Contrary to popular belief, Elon Musk technically didn’t found Tesla Motors: Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning did back in 2003. But Musk made a sizable enough investment during the company’s first fundraising campaign the following year to earn him board chairmanship; and he eventually took the reins as CEO in 2008.
Since then, Musk has become the face of both Tesla and the aerospace engineering company SpaceX (which he did found). He’s been busy outside of business, too—fathering a human baby named X Æ A-Xii, hosting Saturday Night Live, and spending a lot of time on Twitter.
But if there’s one thing Musk is known for these days above all else, it’s probably his wealth. In 2020, his net worth was $24.6 billion, landing him in 31st place on Forbes’s list of billionaires. By the time Forbes revealed 2021’s list of richest people in the world, Musk had made one giant leap to second place, with $151 billion. (In first place was, unsurprisingly, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, at $177 billion.)
Though Musk has offloaded nearly $6 billion in Tesla shares just this week, his net worth is still gargantuan enough to be almost beyond comprehension—in the same way that Earth is so far from the sun that it’s difficult to picture the distance.
To make Musk’s metaphorical truckloads of money easier to grasp, UK-based automobile leasing company Select Car Leasing has devised a handy (if depressing) calculator. As soon as you open the webpage, the number on Musk’s earnings ticker begins climbing, so you can see how much money he makes in the time you spend on the page.
Dare to wonder exactly how long it takes for him to earn what you do in a year—or even your entire net worth? Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your annual salary or estimated net worth in the box. There’s a good chance the answer will prompt an emotion, be it inspiration or infuriation (or some combination of the two).