How to Get Rich Young: Tips from Those Who’ve Done It
Recently website Under30CEO took a look at an Australian list of those who had made it big before turning 40 (and hadnâ€™t inherited their money) and tried to determine what could be learned from their stories about how to make your millions young:
- Think big, start small. â€œBefore you achieve that first $1 million, you have to get your first dollar.â€ Phillip Di Bella started a coffee business in 2002, selling coffee to cafes. He would roast his own coffee and would then pack it and deliver it himself. Sometimes people can have a romantic idea of what it is to be an entrepreneur, usually these ideals are shattered rather quickly. Having said that, it can pay off. Di Bella is now worth $47 million.
- Never too young. Trent Davis started his company NetBox when he was 22. This was his third business, after his first two businesses had failed. Now 32, David has built NetBox into a formidable company with annual sales of $30 million and 20 staff.
- Be willing to rough it (in the beginning). Peter Mavridis, the founder of S Central, is turning over $80 million every year and has a personal net worth of $62 million at the age of 37. However, in the beginning Mavridis wasnâ€™t talking millions. He remembers the first office, â€œIt was one of those offices where you were scared to take the lift, so youâ€™d take the stairs.â€ Mavridis owes a lot of his success to the fact that he didnâ€™t spend the money he didnâ€™t have, in the early days.
- Fake it until you make it. An important skill of any start-up is to be able to look bigger than you are. Stuart and Nicole Patterson started a building repair business when they were 24 and 23 respectively in their apartment. Nicole would answer the phone as â€œthe receptionistâ€Â and would direct the different calls to different people (different people being Stuart) in a number of different â€œdepartmentsâ€. Thanks to such a convincing performance, Stuart and Nicole have grown Pattersons Building Group into a company with revenues of $42 million per year. Although the performance was a convincing one, they always understood the importance of delivery. â€œWe delivered. We never failed a client.â€
- Focus on the people. Cotton Onâ€™s growth is highly aggressive, to the point where it has even drawn criticismÂ by commentators who say that the growth is not sustainable. However [co-founder] Nigel Austin says that itâ€™s the people in the business that have been able to ensure they have met their aggressive growth targets. â€œWe spent a lot of money on management training to make sure our people have the right skills to drive growth.â€
- Have clear targets. Given the economy, most entrepreneurs have not hit their financial targets. However in business as in life, itâ€™s the goals we choose to set for ourselves, that will influence our direction more than any external factor. As Shaun Bonett, number five on the list says, â€œIâ€™ve found it makes me focus on managing for the longer term. It also helps to make all the challenges you are going through at a time like this feel like a worthwhile learning experience.â€
Before you go feeling terrible about yourself for your paltry business success (or too optimistic about your prospects in the current economy), keep in mind that Australia is the one country with explosive job growth at the moment, and some of these youthful business titans have faced serious setbacks in the recent downturn.
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