Before Elon Musk was a multi-billionaire magnate, inventor, investor, Simpsons character and innovation representative, he was already forging his path for a lucrative future as a teenager.
While we were 16 worrying about trivial things like A Level results and cultivating a strong Twitter game, Elon Musk was wondering whether he had it in him to be the world’s greatest entrepreneur. And thus his first innovative experiment began: The $1-a-day experiment.
Speaking to the internet’s favourite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk explained the logic behind the purposeful frugality: “So I was like, ‘Oh, okay. If I can live for a dollar a day — at least from a food cost standpoint — it’s pretty easy to earn $30 dollars in a month, so I’ll probably be ok.”
He wasn’t always concerned with trying to change the world from the beginning. Musk understood that great entrepreneurs begin from the bottom and work their way up step-by-step. He passed his own test by eating primarily hot dogs for sustenance and oranges for nutrition.
A decade later, Musk made his first million and now has an estimated value of $10.5 billion.
As a further experiment, a writer for Business Insider attempted the $1-a-day experiment but raising the allowance to $2 to account for inflation. The writer found that with will power and a tolerance for eating the same food every day, $2 a day can get you very far.
Summarising the experience, the BI writer wrote: “I can’t promise the challenge will lead to billionaire status or successful entrepreneurial endeavours — nor do I recommend this nutrient-starved lifestyle (and neither does Musk). But in my experience, it changed my perspective on what truly is possible.”