Never Take a Week Off? Do you know why? Find here!

Adam Raphael
Nov 15, 2019 · 3 min read
Don’t take a week off, says Elon Musk

With success in his early internet start-ups, Elon Musk — the current CEO of SpaceX — earned what everyone in the late 1990s dreamed of being: a dotcom millionaire.
After selling his first conglomerate (Zip2) in 1999 to Compaq for around $300 million, Musk went on to found, which eventually became PayPal and received a massive buy of $1.5 billion from the e-commerce company eBay.
It was 2002 when Elon Musk founded SpaceX, the aerospace company that is worth an estimated $33 billion. In 2003, he established Tesla, which has a current market value of roughly $57 billion.

When asked about why he has an aversion to vacations, Elon Musk responded that “it’s partially due to work.” And to successfully build his start-ups, he would have to work over 100 hours a week.

Guess what? Not much has changed for Musk, as in 2018, he still found sleeping on the Tesla factory floor in an effort to speed up making on the Model 3 cars.

“I don’t have time to go home and shower,” Musk said in an interview to Gayle King on “CBS This Morning.”
“I don’t think people should be feeling hardship while the CEO is, like, off on vacation,” Elon Musk said.

In 2015, Musk had only taken off twice in over a decade, and both times were awkward.
In an interview with CNN, Elon Mush described, saying that “in the last 12 years, I only attempted to take a week off twice. The first time I exercised a week off, the Orbital Sciences rocket exploded, and Richard Branson’s (Virgin Galactic) rocket exploded during the same week.
“The second time I took a week off, my rocket exploded,” Musk further illustrated trouble in seeking vacations.

“The lesson here is, don’t take a week off,” at least after what has happened with Musk.
In fact, even before that events, Musk made a plan to take his earliest adult vacation, his honeymoon alongside first wife Justine in September 2000, he got terrible professional news there too.

What happened at the time was disturbing: Musk was the CEO of, and company executives were not happy with his leadership. While he was on the plane with Justine, executives send a letter of no-confidence to the company’s board, making Musk out as CEO, and replacing him with Peter Thiel (the co-founder of PayPal).

According to the Ashlee Vance’s book “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” when Musk arrived for his honeymoon celebrations in Sydney, Australia, he had to fly back to Palo Alto, California straightway.

Nevertheless, perhaps Musk’s most traumatic time off experience came when he and Justine decided to try and go on their honeymoon once more in that upcoming December.
The two-week trip was planned to be celebrated in South Africa and Brazil. When in South Africa, Musk contracted the most severe form of malaria.
More disaster happened when doctors from two hospitals misdiagnosed him, making him “came quite close to dying,” said Musk in “Elon Musk,” before being rightly treated in the nick of time.

“That’s my lesson for taking a vacation,” Musk said in his book.

Since Elon Musk’s disastrous outings, he has reportedly been on at least two vacations, including one to Australia and one to Chile.

Analog Thoughts

Speak one’s mind, unfiltered, unpolished, spontaneously

Adam Raphael

Written by

Analog Thoughts

Speak one’s mind, unfiltered, unpolished, spontaneously

More From Medium

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade