Follow these Elon Musk steps or fail as entrepreneur (how to win)

James Julian
7 min readFeb 22, 2024

If Elon Musk acted like most online entrepreneurs, writers, video creators and others, you wouldn’t know his name.

He would have faded into obscurity back in 2010, Tesla would have gone bankrupt, and the electric vehicle market would probably be miles behind where it is now.

That’s because most people make 2 key mistakes when they’re in the early stages of building a business:

  1. They’re impatient
  2. They quit too early

I’ve been guilty of this many, many, many … many times over.

Back in my 20s and 30s, I was a serial website starter.

I had a lot of great ideas, but ideas are dust in the wind if you don’t do anything with them.

Ultimately, I would repeat the following cycle over and over again:

  1. Think of a unique idea
  2. Get super excited and driven about it
  3. Implement the idea
  4. Be frustrated that the idea wasn’t resulting in instant riches
  5. Get disappointed and/or bored and quit

As you know if you’ve followed me for any amount of time, I’m huge into investing.

In fact, almost every dime I make side hustling goes directly into a tax-sheltered account and into the markets.

So I was looking at the Tesla stock chart the other day when it dawned on me: Tesla stock perfectly maps out the successful creator’s journey and holds one critical lesson you need to learn if you ever hope to make it as an entrepreneur.

Allow me to explain.

A woman working at a desk.
You CAN make it as an entrepreneur, but you need to learn 1 key lesson first. (Licensed by the author under the Unsplash+ License)

The grind and the growth

The hardest part of building a business — of doing anything really — is at the start.

It takes a lot of time and effort for very little return.

And in those early days, it’s easy to doubt yourself and your idea.

“This is dumb, I’m not making any money.”

“This is hard and boring, I’d rather be doing something else.”



James Julian

James is a former journalist and a current author, independent writer, entrepreneur, and investor. YouTube: