Like most entrepreneurs, I push myself to be innovative.

I like to think I’m making a difference in the world. I incorporate daily routines and ideas from inspiring leaders, and I even prioritize my top three tasks every morning.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a driven dude, but I can’t imagine living with the insatiable drive of the game-changing leader: the both loved and feared, admired and indisputably genius Elon Musk.

Not only has he identified humanity’s most pressing needs, Elon Musk will go down in history as the man who actually made an impact on the mission to save our planet.

With each project, he has consistently tuned out the naysayers and brazenly challenged what the world has called, up until now, ‘impossible.’

While the “real-world Iron Man” had numerous personal issues to overcome, starting with a rough childhood in South Africa, he doesn’t like to focus on himself.

He prefers to get shit done.

At the age of 17, Musk created the following list of what he believed would have the greatest future impact on humanity:

  • The Internet
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Space Exploration
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Reprogramming Human Genetics  

More about this in Wait, but Why’s “Elon Musk: World’s Raddest Man.”)

With an eye for markets and an early-knack for the Internet, Musk made his initial fortune with the revolutionary PayPal, the first online platform for digitally transferring money.

Several years down the road, Musk turned a corner in the world of inventions and struck a fatal blow to the automotive and space industries. Even though they began as risky endeavors, three of his companies became superstars —SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity— built with the sole purpose of creating needed change for humanity.

It goes without saying that the mark Musk leaves on his projects has the potential to revolutionize every industry he touches.

SpaceX works for a multi-planetary existence

While I might have been tempted to kick it in Tahiti if I’d made millions at a young age, Musk took one look at his list of humanity’s problems and threw himself into the space of planetary antidotes.

So how do you go about attaining a rocket that shoots up to the moon and beyond? At some point, Musk must have asked this from the SpaceX headquarters. I can just imagine him knocking on NASA’s front door: “Hey, I’m Elon Musk. How much do you want for a rocket?”

After that, he calls up the Russians… you know, just to get a better lay of the rocket market.

Space Exploration

In 2002, Musk launched the privately-funded venture known as SpaceX. With the company’s many successes, it’s easy to forget that Musk never actually had formal rocketry training.

He qualified himself with his gut instincts and his drive to explore a multi-planetary existence. 

SpaceX’s primary purpose is to explore opportunities for permanent life extension beyond Earth.

Despite having two rockets blow up in the last two years, SpaceX has had a whole string of successes in the rocket launching department. These successes have gone beyond what has been considered possible in the traditional space exploration industry.

In their 15 years of existence, SpaceX has hit several historic milestones.

In December of 2010, SpaceX became the first private company to complete and return a spacecraft from a low-earth orbit. Two years later, the Dragon spacecraft accomplished what only government has been able to do. It flew to the International Space Station (ISS), exchanged cargo payloads for NASA and returned safely to Earth.

Since then, the Dragon craft has completed this challenging feat many times. Under a $16 billion contract with NASA, the Dragon has completed no less than twenty Commercial Resupply Service flights.

Space Tourism

Musk has now granted two lucky—and very wealthy—individuals a tour of the moon. While it has been 45 years since anyone has traveled to the moon, SpaceX has announced an unmanned tourist launch to take place by late 2018… with a mere, estimated 70 million-dollar price tag per seat.

The Heavy Falcon Mission will be using a reusable rocket with a turnover rate of a couple of days. When it is finished, the Falcon Heavy will be the world’s most powerful operational rocket and will mark a massive step in the development of reusable rockets.

The two travelers will bring up the grand total of lunar travelers to 26 humans. To present this grand adventure, SpaceX released a news piece full of all the grandeur and sentimentality that such a mission is entitled.

“Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.”

Following the moon mission, SpaceX plans an unmanned Red Dragon mission to Mars. It will be a long-term project for colonization to begin establishing our multi-planetary existence.

Love him or hate him, Musk has successfully expanded our perspective of the galaxy. He hopes to eventually send people to Mars for as little as $500,000 a seat. He once famously said, “I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”

Tesla Motors designs efficient electric cars

Musk has successfully transformed our idea of what is possible in the realm of transportation. After founding SpaceX, Musk founded the ultra-successful and energy-efficient car company, Tesla Motors.

In 2003 Tesla Motors launched in Silicon Valley with a mission to accelerate the world’s transition into sustainable energy. Musk, along with a team of engineers, knew they had to create something better than gasoline-powered cars. So they set out to design vehicles that utilized renewables within the clean energy ecosystem.

By 2012 they launched the Model S, known as the world’s first premium electric sedan. It was built from the ground up to be 100% electric. Thanks to Musk’s innovative ideas and tireless efforts, cars can use batteries that harness the abundant power of the sun and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Since its launch, consumers have found Tesla vehicles to be an appealing alternative. With each new generation, Tesla models have become increasingly affordable and more efficiently designed.

Tesla’s designers are currently building a supercharger network for the future of electric cars, aiming for long-distance travel to be a headache-free, seamless driving experience.

As a leader in renewable energy for cars, Tesla Motors’ efforts propel other skilled engineers to push for safer and healthier roadway solutions. In other words, Musk’s impact is inspiring other great minds to develop their impact.

SolarCity accelerates renewable energy use

Further pouring himself into the sustainable energy market, Musk founded SolarCity in 2006. Much like Tesla Motors, the mission is to provide appealing alternatives and to reduce the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gases.

In the last decade, SolarCity has become the nation’s top full-service solar provider. The SolarCity mission has revolutionized the way energy is delivered, making it cleaner and more affordable. The SolarCity crew calls it, “Better Energy.”

Every year the number of solar installations increases. In the last decade, the national cost of solar installations has dropped by more than 70%. Since its founding, SolarCity has been able to complete solar installations in 27 states with over 90 operation centers.

SolarCity excels in providing a smooth experience for the user. All of the necessary operations happen in-house without the need for third-party businesses. SolarCity engineers take care of the installation, efficiency monitoring and also provide an ongoing repair service.

Taken from the goals of Musk himself, SolarCity’s primary objective is to ensure that making the switch to solar energy will be a no-brainer. 

Further accelerating the use of sustainable energy, Tesla and SolarCity have released roofing panels that utilize solar energy to put electricity throughout homes. The panels collect energy during the day for running home operations throughout the night after the sun—and you—are sleeping soundly.

Solar electricity works by capturing the sun’s energy which is then channeled through discrete wires to a converter. Solar power inverters then provide the conversion into usable energy. Believe me, it’s simpler than it sounds.

With an ultra-efficient energy conversation rate, the Tesla’s new roofing shingles boast only a 2% loss of energy. That means you’ll get 98% of the solar energy from a normal-looking rooftop that you would normally have to getting from massive and highly-unattractive solar panels.

Musk Emanates Fire That Inspires

Suffering from a lonely childhood, Musk learned to find solace in books. From an early age, he was an avid reader and self-learner, which has led him to be described as a mix of multiple legends. In his recent biography, he is described as a blend of well-known inventors and industrialists: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs.

No biggie. I mean, who else on planet earth is described as a combination of the above?

While Elon Musk has inevitably made many enemies with his countercultural views—Did you know he views people as computers?—his robot-like mannerisms and countless quirks, he has an unavoidable, passionate fire and all who experience the man or his inventions are without doubt changed by it.

America is seeking ways to sustain this revolutionizing fire. If you’re rallying yourself to become the next innovative leader, start by thinking differently and acting boldly on your beliefs. And instead of chasing easy money, try taking bold risks on fresh, brazenly new ideas.

Also, if you’re on an entrepreneurial journey, check out the book “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel. Aside from enjoying a revolutionizing creator’s guide, you’ll get a first-hand account of the early PayPal days when Thiel worked with Musk.

 Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Mike Zeller

I start and grow businesses that make the world a more beautiful place.

With a background in growing and launching businesses in fashion, real estate, automotive, holistic health, and now digital marketing, I’ve come to realize great ideas don’t always win. It’s often the best marketed and best executed ideas that win. So I want to help the best ideas gain traction by telling more beautiful and compelling stories with effective marketing strategies that deliver results.