To achieve greatness, you have to fail over and over. Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams was the last baseball player to hit over .400 in a season, but that means he failed to get a hit in 60% of his at bats. Basketball legend Michael Jordan didn't make the cut on his high school team, and he stated eloquently, "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
Today, we see Elon Musk as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of his generation. He is worth over $15 billion in his holdings of SpaceX and Tesla. He has transformed e-commerce (Paypal), automobiles (Tesla), aerospace (SpaceX) and solar (SolarCity). Last year I read the book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future -- if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. One of my favorite quotes is a retort the he made when Tesla was in its early development stages and employees were complaining they were working too hard and didn't get to see their families. Musk said, "I would tell those people they will get to see their families a lot when we go bankrupt." No one complained after that. To achieve greatness, he essentially demanded everyone to be as laser focused on the vision as he was. But it wasn't without many bumps in the road. Here is an epic infographic of Musk's failure highlights created by Kickresume.