How Elon Musk Became the World’s Richest Man Overnight?:- From being a victim of abuse and bullying at a young age to escaping bankruptcy by the skin of his teeth and enduring a chaotic love life – Elon Musk has had his fair share of troubles in life. But, against all odds, the eccentric billionaire has risen above these challenges to become the tech messiah of the 21st century.
Here is the intriguing story of the wunderkind who worked his way up to become the world’s richest man. Elon Musk’s dynamic journey to success began in South Africa’s executive capital city, Pretoria. Two love birds, Errol Musk and Maye Haldeman had agreed to an impulsive marriage borne out of boredom in 1970.
“Well, you know I was lonely, alone in Cape Town. I was again 65 pounds. [No?!?] Yeah! And then I had back trouble and knee trouble. So I wasn’t in a happy situation, and I thought well, what can be worse, marriage can’t be that bad… And it was.”
This spontaneous marriage had three offspring; Kimbal Musk, Tosca Musk, and of course, the main protagonist of our story, Elon Musk, who was born on the 28th of June 1971. On the surface, the Musks looked like a fulfilled family.
Errol Musk was a genius engineer, and Maye was an established model who had been walking the runway since the age of 15. And with three wonderful kids in the picture, life couldn’t have been more gracious to two adults who thought marriage was a good cure for boredom.
But the reality was very much different from what it appeared to be. Despite being well-learned and becoming the youngest person to bag a professional engineering degree in South Africa, Elon’s father, Errol Musk, was a chronic abuser and some sort of a demon in human flesh.
“You said I would be beaten up, did you suffer that kind of abuse? Yes, yeah, yeah, I think I was beaten up.” And it wasn’t just physical abuse alone; when he wasn’t practicing Mike Tyson’s moves on his wife, Errol Musk constantly talked down on her. “When I was married, I was told about three times a day that I’m boring and stupid and you know, and ugly.”
Elon Musk and two other siblings were aware of this ongoing abuse. In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Musk described his father as “a terrible human being,” saying “you have no idea about how bad.” “Almost every crime you can think of, he has done.”
Just to mention that Errol Musk is famous for fathering two children with his stepdaughter Jana Bezuidenhout whom he raised since the age of four. He also blatantly refused to buy Elon Musk a computer which was one of the basic amenities that other children enjoyed at the time.
“He didn’t want to buy a computer and refused to use computers and said they would never amount to anything.” Away from the toxicity of his father, Elon Musk had a rough childhood and also got hounded by bullies in school. “I was almost beaten to death if you’d call that bullied.”
These perhaps were the first obstacles life threw at Elon Musk, but even at his incredibly young age, he had the mental fortitude to withstand the pressure. It didn’t seem to affect Musk’s cognitive abilities, and his mum, Maye Musk, recalls how he began to display signs of high intelligence just a few years after his birth.
“From the age of three… [Really?]. I just, he reasoned with me so well and I didn’t know how he could figure out things, I mean he was three.” Maye was so impressed by Elon’s cognitive abilities that she put him into school one year early, which probably helped his brain and mind develop faster than his peers.
Elon Musk would later recall that his mind was always exploding with creative ideas as a kid so much so that he thought he was going crazy. “I think when I was, I don’t know five or six or something, I thought I was insane.
Why did you think you were insane? Because it was clear that other people did not, their mind wasn’t exploding with ideas.” These ideas, combined with his passion for video games, would lead him to his first-ever invention.
By the age of ten, Musk bought his first computer and began learning how to program gaming software and applications on his own.
“So I had to buy a computer; I saved up, I saved up my allowance.” That sacrifice would eventually pay off because just two years later, Musk built and sold his first gaming software, Blast Star, for $500.
“Mom, do you remember when I was 12, and I created my own video game called Blast Star about a spaceship that battles aliens? I do; I remember they paid you $500, but you were too young to open a bank account, so I had to open one for you.”
Soon after, Elon Musk left South Africa at the age of 17 to avoid compulsory military service and further his studies in Canada. While he was awaiting documentation, Musk worked at his cousin’s farm in Waldeck, Saskatchewan, tending to vegetables and shoveling grain bins.
Later on, Musk learned to cut logs with a chainsaw in Vancouver. However, after asking the unemployment office what jobs paid the best, Musk took on his hardest gig yet: cleaning out the boiler room of a lumber mill.
For $18 an hour, Musk said in his biography that he had to “put on this hazmat suit and then shimmy through this little tunnel that you can barely fit in. Then, you have to shovel, and you take the sand and goop and another residue, which is still steaming hot, and you have to shovel it through the same hole you came in through.”
Eventually though after some hard labor, he got admitted into Queen’s University in Kingston for a brief spell. He later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics in 1997.
This achievement emphasized his high level of intelligence, which has never been in doubt. But having been a tech enthusiast all his life, Musk wanted so badly to launch his career with a tech company, and he knew well enough that Philadelphia wasn’t perhaps the best place to find one.
So, he packed his bags and left for San Francisco to pursue his lifelong dream and hopefully make enough money to pay off his over $100,000 student debt. “I thought, okay, I really wanna work on new technology, so I want to get to Silicon Valley.”
Things didn’t go as planned for Musk at Silicon Valley; after working briefly on car batteries, he tried to get a job with an internet company, but it wasn’t forthcoming, so he teamed up with his brother Kimbal to create an internet software called Zip2.
This software is designed to help companies in the print media industry convert their written content to digital content. But due to their financial struggles, they could only afford to rent either a house or an office space. Expectedly, they opted for the latter.
“We were 22 and 23 years old; we had no money, we just slept in our office, because we could pay rent, either an office or a house and we’re like just do the office.” With time, the business started growing, striking partnerships with big media companies like New York Times.
And after three and a half years of hard work, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq for $307 million. Elon Musk got a massive $22 million paycheck, while his brother Kimbal got $15 million.
Musk spent some part of this huge windfall on a new $1 million luxury toy: a McLaren F1 car. He’d later go on to crash the uninsured car on his way to a business meeting, but thankfully, he made good use of the rest of the money, using it to create a fintech startup called X.com.
Within a few years, the company grew, and after a couple of mergers, it metamorphosed into PayPal. This triggered a revolution in the traditional financial industry. By the time the company was sold for $1.5 billion in 2002, Musk’s 11.7 percent stake earned him a lump sum of $180 million.
But that was only the beginning of his good fortunes. Up next, Elon Musk decided to try his hands on the automobile industry with a significant investment in an electric car company named Tesla. At Tesla, he implemented everything he had learned from his previous companies and became a leader of men and large-scale resources.
Under his reign, Tesla went from being at the backwaters of the auto industry to becoming the world’s most valuable automobile brand, hitting the $1 trillion valuation landmark last year.
At about the same time, Musk was also pioneering an aerospace company called SpaceX with the sole aim of building reusable rockets to make space travel more affordable. As always, the odds were stacked against him.
Space exploration was largely seen as the responsibility of the government but Elon Musk changed the narrative. And today, SpaceX has become NASA’s most preferred contractor and the only American aerospace company to fly US astronauts to the ISS since the Space Shuttle Program stopped in 2011.
Still keen to get his hands into other areas of intuitive technology and sustainable energy and transportation, Musk founded other companies, including Neuralink, Solar City, and The Boring Company. He’s also one of the key investors in an AI company called DeepMind Technologies.
Being the focal point of such big companies comes with its challenges, and Musk has had to do many crazy and unconventional things sometimes to get results. Like the one time, his ambition to colonize Mars led him and his friends to travel to Russia with hopes of buying refurbished ICBMs.
In an attempt to get the deal over the line, the billionaire used all the tricks in his bag, including bribing policemen and participating in a Vodka drinking competition against his potential Russian “business partners.” But unfortunately, he failed.
Realizing it was impossible to buy a rocket, Musk made up his mind to set up an aerospace company on the flight back to America. Perhaps the excess alcohol he had in Russia struck the right chord in his brain, who knows? In the early 2020s, Tesla had become the world’s first-choice EV brand, and Elon Musk was looking to expand the company’s operation to meet up with the increasing demand.
So, he bought a 740-acre site in Germany and built the Giga Berlin factory within 22 months. Of course, the project was completed in record time thanks to Musk’s unconventional approach to large-scale projects such as this one.
However, the shocking thing is Tesla didn’t have the all necessary approval from the German authorities to build the facility. But Musk insisted that the project must go ahead, and eventually, the seal of approval was granted.
Had it not been approved, the facility would have been demolished a few months after it was completed. This shows Elon Musk is not afraid to take big decisions even if they appear to be risky. It paid off in this instance, but that’s not to say the billionaire hasn’t had setbacks in the past.
He’s had a couple of disappointments during his hugely successful career. “Although they’re you know in a good position today, they went through some super tough times. And in fact, for SpaceX I reserved the capital to do three, to have three launch failures.
Or to withstand two launch failures and have the third one be a success, sort of three strikes. And actually, we had three launch failures, we were just able to scrape enough money together for a fourth flight that succeeded in 2008.
And also in 2008 as Steve knows we got the Tesla financing round done on the last hour of the last day, it was like 6 PM, December 24th, 2008. And if we hadn’t gotten it done then the company would have gone bankrupt a few days after Christmas.”
With nine known kids and three ex-wives, Musk’s personal life has been nothing short of complicated. His love escapades began with Jennifer Justine, a Canadian author whom he married in 2002. But after six years and five children together, the couple separated in 2006.
Remarkably, Elon Musk engaged Talulah Riley just six weeks after his divorce from Justine was concluded. They got married in 2010 and separated briefly at Elon’s request in 2014. In an interesting twist of fate, they reconciled and remarried 18 months later, but it wasn’t to be, as Riley filed for divorce in 2016.
Later that year, the Tesla CEO got entangled with “Aquaman” actress Amber Heard after her divorce from Johnny Depp, but the relationship only lasted one year. Then in April 2018, Musk got involved with Grimes. But just like his other love adventures, his relationship with the Canadian musician was on and off.
They did have two children together before they broke up earlier this year. However, the internet almost collapsed when news broke a few months ago that Musk and Zilis, the director of operations and special projects at Musk’s Neuralink company, welcomed a set of twins in November 2021.
This means Elon Musk has a total number of nine children. That’s probably a large family to have in the 21st century, but Musk argues he is only doing his “best to help the underpopulation crisis.” Hate him or love him, Elon Musk’s journey to becoming one of the most influential people alive is truly remarkable.
It’s even more inspiring if you look at his growth in the last few years. Back in 2020, Elon Musk had a net worth of around $27 billion. And just two years later, he is unchallenged as the world’s richest man with a net worth of over $200 billion and a whole lot of ground-breaking achievements to his name, many of which would have been deemed impossible given the kind of environment he grew up in.
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Information Source:-Elon Musk Weekly