Sunday Snippet: Elon Musk of Tesla Motors

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

Dare to dream. Nothing is impossible. And there are very few people alive today that embody that kind of philosophy any better than one Mr. Elon Musk. You could say that he is a real life Tony Stark.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, the now Los Angeles resident is simultaneously one of the most ambitious and one of the most humble businessmen in the world. He was the original founder of, which merged with Confinity in March 2000 to become what we know today as PayPal. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors, widely regarded as a leader in the electric vehicles industry. But that’s not enough. He’s also the founder of SpaceX and the Chairman of SolarCity. And most recently, he has this vision of the Hyperloop supersonic transportation system to connect LA and San Francisco.

While I am sure he is doing just fine for himself financially, it seems that his greater goal is for the betterment of mankind in one way or another. He could have gotten into gas and oil if he wanted to be an energy provider, but he got involved with SolarCity to install solar energy systems. He’s also working to expand our horizons with the SpaceX Grasshopper, among countless other projects. He’s a very busy guy.

When you dream so big and set your goals so high, you’re going to have more than your fair share of naysayers. You’re going to have your critics and your opponents. A more stubborn entrepreneur and inventor would ignore all that noise and trudge on, but that’s not how Musk operates. He takes in this constructive criticism — indeed, as the quote above indicates, he solicits it — and he extracts whatever value he can get from it. This allows him to improve his creations and ultimately gives him a greater chance at success.

Aside from PayPal, his projects are hardly mainstream. Many of us dream of owning and driving a Tesla Roadster, but that’s an unlikely purchase for most of us. However, his advances at Tesla and at SolarCity further demonstrate that you can indeed have a fast and viable car that does not rely on fossil fuels. And his ongoing efforts at SpaceX put affordable (relatively speaking) space tourism within reach.

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

Do better. Be better. Don’t only be unsatisfied with the status quo; figure out how you can improve the situation for everyone.