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Wanna Be A Millionaire? Learn From These 12 Kids Who Already Are

Wanna Be A Millionaire? Learn From These 12 Kids Who Already Are

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Kalen Bruce

Military, Writer

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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