Is Elon Musk’s IQ Key to His Success? Is He a Genius?

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the top three wealthiest men in the world. As such, he has become a living icon, to which many smart businessmen and entrepreneurs aspire. However, unlike many other wealthy tycoons with millionaire mindsets, Musk has acquired his wealth and notoriety in a very different way. But that’s because he is a very different person.

Simply take a listen to any of the TV interviews or public addresses he makes, and it becomes notably evident that this man thinks and talks differently. But that’s because Elon dares to stand alone as a Sigma Male – a position in society that is rapidly becoming the podium from which the tech age is being pioneered.

Join us as we delve into the life of Elon Musk and try to pinpoint the character traits that have made him so successful. Is it Elon Musk’s IQ that gives him the edge, or is it something else? Carry on reading to find out more and draw your own conclusions.

Who is Elon Musk?

Elon Musk is a South African-born (1971), American engineer and entrepreneur who currently (December 2021) holds the spot as the world’s wealthiest man. Not only is he the richest man now, but he has emerged as the richest person in world history. His current fortune is estimated at around $265 billion. If things keep going from strength to strength, he will be worth more than $300 billion in no time at all. His closest rival at just under $200 billion, is Amazon owner, Jeff Bezos.

His successes have not gone unnoticed by the world. In fact, Time magazine, which is one of the most respected journalistic media outlets in the world, has nominated him as “Man of the Year 2021“.

But things have not always been easy-going for Mr. Musk. As a boy with Asperger’s syndrome, he was very misunderstood at school and became the victim of severe bullying in the playground. In fact, he once landed in the hospital for being pushed down a flight of stairs while at school. It was evident from early on that Elon Musk’s IQ score was above average, and that surely did him no favors on the social front.

Elon’s parents divorced in 1980, and he went to live with his father. He despised the man, labeling him, “a terrible human being… almost every evil thing you could possibly think of, he has done.” He admitted that he had a terrible upbringing.

Yet, despite the abuse and adversity in his early years, his quiet confidence was not shattered, nor his aspirations stolen. These qualities, together with Elon Musk’s IQ and drive, would prove to be effective tools to pioneer a different path in the future.

Elon Musk Quote #1: “Don’t confuse schooling with education. I didn’t go to Harvard, but people that work for me did.

The business mogul holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and applied physics. He applied to Stanford to complete his Ph.D. in physics but dropped out to pursue a business career instead.  It is from this departure point that he went on to start the web software company ‘Zip2’ with his brother. The start-up was acquired by Compaq for a massive $340 million, which is where Elon’s road to wealth began.

Signs of his Wealth?

It’s only worth learning from moguls that are successful in their own right. Of course, being the richest man in the world is a level of status worthy of admiration already, but when you realize just where Elon invested his interests, you’ll begin to realize how the Sigma Male mindset differs from the mainstream and how out of the box thinking is the way of the future.

Elon’s pillars of success include:

1. PayPal

Paypal logo

Musk used the money he made selling Zip2 to create a financial product called, which he made with the hopes of changing the future of banking. He merged his company with a firm called Confinity and rebranded as PayPal. Today, PayPal is one of the leading e-wallet and digital payment platforms in the world.

He was, however, fired from PayPal just before it was sold to eBay in 2002. He took $180 million in shares with him. As the smart brainchild behind this banking brand, we begin to see the embers of a mindset that dares to pioneer new things.

2. Tesla

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Electric Car

Elon then got involved with Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to help run the new Tesla Motors company. Here, Musk played a major part in car design and overall management. He seized control of the company after Eberhard was ousted in 2007. His boldness and innovative thinking have made the brand iconic in the motoring world. It is currently the leading electric car company on the globe. Tesla shares surged by 740% in 2020, thanks to several economic factors.

Tesla is also involved in the solar power business after it acquired SolarCity. This company presently produces two rechargeable solar batteries used for energy storage purposes.

3. SpaceX


Elon Musk is at the pinnacle of commercial space exploration with his company SpaceX.  He smartly invested $100 million to establish it in 2002. His goal was to develop a company offering interstellar travel to the public in the future. He has ambitious plans to send an astronaut to Mars before the end of 2025.

Through SpaceX, Musk managed to land several rocket-design contracts with NASA and the US Military. In fact, SpaceX has been involved in revolutionary developments for rocket technology. Musk’s daring mindset continually pushes the envelope for innovation in this industry.

4. Other Ventures

In 2016, Musk founded two more companies, Neuralink, and The Boring Hole Company. The Boring Hole Company specialises in drilling tunnels and constructing underground transport systems. Neuralink is involved in developing brain-machine interfaces to help people struggling with paralysis and other debilitating illnesses interact with their computers and devices.

Does Elon Musk IQ Level Make Him Successful? – 4 Keys to His Success

So, we know that Elon Musk is smart and successful, but what is it about him that makes everything he touches turn to gold? While there may be a vast contingent of qualities, we’d like to focus on two things that are clearly evident from his character:

1. What is Elon Musk’s IQ? – Is Elon Musk A Genius?

The man is incredibly intelligent. We estimate Elon Musk’s IQ to be around 155, which is very high. So, is Elon Musk a genius? Well, all the indicators are there. To be considered a genius, you need to score an IQ level of 140. Of course, intelligence is not necessarily an automatic guarantee for success, but it sure is a helpful tool to aid in getting you there. This number ranks along with Jeff Bezos and around 5 IQ points shy of the likes of Albert Einstein. It’s, however, doubtful the smart businessman will ever divulge the true figures.

Elon Musk Quote #2: “I hate when people confuse education with intelligence. You can have a bachelor’s degree and still be an idiot.”

It is his level of intelligence that helps him close the gap between his dreams and reality. I mean, how many people could pull off the things that he does? Space travel and electric cars? These things seemed like something out of science fiction movies a few years ago. Yet, Mr. Musk had the savvy to take these ‘pie in the sky’ ideas and make them work.   

2. Elon’s Drive to Learn

Elon has been very open about the fact that he is always learning. He is a voracious reader and believes that educating oneself is a great way to keep ahead of the game. In fact, he claims that books have been his foremost educator. He says, “I was raised by books. Books, and then my parents.”

This goes to show that the Elon Musk personality type is founded in humility and backed by immense amounts of drive. Humility, because he acknowledges that he always has space to learn new things and drive because is ever willing to push the boundaries in innovation and to test out new concepts.             

3. Mr. Musk’s Boldness    

Another positive factor of Elon Musk’s personality type is his boldness to tread where no man has gone before. His recent business ventures may seem outlandish to many other businessmen, but his willingness to take risks has certainly paid off.

He is adamant that doing important things matters. He said, “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.” It takes a brave man to stand against the grain and still succeed.                                                  

4. Elon’s Eccentric Outlook

It’s quite obvious that Mr. Musk thinks a little differently from most in the business world. Just look at his social media accounts and it becomes undeniable that he certainly thinks in a unique way. His awkward mannerisms and eccentric ways are depictive of Asperger’s Syndrome, which he openly admits he has.

Asperger’s is a condition on the Autism Spectrum that pertains to a group of neurological conditions. While Asperger’s people can be high-functioning individuals, they struggle with personal interaction and social awareness. They also generally have very narrow interests, which make them seem rather peculiar to mainstream society. However, it helps them remain adept in their fields of interest. While much of the world incorrectly sees autism as a handicap, Musk showcases it as a strength for the new age we live in.

It’s this different type of mindset that makes Elon so unique from his business peers. That gift, accompanied by a firm confidence in himself, is a fine asset to have in this day and age.

Elon is a Sigma Male – What is a Sigma Male?

Up till about a decade or two ago, the business world was dominated by Alpha Males. In pop culture, men are either Alphas or Betas. This analogy draws from the relationship between dominant and submissive wolves in a pack environment.

Betas are considered followers that are submissive and therefore dominate the lower end of the status pool. Alpha males are the generals of the pack, who tend to lead subordinate betas. They are generally assertive and full of aggression and drive.

Gemeni Wolf

As with wolves, there are also those that prefer to stand alone. These lone wolves are known as Sigma Males. The evolution in the business market space is opening much more space for Sigma Male success stories.

Let’s Draw a comparison from the table below of Sigma Males vs Alpha Males. We can then see which personality trait best suits Elon Musk:

The Sigma Male Test

Trait Sigma Male Alpha Male
Societal Standing Sigma Males live a life of solitude and are self-sufficient and independent. They will go against the grain and attempt new things. Alphas require a social group and like to be the centre of attention. As such – they will not deviate too far from the norm to maintain popularity.
Adaptability Sigma Males can blend in everywhere they go and can act as part of the crowd without becoming members of the group. The Sigma can assume different roles more easily. The alpha male stands out and does not blend in. 
Interaction with Others They do not treat social interaction as a competition. They treat everyone the same. As such – they are not intimidated by others. Alpha males interact to either control and intimidate someone or use them to their advantage.

So, which is it?

Just through short interactions with the businessman on TV and on the internet, you can tell Elon Musk is a Sigma Male. He is not a natural speaker, and his body language is awkward. However, at the same time, he is confident in who he is and what he knows. He is also highly adaptable, as each of his ventures is completely distinct from the next.

Elon Musk Quote #3: “If something is important enough you should try it even if the probable outcome is failure.”

His business ideas are certainly not mainstream either. They cut against the grain and are not popular among most business purists. Even his affinity for cryptocurrencies and other fringe technologies is something that stands him out from the crowd. Yet, it all works for Him!

Elon Musk: Is He the Businessman Benchmark for the Future?

Up until a few decades ago, the world belonged to the Alphas. Their strong personalities and ‘go-get-it’ attitudes were the mainstays of the business world. In fact, there are still many Alphas making it big today. However, tolerance for this belligerent leadership style is less tolerated overall.

As the world is evolving, more and more place is being made for those with a Sigma Male mindset. It’s the internet that empowers Sigma Males to rise up. They can have an impact without stepping into society to do so. The new ‘work from home’ mentality in the world is the breeding ground for Sigma success.

Conclusion – How Smart and Intelligent is Elon Musk?

We started out by asking, “how is Elon Musk so successful?” Well, the resounding answer through each phase of the discussion keeps coming back to three things about Elon Musk’s personality type.

  1. He dares to be different
  2. Elon is confident in how unique he is.
  3. He takes chances

Elon Musk’s IQ and eccentricity have roles to play in his surge to prominence, but we believe that his confidence to embrace his strengths is the real winner here. Don’t you? He is obviously an extremely intelligent man with smart business acumen. You simply cannot rise to the fore without such qualities at your disposal.


Sean van der Merwe

Sean is a senior writer at PokCas. He is an Entertainment, Gaming & Cryptocurrency News Reporter. He has more than 5 years of full-time writing experience.