On the 7th of January, 2021, one of the world’s best-humoured entrepreneurs was announced as the world’s richest man. Elon Musk who had a major hand in different companies including Tesla, SpaceX, and a host of others, had a net worth higher than $185bn, according to the BBC. This put him ahead of Amazon giant – Jeff Bezos – who had had a monopoly on the title since 2017.
Of course, for those in the finance world, this development wasn’t much of development at all. For them, it was just about time. For everyone else, however, it seemed to be a bit of a shocker. This is especially so considering the fact that less than ten years ago, in an article posted on Forbes, Elon Musk was only worth about $2bn.
If you do the math, you’ll realize that he has grown more than $100bn in less than a decade – the time it takes the average person to pay off their student debts in applicable countries. For any human being, that is a lot of growth. Even for someone as rich as Jeff Bezos, $100bn is a lot of money and losing it would be too much of a horror.
However, when the announcement came out on Twitter and Elon Musk was tagged, the strangest thing happened.
Instead of giving one of those cliché speeches or ignoring the announcement in what could be interpreted as faux humility, Elon Musk simply replied, “How strange.” Then, right afterwards, he tweeted again, “Well, back to work.”
Needless to say, this wouldn’t have been the reaction of a lot of people across the world.
What does that teach us?
At the risk of sounding like a cliché motivational speaker who likely has more problems than quotes in his jotter, there is a lot we can learn from Elon Musk.
Of course, many believe that he was joking. But if his “how strange” comment is anything to go by, then it’s evident that he wasn’t spending all his time paying attention to how much money he had or who he was ahead of. In fact, it gave off the impression that he too was alien to the information, something that isn’t often the case with world billionaires.
Besides that, his next comment was perhaps the most unorthodox of all. The casual “well, back to work” only proves one thing – he is out to provide value to the world. Without a doubt, his companies are already doing this on earth and outside the earth with Tesla cars and SpaceX rockets.
However, despite all his achievements, financial and otherwise, he still deemed it fit to continue working not just to earn money – if we must dare take the liberty of assuming that. Instead, he deemed it fit to continue working to create value in the world he is in.
This is what has set Elon Musk, and many other billionaires apart. They are constantly willing to work towards the solution to a problem, hardly ever getting distracted by the money they make in the process. Perhaps, we can all take a cue or two from him and whisper under our breaths the next time we get raises at work, “how strange.” Perhaps, we can choose instead to chase our passions aggressively until money means nothing to us because, in reality, that is probably the only way we can truly become wealthy.