You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Elon Musk's Ex-Wife Justine Musk on What She Learned Living With an Extreme Entrepreneurial Success Justine Musk reveals what she observed, from her courtside seat, about those destined for great success.

By Catherine Clifford

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

TEDx Talks | Youtube
Justine Musk

Insanity and godlike genetics. Those are the qualities needed to achieve extreme success, à la Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

That's according to the intimate perspective of Elon Musk's ex wife Justine Musk, formerly Justine Wilson, who was wed to the Tesla Motors businessman for nearly a decade.

Those who have achieved "extreme success," says Justine, who divorced Elon in 2008, live differently than most others. "These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way," she wrote in response to a question on the user-generated response platform Quora back in 2015. "They don't think the way other people think. They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights. Other people consider them to be somewhat insane."

Related: Great Entrepreneur, Lousy Lover?

Justine met Elon, who is originally from South Africa, as students at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where she was studying english literature. The pair married in 2000. They welcomed their first child together, son Nevada Alexander Musk in 2002, however, he died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at just 10 weeks old. Following the tragic loss, the two sought out IVF and later welcomed their twin boys Griffin and Xavier Musk in April 2004. The couple went through IVF a second time, welcoming triplets Kai, Saxon and Damian Musk in January 2006.

As her husband achieved astronomical success, literally, now Canadian author Justine Wilson watched herself slowly take a back seat to his work. She watched herself become a trophy wife, she revealed in Marie Claire in 2010.

Marital woes aside, Justine walked away with a courtside view of success that many don't get to see. One of her key takeaways is that you shouldn't pursue something simply because you want to become great. "Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you," she wrote on Quora. "Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic, so if the work itself doesn't drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry."

Related: Reality Check: You Need to Care About More Than Your Business

"Once you have found a topic that compels you, then find a problem. And in your obsessive pursuit to solve that problem, don't expect to have role models. You will be forging your own path," she said, per Business Insider.

Forging that path is not all mental; taking care of your body is key. "It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina. If you are not blessed with godlike genetics, then make it a point to get into the best shape possible," Justine wrote. "Keep your body sharp to keep your mind sharp. It pays off."

After their split, Mr Musk went on to marry actress Talulah Riley in 2010 before they divorced in 2012. However, they rekindled and remarried in 2014, just to divorce again two years later in 2016.

That same year, Musk began dating Aquaman actress Amber Heard, who's notable entangled in a defamation case with ex-husband Johnny Depp. The two dated for only a year before parting ways, however, the breakup was tough on the Space X founder, telling Rolling Stone he was "really in love, and it hurt bad," in November 2017.

In 2018, Page Six revealed Musk had started dating singer and musician Grimes, who's real name is Claire Boucher, before the pair made their red carpet debut at the Met Gala in New York. Together with Grimes, Musk got back to expanding his family and the couple welcomed their son, X Æ A 12 in May 2020, however they later changed his name to X Æ A XII to comply with California Laws. The proud parents call him "baby x" for short.

Since welcoming their son, the couple's relationship status has been up and down, but they announced the birth of their second child, daughter Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, via surrogate in December 2021.

The free speech advocate, who's son to father Errol Musk and mother Maye Musk, was also rumored to be dating Australian actress Natasha Bassett. Although Musk's love life is much more public than from his days married to Justine Wilson, the two still share custody of their children, per People, however, not much is known about where the exes coparenting relationship stands today.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks

Zooey Deschanel Embraces the Word 'Quirky' and Thinks Businesses Should Too

A Simple (But Not Easy) Guide to Achieving Almost Any Dream

Making Time to Be 'Useless' Is a Vital Part of Creating Anything Valuable

A Billionaire Who Operates More Than 2,400 Franchises Knows These Types of Franchisees Make the Most Money

How Relentless Optimism Fuels Success for Hilary Schneider, CEO of Shutterfly

The Paradox of Celebrity Tequila

Social Media Was Draining Me, So I Gave It Up. My Business Has Never Been Stronger.

Most Popular

'What a Shame': A Generation Mourns as Apple Announces It Will Discontinue Beloved Device

Emily Rella

The House Where Mark Zuckerberg Created Facebook (Now Meta) Just Hit the Market for Millions

Emily Rella

Peloton Stock Price Plummets as Treadmill Prices Decrease: How Did the Fitness Titan Get Here?

Emily Rella

  • Cookies Policy
  • Contact Support
  • Advertise

Subscribe to our Newsletter

The latest news, articles, and resources sent to your inbox.

I understand that the data I am submitting will be used to provide me with the above-described products and/or services and communications in connection therewith.

Copyright © 2022 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Entrepreneur® and its related marks are registered trademarks of Entrepreneur Media Inc.

Successfully copied link

Related: Secrets to Being Both an Executive and a Mom
Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.


I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.


94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.


6 Habits That Help Successful People Maximize Their Time

There aren't enough hours in the day, but these tips will make them feel slightly more productive.

Growing a Business

Looking to Achieve Your Goals But Don't Know Where to Start? Try These Proven Goal-Setting Strategies.

Find a more effective way of creating – and achieving – your goals. Get clear on your vision, make your plan, take action, reassess and then revise.