There’s work, there’s fun, and then there’s the misconception that the two must be exclusive of one another. More and more people are blending the two together, turning their passion projects into hugely successful businesses. Successful entrepreneurs naturally have plenty of money to spend and, not surprisingly, they often spend it indulging their personal interests.
Whether completely random or just downright awesome, the extracurricular activities of these famous entrepreneur just make them even more interesting than we would have thought.
Most of the time, those interests are mainstream like yacht racing (Steve Ellison, Richard Branson, Ted Turner) or owning a major league sports team (Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen).
Here are the 10 famous entrepreneurs with unusual hobbies,
1. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett plays and teaches the ukulele, and several of his instruments have become collector’s items. It may seem frivolous for a billionaire to tinker with a ukulele, but Buffett gets to blow off steam and recharge before taking the helm at his corporation.
2. Bill Gates
You might think the Microsoft founder would be all about being online, but instead he collects rare books. Gates once paid $30.8 million for a single manuscript, the Codex Leicester, which contains essays by Leonardo da Vinci.
3. Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg likes to hunt and prepare his own food. He spent a year eating only meat that he hunted himself to better understand where his food came from and the efforts that go into consuming it.
4. Elon Musk
The founder of Tesla Motors collects James Bond memorabilia. He owns the Lotus Esprit from the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which he’s said to be converting into a car-submarine like in the (eminently forgettable) film.
5. Thomas Edison
The famous inventor was a follower of fad diets or (as his wife characterized them) “correct eating.” At one point, the only liquid Edison would consume were pints of milk at three hour intervals.
6. Walt Disney
Not surprisingly to anybody who’s visited Disneyland, Walt Disney had a particular affection for model trains. In addition to those in his parks, Disney had a huge model train setup in his office and a miniature steam train in his backyard.
7. Bob Parsons
Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy, got a lot of press for his rather notorious hobby: elephant hunting. He somewhat lamely attempted to position the kill as a humanitarian act.
8. Sandy Lerner
Cisco Systems co-founder Sandy Lerner loves jousting. She owns lances, period costumes, and even an 800-acre farm in Virginia where she raises Shire horses for matches.
9. Aaron Levie
You could refer to the CEO of enterprise cloud sharing company Box as “That Magic Guy.” Aaron Levie became magic trick-obsessed as a kid, performed professionally for several years (his favorite trick involved disappearing into giant boxes), and still does tricks around the office.
10. Jeff Bezos
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is funding the construction of a gigantic, 10,000-year clock on his land, to remind us all to stay humble about how teeny-tiny our individual lives are.