Wanna build a rocket? Read a book. Reading Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs.


Elon Musk is undoubtedly the figurehead of the accolade ‘successful entrepreneur’. He’s been called by his fandom the ‘Edison of our generation’, the Steve Jobs of Heavy Industry and the “Henry Ford of rockets.’

His intellectual curiosity seems unparalleled and his hunger for knowledge insatiable. One trait he has in common with his entrepreneurial peers is that Musk is obsessed with reading. When asked how he learned to build rockets Elon Musk’s blunt response was ‘I read books”.

Jim Cantrell, Space X’s first VP of business development at its launch in 2012 and initial aerospace consultant to Musk, has candidly expressed his awe of Musk’s intellectual capacity and ability to literally memorize textbooks verbatim.

Cantrell reportedly loaned textbooks to Musk including "Rocket Propulsion Elements," "Aerothermodynamics of Gas Turbine and Rocket Propulsion," "Fundamentals of Astrodynamics," and the "International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems."

"He would quote passages verbatim from these books. He became very conversant in the material," Cantrell has reported.

"He is the smartest guy I've ever met, period," Cantrell tells us. "I know that sounds overblown. But I've met plenty of smart people, and I don't say that lightly. He's absolutely, frickin' amazing. I don't even think he sleeps."

Elon Musk may not sleep and may eat lackluster meals but the guy reads. And so do many of his efficacious entrepreneurial counterparts. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man says he reads 50 books per year. Oprah Winfrey who began reading at the age of 3 stated that “Books were my path to personal freedom.”

Mark Cuban is said to spend three hours a day reading as it grants him a “level of comfort and confidence.” In 2015 Mark Zuckerberg launched a book club on his Facebook page and vowed to read one new book every other week.

Warren Buffet is famously quoted as citing reading as the key to his success. (Pointing to a stack of books) he stated,

“Read 500 pages like this every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Will you?


Cover Art by The Red Dress-London