Elon Musk is obviously a valuable role model for entrepreneurs and innovators. However, his life and business practices contain an unspoken insight that can literally and instantly change your life for the better.

Elon Musk works long hours, of course. How else could he create and run so many different companies that are innovating in so many different ways? Under the circumstances, it's amazing he has time to, for example, date actresses and singers.

Lost in our understandable amazement of how much Musk has accomplished (and is accomplishing) is the profound but largely unnoticed truth that, since he's one person, he can't possibly be spending all that much time on any one endeavor.

Based upon the time he spends on each business, if he presumably decided to focus on just one of them (and let the others slide), Musk could probably be as successful as he is today by spending only, say, about 20 hours a week on that business.

 Now, let's assume Musk is twice as smart as the average entrepreneur (who tend to be very smart people, as you know.

If Musk can create and run a successful, groundbreaking, innovative company expending 20 hours a week, surely you or I can manage to launch and grow a less ambitious startup... and spend only 40 hours a week making it successful.

This is fabulous news for those of us who want to succeed without sacrificing our personal lives. It means that we can still make a difference, change the world, and even become wealthy... without work habits that risk burnout and ill health.

This valuable insight is buttressed by scientific studies showing that working long hours (more than 50 hours a week or so) tends to make people less, rather than more, productive. Indeed, my main concern for Musk is that he's working such long hours that he's running the risk of a meltdown.

But that's not to say that you and I must imitate that element of Musk's life. Instead, we can set more modest goals with the full realization that we need not burn ourselves out in order to achieve them.

Published on: Jun 4, 2018