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Maye Musk On Raising Successful Children And Leveling Up Her Own Career


So your book is called
“A Woman Makes A Plan,” but you talk about
in your book how plans are
often sideswiped and you have to
make a new plan. So what is it about the plan and not holding
onto it too tightly? Well, you do want to
hold onto it tightly, because you’ve got this plan and it’s going to be great. And then, you know,
all sorts of things get thrown at you and
then you are miserable, and then you have to say, “Now
I need to make another plan.” And what my books
says is that I stayed in miserable
situations too long, so maybe you
don’t have to. And you talk about
untraditional ways that you pushed
your career forward when you were met
with resistance. Can you talk to
me about that? Well, everything you do,
first of all as a dietician, I actually started
my own practice. I was 21 and I started
my practice at 22, because I fell
pregnant on honeymoon. You really can’t go
looking for a job. And so just from
home, small practice picking up over the years. So that’s why
you figure out, well, you have to
work from home well, you have to
work from home because you’ve got kids. because you’ve got kids. And then you find that you’ve
become very successful, and you think, well,
maybe I can live better than this by not being
absolutely miserable every day in this bad marriage. And when you
moved to New York, you signed with a very
big modeling agency. And it wasn’t going better,
like you expected it to go. I know. So how did you
deal with that? I was very sad, because
I would go into the agency. First of all, I had
some big campaigns, and then I joined
the larger agency. They just kept on saying
I’m just not good enough and nobody wants to
see me at castings. And I’m thinking, but surely
they could just meet me, and then maybe? And then sometimes
I would say look I’ve joined
you for six months. The first job I went
to, I booked the job. So now I don’t have
anymore castings? And I didn’t join you
to stop modeling. They said, “We’re
doing our best! Don’t complain,
we’re doing our best.” And then they’d send
me out for one casting. And then the casting
director would see me lining up with 30
women, come and grab me and say, “At long
last we’ve got you!” And they’d bring
me to the front. And they’d say, “We
want you for this job!” And I’d say, “Great!” And then they said, “Because you just
haven’t been available.” I’m thinking, why
am I not available? And then I would
mention to my agency, and then they would
scream at me saying, “Well, we’re doing our best! They’re mixing you
up with other models.” And I’m thinking not
many models my age. So this went on
for a long time, and every time I complained,
they would scream at me that they’re
doing their best. And then I started getting
model agencies all around, all surrounding New
York, as well as Europe, and then I could model. Have you had moments of
lapses of confidence, and what do you do to
help get over those? You have many
lapses of confidence. You are defeated many
times where you think I’m in this dark tunnel and
I can’t climb out of it. And you just have
to keep on thinking, how do I get out of
this bad situation? Sometimes the
law has to change for you to be able
to get divorced, or move out of a
contract, you know? You have to be able
to fight for yourself. But I was always a softie,
so I always trusted people. I always didn’t know why
they would be malicious or why would they be nasty? What’s the
advantage to them? And I guess people just
like control and power, and if they can
have power over you, it gives them joy,
but it’s not right. Change seems to be something that helps people
grow a lot, but is also very
scary for most people. Reading your book is like one major life
change after another. Is change something
that you lean into, or something that you
were forced to do? Every time it was to
better my situation, and it was always scary, and I just went into
the deep end, you know? And then I kept swimming
until I came to the surface. It takes a long time. So when you move, like to a
new city or a new country, you know nobody. I worked for myself, so it’s not like I had
colleagues around me, and it takes you a
while to get friends or meet people, and to
build up your practice. I mean, my kids were eating peanut butter sandwiches
for dinner. And to be able to actually
buy a chicken once a week to have some chicken and
potatoes and vegetables, that was always a thrill. So you look forward to
good things like that. You raised incredibly
successful children. You have three children. Can you tell me what you did
when you were raising them Can you tell me what you did
when you were raising them that made them the way
that they are today? Well, I think it’s
similar to my parents. They were working
all the time. I only saw them at six o’clock
in the evening for dinner, and they just made
us independent. We started working for
them when we were young. And in the same way, my
children were helping me. They were very aware that
I had my practice at home, and they need to be well-behaved
and do their own homework, and they need to be well-behaved
and do their own homework, because I didn’t have
time to work with them. And they were, they
were really good kids. I was very lucky. And you let them follow
their own passions? They followed
their own passions, and they all went in
different directions. And what is so magical
about the age 12? And what is so magical
about the age 12? Well, you don’t
know it’s a magic age until you tell your
stories and then you say, “Oh, actually by
12 we already knew what they were going to do. And then as I said, they
went in different directions. When we moved to Toronto,
my funds were blocked, so I was a research officer
at the University of Toronto. So they could have
come there for free if they studied,
or very little, if they studied
medicine or law. But Elon and Kimbal
wanted to study business, and then Elon went on to
study physics as well. Tosca wanted to study film. So they had to get
their own scholarships, they had to get
their own loans, and they had to support
themselves, and they did it. And looking back at the
way you raised your children, what is the best gift
you think you gave them? Well, I think I was strict, and they tell me
I was a pushover. So there you go. So there you go. I think being polite and
considerate of others, and doing good for others. I think they saw that. As a dietician they
saw me doing that. And they all do good
things for others. And they all do good
things for others. And at 69, you became the
oldest COVERGIRL in history. How did they get you
to do that campaign? What was that process like? Well, first of all,
I was Instagram. So Instagram got
me IMG Models, which they said there’s a beauty
company that’s interested in me. And I thought oh yeah, you
know, you hear these things. And then they said, “Oh, we’re going to be
meeting with COVERGIRL.” I said, “Okay!” And I go there and I see
all my Instagram photos up on the mood board,
and I’m saying, “Hmm, That’s interesting.” And then they’re
talking as if I was the COVERGIRL already, and then afterwards I
leave with my agent I said, “Am I a COVERGIRL?” She said, “Yes,
the contract. We’ve got the contract. We’re working on it.” I said, “Oh, until I
sign that contract, I’m not saying anything.” And I wasn’t allowed
to say anything. And then when that contract
came, it was just fantastic. I just thought, wow! It’s like every
model’s dream to be the face of a makeup
brand, and now I am. And the commercial, I still remember seeing
it for the first time. It talks about age head-on,
and it’s very moving. What was that process like, and what did you think
about the campaign when you were shooting it? Well, I thought they
made me look fabulous. They really did. And then they wanted me
dancing on a rooftop, and they wanted me
walking the street. They had a lot of ideas. I’m willing to
do it all, yes. I was treated
like a big star, because I had my own
trailer, a large trailer, and I had a double who
would be for the lighting, and I’d never had that before. So this was all new to
me and very exciting to be looked
after so nicely. And where do you think
we could still need more age diversity in media? We need age diversity
everywhere, you know. As men get older, they
are still in the media, still everywhere, and
women are neglected. They don’t want to book
them anymore and my saying is that 50% of
CEOs should be women. 50% of presidents
should be women, because we’ll have a
kinder, gentler world, and also women
should support women to get to that position, but men should
support women too. We’re not
competition to men. We just think
the best person should be able
to get the job.

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