Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, recently made headlines because, as of February 2023, he is working for free at Tesla. There is no existing compensation package. There is no salary or stock options at the moment. Elon Musk is a controversial figure in recent times. But, he can teach you a valuable lesson about wealth creation. Elon Musk never worked for Tesla for a salary or wage. He is instead compensated for the value he adds to the company. If the company meets certain financial and market value targets, he is rewarded with stock options. This makes for a good conversation about the motivation behind our work, and the value of compensation.
You need to understand the business of wealth creation. Jacob refused Laban’s offer of wages and instead negotiated a form of wealth distribution (Genesis 30:25-43). There’s nothing wrong with working for wages, but it’s not the best that God has to offer. After receiving his final stock options last month, Elon Musk is now working for free. While Musk has made billions of dollars from his Tesla position through stock options. His decision to continue working without pay demonstrates that he is motivated by factors other than money. The poorest people in the world are those who work solely for monetary gain.
The Bible never encourages people to work solely for financial gain. Rather, Christians are expected to seek and commit to God’s will in religion, culture, economy, and governance. You do this regardless of the pay structure, trusting in God that everything else will be added to you. You should always work as if you were working for the Lord rather than for human masters (Colossians 3:23). This means that regardless of our pay, we should approach our work with a sense of purpose and a desire to do our best. That is the key to long-term success and wealth.