Elon Musk is undoubtedly the world’s best known entrepreneur: founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and one of the original developers of the software that came to be known as PayPal.
Like most successful businessmen, Elon’s success has been hard fought, and it turns out, the music industry could learn a thing (or, more accurately, five) from Mr. Musk, as highlighted in an article on edm.com.
Persistence: Even though he’s had to step down from leadership roles–not to mention SpaceX and Tesla once being on the verge of bankruptcy and many doubting his abilities as a CEO-Musk was able to steer the companies out of their difficult times. The lesson? Learn from your mistakes, and move forward–the music business is an unforgiving environment and doesn’t owe you anything.
Leadership: Musk’s brand of “transformational leadership” is defined as “when the leader lays out a clear path of how they want to change a particular problem… and rally people who align with their goals and work towards them as a unit.” With musicians often having to act as their own managers, agents, and publicists, it allows more control and oversight, but they’ll still need other professionals (marketing experts, graphic designers, etc) to help fulfill their vision.
Innovation: When he created Tesla, Musk’s goal was to upend the auto industry and make the idea of sustainable energy in cars more palatable. He succeeded. The music industry needs to embrace Musk’s forward thinking, tech-based mindset so they can adapt and thrive in an ever-changing economy and business environment.
Outspokenness: Musk has had his share of controversial tweets, comments, and media appearances, but he’s also used his celebrity status to call attention to important issues, such as low payout rates on streaming platforms. Musk’s restless spirit is part of what makes him so unique–a spirit the music industry needs to rediscover.
Humility: Musk’s self-deprecating sense of humor, as well as his ability to admit when he’s wrong, is important for musicians to remember. In the internet culture where everyone’s a critic, it’s important to receive feedback with an open mind.