Have you ever known a child who is on their way to being a millionaire before they’re old enough to legally drive a car? We joke about the kids at the neighborhood lemonade stand being “entrepreneurs in the making,” but that may not be as much of a joke as we thought. Kids these days. . .
There are actually a surprising number of millionaires who haven’t even graduated high school yet. We’re not just talking about Richie Rich here. We’re talking self-made millionaires who aren’t even old enough to open a bank account on their own. We’re talking about kids who understand business and how to make money. The mindset starts at a young age.
Without further ado, here are 12 millionaire kids we can learn from:
1. Christian Owens of Mac Bundle Box
Christian made his first million before he was 16 years old. He taught himself web design at a young age and started his first design company at 14. He then went on to negotiate with various manufacturers and distributors to offer a bundle package of applications for Mac OS X (Steve Jobs was his motivator and inspiration). The Mac Bundle Box has since made him millions.
The lesson: Follow your passion, sure, but the main lesson here is about saving people money. Find a way to offer something people already buy for a lower price.
2. Emil Motycka of Motycka Enterprises
Emil start a lawn mowing business at 9 years old. Lawn mowing may seem like a pretty typical business for a kid, but this kid took it to the next level. He took out a loan for $8,000 when he was 13 years old to purchase a commercial lawn mower. He formed Motycka Enterprises by the time he was 18 and went on to make well over $100,000 that summer. He’s now making millions.
The lesson: Following a strong passion can work, but on the other hand, doing something and doing it well is just as good if not better. As Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs says “Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.” Whatever you do, do it better than everyone else.
3. Evan of EvanTube
Evan started a YouTube channel called EvanTube when he was just 8 years old. Now he is making approximately $1.3 million a year from his channel with over a million subscribers. What are his videos about? Exactly what you might think – reviews of toys and other things that kids his age are interested in. Yes, you can get rich talking about Minecraft, Angry Birds and Legos!
The lesson: If you do what you love and do it well, you can turn it into a million dollar venture. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but with persistence, you can make it happen.
4. Cameron Johnson of Cheers and Tears
Cameron was earning around $400,000/month in high school. It all started when he created invitation cards for a neighborhood party his parents were having. When the guests saw the cards, they started asking him to make cards for them and paying him for it. He founded Cheers and Tears at 14 years old, then preceded to go into software development and online advertising, which made him a millionaire by the time he was in high school.
The lesson: If you do something well, you might as well do it big. Dive into new industries and try new things. They just might make you a millionaire.
5. Adam Hildreth of Dubit and Crisp
Adam was a millionaire by his 16th birthday after creating a teenage social networking site called Dubit (popular in the UK). After he had so much success with his social networking site, Adam went on to create Crisp, a company that helps protect kids against online predators. In 2004, he made the UK’s top 20 richest teens list.
The lesson: Sometimes it’s best to look for a popular trend and do it yourself. It’s also a good idea to find a need and create a solution. Adam did both.
6. Moziah Bridges of Mo’s Bows
Moziah started a bow tie company at 9 years old and quickly grew his business to earning $150,000/year. Today, Moziah has several employees. He has been featured in several popular magazines and even went on Shark Tank. He’s working on a full clothing line at the moment, which I’m sure will end up being an impressive success as well.
The lesson: If you decide to start a business, keep growing and expanding. There is always room to make your business bigger, just be sure to have a great team to help you along the way.
7. Geoff, Dave, & Catherine Cook of My Yearbook
Before everyone was on Facebook, these three siblings started My Yearbook, a social media site based on the school(s) you went to. It was similar to Facebook at the time, but with more focus on grade school rather than college. The idea to start the website began when they moved to a new town and wanted to make some friends. The site took off and six years later. The Cooks ended up selling the site to the Quepasa Corps. for $100 million. Not bad at all.
The lesson: Find a need and fill it. Be proactive. These kids could have let themselves get down about not having friends in a new place, but instead they decided to do something about it.
8. Sanjay & Shavran Kumaran of GoDimensions
Sanjay and Shavran, at 12 and 14 years old, respectively, run their own gaming corporation. They have several apps, with over 35,000 downloads between them. They have developed the popular Catch Me Cop app, among others. Their apps are monetized purely through advertising, which makes them free for kids to download. Now they speak at events and conferences on ideas, making them happen and drawing up business plans.
The lesson: This one actually merges following your passion with doing what you do really well. It’s the best of both worlds.
9. Farrhad Acidwalla of Rockstah Media
Farrhad founded Rockstah Media, a marketing agency with 20 employees around the world and he did it at 16 years old. You may have heard of his company or you may know Farrhad from one of his TED Talks. He is known today as one of the most promising entrepreneurs of our time. When asked about the success of his company, Farrhad said “My team is the backbone of my company,” which can definitely teach us a thing or two.
The lesson: You can’t do it all on your own. Building a strong professional team is important if you really want to take you business to the next level.
10. Robert Nay of the Bubble Ball App
Robert raked in over $2 million in two weeks, following the release of his famous Bubble Ball game. He was only 14 years old at the time. Today, his game has been downloaded over 16 million times and Robert continues to develop new apps with his company, Nay Games. Bubble Ball has been seen on Good Morning America and continues to be one of the most popular games in the Apple Store.
The lesson: Some people really can achieve overnight success. That shouldn’t be your goal, but if you create something good enough, it could happen for you.
11. Nick D’Aloisio of Summly
Nick sold his company, Summly, to Yahoo for $30 million in 2013, making him one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the world. Summly went on to become Yahoo News Digest. Nick now works for Yahoo and has been named “Innovator of the Year” by the Wall Street Journal. He was included in TIME Magazine’s “Time 100” as one of the world’s most influential teenagers. Nick is also the youngest person to receive a round of venture capital in technology from Hong Kong billionaire, Li Ka-Shing.
The lesson: Age doesn’t have to hold you back. Nick was even able to receive funding from a billionaire, despite his age.
12. Leanna Archer of Leanna’s Hair
Leanna was bottling and selling her own hair pomade at just 9 years old. She got her secret recipes from her great-grandmother and has since expanded to an entire line of hair products based on the same recipes. Leanna’s company brings in over $100,000 annually and her net worth is over $3 million. She has also founded the Leanna Archer Education Foundation. Her foundation helps provide basic needs, including education, to 200 Haitian kids each day.
The lesson: When you find success and make lots of money, be sure to give back. Money is a great tool for many things and it is a necessity to help others who have little to nothing.
These kids show us that age is not a limitation. You’re never too young or too old. If you really want to make a difference in the world, start now, no matter your age or any other limiting factor. The commonality among all of these kids is their mindset.They didn’t start with a mindset of “can’t”, they started with a mindset of “how can I?” You can do the same. Even if you’re still in high school.
Featured photo credit: Moziah Bridges/Memphis CVB via flickr.com