The time I hung out w/ Elon Musk, The Night Stalker, and 6-Year-Old Darius….you will not believe where I land on this one….

The Night Stalker

I am going to start this week with a crazy story from way back in 1984. I grew up in Fullerton, California on the edge of Orange County. My home was on W. Flower Street, in fact, this newsletter just prompted me to look up the house on Zillow. The exact address was 4219 West Flower Avenue, Fullerton CA, 92833.

As you can see from the pictures it is a small 1121 square foot house, it is yellow, and if you look on a map it is right near the freeway in Southern California. In 1984, there was a serial killer terrorizing Southern California by the name of Richard Ramirez. He was called The Night Stalker and he was a SCARY guy. Like Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs Scary. I was 6 years old when Ramirez started his killing spree.

Check out his hand, yes, he was a Satanic serial killer, and yes that is a Pentagram.

Ramirez would invade random homes and murder the inhabitants. It was scary, and at one point he was suspected of targeting yellow homes near the freeway in Southern California. Now for a 6-year-old who lived in a yellow house by the freeway, let’s just say I was 100% convinced that this guy was coming to my house to kill me, my twin brother, and my parents.

Ramirez was eventually captured in 1985 after brutally killing 13 people, 5 attempted murders, and a plethora of other heinous charges. He died of cancer in 2013 while awaiting execution on death row in California. So why am I telling you about Richard Ramirez…..you’ll see.

The Time I Met Elon Musk.

In the spring of 2018, I had been living in Austin Texas for almost 1 year while my family and I were building our house. In March of 2018, my good friend Tom Wellington, was in town to visit his grandmother who lives in a senior community near Austin Texas, as well as to do some business at SXSW. Tom is a partner and super-agent for WME (William Morris Endeavor) and he represents some of the most popular and iconic TV writers out there right now. We had a great breakfast at this cool restaurant near my house called Picnik (Paleo, healthy and delicious), and then I took him over to the construction site to see the house I was building. Here is a picture mid-construction of the site we walked into after breakfast.

Well, about 5 minutes into me showing him what was at that time just the framing of my house, he kept looking at his phone. Now, a couple of things you should know about me….

1.  I hate when people are distracted by their phones
2. I hate when people are on their phones in front of other people unless it’s an emergency

Given it was a Sunday, I was a bit confused about his sudden obsession with his phone. Anyways, Tom quickly apologized and then proceeded to make me an offer that I could not refuse.

Tom – “Hey Darius, Sorry to keep looking at my phone, but do you want to go to the Moody Theatre and see Elon Musk talk right now? My client Jonah Nolan (Christopher Nolan’s Brother, Writer, and Creator for the HBO TV Show Westworld) is going to be interviewing him in like 45 minutes. He can get us in VIP.”

Darius – “YES.”

So, we hop in an Uber and get down to the Moody, which seats about 3,000 people. Someone’s assistant comes and grabs us, and before I know it, we are sitting a few feet away from Elon’s kids and nanny watching a 1.5-hour-long about Mars, the Boring Company, and Elon, Jonah, and Elon’s brother Kimbal is on stage singing My Little Buttercup from the movie The Three Amigos. I attached the video for your enjoyment.

Anyway, it was an enlightening talk that you can check out. Here is the entire talk. After the talk, I was pleased with this surprise event that we had just attended.

Then Tom blew my mind:


Tom: “Do you want to go and meet Elon and Jonah?”

Me: “Uhhhh YES.”

Ten minutes later, we were backstage at the Moody Theatre in a small circle of 6 people. Me, Tom to my right, Jonah’s wife Lisa Joy, the co-creator and executive producer of Westworld, Jonah Nolan to her right, Kimbal Musk to his right, and Elon Musk to Kimbal’s right, which just so happened to be next to me.

We exchanged pleasantries. I shook all their hands. And probably for the first time in my life, I did not know what to say. You can’t ask Elon Musk, “What do you do?”, “What’s your name again?” “Why are you guys in town?” You literally lose all those typical small talk questions.

They know you know. Now let us not forget, I am an entrepreneur, and this guy is arguably one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. So, I was dying to get a picture with him, but I couldn’t do that either. I was brought in as a friend of a friend of the group. Fan Boy Darius was not allowed in the room. I stood there quietly as Tom, Jonah, and Kimbal made jokes and chummed it up. They chatted about the My Little Buttercup moment on stage. Lisa Joy chimed in here and there. Darius and Elon stood silently. I did not want to stare, so I quickly glanced around the group and looked up at him. He was really quiet, and I noticed two things about him.

1. He was really tall. I am over 6 feet tall, and he towered over me, as was his brother Kimbal. These are some tall South Africans. I’m guessing 6’3” to 6’5”. He was in cowboy boots, so in retrospect, that probably added a couple of inches, but man, did I feel short, which did not help given the entire group dynamic and my newfound shyness.

2. I recognized his eyes. I had seen them before, many, many years ago. They were eyes that were burned in my brain that I will never forget.

I eventually spoke up, made some lame comments asking them where they were staying (At the Four Seasons), and then asked them if they had had BBQ in town, as Austin is famous for its BBQ. They had one of their assistants bring them BBQ back to the hotel.

I then proceeded to ask them if they had had Franklin’s BBQ (I have a funny and interesting story to tell you all about Chef Aaron Franklin, who is my neighbor, but that will have to wait), which at the time was ranked the #1 BBQ in America and is a bit of a local celebrity spot here in Austin. They did not know. And my small talk ended on a lame note.

After we left, I thanked Tom for the special treat and told him that I thought Elon had serial killer eyes. I can’t remember if he agreed or not, but I do remember that I told him, “Man, I really wanted to get a picture but knew it would not be cool to ask.” He agreed that I had made the right move, and it would have been embarrassing and a total JV move had I gone straight fanboy on Elon. I have killer instincts!

I documented the moment since it was quite an iconic day for me as an entrepreneur. I met an entrepreneurial hero; thought he looked like a serial killer and then went home to tell my wife and friends this interesting and strange tale. I decided the best I could get was for me to take a picture of my hand to document that it had shaken the hand of what is now the richest person on earth. I know I don’t have Instagram Selfie Proof, but that’s the truth and I stand by my story.

My Podcast with Steve Sims where we talk about Elon’s Eyes

In fact, I interviewed Steve Sims on my podcast in 2020. Steve knows Elon and I asked Steve if he noticed the same thing about Elon Musk’s eyes (we talk about Elon’s eyes at minute 3 to minute 9 of the interview). Check out Steve’s thoughts on my Serial Killer thoughts on Elon Musk.  You can check out the entire long-form podcast here as well.

Maybe Elon was Tired?

I will leave you all with one final thought on Elon from my interaction. It turned out that Elon was working hard in the business and not on the business right when I met him in March of 2018. In fact, Tesla was running out of cash, and it became known that he was sleeping on the factory floor right at the exact time I had met him. See this article from April 2018. Maybe he was just tired that day that I met him… but I will tell you this, 6-year-old Darius will never forget the eyes of The Night Stalker and Elon had those same eyes on March 11, 2018, in the backstage of the Moody Theatre in Austin Texas.

Speaking of working in the business vs on the business. I am pumped to be hosting my first ScaleM.A.P. Bootcamp with 10 amazing CEOs next weekend. We decided to put together another class for January as well given the overwhelming demand of the program.

If you are a high-growth CEO and don’t want to sleep on the floor of your factory, book a call with my team and we can see if you are a fit to work with us. Tiffany is screening folks to connect with me, so grab a spot on her calendar, and who knows, maybe you will be scaling the next Tesla =) with our help and expertise to help get you there.

With Gratitude,

D

PS – If you have not watched my free training on my ScaleM.A.P. Method, click the following link and learn the exact frameworks I used in my last business to grow from a small little 7 figure company to 9 figures in revenue in just 36 months. This will be the best 31 minutes you have invested in your business in the last 10 years.

 

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