Elon Musk has been tagged as real-life Ironman, Founder of Paypal, CEO of SpaceX – a rocket company and Tesla Motors – an electric car company and Chairman of SolarCity – a solar company. He got his first millions at the age of 28 when he sold his IT company, Zip2, to the biggest search engine in 1999, Alta Vista. He earned $307 million in cash and $34 million in securities from the sale. Over the years, Musk has gained a net worth of an estimated USD11.9 billion.
However, during his teenager days he was living off a dollar a day. This was what he told Neil deGrasse Tyson during an episode of Tyson’s Startalk Radio podcast called The Future of Humanity. He first came to North America, in Canada when he was 17 years old and he budgeted USD30 a month for food to see what it takes to live.
“You sort of buy food in bulk at the supermarket. I went more for the hotdogs and oranges. You really get tired with hotdogs after a while so I switched it up with pasta and green pepper and a big thing of sauce and that can go pretty far too,” said Musk.
This allowed him not to worry about money from a food cost standpoint. This experiment was an important psychological and philosophical anchor for the successful entrepreneur. It became a starting point to launch anywhere he wanted to go.
Musk was also asked during the radio interview with Tyson as to what he was thinking about while he was in college. Musk had his freshman and sophomore at Queen’s University in Ontario. Musk answered, “When I was in college, I was sort thinking what are the things that’s gonna affect the future of humanity which leads to electric car and solar panel, essentially sustainable consumption.”
Further in the interview, Musk explained his sophomoric philosophical wondering. He stated three important things which he thought would positively affect the future of humanity and he really wanted to get involved in; internet, sustainable energy post production and consumption and space exploration most specifically the existence of life beyond Earth on permanent basis.
Musk has gone a long way from those years where he was spending a dollar a day. His innovative companies, Tesla and SpaceX, are continuously disrupting the lives of humanity with its success in sending private rockets to space and creating electric vehicles which have the capability of driving on its own. The billionaire entrepreneur always brings a perspective which is consistently rational, thought-provoking, and often fairly unique.