Elon Musk abandoned typical childhood hobbies

Elon Musk abandoned typical childhood hobbies

In Walter Isaacson’s recent biography, a different facet of Elon Musk emerges that contrasts sharply with his current high-profile status as one of the world’s richest and most innovative people. Musk didn’t make his first real friend until college, showcasing a childhood marked by social struggles.

Growing up in South Africa, school wasn’t the easiest experience for him. He didn’t really click with other students or teachers, which led him to retreat into his own world. Instead of hanging out at recess or after school, he was more likely to be found diving into video games or books. He also loved experimenting. He would make small rockets and mix substances like swimming pool chlorine and brake fluid to see what would produce the biggest bang.

But even as a kid, Musk had some surprising talents up his sleeve. Aside from teaching himself how to code because of his love for video games, he was also into hypnosis and magic tricks. According to the biography, he once hypnotized his sister Tosca into believing she was a dog and persuaded her to eat raw bacon.

He and his cousins turned to entrepreneurship one Easter, making and selling chocolate eggs at a premium price, arguing that buyers were “supporting future capitalists.” These early experiences with hypnosis, science experiments and entrepreneurial ideas show glimpses of the skills that would later contribute to Musk’s rise as an innovative leader.

While Musk might have been a loner, his sister Tosca was the opposite — a social butterfly. She was the one going to parties and having a blast, especially when the family was living in Toronto. Musk, not wanting to be alone, would tag along, but even then, he was sort of in his own world. Tosca told him to stay “10 feet away” from her at these gatherings, and Musk would comply, often bringing a book to read while at clubs or parties.

Though parties were never really Musk’s thing, that changed in college, but it was never for the fun. To pay rent, he ran a nightclub out of his college house, as mentioned in his first biography. “I was paying my own way through college and could make an entire month’s rent in one night,” Musk said. His roommate and friend Adeo Ressi was in charge of decor while Musk ran the event, which Ressi described as “a full-out, unlicensed speakeasy.”

From a loner kid in South Africa who taught himself coding and dabbled in hypnosis, Musk transformed into a visionary leader. His childhood experiences speak volumes about his ingenuity and audacity, qualities that would later propel him to launch groundbreaking ventures like Tesla Inc. and SpaceX.

Both of these companies were once small startups, not sure bets by any means. Yet they’ve become giants in their respective fields, changing the way people think about transportation and space exploration. Musk’s story is a potent reminder that anyone can spot the potential in a new innovation and make a meaningful impact.

Just as Musk went against the grain to realize his ambitious dreams, there are countless startups that defy conventional wisdom and are on the brink of disrupting their industries. Anyone can invest in them through StartEngine.

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