We are today sharing the inspiring journey of Elon Musk success.
As one of the world’s renowned technological innovators and investors, Elon Musk has made significant technological innovations worldwide. Through his leadership and partnership with different companies, Musk has initiated space rockets, solar batteries, and electric cars, among other technological advancements. Indeed, his recent mission to send astronauts to 2024 is making news headlines across the globe.
However, the journey to his success has not been an easy one. Musk has undergone various challenges, spanning from growing up in a broken family to being bullied in school and investment challenges.
Here is a story of how the CEO for Tesla and Space X has made it from being bullied at home and school to becoming one of the most innovative and successful persons in technology.
Musk’s Childhood And Education
Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28th, 1971. When his parents divorced in 1979, Musk and his sibling, Kimbal, opted to stay with their father as they pursued their studies. The separation of their parents marked the start of new challenges for Musk. He would hardly live at peace with his dad.
First Profitable Technological Investment
His life at school was not very easy either. According to sources, Musk would be hospitalized at times due to bullying from his peers. However, his stream of challenges could not bar him from pursuing his interests. And, at the age of 12, Elon developed a computer game named blastar which he sold to a computer magazine for $500.
After finishing high school, Musk joined the Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He studied there for two years before shifting to the University of Pennsylvania (United States), where he earned degrees in economics and physics.
While still at the University of Pennsylvania, Musk and his friend Adeo Ressi rented a 10-bedroomed frat house and customized it into a nightclub.
First Stab At Entrepreneurship
The nightclub business was Musk’s first entrepreneurial experiment. However, his undying interest in digital technology would usually take away his attention for the business. Ressi, his partner, claims that he had to look for Musk during some nights and then find him concentrating on a video game.
“There were some nights where I’d be like, ‘Where’s Elon?’ and I’d go up to his room and pound on the door, and he’s in there alone playing a video game,” Ressi- the vogue.
Elon Musk’s Career Life
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Musk was admitted to Stanford University for his Ph.D. But, he deferred his admission to try his luck in the dot-com boom that was getting traction in that period.
Zip 2 at Silicone Valley
With the help of his brother and the Silicon Valley investors, Musk launched a company named Zip 2. The company could provide a searchable business directory to newspapers like Chicago Tribune and New York Times.
Elon received a significant boost when Compaq purchased the Zip 2 Company for a total of $363 million. After selling his company, Musk started an online bank called X.com using $10 million of the Zip 2 proceeds.
Elon As PayPal CEO
Barely a year after its launch, the X.com Company merged with confinity (another financial institution by Peter Thiel) to create PayPal. Elon was named the CEO of the new merger-PayPal, which lasted for almost a year.
In October 2000, wrangles began among the PayPal co-founders. Musk pushed for the change of their servers from the free Unix Operating System to Microsoft Windows in the fight. He faced great opposition from his PayPal co-founder, CTO Max Levchin.
Following the wrangles, the PayPal board fired Musk while on vacation and appointed Peter Thiel as the new CEO. Fortunately, eBay purchased PayPal in late 2002 for $1.5 billion, where Musk netted $165 million from the sale proceeds.
The Birth of Space X
In early 2002, Musk took $100 of the share he got from the sale of PayPal to start The Space Exploration Technologies Company or Space X. His goal was to reduce the cost of space flight by a factor of 10. And the long-term goal of space X to send astronauts to mars which Musk terms as colonizing mars.
Besides founding the Space X, Musk was also a co-founder of Tesla, the leading manufacturer of electric cars. In 2004, he made a $70 million investment with the company and later helped its engineers develop roadster.
The roadster was Tesla’s first all–electric car. It was also the first electric car in history. Today, Musk is the CEO of the Tesla Company. In 2006, Musk thought of using solar energy as an alternative energy source to reduce toxic gases from fossils fuels.
He financed his two cousins, Peter and Lyndon Rive, to start a company known as SolarCity. The SolarCity Company operated efficiently until 2016 when Tesla bought it for $2.6 billion.
How the Investments Almost Left Elon Musk Bankrupt
Musk’s investments faired on well until 2008 when he faced a severe financial crisis. First, Tesla, where he was the Chairman and a co-founder by then, was draining financially. Secondly, the space X Company, where he is the founder, was facing difficulties launching its rocket-The Falcon 1.
To save Tesla, Musk loaned the company $40 million and invested another $ 40 million. Consequently, the company’s board appointed him as the CEO in the same year. Running Space X, Tesla, and the SolarCity Companies almost rendered Musk bankrupt.
Luckily, Space X signed a $1.5 billion contract with NASA. They were supposed to aid NASA in delivering supplies to space. Tesla, on the other hand, secured more outside investors who helped in financing its operations. Tesla also raised approximately $226 million and sold shares worth $ 15 million in an initial public offering.
By 2015, his other investments had taken their place. For instance, space X had made numerous launches on tasks like delivering supplies to space stations, settings records along the way, and so on. Its rocket, Falcon 9, was the first re-usable two–stage rocket that could transport people and payloads within the earth’s orbit and beyond.
Falcon 9 Success
Again, the successor of Falcon 9, called falcon heavy, was the most powerful rocket that space X has ever built. It completed its maiden launch in February 2018. It managed to carry a dummy dubbed “Starman” and Musk’s Tesla roadster during the launch.
Musk continues with his innovative spirit till today. His recent developments include:
The Hyperloop– a high-speed train that moves through a vacuum tube.
The Neuralink Company– aimed at building devices that they could integrate with the human brain.
Musk is still working to transform the world and space today. His innovative spirit has made him one of the wealthiest persons in the world, with a net worth of $187 billion.
By taking a closer look at Elon musk’s achievements, you can attest that they did not just happen. He had to commit his resources and efforts to realize them. Again, he had the patience to invest almost his last coin. On top of all, he had the drive to work on his failures and implement new ideas.
That is probably why he insisted that entrepreneurs don’t need encouragement to succeed but rather be self-motivated. When asked how he could encourage entrepreneurs, Elon answered, “If you need encouragement, don’t become an entrepreneur.”
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