Entertainment And News

6 Strict Rules Elon Musk’s Mom Made Him & His Siblings Follow

Photo: Instagram / Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock
Elon Musk, Maye Musk

Elon Musk is the richest man on the planet, clocking in at a net worth of $221 billion dollars at the time of writing with his various business ventures and technological feats.

What many people don’t know, is that Musk also has two very successful siblings.

RELATED: 9 Strict Rules Elon Musk’s Seven Kids Must Follow

His brother Kimbal Musk started farm-to-table restaurants while his sister Tosca Musk is directing and producing movies through an entertainment company she started herself.

People are dying to know how the Musk family turned out to be so successful, so the woman behind it all, their mother, Maye Musk, spoke to CNBC about how she raised her children to be so bright and inventive.

Here are 6 rules that Elon Musk’s mom made him and his siblings follow growing up.

1. Start working at a young age.

Maye became a single mother of three when she was 31 years old, so she had to work very hard in order to take care of her children and enforced the same kind of ethic onto her kids.

She wasn’t asking them to lift bricks and build houses or anything crazy considering child labor is somewhat illegal and frowned upon in most places around the world, but she asked that they help her with her nutrition business while they were still quite young.

“Tosca would go into my office and type up letters to doctors on a word processor,” she said. “Elon was very good at helping to explain the word processor functions to me. Kimbal was always helpful, too.”

Everyone had their roles to play, and this behavior translated outside of her nutrition business as well, as Kimbal and Elon both started their capitalistic ventures young by selling homemade chocolate to rich people for 10 times the cost of making it.

2. They were taught to behave like adults.

“My parents treated us like adults who could be trusted,” Maye said, “and their influence is evident in how I raised my children.”

Maye made sure that it was no secret just how hard she was working to keep a roof over her kids’ heads and refused to hide the struggles of being an adult from her kids.

They understood that from a young age, you had to work hard in order to make it in this world, and so their level of maturity started with a much higher floor than the other kids their age.

“My kids benefited because they saw me work hard just to put a roof over our heads,” she said, “put food in our stomachs and purchase secondhand clothes.”

When she was eight years old, Maye made Tosca work at the modeling and image school she was running.

Working around adults in such a mature environment likely shaped her perspectives as well.

3. They must be in charge of their own studies.

Elon, Tosca, and Kimbal were to decide their studies for themselves.

Their mother never told them what they should study, the things they should read, or what they should do with their lives but instead, allowed them the opportunity to decide for themselves.

“I never told them what to study,” she said. “I didn’t check their homework; that was their responsibility.”

RELATED: 6 Strict Rules Elon Musk Makes His Employees Follow

She said that this environment meant that as they grew older, they would continue doing everything themselves and take responsibility for their futures.

“Tosca chose her own high school. They all applied to their universities of choice and completed their scholarship and student loan applications,” she said.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they knew how to file their own taxes too.

4. No luxuries were allowed.

Maye doesn’t believe that spoiling your kids does anything for them — in fact, it might do more harm than good.

Raising three kids as a single mother was hard enough on its own, but she never wanted to raise her kids to have the things that she didn’t or spoil them — that simply wasn’t the kind of mother she was.

“When they went to college, they lived in quite poor conditions: mattress on the floor, six roommates, or a dilapidated house. But they were fine with it,” she said.

She hoped that a life without luxury would help her children take care of themselves, and considering Elon rarely flaunts his wealth, she clearly did something right.

“If your children aren’t used to luxuries, they survive well,” she continued. “You don’t need to spoil them. Once you’re sure your kids are in safe situations, let them look after themselves.”

5. Let your creativity blossom, and allow yourself to be curious.

Maye always talks about how curious Elon was about the world, how he would always have his head in a book or in the clouds, wondering what he should do next.

“He was always curious,” she explained to Mindvalley, “and then after his PayPal sold, he said ‘Should I do space rockets? Or should I do solar panels? Or should I do electric cars?’ and I said, ‘You just do one thing,’” but clearly he didn’t listen to her.

Her children never shied away from failure and always looked to the future whenever things went wrong, looking for ways to make their next tries go right.

“In the beginning, when [Elon’s] rockets were exploding,” she said, “I would just curl up and want to cry in a corner whereas Elon would come out and say ‘Now we find out what went wrong and we will do the next one right!’”

6. Maye Musk taught Elon to take charge of his own future.

Much like deciding their own studies for themselves, once they grew into young adults, she wanted them to take responsibility for the future they create for themselves.

She built the life that she has for herself on her own, so her children should be able to do the same thing for themselves and she implores other parents to let their children do the same.

“So many parents get easily stressed about their kids. I saw it often in my nutrition practice,” she said.

“My advice? Let your kids handle their own documents to get themselves into universities or jobs. They should be responsible for their future.”

If they chose a different route like starting their own business, “support them,” but above all else, “let them decide what they want.”

It seems like Maye had a lot of supporting to do considering all three of her children have started their own businesses and created successful lives for themselves.

RELATED: 8 Reasons People Are Mad About Elon Musk Buying Twitter

Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!