7 Tips On How To Be More Productive from Elon Musk

Elon Musk gets a lot done.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur and CEO is revolutionizing the spaceflight industry with SpaceX, transforming the world of the electric car at Tesla, and pushing neuroscience and transportation forward at Neuralink and the Boring Company.

As SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said at the 2018 TED Conference, Musk’s goals are a lot to keep up with.

“When Elon says something, you have to pause and not blurt out ‘Well, that’s impossible,'” she said. “You zip it, you think about it, and you find ways to get it done.”

Recently, Musk reportedly announced to Tesla employees that he wants to adopt a 24/7 shift schedule to get production for Tesla’s Model 3 electric car on track. In an email obtained by Jalopnik, Musk explained a number of changes in the works for Tesla.

He’s asking for quite a lot, so at the end of that email, he offered employees a list of his own productivity recommendations. From those tips, it’s clear that Musk is clearly not a fan of meetings, bureaucracy, hierarchy, or any system that impedes immediate communication. He prefers people apply common sense to the task at hand.

He also told employees that if they had any ideas for making work at Tesla better and more efficient, they should let him know.

Here are the seven productivity tips Musk offered in the letter, in his own words.

1. Large-format meetings waste people’s time.

“Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get [rid] of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.”

2. Meetings should be infrequent unless a matter is urgent.

“Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.”

3. If you don’t need to be in a meeting, leave.

“Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

4. Avoid confusing jargon.

“Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software, or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.”

5. Don’t let hierarchical structures make things less efficient.

“Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the ‘chain of command’. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”

6. If you need to get in touch with someone, do so directly.

“A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen.”

7. Don’t waste time following silly rules.

“In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a ‘company rule’ is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.”

 

 

 

Written By: Kevin Loria
Source: Business Insider

Nine Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Have you ever thought about striking out on your own? After all, being your own boss can be an exciting prospect. However, owning a business isn’t for everyone. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must have — or develop — certain personality traits. Here are nine characteristics you should ideally possess to start and run your own business:

1. Motivation

Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic, optimistic and future-oriented. They believe they’ll be successful and are willing to risk their resources in pursuit of profit. They have high energy levels and are sometimes impatient. They are always thinking about their business and how to increase their market share. Are you self-motivated enough to do this, and can you stay motivated for extended periods of time? Can you bounce back in the face of challenges?

2. Creativity and Persuasiveness

Successful entrepreneurs have the creative capacity to recognize and pursue opportunities. They possess strong selling skills and are both persuasive and persistent. Are you willing to promote your business tirelessly and look for new ways to get the word out about your product or service?

3. Versatility 

Company workers can usually rely on a staff or colleagues to provide service or support. As an entrepreneur, you’ll typically start out as a “solopreneur,” meaning you will be on your own for a while. You may not have the luxury of hiring a support staff initially. Therefore, you will end up wearing several different hats, including secretary, bookkeeper and so on. You need to be mentally prepared to take on all these tasks at the beginning. Can you do that?

4. Superb Business Skills 

Entrepreneurs are naturally capable of setting up the internal systems, procedures and processes necessary to operate a business. They are focused on cash flow, sales and revenue at all times. Successful entrepreneurs rely on their business skills, know-how and contacts. Evaluate your current talents and professional network. Will your skills, contacts and experience readily transfer to the business idea you want to pursue?

5. Risk Tolerance

Launching any entrepreneurial venture is risky. Are you willing to assume that risk? You can reduce your risk by thoroughly researching your business concept, industry and market. You can also test your concept on a small scale. Can you get a letter of intent from prospective customers to purchase? If so, do you think customers would actually go through with their transaction?

6. Drive 

As an entrepreneur, you are in the driver’s seat, so you must be proactive in your approaches to everything. Are you a doer — someone willing to take the reins — or would you rather someone else do things for you?

7. Vision

One of your responsibilities as founder and head of your company is deciding where your business should go. That requires vision. Without it, your boat will be lost at sea. Are you the type of person who looks ahead and can see the big picture?

8. Flexibility and Open-Mindedness

While entrepreneurs need a steadfast vision and direction, they will face a lot of unknowns. You will need to be ready to tweak any initial plans and strategies. New and better ways of doing things may come along as well. Can you be open-minded and flexible in the face of change?

9. Decisiveness

As an entrepreneur, you won’t have room for procrastination or indecision. Not only will these traits stall progress, but they can also cause you to miss crucial opportunities that could move you toward success. Can you make decisions quickly and seize the moment?

 

 

 

Written By: Ruchira Agrawal
Source: Monster

Here’s Why Tony Robbins Tells Millennials to Buy a House, Not a Home

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For generations past, home ownership was a significant rite of passage that signaled stability, commitment, and, often, prosperity.

But, in this as in so many other cases, millennials are different.

As of 2015, adults under age 35 made up 19 percent of U.S. households but less than 10 percent of homeowners, according to a report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. In fact, in 2015 home ownership for that group fell to a historic low of 31 percent.

Entrepreneur and bestselling author Tony Robbins says that, while millennials might be missing out on the social upsides of home ownership, real estate is not the best investment they could be making

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“One of the weakest performers [is] your own personal real estate, because it doesn’t provide much income,” Robbins says. “It’s an inflation hedge. You do a little better than inflation, and you can have your own home, so there’s a psychological, emotional benefit.”

Instead, millennials in a position to buy property should be considering how to do so in a way that will provide them additional cash flow, he says.

“If you can own real estate, real estate with an income is the one [form of] real estate that’s more valuable,” says Robbins.

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Opinions on the imperative of millennial home ownership vary.

Self-made millionaire Grant Cardone tells CNBC that home owners are forced to continue to spend unceasingly, and that he regrets buying a house at age 30.

“Unless you have 20 million bucks in the bank, in cash, you have no business buying a house,” says Cardone.

In personal finance classic “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” author Robert Kiyosaki notes that houses should be viewed as a liability, as opposed to an asset, and points out that it’s not a given that a home will appreciate in value.

“I am not saying don’t buy a house. What I am saying is that you should understand the difference between an asset and a liability,” Kiyosaki writes. “When I want a bigger house, I first buy assets that will generate the cash flow to pay for the house.”

Robbins emphasizes that real estate investing doesn’t need to entail keys and a welcome mat.

“You can [invest] through a REIT. You don’t have to buy everything, you get a piece of all these things,” Robbins says.

But whether millennials choose to spend their nest egg on a nest, or begin focusing on a portfolio instead, Robbins says the worst mistake is making no investment at all: “The most important thing, I think, for millennials, is to get in the game.”

 

 

Written By: Kathryn Dill
Source: CNBC

 

Entrepreneurship: The Costs aren’t so Black & White

© (Getty Images)
© (Getty Images)

With your own product or service already in mind, starting your own business might seem like a piece of cake! However, in reality, it is not so easy considering how costly getting your own business up and running actually is. Becoming your own boss entails a significant investment. So before you dive into your future as an entrepreneur, make sure that you are aware of all of the expenses that are attached to this life-changing venture.

First, there are the license costs. Depending on what your business is going to be, there will be specific permits that you will have to apply for. For example, there are LLC licenses, fire department permits, county permits, health permits, and even alcohol permits. On top of all of the costs to purchase the permits, you might need to spend money to hire professionals like lawyers or accountants in order to obtain them. So be sure that you are thoroughly educated about what permits and licenses you will need for your particular industry, and factor in the total costs of them into your budget!

Just as a precaution for the unexpected, you will also need to insure your business as well. It is not a must-have, however, it is a good safety blanket just so you don’t lose all of your hard work over a freak accident. And these insurances entail a large chunk of money! Talk to an insurance professional about the specific insurance type that is suitable for your industry and become knowledgeable of the policies of your insurance just so you are not paying for what you don’t need.

Taxes already haunt you enough in your everyday life, however prepare for even more of a burden once you start your own company. As soon as you open your own company, you will be charged with a self-employment tax. And the downside of this tax is that it is required even if there is no revenue funneling into your pockets. Therefore, you need to be aware to deduct the amount of tax you need to pay for your business from your earnings when you are looking at how much money you have profited through your product or service, and allocate that amount to your business’ budget.

Finally, the costliest aspect of starting your own business is: time. As cheesy as it sounds, time is, in reality, money! Being your own boss isn’t all fun and games all the time, but it requires you sitting down and completing tedious tasks as well. In order to be well prepared as you start your venture, you need to develop the patience and willpower to pay your bills on time and keep track of payroll. There will be some give and take with your schedule and it might even interfere with your personal life, so set your priorities early on and allocate your time accordingly.

All of these are just some of the factors that paint a more realistic picture as to the costs of running your own business. Many people may dream of being their own boss. But before you accomplish this dream, be sure you consider all the costs that are needed make your entrepreneur wishes come true!

(Source: U.S.News & World Report, SBA, Entrepreneur)

10 Secrets You’d Never Guess About ‘Shark Tank’

© Michael Desmond/ABC/Getty Images
© Michael Desmond/ABC/Getty Images
© Michael Desmond/ABC/Getty Images

Most fans know by now that none of the entrepreneurs who pitch their businesses on “Shark Tank” are actors, the products they pitch are real, and that Mark Cuban and the other sharks really do invest their own money.

Still, there are many aspects of the hit business-themed series—including what it’s like to be a shark—that end up on the cutting-room floor. Click ahead for 10 things that may surprise you.

1. ‘SHARK TANK’ GOT ITS START IN JAPAN.

The first precursor to “Shark Tank” was a reality show that debuted in Japan in 2001 called “Money Tigers.” In 2005 a production company in the United Kingdom licensed the concept to create a British version called “Dragon’s Den.” That show spawned a Canadian spin-off that both Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary took part in before they became “sharks” in the U.S. series, which reality-show producer Mark Burnett developed in 2009.

Other countries with their own versions of the show include the Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Spain and Ukraine.

2. GETTING ON ‘SHARK TANK’ IS HARDER THAN GETTING INTO HARVARD.

Of the 45,000 people who applied to be on the show in 2014, less than 1 percent got the opportunity to pitch their businesses to the sharks. Out of that group, many entrepreneurs never saw themselves on TV, as only the pitches that make for good reality TV see the light of day.

3. ‘SHARK TANK’ WAS NOT POPULAR AT FIRST.

The first season of “Shark Tank” didn’t even break the top 100 prime-time shows in terms of average viewership. It was only after Mark Cuban joined in Season 2 that the series began to grow its audience. Season 5 attracted an average of more than 8 million weekly viewers, up from 4.8 million during the first season.

4. THE MAJORITY OF SHOW PITCHES NEVER MAKE IT ON TV.

Most pitches take about an hour before a deal is made or all the sharks opt out of investing, but each segment is edited down to just 10 minutes. Some of the worst pitches get dismissed in as little as 20 minutes.

The longest pitch in the show’s history, according to Cuban, was Michael Tseng’s microwave-safe food cover PlateTopper. The pitch lasted two and a half hours before Lori Greiner invested $90,000 for 8 percent of the company.

5. THE SHARKS LOVE TALKING TRASH—EVEN WHEN NOT IN THE TANK.

All the sharks have friendly relationships, but that doesn’t mean they pass up opportunities to throw each other under the bus.

“Kevin [O’Leary] is a jerk on camera, and he’s a bigger jerk off camera,” Mark Cuban joked at Inc. magazine’s 2014 GrowCo conference. “I’m sure they say the same things about me. Robert [Herjavec] is a great guy, but he’s so syrupy. And he’s so naive, too.”

6. THE SIMPLEST IDEAS OFTEN MAKE THE MOST MONEY.

While many entrepreneurs come to the tank with a mobile app or other tech product, some entrepreneurs have scored big in the marketplace with remarkably simple consumer goods.

Screen-door repair product ScreenMend, for example, went from $4,000 in sales to more than $1 million in a single year. All-purpose cleaning tool ScrubDaddy has done $50 million in sales, according to Greiner, making it the most successful product in “Shark Tank” history.

“If you have one genius product and good entrepreneurs, you can turn that one product into a huge success,” she said.

7. THE SHARKS BACK OUT OF A LOT OF DEALS.

The agreements made on the show between sharks and entrepreneurs are nonbinding handshake deals, and many of them never close. Why not? Entrepreneurs have been known to fudge some of their company’s financial figures or make false claims, like they have a patent on a product.

When the sharks look under the hood of the companies they’ve agreed to invest in, they frequently don’t like what they see and back out.

8. ‘SHARK TANK’ ENTREPRENEURS ALSO BACK OUT OF DEALS.

The percentage of entrepreneurs who experience seller’s remorse after making a deal on the show has grown during the past few seasons, according to Robert Herjavec. “A lot of people come on and change their mind,” he said. “I would say 90 percent of the time it’s the entrepreneur [who backs out].”

During the most recent season, for example, entrepreneurs Ellie Brown and Becca Nelson agreed to sell 100 percent of their wearable fabric sticker company evREwares to Mark Cuban for $200,000 before changing their minds and deciding not to sell.

9. ‘SHARK TANK’ PROVIDES A BOOST FOR COMPANIES.

Entrepreneurs can expect to see a spike in sales after their episode airs, even if they leave the tank empty-handed. This has attracted what are known as “Shark Tank gold diggers”: entrepreneurs who have no intention of selling a piece of their company but come on the show just for the publicity.

“We’re getting better at spotting the people who are obvious about it,” Herjavec said.

10. BEING A SHARK CAN BE GRUELING.

If the sharks always appear hungry when an entrepreneur offers them food, it’s because they usually are. Show tapings last all day, and sessions typically go for 10 days straight. In that time, the sharks will hear roughly a hundred pitches.

“We’re there 12 hours a day,” said Herjavec. “We’re hungry, and we’re miserable.”

Written by Graham Winfrey of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)