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8 Things Warren Buffett Did To Make $53,000 By Age 16

8 Things Warren Buffett Did To Make $53,000 By Age 16

Warren Buffett is one of the most famous billionaires in the world, with good reason. He’s a very impressive man, and before that he was a very impressive young man. Buffett earned a staggering $53,000 by the time he was sixteen. How did he accomplish that feat?

Here are several of his methods listed below.

1. Warren Buffett sold soda pop and chewing gum.

At the tender age of six, Warren Buffett made his first sale. He started off selling packs of chewing gum, before moving on up to the more profitable cartons of Coca-Cola.

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2. Warren Buffett delivered newspapers.

At a young age, Warren did what a lot of boys did to make some money: he had a paper route. As an avid reader of the news, like the rest of the family, the part-time job was a perfect fit. But, unlike most boys, Warren Buffett juggled three different paper routes for two rival newspapers. What really made him stand out though, is how he utilized his brain doing this somewhat mindless chore. Here is an excerpt from his biography, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.

“I liked to work by myself, where I could spend my time thinking about things I wanted to think about […] I could be sitting in a room thinking, or I could be riding around flinging things and thinking.”

3. Warren Buffett sold golf balls.

Along with his friend Stu Erickson, Warren Buffett sold used golf balls at the Elmwood Park golf course.  They got in trouble with the cops for doing it, but Warren’s parents didn’t mind. They were mostly just proud of their son’s ambition.

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4. Warren Buffett sold peanuts and popcorn at football game.

A born salesman, Warren Buffett walked through the stands of the University of Omaha stadium yelling, “Peanuts, popcorn, five cents, a nickel, half dime, fifth of a quarter, get your peanuts and popcorn here!”

5. Warren Buffett sold stamps.

Buffett’s Approval Service offered stamps to out-of-state collectors… for a price.

6. Warren Buffett made money off of pinball machines.

Warren bought a broken pinball machine for twenty-five dollars, and went to his friend Don Danly to fix it. Together they started Wilson’s Coin-Operated Machine Company. They asked a local barber if they could put the machine in the back of his shop, in exchange for half the money they raised. In just a single day, enough customers at the barbershop played pinball to make four dollars. Within a week Warren had enough money to buy more pinball machines, which he negotiated into other barber shops, building a small empire before he could even legally vote.

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7. Warren Buffet made money at the horse tracks… without even gambling!

Warren Buffett and his friend Bob Russell were too young to gamble, but that didn’t stop them from cleaning up at the horse tracks. They looked everywhere for discarded tickets that might be worth something. Buffet describes this in his own words,

“They called that ‘stooping.’ At the start of the racing season, you get all these people who’d never seen a race except in the movies. And they’d think that if your horse came in second or third, you didn’t get paid, because the emphasis was on the winner, so they’d throw away place and show tickets. The other time you’d hit it big was when there was a disputed race. […] By that time, people had thrown away their tickets. Meanwhile, we were just gobbling them up.”

8. Warren Buffett built a bigger snowball.

At the very beginning of the The Snowball, author Alice Schroeder writes about how Buffett would catch snowflakes at the age of nine. He’d proceed to scoop up handfuls of snow. He turned those into balls of snow, and placed what he’d collected on the ground. He pushed and picked up more and more snow, building a bigger and bigger snowball.

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That’s how Warren Buffett made $53,000 by the age of sixteen: continuing to add to what he already had, until he’d cultivated a small fortune. Years later, that small fortune would grow to one of the biggest networths in the world. To speak metaphorically, it’s all due to Warren Buffett’s dedication to building a bigger snowball, one tiny snowflake at a time.

Featured photo credit: BorsheimsJewelry via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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2. Become Goal-Orientated

It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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4. Never Stop Learning

The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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5. Think Big

While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

6. Enjoy the Attention

To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

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Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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