Elon Musk is an entrepreneur who has been in the news recently but someone you may not know much about. He started his entrepreneurial career at the ripe old age of 12 by creating a simple video game and selling it for a profit.
Since that early success, he has gone on to found Paypal (the popular online payment system), Tesla Motors (the first viable production electric car), SpaceX (one of the largest space exploration companies in the world), and Solar City (one of the largest solar panel companies in the world).
So what was the key to his success? Early success.
The victory Elon had with his video game was a small but important step for his success. Success changes your beliefs about what is possible. This belief creates a connection in the brain that helps you realize success really is possible.
Not everyone can be an Elon Musk, but we can all learn from him. His story teaches the importance of momentum. Momentum feeds off confidence. And confidence comes from actually accomplishing a goal. Confidence is the belief in your own ability to succeed at something.
Some claim that confidence comes from a mental state or a feeling inside, but it is actually a belief. Fake confidence can come from visualization, standing in front of the mirror and repeating over and over again how confident you are. But that kind of confidence has a tendency to dissipate quickly at the first sign of a roadblock or resistance.
True inner confidence, on the other hand, comes from knowing you can succeed. That can only come from having past successful experiences — like the 12-year-old Elon Musk and his video game.
Why is this important?
Because confidence (or lack thereof) affects many parts of your life including:
The list can go on and on. Confidence has a big role in life.
So where does confidence come from, and where can you get more of it?
Confidence can come from being around supportive people who are successful. It can be as contagious as lethargy and negativity.
Confidence can be learned from a teacher or authority figure who has been where you want to go. It can be earned through mastering a skill or trade.
But the most important source of confidence comes from your past experiences. Ironically, confidence can even come from failures if those failures didn’t stop the momentum of moving forward.
If you want to develop confidence in any area of your life, business or personal, your first objective should be to get your first success as quickly as possible. That first success will build confidence, motivation, and (most importantly) momentum for further success.
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” -Thomas A. Edison
No one can know for certain what would have happened with Elon Musk if his early experiences in entrepreneurship had been failures, but one thing is certain. Elon took action and gained experiences that gave him momentum to build upon. That, in turn, earned him true confidence that anything is possible.
Ask yourself: What steps do I need to take to gain quick successes toward my goal? Achieve one quick goal, and build momentum. Then let the successes begin piling up on top of one another to give you a store of strength you can always pull from. Be bold. Take action.