need to iterate on the design. You need to go through a few versions."

"A company is a group organized to create a product or service, and it is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. I just happen to be the face of the companies."

"I do think there is a lot of potential if you have a compelling product and people are willing to pay a premium for that. I think that is what Apple has shown. You can buy a much cheaper cell phone or laptop, but Apple’s product is so much better than the alternative, and people are willing to pay that premium."

Elon Musk Quotes About Talent

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Image: SpaceX

"Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sports team, the team that has the best individual player will often win, but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ."

"I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous, new technology where you see it, and you’re like, ‘Wow, how did that even happen? How is that possible?'"

"Really pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends… Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful."

"When somebody has a breakthrough innovation, it is rarely one little thing. Very rarely, is it one little thing. It’s usually a whole bunch of things that collectively amount to a huge innovation."

"It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive."

Elon Musk Quotes About Risk-Taking


"I take the position that I’m always to some degree wrong, and the aspiration is to be less wrong."

"There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering."

"When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked."

"It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket."

Elon Musk Quotes That Provide Life Lessons

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Photo by Lazaro Rodriguez on Unsplash

"You shouldn’t do things differently just because they’re different. They need to be… better."

"I'd like my fear emotion to be less because it's very distracting and fries my nervous system."

"It’s very important to like the people you work with, otherwise life [and] your job is gonna be quite miserable."

Image: Twitter (2022)

"As much as possible, avoid hiring MBAs. MBA programs don’t teach people how to create companies."

"It is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary."

"Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution."

"If something has to be designed and invented, and you have to figure out how to ensure that the value of the thing you create is greater than the cost of the inputs, then that is probably my core skill."

"I always have optimism, but I’m realistic. It was not with the expectation of great success that I started Tesla or SpaceX … It’s just that I thought they were important enough to do anyway."

"Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson. Life is too short for long-term grudges."

Funny Elon Musk Quotes

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Image: @elonmusk

"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact."

"Everybody around here has slides in their lobbies. I’m actually wondering about putting in a roller coaster — like a functional roller coaster at the factory in Fremont. You’d get in, and it would take you around [the] factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? … It would probably be really expensive, but I like the idea of it."

"[When Ford blocked Tesla’s Model, Musk said,] Like why did you go steal Tesla’s E? Like you’re some sort of fascist army marching across the alphabet, some sort of Sesame Street robber?"

"So next I went to Russia three times, in late 2001 and 2002, to see if I could negotiate the purchase of two ICBMs [missiles]. Without the nukes, obviously."

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Image: @elonmusk

"Where are the aliens?’ Really odd that we see no sign of them. Btw, please don’t mention the pyramids. Stacking stone blocks is not evidence of an advanced civilization. The rumor that I’m building a spaceship to get back to my home planet Mars is totally untrue. The ancient Egyptians were amazing, but if aliens built the pyramids, they would’ve left behind a computer or something."

"I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know."

"In the distant future, people may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine."

"We could definitely make a flying car — but that’s not the hard part… The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy."

"We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China — if we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book."

Elon Musk Quotes for Entrepreneurs

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Image: SpaceX

"People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else."

"If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion."

"When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."

"My biggest mistake is probably] weighing too much on someone's talent and not someone's personality."

"My motivation for all my companies has been to be involved in something that I thought would have a significant impact on the world."

"The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative."

"What makes innovative thinking happen?… I think it’s really a mindset. You have to decide."

"I really like negative feedback, because it makes me aware of my mistakes to correct them immediately and learn from them at the same time."

"The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design."

"I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better."

"Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death."

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Image: Daniel Oberhaus (2018)

"If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion."

"Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product."

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