Behind the figure of all great entrepreneurs, there is a beginning that is not always as easy as it may seem because of the success they achieve today. This is the case of Elon Musk, who had a difficult childhood and a complex start to his adult life.
Let’s review the first steps in Elon Musk’s life. Through these facts of his history, we can also understand some of the main features of his complex character, in which the strength of his determination to achieve his goals stands out.
Elon Musk’s childhood
The childhood and adolescence of Tesla’s founder were complicated. It was a far cry from the glamour of a successful life as one of the world’s richest men.
Born in South Africa at the age of nine, his parents split up, and he spent a good part of his childhood with his father, of whom he has often said he does not have fond memories.
He did not have an easy childhood with his schoolmates either. As he has told many times, he was repeatedly bullied and beaten as a child and was even betrayed by his best friend.
The mixture of an unhappy home and bullying at school made for, in his own words, a brutal and painful childhood.
The way to feel better
Musk’s relationship with technology served two purposes. The first was to escape from an unkind and harsh reality, and the second was to lay the foundations for what would be the future success of a technological visionary.
He was only twelve years old when he programmed and sold a video game (Blastar). He also began to show his business interests by opening a video game arcade near his school.
Musk’s qualitative leap came when he moved first to Canada and then to the USA. He studied and obtained two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. During this time, he also showed his organisational and management skills and a certain transgressive spirit, which has remained with him to the present day.
The beginning of success
At the age of 24, he moved to California to study for a PhD in applied physics at Stanford.
He was dazzled by the explosion of new technologies and business models emerging in Silicon Valley. With his business ideas in mind, he became part of the legion of start-ups trying to break through… the rest is history.