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Elon Musk – From Being Bullied To Becoming a Billionaire


Elon Musk is not just the richest man in the world, his name has become synonymous with success, wealth, philanthropism, innovation, and every other thing that connotes affluence. His unbelievable wealth is still surging upward as he ended the year 2021 as the world’s richest man.


He’s very well known as the co-founder of payment systems Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. His astronomical growth as a billionaire has earned him comparison with the former richest man in the world John D Rockefeller and other multi-billionaires.

Elon was born to a South African father and a Canadian mother in 1971 and he’s currently worth US$304 billion. While he’s been a big inspiration for both young and old people, many are wondering how he attained his wealth. Of course, his attainment of wealth is not without sweat and stress but what makes his story unique is that he had a turbulent childhood and built his wealth from scratch.

Life as a child

Elon Musk was the first of three children from his parent. Coincidentally, his two siblings are also high-flyers in their respective endeavours. His sister is named Tosca Musk and she has won several awards for producing and directing movies. Also, his immediate younger brother Kimbal Musk is described as a successful venture capitalist and environmentalist.

The Struggles

They were all living with their parent, Maye Musk and Errol Musk, until 1980 when they divorced and had the children move in with their father. Growing up as a boy, Elon revealed that he had done the most terrible thing imaginable “I had a terrible upbringing. I had a lot of adversity growing up. One thing I worry about with my kids is they don’t face enough adversity,” Musk was quoted as saying.

So, he grew up without the care and attention of both parents, which accounted for why he exhibited some of the behaviours that he mentioned.

Turbulent Childhood

He was easily the smartest kid among the lots in his school. According to him, he read whatever he laid his hands on. Because of his intellect and high IQ, he attracted intelligent friends at Waterkloof House Preparatory School. He eventually moved to Pretoria Boys High School, where he graduated with flying colours despite being bullied.

Major Barriers

“They got my best friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up. And that hurt,” Musk said. “For some reason, they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop. That’s what made growing up difficult. For several years, there was no respite. You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the (expletive) out of me, and then I’d come home, and it would just be awful there as well.”

Early Achievement and Accomplishment

Even before he clocked 10, Elon had already started programming using the Commodore VIC-20 home computer. He created a video game at that tender age and sold the code that he used to make the game for $500 to the magazine dubbed PC and Office Technology.

It was at the point of selling codes for the game that he realized how to make money. So he went on to make a plan with his brother to establish a video game arcade near their school but they couldn’t get a permit to open this arcade because it was exclusively for adults who were granted permits by the city.


He attended the University of Pretoria briefly, and it was during a waiting period that he applied for a Canadian passport. He avoided conscription in South Africa because he was in school. When he travelled to Canada, he enrolled at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, before moving to the University of Pennsylvania two years later. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

Following his graduation, he proceeded to Silicon Valley for an internship where he researched electrolytic ultracapacitors. Then, he proceeds to the Stanford University of California, where he gains admission into a doctorate program in material science. Somehow, he called it quits and didn’t complete the doctorate program and then joined the internet market.

Innovations by Elon Musk

·         Tesla, inc

Formerly Tesla Motors, this company was incorporated in 2003 by the duo of Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk invested a staggering $6.5 million in the business and then a financial crisis set in between 2007 and 2008.

The Startup

This led to Musk taking over the helm of the company as the CEO and architect of the product in 2008. When Musk took over the reins of the company, his goal was to transform the entire automotive industry from using combustible energy to green energy. This led to the launching of the Tesla Roadster, the first electric car in 2007.

He sold 10% of his stock in the company and the worth of the company is still surging upwards.

  • X.Com and Paypal

X.com is one of the numerous companies Elon Musk anchors, Christopher Payne, Ed Ho, and Harris Fricker in 1999. Musk realized that Confinity Inc had a good payment system and he led the buying of the company for a merger in 2000. Following the merger, the name of the company changed to Paypal and then eBay purchased it in 2002 for 1.5B USD. Paypal will be spun off to an independent company.

Space X is one of the innovations of Elon Musk that was incorporated in 2002. The company was established in 2002 with the sole aim of lowering the cost of transportation to space. It was done to colonize the planet Mars. This company has constructed some heavy space rocket vehicles and other communication satellites.

Space X is the first private company to fund a liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit. They were also the first company to send astronauts to orbit. The International Space Station is among their numerous achievements.

Zip2 was launched in 1995 by Elon Musk and Kimbal Musk. The primary goal of this company is to assist newspapers in providing city guide software. In 1998, Zip2 attempted to stop competition as it tried to buy its biggest industry rival CitySearch. Although Musk initially wanted the merger, he realized they had different cultures and technology. Hence, he asked the board of directors to pull out of the merger.

Zip2 was eventually bought by Compaq Computer in 1999.


Elon Musk has inspired so many people in business and innovation. He recently acquired Twitter and modified it X, which has become a source of income for influencers. Musk’s journey to becoming a billionaire is a culmination of his intelligence, hard work, innovative thinking, and strategic decision-making

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