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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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                  Published on March 20, 2019

                  How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

                  How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

                  Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

                  As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

                  While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

                  What is a Mission Statement?

                  Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

                  In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

                  “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

                  In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

                  Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

                  While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

                  First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

                  While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

                  While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

                  “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

                  This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

                  What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

                  When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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                  Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

                  When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

                  • What we do?
                  • How we do it?
                  • Whom do we do it for?
                  • What value are we bringing?

                  Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

                  After all, that did check off all the boxes:

                  What we do? Provide widgets.

                  How we do it? Online.

                  Who do we do it for? The consumer.

                  What value we bring? The best widgets.

                  The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

                  Compare that mission statement to this one:

                  “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

                  What’s the difference?

                  Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

                  Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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                  You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

                  A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

                  Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

                  1. Keep It Brief

                  Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

                  You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

                  2. Have a Purpose

                  A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

                  Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

                  3. Include a “How”

                  Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

                  How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

                  4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

                  This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

                  Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

                  5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

                  It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

                  Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

                  6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

                  Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

                  7. Think Long Term

                  A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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                  8. Get Feedback

                  This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

                  Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

                  9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

                  You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

                  First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

                  And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

                  For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

                  The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

                  It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

                  First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

                  If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

                  Strategic Planning

                  A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

                  Measuring Performance

                  By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

                  Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

                  Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

                  Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

                  As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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                  Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

                  To Hold Management Accountable

                  By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

                  So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

                  If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

                  To Serve as an Example

                  This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

                  After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

                  Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

                  Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

                  Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

                  That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

                  By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

                  More Resources About Achieving Business Success

                  Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
                  [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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