Some entrepreneurs earn millions from their businesses. This is nothing unusual. However, earning millions before you leave your teens and hit the age of 20 is exceptional and rare. Most teenagers are busy studying hard at college or university to earn qualifications for their future. Others are starting out on the career ladder gaining relevant work experience. On the other hand, a few who are driven to succeed have big dreams. They aim for the moon and land among the stars leaving the less ambitious floating on the clouds.
So, why are the teenagers who are earning millions flying high? First, they have a vision, dream big, listen to valuable advice, take risks and work towards fulfilling their goals.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg
Successful teenagers don’t sit around waiting to perfect their business ideas. They simply work with what they have. Most of them fail many times before succeeding. Are you bold enough to take a leaf out of their books and action your business ideas?
Today I’m sharing 10 from more than 40 successful young entrepreneurs who made millions in their teens. Make sure to look out for part two of the series of exceptional, millionaire teenage entrepreneurs.
- John Koon, the only child of immigrant parents from Hong Kong, was born in New York City. He had an idea at 16, (while still at school) to start an original auto parts business, Extreme Performance Motorsports. His company imported car accessories from Asia, including stereos, wheels, rims, custom body kits and other personalized parts. Pimp My Ride became one of his main customers.
His patented cell phone holders and air ionizers were a big hit with rappers and record label executives. MTV commissioned him to supply products for their reality shows. That put him in the spotlight and made it possible to connect with Young Jeezy to work on a fashion brand. They set up Young Jeezy Apparel Ltd. This pushed up John Koon’s annual earnings to over $40 million and was one of the top three selling street wear brands.
- Tyler Dikman was a smart young boy. His entrepreneurial and marketing skills kicked in at the tender age of five. Not only did Tyler make the best lemonade, he advertised by displaying signs up and down his street. This attracted people to spend money and quench their thirst with his delicious lemonade. He made $15 to $20 an hour from this venture. To add to his business skills, he took on lawn mowing and babysitting jobs.
As an eight grader, he charged £15 an hour to fix computers. Tyler then went on to start his own computer company Cooltronics, helping businesses and individuals with technology. It wasn’t all plain sailing, he made mistakes along the way and learned many lessons. He didn’t quit, though, and grew his company while still at school. Tyler employed 6 to 10 staff by the time he graduated and made an annual revenue of $1 million. That was the start of his journey to making many more millions.
- Justin Bieber is a Canadian singer and songwriter, born in 1994. He had a YouTube channel covering songs. Justin found fame when he was discovered by a talent manager who saw amazing singing abilities in this young boy. He signed Justin to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG Records).
His musical career kicked off when he was just 14. His first single Baby was a hit globally. And at 16, his debut album My World 2.0, sold more than five million copies around the world. It was a certified triple platinum in America. Forbes magazine listed him as the top ten most powerful celebrities in the world, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Justin acted in a few films. Apart from singing and acting, he also produced his own fragrance. Justin’s net worth is $200 million.
- Ashley Qualls borrowed $8 from her mum to buy a domain name and start a website, Whateverlife.com when she was 14. She developed it to provide MySpace themes for free and share HTML tutorials. The idea was to teach other teenagers coding and graphic design.
Advertising revenues from Google Adsense paid for the website maintenance fees. However, as her website traffic grew, she charged companies to advertise their products and services on her site.
An undisclosed bidder offered Ashley $1.5 million to sell her website and buy a car of her choice. It was an attractive offer but she turned it down.
Ashley bought a house for $250,000 cash in Michigan. The website venture that started as a hobby made her a multi-millionaire. Her net worth was $8 million in 2012.
- Michael Dunlop started trading at eight years old and sold Pokemon cards to his friends. However, he didn’t have the best time at school. Because of dyslexia and lack of support from teachers, he quit at 16. He then set up his first blogging website IncomeDiary.com. giving valuable advice to entrepreneurs and bloggers.
Despite the issues he had at school, he didn’t fall into a slump. Instead, it challenged him to try and make a success of his life. He invested a lot of time and effort into Income Diary. Ultimately, it became a successful blog with an Alexa rating of 12,000.
Michael has done exceedingly well. He’s now one of the top online entrepreneurs and earns a six-figure income from his blog.
- David and Catherine Cook are siblings. They partnered and produced My YearBook.com when Catherine was 14 years old. Catherine wasn’t impressed with the traditional high school yearbook. So, they created an online version which was much more superior.
Catherine was motivated by her older brother who had a successful startup. So she decided to try her hand in business as well. Her brother loved the idea of an online yearbook and pumped $250,000 into the project. It took off quickly and they attracted 950 members who joined within the first year.
The site successfully grew into a business and is now worth more than $100 million.
- Fraser Doherty, a 14-year-old boy, wasn’t afraid of learning new skills from his grandmother. This young Scottish entrepreneur used her homemade recipe to make jams. He mastered the art and learnt how to produce jam, using 100% fruits. Fraser established SuperJam and sold to delicatessen shops and farmer’s markets.
Fraser was the youngest person to supply his products to a major UK supermarket, Waitrose. He went global afterwards. SuperJam turn out to be available in over 2,000 supermarkets in seven countries. You can also find his recipe books on Amazon.
Fraser has won many awards, including the Enterprising Young Brit Award (2004), Young Entrepreneur of The World Award (2007), Global Student Entrepreneur of The Year (2007) and many more.
- Robert Nay had so much knowledge at 14 he was able to code 4000 lines while still in third grade. Amazingly, he taught himself how to create a website and developed the Bubble Ball app in 2010. This is a physics puzzle game with levels ranging from simple to challenging. He made the game free to download on Apple iTunes. Within two weeks it was downloaded over two million times. On top of that, Robert earned a massive income of $2 million in that short space of time.
In 2011, Bubble Ball knocked Angry Birds, the most popular free app, from its number one top spot in the Apple app store.
- Dominic McVey is a British entrepreneur who had a brainwave at 13. He recognized the financial benefits of importing micro-scooters from the Us into the UK. So he started his new project of selling collapsible scooters in the community. This made him a millionaire at just 15 years old.
This is how he stumbled on the idea that made him a millionaire…
“I had been looking round the internet and was looking for the credit card website Visa, but I spelt it wrong – Viza, and I came across this website which was manufacturing scooters and I really wanted one. But I couldn’t afford one, and neither could my parents, so I emailed them and said “I think you should send me a scooter, I would sell loads over here.”
They said no, but if you buy five, we’ll give you one free. So as I really wanted one for free, I saved up to buy five, which I did by organising under-18s discos, buying stocks and shares and selling mini disc players in Japan.
So I got five over, and got one for free, which I was really happy with, but then I thought I should sell the other five, which I did within a week, to family and friends. The next week I sold 10, and it just went on from there.” ~ Dominic McVey (Source)
When Dominic turned 18, the Queen appointed him Pioneer for Britain in Entrepreneurism. His net worth is $10.5 million.
- 10. Carl Churchill is a UK whizz-kid. He kicked-off his web design business as a 12-year-old This British entrepreneur made his first million at 19 when he set up an internet company, DMC. Not only is he a philanthropist and venture capitalist, he’s also known as the British Bill Gates.
The Royal Bank of Scotland made a prediction when Carl was 19, that he would make £100 million by 2020. He is certainly on his way to fulfilling that prediction. He was worth £20 million in 2013.
To conclude, young entrepreneurs are not restricted by age. Being young has nothing to do with an inability to dream big and become successful. In fact, age is no barrier from achieving a millionaire status. The reality is, you need a valid business idea, an entrepreneur mindset, the guts to take steps and determination to finish what you started. Look out for part two of the rich kids’ list.