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Elon Musk’s six secrets to business success

Source | | Justin Rowlatt | BBC News

Elon Musk has just become the richest person in the world, overtaking Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur’s net worth has crossed $185bn (£136bn) after an increase in the share price of the electric car company.

So, what is the secret of his success? A few years back I spent almost an hour discussing exactly this with him. To mark his new milestone we decided to dust the interview off and share it with you. So here is Elon Musk’s guide to success in business.

1. It isn’t about the money

This is absolutely central to Elon Musk’s attitude to business.

When I interviewed him in 2014 he said he didn’t know how rich he was.

“It’s not as if there is a pile of cash somewhere,” he said. “It’s really just that I have a certain number of votes in Tesla, and SpaceX, and SolarCity, and the marketplace has value on those votes.”

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESTesla Model X 90D full electric luxury crossover SUV car on display at Brussels Expo on January 9, 2020 in Brussels
Image captionA Tesla Model X 90D on display at a trade show in Brussels.

He doesn’t have anything against the pursuit of wealth “if it’s done in sort of an ethical and good manner”, but said it just isn’t what drives him.

The approach certainly seems to be working.

The real-life inspiration for Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark of Iron Man fame was worth perhaps $10bn when we spoke in 2014.

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