To a lot of businessmen, making the first million is one of the most important milestones, the beginning of a financial endeavor for economic success. Sweat, blood, and tears are spent and sometimes not in the metaphorical sense. It certainly takes economic talent and good risk assessment to pursue the right path, not everyone is an entrepreneur at heart, but our focal point here isn’t about seasoned businessmen; it’s about how a teenage millionaire is born, gifted with a business-oriented mind that may seek to attain such a goal.
The First Million is The Hardest
All it takes is one eureka moment and the courage to follow through like you’ve got nothing to lose. Luckily for these teenagers, there isn’t much to lose since they aren’t exactly venture capitalists, which is probably the secret to cracking the puzzle. A fresh perspective on the world can see new qualities and colors that the older and more experienced minds may not notice.
The Story of Adam Hildreth
Born and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire, the fourteen years old Adam sitting in his bedroom with six of his friends came up with little did they know then; one of the most popular English social networking websites aimed at teenagers by teenagers; Dubit, snowballing into a 3.7 million dollar company in net worth. It revolved around a mix of education and entertainment, which explains how it attracted the youth mob and it fed that audience with the right material to achieve this exponential growth.
Dubit now emerged from its glowing cocoon into a market-driven company with the same old goal since the start; entertaining education. Dubit now is a marketing agency aimed at the young minds of not just the UK but the whole world, they research the market and the continuously evolving needs of the youth to come up with ideas to feed to the major brands to tailor the right products for their young audience, as the youngest directors of the company (According to the Guinness World Records) grew up, their contribution evolved into an encompassing understanding of the young mind and a professional approach to the youth with new ideas. And that is how Adam and his 6 friends managed to execute the plan that made him a teenage millionaire.
Maddie Bradshaw: From Locker Decoration to Teenage Millionaire
How many times have you gone shopping with an idea in your head but couldn’t find anything in the market resembling what you had had in mind, The young 10-year-old Maddie Bradshaw wanted to decorate her school locker, disappointed yet determined, and to her aid, an eccentric gift from her uncle who had a non-operational coke machine gave her a brilliant idea; decorate the 50 bottle caps she received from him and turn them into 50 little pieces of art, and she didn’t just stop there, she added magnets to the back of the caps so it would stick on the inside of the metal locker, her mates were dazzled by her decorations and wanted in on the soon-to-be-trending decoration action that swept the whole school off its feet, but that was only the spark.
12 years old Maddie with the aid of her supportive mother only had a few hundred dollars to set her career in motion, Maddie started thinking a bit bigger and the bottle caps became jewelry, fun little piece of jewelry called ‘Snap Caps!’ necklaces with exchangeable accessories or add-ons, a magnetic pendant allowing the cap to latch on the metallic necklace, aiming to present a design resembling something unique from different girls’ personalities. Later on, she and her sister worked on the designs of the bottle caps, Maddie made her first million by the time she was 13.
Born in London in 1995, Nick’s family moved to Australia shortly after he was born then returned to London where he grew up. 15 years old D’Aloisio had a brilliant idea in mind that would, later on, prove to be of great importance in improving content on the internet; Trimit was what it was first called and it analytically encapsulated walls of text reducing them to 1000, 500 or 140-characters abstract. This didn’t only get featured as an interesting app by Apple but also caught the attention of a billionaire investor who ended up giving D’Aloisio the chance to be the youngest developer to receive a venture capital funding in the field of technology, receiving venture funding of no less than 300,000 dollars, Nick took all the criticisms and went on and made a complete make-over of the application and re-launched it under a new name; Summly.
Summly’s intention was to fix issues with the way online news is perceived on smartphones, the first version spread like fire with over 200,000 downloads, with added support, in 2012, D’Aloisio received another venture funding worth 1,000,000 dollars this time, a lot of international celebrities made that possible. Summly was sold to Yahoo one year later (2013) for 30 million dollars, making Nick D’Aloisio a teen millionaire with over 30 million dollars in net worth.
Brennan Agranoff Made Millions Off Socks
Agranoff was only a high-school junior when he founded his own company “HoopSwagg“, a project based on designing custom athletic socks, and it has evolved ever since into a successful online business with annual revenues exceeding one million dollars. Agranoff was attending a basketball match in his school when he had noticed that all the socks worn by the players were bland Nike socks, he wondered if people were willing to buy those simple socks then they would probably be amazed to see colorful and custom designs imprinted upon them and he commenced his project in 2013. The junior high schooler spent over 6 months researching the technology and machinery involved in custom printing on fabric, he then went and pitched his idea to his parents securing a 3000$ dollars loan, made the garage his headquarters, with his family’s help he managed to set up the machinery then started advertising through social media platforms.
Five years later, HoopSwagg moved out of the garage into a 1500 square foot building that they built on their property, now has over 200 original designs designed by Agranoff alone offered to the market, starting from; melting ice cream to various humorous concepts. Having bought a competitor, adding to its designs over 300 other designs, shipping over 100 hundred orders a day, and with over 18 employees business is definitely good and improving, making Agranoff a very inspiring teenage millionaire.
SEE ALSO: 10 Entrepreneurship Ideas
Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark
Emi-Jay is a hair tie and headband company created by the two teens Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark when they were only in 7th grade. Since then, the company’s products are sold in over 3000 specialty stores over North America and is distributed internationally, worn by many celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian and more.
It started with the girls being fascinated by the hair accessories of TV shows like Gossip Girl, but the accessories used were too complicated and expensive for the teenage girls, so they decided to go pay a visit to the garment district in LA to buy the material needed for making their own designs, and as a hobby they started creating their own accessories, little did they know that they were going to join the exclusive teenage millionaire club, but when Jennifer Aniston was seen on the red carpet wearing one of their original hair ties, that hobby was blown into an actual business. They combined their names and called the project/company Emi-Jay, created a website and started going big.
SEE ALSO: Women Entrepreneurship: The Power of She
Brian Wong and Kiip
Wong initially worked for the business development department of Digg, as the leader of development and releasing of the application on Android. Unfortunately, after a merger and bad redesign, Digg had corporate layoffs and Brian was let go after only 5 months, this was the start of his actual business venture.
Kiip was inspired on an airplane by 19 years old then, Wong, he was observing the passengers as they were using their tablets and ipads, and noticed that most of the passengers were playing games to pass the time, and he felt that the advertisements integrated into the application took up a lot of screen space without adding any real value to the application, so he came up with an idea because he believes that games were the “holy grail of achievement”. He wanted to use the achievements -such as level ups and high scores- and incorporate it in a relevant and audience-targeting rewards program, giving the chance to brands to reach audiences when they are actively engaged. Brian teamed with his former Digg colleagues and managed to raise over 15 million dollars in venture capital making him an emerging teenage millionaire in the silicon valley.
Dominic was a British teenage millionaire by the time of his 13th birthday, that is when he made his first million, 2 years later, he was worth more than 15 million pounds. Dominic imported scooters from the United States to sell them in England.
Dominic pieced together his business strategy thanks to a simple misspelling, he was searching on the internet for the credit card visa, but spelled it Viza instead, which was the name of an American company that sold scooters. Dominic had always wanted to buy a scooter but couldn’t afford one, so he calls the company and offers to sell their scooters in the UK, they agree and give him a deal; if he sells five scooters he can get the sixth one for free, motivated, Dominic started scraping for money and got into the business of selling some gadgets in Japan to be able to afford five scooters, and finally managed to order the five scooters, sold them and the demand for scooters in the neighbourhood only increased and he started ordering more, eventually selling thousands per week. He was appointed by the queen as a pioneer for Britain in Entrepreneurism.
Michael Furdyk Takes it Global
“work together to create a global network for young people who either have an idea that they want to develop, or who want the opportunity to work on someone else’s project”, that was the goal Michael Furdyk had when he created TakingITGlobal, an online social network that encourages youth to participate in the discussion and raising of global awareness, to advocate action that affects their local communities.
It all started when Michael became a teenage millionaire by selling an online technology that he and his friends created, because he realized that a lot of young people don’t have the support of friends and family that he had, so he came up with a way to encourage and support young people getting involved in global and local issues and help them realize their potential. He used some of the money he made to start TakingITGlobal as a charity and sow the seeds of his good work; TIG received a number of awards from a number of big names like Microsoft, WorldBlu, and Mark Drake.
Matt Wegrzyn the Domain Trader
Matt started buying and selling domain names when he was 17, by the time he was 19, he became a teen millionaire. He started buying forum domains, which were already one of his areas of expertise because he used to be a developer of a website called ColdFusion -a set of tools used to design websites- which helped him a lot further down the line of the domain market.
Matt used the money loaned to him by his parents to start Bodis.com, a domain parking website, domain parking is simply creating a domain name that is not associated with any service to reserve it for reselling it when an opportunity presents itself. His domains are worth millions of dollars now. Matt was a strong believer of the concept of never giving up and advises all the upcoming entrepreneurs to never give up on their dreams.
Fraser Doherty’s SuperJam
The Scottish 14 years old already had a recipe for becoming a successful teen millionaire, a literal one in a sense. His grandmother gave him her recipes for making jams, he started making them for his family and friends from the church, the jams were loved so much and his small business started booming at the age of 16, now 184 stores of Waitrose and over 300 of Tesco’s are selling Doherty’s Superjam, with Wal-Mart being an international supplier as well.
The serious business steps Doherty took were tweaking his jam and giving it a catchy name, he started making his fruit based jams in his parent’s kitchen and was renting out a factory for a few days every month, he also borrowed 9000 dollars to cover his expenses while creating different flavors for his jams, yet all Doherty has in mind is one thing: “I can’t be preoccupied with the money, I make jam because it’s what I love to do” and obviously it’s what people are loving too.
Jon Koon Enterprises
The teen millionaire made his first million before his 17th birthday. Extreme Performance Motorsports was the name of the company that Jon created while he was in high school, it specialized in importing car tunings from Asia to the United States, he opened wholesale accounts with major distributors of custom body kits, audio systems, and many other different accessories. Koon’s company was one of the big suppliers of accessories to the famous show Pimp My Ride.
Even though he had to close the company to finish his education, when he re-entered the market, he used different approaches like patenting cell phone holders and vehicle air ionizers, he started to gain fame amid the record label executives and major hip-hop sensations which helped skyrocket his business and branch it in different routes, creating Koon Enterprises, started manufacturing instead of doing resale, from garments and clothing to headwear for major brands like Honda, Costco and Rocawear among many others.
Sean Belnick Sold Furniture from His Bedroom
14-year-old Belnick had some foresight when he invested 500 dollars on the advice of his stepfather who had years of expertise in the office furniture business. Sean created a company and then a website called BizChair.com, an online-only store for many different types of furniture whether it’s office, restaurant, school or church or many others.
Biznick.com was operating from Sean’s bedroom in 2001, in 2005 Biznick moved to its first commercial warehouse, then to a bigger warehouse in 2006 and then to an even bigger warehouse having 327 square feet of space, which indicates how big his business was getting. His company is ranked as the 37th in Inc Magazine’s list of Top 100 Retail Companies, also awarded the Orion Energy’s Systems’ Environmental Stewardship Award for the effort the company made to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
Maddie was only 8 years old when she thought of the idea of combining a few things that she loves; flip-flops, fish and the sea. She first pitched the idea to her father, who was in the t-shirt design business, the idea was basically decorating flip-flops with fish drawings, calling it Fish Flops. Her father was very welcoming to the idea and immediately prepared a domain with the name fishflops.com. At Madison’s request, her father proceeded to turn Madison’s image into a true business. A couple years later they attended a trade show with the samples and managed to secure more than 30 orders for Fish Flops, also managed to find an overseas manufacturer and the shipping began in May 2011.
One year later the Fish Flops business was booming with over 1 million dollars in retail sales, Maddie with the help of her father managed to get her product in popular stores like Macys and Nordstrom’s. With the business side left to her father, Maddie is constantly working on new designs for her Fish Flops with some marketing on the social media with ambition to expand the brand into t-shirts, hats and smartphone applications.
Now this millionaire/billionaire is a bit different from the rest of the teen millionaires, she is no entrepreneur but she is indeed extremely rich, and that doesn’t come off as a surprise once you know that she is the only heiress to the shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and also the sole heir to his daughter Christina Onassis. The inheritance was worth 300 million dollars in cash, 350 million in company shares and 150 million worth of gold bars.
Athena’s mother died when she was only 3 years old, she was raised by her father and they moved to Switzerland after her death. When Athena turned 18 her father started getting worried about her choices regarding her boyfriend the professional show jumper Alvaro de Miranda, so he convinces Athena to put most of her assets in a trust with a total worth of a staggering 800 million dollars, that is managed by the executives of major banks. The catch was that Athena won’t be able to touch the money or the assets until she had turned 30, until then, she will be receiving a hefty allowance between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars, and occasionally granted some funds to invest in the fields she love which was horses and stables.
All it Takes is One Good Idea
To some people, it may be too late for them to become a teenage millionaire, but that doesn’t mean that it is going to be harder to become millionaires and entrepreneurs just because of their age, once you decide to follow through on your dream your age won’t mean much as those teenage millionaires had proven, the only thing that matters is dedication, flexibility and never giving up on your dream. It will all be worth it when you kick back and see the outcome which you poured all you had for.