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Determination: Entrepreneurial Thinkers Series, Part 1

October 2, 2014

Last week I reported my results from the GallupⓇ Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder (ESF). This week, in Part 1 of the Entrepreneurial Thinkers series, I will take a more in-depth look at the entrepreneurial talent of determination.

Determination: Elon Musk

Musk is somewhat of a savant when it comes to determination. In their book, Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder, Cliffton and Badal (2014) discuss the entrepreneurial talents from Gallup’s survey. As an entrepreneur, Musk appears to be the definition of determination. Failure has not stopped Musk and he certainly has no problem thinking big. Whether it’s been launching space vehicles or alternative energy technologies, Musk has been no stranger to obstacles and frustrations. He simply works harder to identify opportunities for success.

Clifton and Badal warn that “Entrepreneurs with high tenacity and perseverance…may have a tendency to stick with a failing strategy…even when the results are below expectations” (p. 94). Elon Musk has achieved balance in this regard.

Musk has a fantastic academic pedigree and was accepted into the PhD program at Stanford in Applied Physics. Here’s the catch: Musk left the program after two days. [what? he quit?? That’s not determination, is it?]

Actually, yes.

The PhD program, while prestigious, didn’t seem to align with Musk’s entrepreneurial goals so he redirected his efforts.

Next week

Be sure to look for Part 2 of the Entrepreneurial Thinkers series where we will take a look at the talent of confidence.

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