How to Be Worth 7 Figures Before 30: 7 Young Millionaires Tell Us Their Top Tips

 ·  28 Sep  ·  42 Comments
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Millionaire. Everybody wants to be a millionaire.

Being worth seven figures is sort of like a symbol — a symbol that you’ve officially “made it” financially in life.

If you’re a beginning entrepreneur, then chances are that you might be after that elusive symbol yourself. There’s only one problem: you’re not entirely sure how to reach that mark, let alone how to get started.

But never fear: the best way to start this pursuit is to first learn from the experiences of others who’ve already gotten themselves to where you want to be. 

Get the How to be Worth 7 Figures Before 30: 7 Young Millionaires Tell Us Their Top Tips Checklist!

In this post, I’ve tracked down tips from seven highly successful entrepreneurs — all of whom were worth seven figures before hitting 30 years of age. There are a couple awesome inspirational stories in here as well, so make sure you’re paying attention!

Tip #1: It’s All About Information

Michael Preysman is the founder of Everlane, an online clothing store with an emphasis on anti-brand products and affordability. Everlane’s 2013 revenue clocked in at $12 million, and in an interview with Entrepreneur Michael estimated that their 2014 figures would hit $30+ million.

Everlane

Michael says that the modern consumer wants only one thing: information. He’s built the Everlane brand around the belief that educating their potential customers should be a high-priority goal.

If your business is a digital store that sells physical products, then here’s another tip for you: manage your inventory really, really strictly. One of the ways Michael’s been able to undercut competitors — and still turn a significant profit — is by ensuring that Everlane’s inventories are run extremely tightly. There’s no room for wastage, unnecessary overheads, of extraneous expenditures.

Tip #2: Start with the Customer and Work Backwards

Andrew Mason is the guy responsible for a little marketplace you might have heard of: it’s called Groupon. At last check, Groupon’s got over 48 million customers actively using the site to take advantage of the 400K+ deals offered in markets across the world.

Groupon

When he built up the company, Andrew’s highest priority was always the customer. He attributed all of the success he experienced to situations wherein he would “start with the customer and work backwards”.

Naturally, this makes sense. After all, your customers are the whole reason why you’re in business in the first place. When you focusing on making their experience as a customer as pleasant and seamless as possible, you’ll find more and more people coming to you instead of to your competition.

Andrew has also talked about the process of vetting a business idea. When he kicked things off with Groupon, he deliberately kept things on a very small scale — Andrew wanted to be 100% sure that the business was viable before going full steam ahead.

Unfortunately, Andrew’s career went downhill after the initial growth wave Groupon experienced. He was ousted from his position as CEO after Groupon’s took a major hit financially in the years following their IPO. But regardless, the advice he offered in his Business Insider interview is definitely still relevant to young entrepreneurs today.

Tip #3: Get Personal

For me, this is actually the one of the more interesting tidbits I came across while researching this post. It comes from Niall Harbison, the guy who founded Simply Zesty (an inbound marketing company) in 2009 and sold it for £1.8 million just 1,000 days after its inception.

Simply-Zesty

During the initial growth phase, Niall experienced some setbacks. For one, he spontaneously lost three of his biggest clients — all in just three days!

To ensure that such a mishap wouldn’t repeat itself, Niall came up with a creative idea: he crafted 30 personal letters to send to his existing clients.

The result? Niall didn’t lose another client for another whole year.

This again reinforces the truth that your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Especially when you’re running a service business, developing personal relationships with each of your clients can go a long way towards retaining customers in the long run.

Get the How to be Worth 7 Figures Before 30: 7 Young Millionaires Tell Us Their Top Tips Checklist!

Think about it this way: how many other inbound marketing companies do you think would take the time to write a personal letter to each and every one of their clients? Answer: not many.

Consequently, when you go the extra mile your client will remember you because of it, and thus your company will stand out from the crowd.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should go out right now, buy some pretty stationary and start handwriting a sentimental letter to each of your clients in elegant cursive. That could work for you, but anyways that’s not the point.

Instead, the basic idea is this: make a conscious effort to build an actual relationship with your customers every time you interact with them. Cursive letters may or may not be your thing, but at least make sure that you’re doing something!

Tip #4: Be Obsessed

This next tip comes from Drew Houston, the co-founder of a software business that I’m pretty sure many of us use on a regular basis: Dropbox. Drew believes that being obsessed about your business is the first step to long-term success.

Dropbox

He compares an entrepreneur’s obsession with his/her business to that of a dog’s obsession with a tennis ball.

If you have a dog, then you’ve no doubt experienced this before in person.

Say you’re playing fetch with your dog. You throw a tennis ball/stick/something for it to catch.

What happens?

That dog’s life changes. Fetching the ball/stick/something becomes the dog’s only focus. It becomes the dog’s only mission in life, and the dog will not allow itself to be refused its objective — even when there’s a flowing river in the way.

Be-Obsessed

Dropbox wasn’t Drew’s first foray into the Internet business world. He started off an SAT prep company once as well — but over time he became demotivated and eventually stopped working to grow the business. Drew cites the following reason for his failure: SAT prep “wasn’t a problem he cared to spend a lifetime solving”.

But with Dropbox, everything was different: both he and his co-founder Arash Ferdowsi were passionate about the product and obsessed with the problem it solved. Years later, Drew is now a billionaire.

Tip #5: Do it Now

Fred Schebesta is most famous for his work at Finder.com.au, a comparison shopping website he co-founded. But Schebest was a millionaire before Finder even took off — he started building Freestyle Media while in university and sold it off for a cool $1.3 million at age 26.

Finder

In an article for Smart Company, Fred revealed five business lessons he learned from his mother. One of them was to “do it now”.

There’s no room for procrastination in business. Putting something off until tomorrow is not acceptable. When you procrastinate, you get behind the curve. And when you’re behind the curve, it’s easy to get demotivated real fast.

Fred also argues that doing something now instead of later gives you a mental boost (and he’s absolutely right). Once you finish a task, you’re able to strike it off your mental to do list. That makes you feel more productive because of the satisfaction you get from “turning your idea into reality”.

Tip #6: Think Bigger

Grant Cardone went from broke in college at 21, to an internationally recognized millionaire entrepreneur by 30. He’s helped build up several businesses and consulted for sales training in multiple Fortune 500 companies. What’s more, he’s also authored five books in five years, one of which went on to become an NY Times bestseller.

Grant-Cardone

Grant says that the biggest financial mistake he ever made was “not thinking big enough”. He recommends that instead of shooting for $1 million, you shoot for $10 million. Aim high and put in enough work, and there’s a very real chance that you could be worth 7 figures before 30.

In his article Grant also advises that you “be known for your work ethic, not the trinkets you buy”. Frugality can be crucial — even when Grant reached that coveted millionaire status, his vehicle of choice was still a Camry. Luxury items typically shouldn’t be on the table until your income is both large and secure.

Tip #7: Don’t Give Up

You might think that this last tip is a little obvious (and it is), but there’s a cool story behind it.

Brenton Hayden started his career at 19, working a sales route for Kellogg’s snacks. He became very successful at it in a very short amount of time, but then a screw-up got him dismissed from the job. He got another job at a real estate company, but unfortunately that didn’t pan out either in the long run.

Brenton finally decided to go into business for himself and started the groundwork for a property management company. His initial marketing strategy?

Cold calls.

One the first three calls, Brenton got turned down. But again, the guy refused to give up.

On the very next call, Brenton got a bite. One year later, and the company (now known as Renters Warehouse) had already pulled in $966K. By age 27, Brenton had enough to retire.

Renters-Warehouse

It’s a cool story, but it would never have ended so happily if Brenton had given up midway.

The takeaway here is very clear: you never really know exactly when you’ll succeed. Don’t make the mistake of giving up halfway, because you might be a lot closer to your goal than you think.

Never-Give-Up

Wrapping Up

Let’s take a quick recap of the seven lessons we discussed in this post:

    1. In today’s modern world, it’s all about information (tweet this). Educate your customers if you want your brand to succeed.
    2. Start with the customer and work backwards (tweet this) — once again, it’s all about the customer.
    3. Make a conscious effort to build real, personal relationships with your customers (tweet this). Handwritten letters optional.
    4. Be obsessed about the problem your company solves (tweet this). It’s always easier to stay motivated when you’re passionate about your business.

Get the How to be Worth 7 Figures Before 30: 7 Young Millionaires Tell Us Their Top Tips Checklist!

  1. Procrastination will kill your motivation. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today (tweet this).
  2. Think bigger. When you aim for the stars, even if you don’t reach your goal you’ll still be sitting pretty in the clouds (tweet this).
  3. Success is closer than you think. So don’t give up! (tweet this)

What other business-building tips do you have? Feel free to add your input in the comments below!

Jonathan John
jonathan@jrjwrites.com

Jonathan John is a freelance blogger for hire and a content marketing maestro. He loves talking digital marketing, branding, traffic generation, and just about everything else that helps entrepreneurs build better businesses.

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  • Shamanth

    Great advice especially starting with the customer and working backwards, and most importantly never giving up!!

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Hi Shamanth,

      Glad to hear you liked the post! Andrew’s tip on starting with the customer was one of my favorites as well!

      • Gerben

        I see what you did there Jonathan, you connected with your customer after she commented. I bet she will read more posts of yours.

  • Ravi Shukle

    Great posts and insights especially to focus in on the customer and personalise the experience. Would of loved to hear more about their failures but over all great summary here for those wanting to reach those heights in their business.

  • http://www.iSocialYou.com/ Ali (at) iSocialYou

    wow amazing tips.. and yes giving up is NOT an option 🙂

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Absolutely right. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  • garreth tembo

    Thanks for this article, have made a pdf of it to share to my friends

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Awesome, thanks for sharing it out.

  • Arushi

    Love this – thank you for sharing!

  • Paris

    Excellent!! Thanks for this.

  • Ruth Zubairu

    Hi Jonathan,
    Awesome list you put up there. Some can not be overemphasised. Finding a problem and solving it with the customer in mind. Helpful for everyone wanting to get ahead in life and business.
    Off to share now.
    Cheers.

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for the kind words and the share!

  • http://www.crowdhatcher.com Joe Olejnik

    Inspirational – thank you Jonathan! What resonated most for me in your article were the growth strategies showing that it’s not always about using ‘cutting edge marketing technology’ to build a startup. What matters, especially in the early stages, is reaching out and building personal connections (as per the examples above of personal letters / cold calling etc). Although these might not scale overly well they will absolutely help build a foundation of ‘raving fans’ in any new business and provide valuable feedback from early adopters. As you say ‘start with the customer and work backwards’. Thanks again for sharing these insights Jonathan…looking forward to your next article.

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Yep, I too loved Andrew’s tip on the customer. Thanks for commenting, Joe!

  • http://www.jasonvholmes.com Jason V. Holmes

    A real good article with useful tips.

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Glad you liked it!

  • http://yessupply.co yes supply co.

    Great advice!

    • http://foundrmag.com/ Nathan Chan

      Thanks @yessupplyco:disqus – This was a killer post!

  • fred

    Amazing tips focus is the main key

    • http://foundrmag.com/ Nathan Chan

      Glad you enjoyed this Fred! Agreed focus is key!

  • Tiffany

    Well done! Easy to read and to the point.
    Thank u for the read this morning

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      No problem, glad you liked it!

  • http://www.oversizedgymtowel.com Jared Rogers

    Nice article Jonathan!

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Thanks!

  • David Montenegro

    Jonathan, great article. From your personal experience I would like to ask you. What would be the best strategy in terms of educating your customer and creating valuable information for a startup focused in on-demand home services. Thanks.

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Hi David,

      I haven’t worked with startups in your niche, so not entirely sure what advice I should offer. Have you experimented with local advertising? Brochures and direct mail could also be productive channels.

  • Moritz

    Best article I’ve read in a while! Thanks for sharing.

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Thanks for the kind words!

  • Curtis

    Awesome article. The motivation I needed for today.
    Cheers

  • Faviola

    Love this! I started my interpreting and translation business in 2000 within 4 months I was already making 40K a month I was able to make 6 figures 6 years consecutively, unfortunately when the economy took a dive, so did my business…Like they say “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket” Unfortunately, I made that mistake all my contracts were with the the State, County, so when the government shut down, so did my business 🙁 till this day, here I am still trying, haven’t given up! I’m not making as much, but o make enough to live comfortably ?

  • Aurorah

    Do it now and think bigger! True lessons of wisdom! Thank you Jonathan for this inspiring information! Great job!

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Thanks for the kind words, Aurorah!

  • anna

    Jonathan,
    im a brand new salon owner, never been in this type of business before, any advice on great marketing strategy?

  • http://www.earthloveskin.com Iris Buenconsejo

    I love this article. Great tips for pursuing entrepreneurs. Not many talk about the dark side of this pursuit so these tips really come in handy when motivating yourself!

    • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

      Glad you found it helpful, Iris! Motivation is really one of the hardest things to maintain as an entrepreneur. Feel free to share any other tips you might have as to how you’ve been able to motivate yourself to grow your business.

      • http://www.earthloveskin.com Iris Buenconsejo

        I’d love to. I just followed you on Disqus. I’d love to get in touch with like-minded people who motivate each other. If you have a LinkedIn, send me a private message so I can get in touch, or tweet me at Twitter!

        PS: I love the tone of your writing, the wrap-up part is extremely good and how relatable your articles seem, you’ve easily becomed one of my fave bloggers on Foundr.

  • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

    Hi Anna,

    Remember the cardinal rule: the customer comes first. As discussed in the article, start with the customer and work backwards.

    I’d recommend also checking out a couple marketing blogs if you’re still hung up on strategy. Duct Tape Marketing, HubSpot, and Marketo are good places to start.

  • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

    Hi Faviola,

    Sounds like you’ve had some terrific success with entrepreneurship — so sorry to hear about the dive in your translation business. Sometimes we make mistakes (like putting all our eggs in one basket), but the best thing to do at that point is just to learn from the experience, shake it off, and move on. It seems like you’ve been able to do that really well!

    All the best, and good luck with your future business endeavors!

  • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

    Glad to hear that.

  • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

    No problem.

  • http://jrjwrites.com Jonathan John

    You’re very welcome!