Cover girl, Dior Beauty Muse, mother of Elon Musk, the richest man on the planet, nothing could resist the charismatic May Musk! An extraordinary journey that leaves you dreaming … However, not always everything was luxury, magic and success. The famous septuagenarian shares her poignant story in her latest book, Life Lessons (Thierry Socard Editions), an opportunity for her to look back on her battle-formed existence. Page after page, we discover an amazing personal development guide to facing adversity. Universal and powerful, everyone will learn from him in order to take charge of their lives. Somewhere in this book we talk about you…
After reading your book, we want to conquer the world! She could have given up a thousand times, but on the contrary, she always showed resilience and optimism. How do you cultivate this mind of steel?
May Musk : I had no choice, I had to live above all. When I left my abusive husband and my father to my children, I had to secure our future. We had to repeat to ourselves that there was only one way out: get out of it! We fall, get up and go again. If you are not satisfied with your personal or professional life, come up with a plan and solutions to improve your existence. Only you can be responsible, be aware of that! You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can have the life you want at any age. All you need is a strategy. I am living proof. Remember that you can always get out of it if you take matters into your own hands.
“Having a plan” is the red thread of your book, originally titled “Woman Makes a Plan.” But how do you develop an effective plan when you’re navigating the unknown and a series of failures and trials?
Learn how to overcome difficulties! When I got to Canada with my meager savings I had to start all over again, going door to door to doctors to get them to work with me. Nobody Wants Me, a new registered dietitian from South Africa, aspires to provide her services to their patients. Despite my questioning, my spontaneous applications, and my frequent phone calls, I was ignored. So I came up with a plan to prove the effectiveness of my expertise. Thus, I proposed to conduct an experiment on patients to prove that there would be before and after thanks for my support. My strategy paid off! They started asking me.
All this time, I never gave up modeling because this activity allowed me to improve our financial situation.
And today, you’re the cover girl, May Musk! How do you live a model that we move away from?
It’s fun every day! I enjoy every moment. I, haute couture designer of that symbol of French sophistication and elegance that is Maison Dior, have the impression of living a daydream … When I had my children, it was already difficult to find contracts, and then, as I approached my forties, the ax finally fell: I made an industry Fashion is not visible. Modeling wasn’t my main activity, just my passion and potential to put butter in spinach. To be able to afford an economy class ticket to go see my mother, for example, to buy new clothes for my children and myself… So my goal was to stay active. It doesn’t matter what role I’m assigned to.
At 42, I was booked to play a grandmother in a campaign, and then asked to be the woman who would illustrate ads for mattresses or aspirin pills. We always need a white-haired woman to embody these kinds of roles!
My Musk: Remember that you can always get out of it if you take matters into your own hands. I’m living proof!”
Isn’t this depressing and disgusting?! Moreover, the studies follow one another and are similar: the number one factor of discrimination in the professional world is related to age. What advice would you give to women who don’t want to see their horizons limited by their biological age?
From experience, I can tell you that men often start ignoring women at a certain age. Men who are often the decision makers because they have a monopoly on positions of power. This is work. Women don’t have to slow down as they get older, and neither do men! For my part, I explore everything, have fun and be busy. Don’t let age slow you down or stop you from moving forward. Take care of yourself the best you can by eating healthy, being active, smiling, and being confident. Above all, don’t be afraid of getting old because you can age well today. I also call on women to surround themselves with inspiring and benevolent figures.
Don’t agree to go to work with a lump in your stomach, we spend a lot of time there! Reverse the situation, even if you think you will have nothing after that. Put your energy into finding something better. Also learn how to take advantage of social networks. Today, your best calling card is the content you share on the platforms. Be creative and creative, show who you are, your artistic and athletic talents… Make it known to those around you. Everyone has a talent that they can share with others. I have a lot of fun on social networks, and I manage my Instagram account myself. Well it is true that my super helper helps me make good reels and illustrate stories.
With social networks, there is another reality that has exacerbated the cult of appearance and superficiality … How is there in this world that starred “Barbie dolls” – not normal – in other words, a new norm that puts extra pressure on women?
Everyone has their own interpretation of happiness and thrives on this design. I will not curse these women who see everything on their body, at the expense of undergoing painful plastic surgeries. They crave the cup and feel happy afterwards. Besides, it takes guts to inflict so much physical pain on yourself! Obsession with external beauty can generate anxiety if you are not perfect. It can make you unhappy and prevent you from developing great personality traits like intelligence or being fun and interesting.
When I landed in the States, I had to console myself with the fact that beauty was a major theme, especially when it came to women. I remember calling my twin sister Kay to tell her about this American obsession with tying everything to aesthetics (laughs).
In my home country, women are valued for their intelligence, sympathy, and good sense of humor. Beauty is everywhere in the United States and shapes a lot of things in the world. For me, it’s better to be interesting than pretty. Let’s not try so desperately to look like everyone else, you need to be yourself, be honest. Even as a young model, I didn’t seek the envy of others: I was interested in gaining exposure, so my plan was to understand why some models were booked more than others. A model whose career becomes global, because he launches something.
Be you, because others are already taken!
You just mentioned Kaye, your beloved sister. They both share children who have done very well! What’s your recipe?
We grew up with entrepreneurial parents, and saw the world through their eyes. Well, they weren’t the kind of entrepreneurs we find in your famous Forbes ranking, but they were nonetheless inhabited by the desire to take on projects even if it meant taking risks. They also relayed to us the fact of asking their children’s opinion, which may be appropriate. But also to get out of your comfort zone. I wanted my children to take into account my work from an early age, if you don’t work and it displeases you, it won’t be fun for them. From an early age, they helped me lock in my diet. In my office, Tosca wrote letters to doctors, Elon was really good at explaining word processing functions to us, and Kimbal was helpful too. This early assumption of responsibility was beneficial to them.
I didn’t treat them like children, and I didn’t have to protect them from adult reality. They saw me struggle to pay my bills to fill the fridge. My children are not used to luxury nor do they depend on it. It will never be an end in itself for them.
I also always supported my children in their studies and career.
Looking back, I realize that everything they do today was rooted in what they valued as children. I love my 3 kids very much and am so proud of them! My eldest son, Elon, builds electric cars to save the environment and launches rockets. My youngest son, Kimball, started farm-to-table restaurants. He goes to underprivileged schools to teach young people how to grow fruits and vegetables. My daughter, Tosca, runs her own entertainment company, which produces and directs romantic films through adaptations of best-selling novels. They all have different interests.
My Musk: All of my kids have done really well and Elon has done very well.”
Your son, Elon Musk, has an incredible fascination with people. Did I expect such a fate?
no. As a child, he was very shy and also slept very little, about 3 to 4 hours a night! At the age of 12, I noticed that he had read it all. But above all, that he completely absorbed what he read. At that time, we called it the “Encyclopedia” because he remarkably read the “Encyclopedia Britannica” and memorized it all! I think we’ll call it “the Internet” today. In fact, we understood that he is a child prodigy.
Do you believe in luck?
Rather than the small vicissitudes of fate that often smiled at me at unexpected times. There were complete strangers on my way who were kind to me. And when I think about it, I tell myself that this is the return I never expected from my altruistic actions. Be nice and connect with people, and don’t expect anything in return. Believe me, karma will bring it back to you someday when you are in a bad state. My book is full of these tales!
If there are things to bring back in your life journey, what would you want to change?
If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t waste time thinking I could change someone to make them better for me. I will stay away from bad people, and I will not accept underestimation of people who think they are above me.
What else do you want to accomplish?
At this exact moment, I dream of seeing my book and it’s a bestseller! My book Life Lessons has been published in 100 countries. Today, before we started the interview, I learned that my book was already a bestseller in Vietnam, Turkey, South Africa, and China. This fills me with joy!
And what is your next plan?
Write a new book!
For more :
Lessons from a Lifetime by May Musk
Editions Thierry Socard
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