These young millionaires made a fortune while they were still teens.
Any parent knows that the formative years are filled with countless imaginative ideas. Some are fanciful, others are practical. But they all serve to build the creative forces in developing minds. Many kids will tell you they want to grow up to be rich and successful. These young millionaires decided they weren’t going to wait. In a few rare cases, though, these adolescent thoughts are enough to launch lucrative business plans.
To any entrepreneur who struggled for years to get their venture off the ground, these young millionaires might make it look easy. But they put in the work and effort it took to build an empire to take them into adulthood. Read on to learn just how these young millionaires made their fortunes.
Who are these young millionaires?
You might recognize a few of these names. Others could be new to you. They all have one thing in common, though. These young people have figured out something most people never do. They’ve come up with a product or service so in demand that others are willing to keep investing.
Beyond that common tie, though, their paths to seven figures diverged drastically. There were kids who relied on a time tested service or product to launch their success. Some opted to invent -- or re-invent -- an entire industry.
You'll find tech geniuses, marketing savants and all around whiz kids on this list. They are among the countless young people each year who prove there is no age limit on success. Often with the encouragement of relatives, teachers, and even other kids, they got rich. And as they get older, many are finding new ways to inspire the next generation.
Of course, there are plenty of ingenious young people who made a million or more before they could vote. The list below, however, includes some of the more astounding real life tales of young millionaires.
6 Young Millionaires Who Embody the Entrepreneurial Spirit
These young millionaires prove that age is nothing but a number. With the right mindset and work ethic, anything is possible! Just see for yourself:
1. Cameron Johnson
Here’s a kid who knew early in his life that it pays to build on your strengths. Cameron Johnson found at the age of 9 that he had a knack for creating greeting cards. After shoring up some support among his parents and their friends, he began making real money.
After saving up a few thousand from his card company, Cheers and Tears, he ventured further. By the age of 12, he had bought his sister’s entire Beanie Baby collection. That led to a tenfold increase in his initial investment and an agreement to purchase other stuffed animals wholesale.
Then he partnered with two other young people to launch SurfingPrizes.com in 1997. That early advertising model was the most lucrative and most attractive to outside investors. When he was 19, Johnson sold the company and certain assets in a private sale.
“I was 15 years old and receiving checks between $300,000 and $400,000 per month,” he recalled. “Before my high school graduation, my combined assets were worth more than $1 million.”
2. Tyler Dikman
With a penchant for computer repair and an entrepreneurial eye, Tyler Dikman earned his first million earlier than most. He was earning $15 an hour in eighth grade just by contracting his services.
That reputation attracted executives at Merrill Lynch. He was offered a job at the age of 15 and it all kind of fell into line from there. Fast forward a few years later and he’s the founder of Cooltronics. The computer repair firm was soon raking in seven figures in profits. And Dikman earned a prestigious spot on Businessweek’s list of 25 entrepreneurs under 25.
In one interview, he said his only business goal was that he didn’t start even at an even younger age. "I wish I would have started the business earlier,” he said. “You can what if yourself forever, but I do wish I had started when I was 13.”
3. Fraser Doherty
This young businessman tapped into a family recipe to jump start his first million. He started SuperJam, a company rooted in a jam like the kind his grandmother used to make. Fraser Doherty was 14 when he began selling his foodstuffs around his Scottish community.
Before long, folks around the United Kingdom was exposed to his product. Thanks to a deal with a leading supermarket chain, SuperJam was being sold nationwide. All it took was some initiative and a $9,000 loan on the then 16 year old’s part. Oh, and a killer jam recipe!
You can find out how to make some of your own in one of his books, which have become popular among Amazon shoppers. Though some of the initial chains that stocked his product have since ended their contract, he found a new customer base. Businesses in South Korea, it turns out, see SuperJam fly off the shelves.
He summarized his success aptly by asserting, “Then I was invited by South Korea’s answer to Martha Stewart to appear on her home TV shopping show,” he said. The money hasn't stopped rolling in since.
4. Kiowa Kavovit
Not only is she one of the youngest millionaires on the list, Kiowa Kavovit also has another unique claim to fame. She was the youngest ever to pitch her idea to the investors on the reality series “Shark Tank.” She was just 6 years old. And she was successful.
With $100,000 in funding, she launched Boo Boo Goo. The product is aimed at other kids and allows them to ‘paint’ on a bandage instead of the traditional adhesive strips. She was only 4 years old when she first had the bright idea that made her a young millionaire.
“It’s much prettier than a bandage,” the girl said of her product when she presented it on television.
When she appeared on television to pitch her idea, she was part of a special episode featuring young entrepreneurs. But she was so small she had to stand atop a stool so potential investors could see her. Despite her size, she was able to effectively make her points.
5. Farrah Gray
It was obvious from a very young age that Farrah Gray was destined to be an expert salesman. He was only 6 when he had his first opportunity. Selling body lotion sparked the entrepreneurial spirit.
A few years later, he launched his own company, Farr-Out Food. He founded the business at the age of 13, and by the next year it was worth $1.5 million. He has been honored by CNN as a an African-American First History Maker. Additionally, Upscale Magazine named him one of its 20 Modern Black History Makers.
He set a number of records, including being the youngest person with an office on Wall Street. The successful entrepreneur was also the youngest to receive an honorary degree. He met with three U.S. presidents -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Since his early success, Gray has gone on to share his advice in a series of best selling books. These books have gone on to sell around the world. They have been translated to languages including Russian, Korean, Indonesian and Vietnamese. He remains active with several civic engagements, including his own Farrah Gray Foundation. Gray has continued to reach out to other inner city youth as his own net worth grows.
6. Robert Nay
Few people on this or any other list made seven figure quicker than Robert Nay. As with any success story, though, there’s a story behind the story. First, he built on his interest in computers by teaching himself to code.
That skill came in handy when he was 14 and had the idea for a smartphone game. He created Bubble Ball after writing 4,000 lines of code. The entire venture was funded by a $1,200 capital investment by his parents. A Macbook and some licensing was all it took.
Then the young entrepreneur made the app free for Apple users to download. In just two weeks, his fledgling venture had earned $2 million. It was his game that knocked perennial favorite Angry Birds off its perch several years ago. Now Robert Nay operates his own company, Nay Games, and has a message for a new generation of youth.
“You can do amazing things if you just try,” he said. He is proof that a great idea and a little skill can combine to create amazing results.
These young millionaires serve as an inspiration to all of us -- regardless of age.
Wherever we are now in life, we all remember the imagination of youth. Kids we come in contact with now, whether our own or just those we see in public, are universally inquisitive. They rarely have the self imposed filter of their adult counterpart. While this leads to some often unintentionally hilarious admissions, it can also influence greatness.
Without a jaded perspective reminding them of the odds against them, they overcame those odds in a spectacular fashion. Sure, people form successful companies every day of the week at all ages. And plenty of ideas launched by young people have failed. But the life story of these young millionaires can be a subtle guide for us to retain that childlike creativity.
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