A lot of others have done it. If you’re past the quarter-century point you won’t make that goal, but there’s nothing to stop you from learning from their successes.
Each year, some Americans make their first million dollars before turning 25, including a few who are still in high school.
Among the traits they have in common are vision, smarts and determination.
A little luck never hurts.
“Young people are just smarter,” Mark Zuckerberg, now 26, told a Stanford University audience in 2007. Three years earlier, Zuckerberg had helped launch the enterprise that came to be called Facebook and vaulted him into the ranks of the nation’s billionaires.
Here’s a look at nine other individuals who were millionaires before they were 25, with some of their advice for achieving success.
Michael Dell, now 45, earned his first million at age 19. Dell dropped out of the University of Texas shortly after starting a computer company that sold directly to consumers, at prices lower than retail rivals could match.
By the time he was 24, the company now known as Dell (DELL, news) had revenues of $258 million. At last check, Dell’s estimated net worth was $13.5 billion.
His advice for young entrepreneurs: “You’ve got to be passionate about it,” he said in an interview with the Academy of Achievement. “I think people that look for great ideas to make money aren’t nearly as successful as those who say, ‘OK, what do I really love to do?
Catherine Cook, now 20, has been a millionaire for a couple of years. She and her brothers David and Geoff started myYearbook, a social-networking site popular with teens, in 2005, when Catherine and David were still in high school.
Her advice for young entrepreneurs: “Stop just thinking about it and make it happen. When you’re young is the best time to start your own business, as you do not have the responsibilities you will have when you’re older. The worst that can happen if you fail now is that you have firsthand experience to make your next venture a success.”
Sean Belnick, now 23, became a millionaire at 16. He started selling office chairs online, an endeavor that morphed into a company called BizChair.com. Along the way, Belnick earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
His advice for young entrepreneurs: “It is never too early to start. . . . There’s a lot of great information on the Internet. Just do the research and find a way to do what you want to do.”
Jermaine Griggs, now 27, became a millionaire at 23 by pursuing his passion for teaching music. His website, HearAndPlay.com, is designed to help people learn to play piano, guitar or drums by ear, without reading sheet music. More than 2 million students download online lessons each year. Griggs’ plans include the launch of brick-and-mortar learning centers, a TV network and a magazine.
His advice for young entrepreneurs: “Understand the power of selling, not just things but yourself and your ideas. Study business. Study those who have come before you and find people with the same dreams and aspirations as you.”