Population and Social Characteristics

11 Elon Musk Quotes Every 70 Year Old Needs To Hear

Kathryn Koehler/Courtesy of24/7 Wall St.

Elon Musk is a lot of things – a visionary, a leader, an entrepreneur, but a wordsmith he ain’t. Musk does make some good points, don’t get me wrong, but his prose lacks art and finesse. He has his CEO fingers in a number of different business pies, including Paypal, Telsa, SpaceX, and X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Musk is ambitious and his ventures have made him one of the most influential and controversial figures in the business world. After scouring the world wide web, we at 24/7 Wall St. have cobbled together a list of 11 Elon Musk Quotes every 70-year-old needs to hear. So, while he might not be a sliver-tongued devil, he dispenses some sage advice in his awkwardly worded pearls of wisdom. Continue reading to see if any of his quotes resonate with you. 

1. If I’d Known You Were Coming…

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  • If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion. -Elon Musk

…I’d Have Baked A Cake

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We’re all thinking it, right? He could have simply said Creating a company is like baking a cake. And, come on padawan, there is no try there is only do. But his advice is spot on. If you’re considering starting a business, you’ll want to start off on the solid foundation that a sound business plan allows. And why would you be starting a business at age 70? There are loads of reasons why. You might wish to fill a need in your community or take advantage of a niche opportunity. Perhaps you’ve recently retired and want to start a business based on a passion or hobby. Whatever your reason, having a solid business plan and the right individuals in place is the perfect recipe to create a successful business. 

2. Work Friends

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  • It’s very important to like the people you work with. Otherwise, your job is going to be quite miserable. -Elon Musk

Love What You Do (And Who You DO It With)

Joyful diverse Brazilian senior staff workers of supermarket chain smiling at camera with table and uniforms. African American older employee and a caucasian person laughing together
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Once you’ve started your business, you’ll want to surround yourself with likable co-workers – not sycophants, but upbeat, friendly folk. Otherwise, as Musk points out, “your job is going to be quite miserable.” And by job, he means you- you are going to be quite miserable. So true. I’ve had miserable jobs that were made tolerable by likable co-workers, and cush jobs that were made miserable by unreasonable colleagues. At 70 years of age, you should be able to quickly discern who’s going to work and who is not. 

3. Have A Heart

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  • The biggest mistake, in general, I’ve made, is to put too much of a weighting on someone’s talent and not enough on their personality. And I’ve made that mistake several times. I think it actually matters whether somebody has a good heart, it really does. I’ve made the mistake of thinking that it’s sometimes just about the brain

It’s Not Just About The Brain

close up of a woman'ss hands holding a bunch of fresh ripe huckleberries in the shape of a heart over a rustic wooden background
Source: Nature's Charm / Shutterstock.com

Of the 11 Elon Musk Quotes every 70-year-old needs to hear, this is the most surprising. Who knew the ol’ despot has a soft spot? (I’m not suggesting Musk is a cruel leader, but despot/soft spot is too good to waste.) In the tech sector, it’s undoubtedly simple enough to overlook unsavory personality traits, like heartlessness, especially when the misanthrope possesses the necessary skill set, but at the end of the day, it’s better not to hire unsympathetic types. 

4. Love What You Do, Take 2

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  • People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else. -Elon Musk

What Color Is Your Parachute? 

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As septuagenarians, I’m guessing you’re familiar with Richard Nelson Bolles pivotal work What Color Is Your Parachute?: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success. Among the first of the self-help genre, Bolles self-published Parachute, which is still in print, in 1970. Among other things, he suggests following your bliss. At 70 do you find yourself looking back and pondering what ifs? It’s not too late to pursue your passion, regardless of how frivolous or farfetched it might seem. As another wise sage, Thoreau, once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

5. Got Chickens? 

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  • It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket. -Elon Musk

Control Factor

Source: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

You’ve got to have control of the basket. That’s the important part. Your single-minded passion could lead to success in the business world as long as your focus is wide enough to maintain control of your business. Balancing your passion with adaptability is crucial. 

6. Master of the Obvious

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  • If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic. -Elon Musk

He’s Not Wrong

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Musk can add master of the obvious to the list of his many talents. Why do 70-year-olds need to hear this quote? Just to remind you one needn’t go back hundreds of years for many of the techie gadgets and innovations that Elon Musk takes for granted to feel magical. Only 40 years ago most folks would have scoffed at the notion that camera phones would become the norm. While all of the technological advances that are being pushed on us can seem magical, and by magical I mean daunting, embrace them we must, or left behind we will be. 

7. Odds Are

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  • When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. -Elon Musk

Life is a Crap Shoot, After All
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You’ve been passionate about your passion forever. Is it marketable? Perhaps, perhaps not. But even when the odds are against you, never underestimate the power of determination and persistence. Focusing on your vision and surrounding yourself with those who share your vision is the first step to achieving your dreams. While the odds might not favor mission, time and tenacity will. 

8. Bears Repeating

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  • Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson. -Elon Musk

Still True

The concept of a nervous breakdown. The limit of patience. A stretched rope. Emotional stress.
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Patience is a virtue, Possess it if you can, T’is seldom found in women, But never in a man, is from a 14th-century verse presumed to be from the pen of William Langland. Patience is a decidedly a learned virtue. Very few of us are fortunate enough to enter the world with it. And while it comes to some early and easily, with others it takes time. At 70, if patience continues to be elusive, we’ll assume that you’ve learned to live with the resulting frustration and other unsavory consequences that come with the territory. 

9. Entropy Is Not Your Friend

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  • I think you should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side.

Entropy is The Enemy

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Another completely true statement. As we age it may become increasingly difficult to remember this sage advice. For the most part, our get up and go has gone up and went. Sleeping a bit later and kicking back in the easy boy become second nature. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t become a sloth. And if you always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side, that shouldn’t happen. So, embrace the extra sleep and recline to your heart’s content, but not to its demise. 

10. Faulty Logic? 

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  • I’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right. -Elon Musk

Can’t We Be Both? 

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I’m such an optimistic optimist, that I’d rather be optimistic and right! Also, I think I’d rather be right in any case?  Like, the CEO of SpaceX should probably be more concerned about being correct? Don’t worry, be happy is a dandy sentiment and a catchy hook- for a singer, but when lives are at risk? Worry. 

11. Self-fulfilling Prophecies 
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  • If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not. -Elon Musk

Bright Futures

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 As Musk points out, our perceptions inform our reality. Wake up ready to embrace a world that you imagine has your back. Believe that everyone has the best intentions. Some days will absolutely test your mettle, but as you cultivate a positive outlook, you’ll likely discover those days becoming fewer and farther between. So, beautiful people, let’s all wake up tomorrow with a smile on our lips and a song in our hearts.

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