Maye Musk shares her strategy for raising super successful kids:- Elon Musk’s mom chats about her humble beginnings, what it takes to stay successful at any age, her wellness routine, and more.
Maye Musk knows about career longevity.
The 74-year-old has been a model for over 50 years and has graced the covers of Time, Women’s Day, Vogue – and most recently, the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Aside from being a model, Musk is also a dietician, author, and mom to three children – including billionaire business magnate Elon Musk. And she doesn’t have any plans on slowing down anytime soon. In fact, Musk recently co-designed a limited-edition collection of handbags called “From Boardroom to Ballroom” with the company Oleada.
Musk recently chatted with “Morning Joe” reporter Daniela Pierre-Bravo about her humble beginnings as a single mom at age 31, what it takes to stay successful at any age, her wellness routine, and more.
Below is the conversation, which has been edited for brevity and clarity:
Daniela Pierre-Bravo: You’re in your 70s, and a lot of what we talk about at Know Your Value is how women have a long for their careers. When you were in your 20s and your 30s, did you imagine a career after 70? And what’s the takeaway for young women?
Maye Musk: As a dietitian, my career could go on forever, as long as I keep on doing the exams to maintain registration as a dietitian so that I had no problem. I kept modeling every year, I thought it was going to end and it never did. It just carried on. But I must say, I struggled a lot in my 20s and 30s. Just in life. I never told people when I modeled or when I had my patients come to see me. I never told them how much I was struggling. But you can go through some really bad struggles, and you’ve got to get yourself out of them quicker than I did.
Pierre-Bravo: You were a single mother, and you have three very successful children. And at one point you worked five jobs. How did you make it all work?
Musk: Sometimes it was five jobs because they were all part-time jobs. The thing is, the modeling paid the same as what my nutrition jobs paid. So then I wasn’t going to take off more than four days a month for modeling. But then when I moved to New York, modeling paid more. Then I said, “OK I’ll do more modeling.” And now, it’s gotten crazy.
Pierre-Bravo: Many people look at how busy you’ve been in your career, but also the level of success your children [business magnate Elon Musk, restaurateur Kimbal Reeve Musk and filmmaker Tosca Musk] have had. What has been your parenting strategy?
Musk: …My parents were Canadians who moved from Canada to South Africa in 1950. I was 2 years old. They were very adventurous …They kept us very independent and responsible for our own choices [which is what I did with my kids too]. So, when I was a single mom … I worked from home as a dietician. And then when I had a modeling job, sometimes my daughter was my dresser, and sometimes, my three kids were sitting in the front row of the runway show because they had to do their homework. You just adapt.
Pierre-Bravo: It seems like it was a family affair. Almost like you were all a team.
Musk: Yes, yes. They’ve always helped me. But I always helped my parents too.
Musk: I moved to like nine cities … [What I learned is] don’t give up, because it comes across as successful. With each change I made, with each city I move to, it was a year of struggle and rejections because nobody knows who you are, and they don’t care. And then the second year, people start appreciating you for your talents, as a dietitian, as a model. And then third year, you’re working your butt off, and earning a good living…
Pierre-Bravo: You’ve said that your career skyrocketed after you ditched hair color. Do you wish you had done it sooner?
Pierre-Bravo: What’s your fitness routine?
Musk: I don’t overwork out. I’ve done that and then I’ve hurt myself. So now it’s walking, it’s my treadmill, bicycle. But I do stretch every day and [lift] light weights. But I don’t over-exert myself…
Pierre-Bravo: Do you have a morning routine?
Musk: My dog rules that. My dog [a Maltese terrier mix rescue] decides when we wake up … He pretty much lets me know when to wake up unless I have a 5 a.m. call time … He lets me know that I must now go and have coffee. So then I go into the kitchen and he gets a small treat. I put my coffee in my coffee cup, then he gets a bigger treat. And then he just waits for me to have some breakfast. And then I’ll take him for a walk.
Pierre-Bravo: What was it about the ethos or mission of the brand (Oleada), that made you want to come on board to co-design a line of handbags?
Musk: They did a campaign with me last year. And I was really impressed with [the company’s founder] Tiffany [Zhou], and the message she wants to get across, the time she spends on it, and how proud she is of it, and how she wants to get the message across for women to be more powerful …And so I was really happy to be part of this.
Pierre-Bravo: You mentioned powerful women. What do you think makes a powerful woman?
Musk: When a woman is happy with herself, confident and nice to others …
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