Tech billionaire and business magnate, Elon Musk, announced in May of 2020 that he is “selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.” Just 8 months later, Elon sold his last 3 houses. This makes us wonder, why did Elon decide to go minimal? What lessons can we learn from the billionaire selling his many houses? Elon’s actions tend to polarize people, either you love him or hate him, but he does certainly make people wonder….
Lessons From Elon Musk Selling Everything
It’s Okay To Pivot
According to Business Insider, at the time of Elon’s Tweet that he would “own no house,” he owned at least 7 houses worth over $100 million in total. This begs the question, why did Elon purchase so many homes? I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that it’s okay to change your mind and pivot sometimes. He may have had other plans with his real estate investments (he reportedly used Gene Wilder’s former home solely as an exclusive private school for his children and those of a few SpaceX and Tesla employees). Whatever his reason for going minimal, Elon made the decision and followed through.
Money Is Not Everything
As a follow up to Elon’s notorious “selling almost all physical possessions” Tweet, he listed one limitation, “Just one stipulation on sale: I own Gene Wilder’s old house. It cannot be torn down or lose any its soul.”
One might think since Elon is a billionaire (at the time of writing this he has an estimated net worth of $179.4 billion) he cares how much money he will make by selling his many houses and wants the money as quickly as possible. However, according to Variety, Elon sold the house to one of Gene Wilder’s nephews and his wife and provided owner financing to the couple for as much as 95% of the purchase price. Owner financing is a way to buy a house without a mortgage.
You probably have values and ethics that you feel are more important than money in some situations. Don’t let society take that away from you – money is not everything and you should not feel bad for having morals.
Tell Everyone Your Intentions
Announcing to your family and friends (or all of Twitter) that you’ve taken on a new challenge or made a commitment, like saving for a house, increasing your credit score or anything else, will help you actually achieve what you’re saying. You are more likely to stay dedicated to your goals once you make your intentions known and have your reputation on the line in some sense. Spreading the word about our no spend month was one of our rules because it helped keep us accountable.
Learn about different types of bank accounts to find the right one for your lifestyle to help you reach your financial goals.
Stick To Your Goals
When asked if Elon was selling his possessions, including his houses, because he needed the cash, he replied “Don’t need the cash. Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession just weigh you down.” Although your priorities change, if you are set on a goal, like traveling to Mars or retiring early, you can change your lifestyle to fit your goals. Achieving your goals may require sacrificing things you don’t care as much about, but that’s all part of a well-thought out plan – and following through of course.
Focus On Only A Few Goals At A Time
Many people are throwing around the idea that Elon is now a “minimalist.” So, we thought it would be helpful to understand what minimalism is. Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as a “style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness or simplicity.” This is in reference to music, literature or design. Moreover, a minimalist can be described as a person who prefers to restrict “the achievement of a set of goals to a minimum.” That certainly sounds like someone who decides to sell most of their possessions, including houses, to focus on “Mars and Earth.”
It’s great to have many goals that you want to achieve in life and we are believers that you can focus on more than one at a time, but you should limit your current goals to only a few. This is because having too many goals can be overwhelming and you may not make as much progress on many goals as compared to having just 2-3 goals. Remember you can have a big goal, like becoming debt-free, and then set smaller bite-sized goals to help you achieve the big one, like paying off a credit card. Learn how to use SMART goals to help you achieve your goals more efficiently.
Financial freedom begins with good habits.Rebecca & Tiago, theloadedpig.com