The world’s idea of who and what a millionaire is has changed. When we conjure up an image of a very wealthy person, we are imagining less and less a stodgy old man sipping branding in a wing back armchair, and instead, more and more what we envision is a young, energetic entrepreneur.  The internet has paved the way for anyone with a good idea and the ambition to see it through to become rich and it is increasingly common for the successful people among us to be young and driven. So what do the young millionaires we are getting so used to seeing have in common? They all share the following 10 traits.

1. They Act Fast

A sense of urgency lies at the heart of any young millionaire. It isn’t enough to have a great idea, you need to have the will to act on it before anyone else has a chance. If Mark Zuckerberg had decided to sit on Facebook and develop it slowly over a few years instead of a few months, he would have been left in the dust. Instead he put his idea into action almost as soon as he formed it and the result has been massive success.

2. They Build Strong Teams

Even the people who seem to have built their empires on their own have had the help of a good team. It is usually the case that they built that team themselves. When Steve Jobs founded Apple he wasn’t alone, his partners gave him insight into the things he didn’t understand and allowed him to grow the business in all directions at once.

3. They Leverage Their Success

Success breeds success and young millionaires aren’t afraid to keep the ball rolling. When they see a good idea, they jump on it. It is no coincidence that Google now owns Youtube and countless other web applications that we can’t imagine the world without. The leaders of forward-thinking companies aren’t afraid to go beyond their own comfort zone and use the money they have to generate more money.

4. They Are Independent Thinkers

Founder and CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, held a meeting when he decided to start his company. He invited nearly two dozen friends to his home and asked them what they thought of his idea. All but one told him not to quit his day job. He chose to ignore them and pursue it anyway. He is now a billionaire. Not being afraid to stand alone is a common trait among the young and self-made wealthy.

5. They Think Big

Young millionaires dare to dream big. They see the possibilities that lie behind great ideas and aren’t overwhelmed by the scale of what they are chasing. The truly successful individuals take things one step at a time and work at what they can handle, but their eye is always on the larger goal.

6. They Follow Their Passion

Most people who achieve success early in life do it by following a path they care about and are interested in. Just because an idea is good, doesn’t mean it is inspiring. When Steve Jobs was trying to convince John Sculley to leave his comfortable job at Pepsi to come take over the business side of Apple, his sales pitch was “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water, or do you want to come with me to change the world?” That is passion incarnate.

7. They Are Focused

When asked what makes Mark Zuckerberg such a great leader, Facebook employees time and time again reference his focus. Mark Zuckerberg’s goal is to connect the world in ways no one else has ever dared to imagine, and every decision he makes is unflinchingly taking him closer to that goal. Having a clear vision is a key to success for any young leader.

8. They Love Learning

Just because they are rich doesn’t mean they think they have all the answers. Young millionaires in every field share a lifelong love of learning. They hold open meetings where they can get advice from people at every level of the organization because they understand that you never know where the next great idea will come from.

9. They Love Teaching

The best way to get better at what you do is to teach the tricks of the trade to someone else. Successful young people share their vision and teach their team members what they need to do to succeed. It not only makes everyone smarter, it builds camaraderie and gets everyone on the same page.

10. They Aren’t Afraid to Fail

Finally, and most importantly, young millionaires aren’t afraid to fail. Bill Gates once said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Keeping an open mind and being willing to learn from your mistakes is the only way to keep moving forward.

Featured photo credit: Robert Scoble via

Set a Goal For Yourself

Read full content