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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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