Elon Musk’s #1 Success Trait (We All Have It)

    When my wife Heejin and I started building the JVM Team, our biggest competitors were several members of a coaching group called The Core. It is a great program that focuses on team building, delegation, non-stop prospecting, accountability, lead-tracking – and most importantly – COMPETITION.

    The Core members know each others’ production numbers and income – and the competition to be the biggest and best is intense. And – it works.

    It works so well to drive more production that many mortgage companies pay for their loan officers’ coaching – even though it is not cheap by any stretch.

    Sidebar: We used to be members of The Core – and much of our company is built on its principles. Ironically though, we left The Core because its founder (the most competitive man I have ever met) told us our model would never work. 😊 Our success over the last ten years and the fact that we outproduce our Core competitors only makes The Core founder’s assertion that much more amusing – but we remain appreciative of The Core nonetheless.

    PayPal Mafia

    I thought of The Core when listening to this recent Hidden Forces podcast about the “PayPal Mafia,” and Elon Musk (the podcast guest was Jimmy Soni – the author of a book called “The Founders” about the PayPal Mafia).

    The PayPal mafia is a term applied to the founders who started PayPal back in the 1990s. It was the first major fintech disruption; it was enormously successful; it was a result of constant pivots and iterations; and its founders went on to dominate the tech industry in many ways.

    Three of those founders were Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and Elon Musk.

    Thiel is now a famous billionaire venture capitalist and founder who has been at the forefront of some of tech’s biggest successes – including Facebook and Airbnb.

    Hoffman went on to found LinkedIn and is now an extremely successful venture capitalist as well.

    Most interesting though is Musk.

    He was coding at age 11; he was founding companies and reading physics journals in his spare time in college; and he was becoming one of the world’s most accomplished engineers while also honing his unmatched entrepreneurial chops. Today he is the founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company – and he is the richest man in the world with a net worth of over $235 billion.

    All of the PayPal founders are brilliant men, but this may be what really sets them apart: THEY WERE INSANELY COMPETITIVE!

    Musk of course was the most competitive, and because of that, Thiel famously said in an interview that he has learned to “never compete (in the marketplace) with Elon.”

    EVERYTHING at PayPal was an insane competition. Breaks consisted of chess games, card games, puzzle competitions – and of course, video games. Musk was unbeatable at “Street Fighter,” but he made his staff play him all the time, nonetheless. There is even a story about how a simple drive back to the office from dinner turned into a road race that Thiel won and celebrated triumphantly.

    According to Soni, “competition infected every part of PayPal’s culture” and it was obviously integral to the firm’s success.

    So, yes, Musk is brilliant, creative, highly educated, and seemingly lucky – but his competitiveness may be his single biggest success trait.

    And fortunately – this is a trait we can all easily embrace – even if we lack ALL of Musk’s other traits.

    And finally – credit to “The Core” for remembering how important this trait is and incorporating it into their coaching.

    Jay Voorhees
    Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
    (855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167

    Image courtesy of TIME

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