Elon Musk on starting a company and facing failures

Video Transcript:

Starting a company is like staring at the abyss and eating glass, and there’s some truth to that. The staring into the abyss part is that you are gonna be constantly facing the extermination of the company, because most start-ups fail. It’s like 90% ~ 99% of start-ups fail. That’s the staring into the abyss part. You’re constantly saying, “if I don’t get this right, the company will die.” Which can be quite stressful.

The eating glass part is, you’ve got to work on the problems that the company needs you to work on, not the problems you want to work on. So you end up working on problems that you really wish you weren’t working on, so that’s the eating glass part.

On the big picture, you know where you’re generally heading for, and the actual path is gonna be some sort of zig-zaggy thing in that direction. Try not to deviate too far from the path that you want to be on, but you’re gonna have to do that to some degree.

You’ll hear something, “Well, I feel fear about this, and therefore I shouldn’t do it.” It’s normal to feel fear. There would have to be something mentally wrong if you didn’t feel fear. I feel it quite strongly. But there are just times when something is important enough, you believe in it enough that you do it in spite of the fear.

FACE YOUR FEARS

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