Here is to what Jim Cantrell attributes Elon Musk’s successes:
So I am going to suggest that he is successful not because his visions are grand, not because he is extraordinarily smart and not because he works incredibly hard. All of those things are true. The one major important distinction that sets him apart is his inability to consider failure. It simply is not even in his thought process. He cannot conceive of failure and that is truly remarkable.
You can read Cantrell’s full answer on Quora to the question “How did Elon Musk learn enough about rockets to run SpaceX?”