THE BLOG

Jam Session Interview With Justine Musk

06/10/2015 11:19 am ET | Updated Jun 10, 2016

A funny thing happened at Quora one day. The question posed went like this, "How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Richard Branson?"

The surprise answer came from none other than Justine Musk, author of three fictional novels, encourager of women's empowerment, speaker, lover of snakes and oh... former wife of Elon Musk, who has had a front-row seat to extreme success in Silicon Valley.

I first became acquainted with Justine through her blog, where she writes about creativity, women's empowerment and culture at justinemusk.com. As a writer, she's a natural observer and has a deep, rich understanding of character(s).

She's spoken at TEDx, and will be speaking at this year's TEDx San Francisco. Her writing and the conversations she hosts are consistently intelligent, well-thought-out and thought-provoking. Her sensibility and unique voice is one we need in the world.

In today's Jam Session, Justine and I jammed on the unique personalities required for extreme success, the different paths to success, the truth about creative rebels and those who think differently, traits and abilities needed to attain certain levels of success including the ability to craft reality, where these people usually are online, what books they read -- and how good ideas come to life.

We riff on dealing with criticism, ambition (and whether it's always selfish or not) and what leads to clarity, focus and humility. We talk about the creative process versus the entrepreneurial process, and the surprising similarities.

We dig into risk, whether you can copy success, the deeper needs that often come into play driving ambition, and the truth about Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours.

Oh. And we talk about obsession, and the difference between obsession and creative 'flow.' (With apologies to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, whose name I will someday learn to pronounce.)

We also spend a bit of time discussing the heroine's journey (what the hero's journey looks like for women). Here, we talk about competence versus likability, the desirability of older women and the challenges ambitious women face as they go on their own quest.

If two soul sisters took a break during a jam session to catch up over coffee to talk about entrepreneurship, creativity, extreme success and putting great work out into the world, this is what it'd sound like. Chill out, hang out and join us for a while. This jam session is jam-packed.

Jam Sessions

Jam Sessions is an interview series hosted by Deb Owen, founder of Percorso, at debjowen.com intended to enlighten, empower, and equip you in your life and business. Interviews cover a range of topics from entrepreneurship and leadership, to creativity, art + social justice to inspiring individuals who've overcome amazing obstacles in their lives. Inspiration + strategy + lots of love.