There are a number of inspirational women ‘of a certain age’ (baby boomers) I follow on social media. One of them is Canadian-born Maye Musk, a 71-year-old iconic fashion model and influencer. Musk is as smart as she is beautiful. She’s written a new book titled A Woman Makes A Plan, Advice For a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success, and it’s full of inspirational stories and lessons learned in her colourful life.
Here are just a few of her credentials:
- Registered Dietician with double Masters’ Degrees
- Former Chair of Consulting Dieticians of Ontario and Past President of Consulting Dieticians of Canada
- Domestic abuse survivor
- Raised her three children as a single mother with little income
- Mother of Elon Musk, Tesla and space entrepreneur , Kimbal who owns a chain of restaurants, and daughter Tosca, a producer of romance movies.
Born in Canada, Maye moved with her parents and siblings, including a twin sister, to South Africa when the children were very young. They lived an adventurous life including annual camping trips across the desert in search of a lost city. While attending university in South Africa, she was talked into entering a beauty contest. The prize for the winner included introductory modeling lessons. This exposure gave her not only the confidence to pursue modeling as a second, part-time job, but provided extra income needed throughout her life.
Pressured into an early marriage with a man she suspected would not make a good husband, she produced three children in three years. Her husband turned out to be controlling and abusive. After suffering at his hands for several years she finally managed to extricate herself from the marriage but never felt truly free until she moved back to Canada where her children wanted to pursue their education.
It’s easy to assume someone who looks like Maye Musk was always slim, beautiful and affluent. This was certainly not the case. At one time she weighed 205 lbs. and more often than not she was broke trying to raise her children herself. But, as they say, those experiences that don’t destroy us can serve to make us stronger and Musk is happy to share what she’s learned along the way. She’s worked hard to create the life she now enjoys.
In fact, Maye and I share a lot of the same philosophical ideas:
- Do not stay in a toxic situation. It’s not easy to get out, but make a plan and make it happen. “No matter how hard it is, you have to get through it. You have to get out.”
- Ask for what you want. “Some women can be shy, or lacking in confidence, or scared of rejection, so they don’t want to ask for what they want. Men don’t seem to have that problem. They think they’re fabulous and deserve a better job, a raise, more benefits, the corner office with windows, even if they’re obnoxious and incompetent. We’ve seen that way too often.”
- Remove food triggers from your kitchen. When there are no cookies or candies in your pantry, then you can’t binge.
- You don’t have to be stylish to dress well. You just need a stylish friend (to help and advise you).
- Networking is essential in business and your personal life in order to grow.
- Getting older is a good thing. “Every decade of my life has been better than the last.”
My only complaint with Maye Musk’s book is that it was too brief. Her story is amazing and I wish she’d shared even more of her experiences and advice. I highly recommend A Woman Makes A Plan. I’d rate it 8 out 10 and only wish there’d been more content and more pictures.
(Disclosure: If you order from this link, I may receive a teeny, tiny commission. Thank you.)