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8 Young Millionaires That You Should Learn From

8 Young Millionaires That You Should Learn From

For those of us not born into excessive money, it’s easy to sit back and bemoan our relative lack of opportunities. However, not all millionaires get giant investments handed to them, either. Humble beginnings only pushed these young millionaires to be their best, who are proof that creativity, perseverance, passion and hard work can all lead to incredible outcomes. No matter what you face in life, these eight young millionaires have some essential approaches to conquering obstacles that we could all learn from.

Be A Self Starter: Nick D’aloisio

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    As a young kid, Nick D’Aloisio was fascinated by computers. Without a coach or teacher to cheer him on, Nick taught himself to code at age 12 and started making apps. Inspired by his passion for technology, Nick created several apps before hitting on a big idea. At 15, Nick created a news summary app called Summly. His app grew insanely popular, and Summly was acquired by Yahoo! when Nick was just 17. Reportedly selling for $30 million dollars, Nick advocates jumping in, regardless of others opinions, saying: “Be fearless and don’t be afraid of failure. There is no better way to learn than through trial-and-error.”

    Think Big: Alexander Amosu

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      Alexander Amosu began his road to success only a few pounds at a time. Growing up in public housing in the UK, Alexander’s first venture was selling ringtones to mobile phone users. His service, which sold ringtone versions of R&B songs, quickly earned him over a million dollars. Despite beginning with only £6 pounds a day in profits, Alexander was in his twenties when he sold the ringtone company for around £9 million pounds. Instead of stopping there however, Alexander used his money to set up Amosu Couture, a high end company focused on luxury fashion. By always thinking bigger, Alexander turned a million dollars from ringtones into a profitable company, then catapulted that into a multi-million dollar fashion empire.

      Try, Try Again: Colin Thornton

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        Colin Thornton is living proof that your perceived shortcomings shouldn’t get you down. When Colin dropped out of his university’s computer science program in South Africa, at first, his options seemed limited. 20 years old, Colin was broke, but pushed forward anyways. He started fixing computers in his parents garage, at first making around $7 an hour. Soon his orders grew, and Colin founded Dial-a-Nerd. The company sends a tech expert to help consumers troubleshoot technology in their own home or business. Despite the difficulties this young millionaire faced getting started, his company now nets around $10 million a year.

        Never Underestimate The Power of Free: Ashley Qualls

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          After studying HTML as a tween, Ashley Qualls wanted somewhere to showcase her early website designs. Initially garnering no real attention, Ashley thought her new site, whateverlife.com, could be bigger. Ashley soon started offering Myspace profile designs to friends for free, plus tips on designing and coding. Whateverlife.com exploded through word of mouth, so Ashley added some space for advertising. After partnering with some big advertisers, whateverlife.com hit 7 million unique visitors at it’s peak.

          Start Where You Can: Cameron Johnson

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            Cameron Johnson‘s road to millions began with a simple request from family to design a card for an upcoming celebration. Soon, Cameron was designing greeting cards for neighbours at 9 years old. Perhaps not the most glamorous of jobs, Cameron soon made thousands from the cards. At 12, Cameron took this money and used it as seed money for several different advertising ventures. These in turn made a profit, and in Cameron’s mid teens, he turned that money into a toolbar program called surfingprizes.com. Cameron’s assets before high school graduation were more than a million dollars, plus he sold one of his companies at age 19 for over a million dollars. Proof that starting small, and growing step at a time, can pay off big.

            Look For What’s Missing: Juliette Brindak

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              Juliette Brindak made a big contribution to the internet when she noticed a glaring hole in the social media landscape. As a preteen, Juliette felt there was no real place online for teen girls. Juliette tried to be a part of the solution, creating a site based on characters from her own ten year old drawings. Soliciting her parents for help to set up the site, “Miss O And Friends” quickly became the online destination for young girls. Promoting positive body image, safety and understanding, the site currently nets 10 million unique visitors a month, and is worth approximately $15 million dollars.

              Always Persevere: Adam Horowitz

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                Despite impressive success now, Adam Horowitz’s journey to success took a lot of perseverance. Adam started creating websites on the side in high school. At first, his attempts were alternately unsuccessful, and worrying to parents. Adam continued building sites throughout high school, making around 30 website with little success. Adam didn’t let it get him down, and soon created programs that help others learn how to make money online. His successful apps “Mobile Monopoly” and “Cell Phone Treasures” have earned him over hundred of thousands of dollars, showing that pressing on really can make all the difference.

                Nurture Your Passion: Fraser Doherty

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                  Another millionaire we could all learn from is Fraser Doherty. Unlike the rest of this list, Doherty was not tempted by new technologies, Fraser instead loved his grandmothers jam recipes. Quickly learning the recipes himself, Fraser started selling the jams around his hometown in his early teens. Soon, Fraser invented a way of making jam purely from fruit. He created the company “SuperJam”, turning neighbourhood sales into contracts with large European supermarket chains. By taking a personal passion and truly pursuing it, Fraser Doherty now sells his products around the world.

                  Regardless of how far away you seem from your goals, truly anything is possible. Plus, if these young millionaires are any indication, age certainly has no effect on what you can do. Jump on in, and follow your dreams. So long as you cultivate perseverance, initiative, and creative thinking, as well as utilize the tools you have now, there’s no telling where you can end up.

                  Featured photo credit: 401(k) 2012 via flickr.com

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                  Alicia Prince

                  A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                  Published on November 12, 2020

                  5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

                  5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

                  What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

                  Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

                  Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

                  While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

                  Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

                  1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

                  When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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                  Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

                  In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

                  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
                  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
                  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

                  While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

                  2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

                  Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

                  Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

                  Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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                  However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

                  3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

                  Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

                  But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

                  It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

                  4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

                  Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

                  Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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                  5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

                  Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

                  For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

                  How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

                  The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

                  If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

                  Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

                  It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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                  Final Thoughts

                  If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

                  If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

                  It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

                  More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

                  Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

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