Self-made Millionaires

There’s something inspiring about a self-made millionaire - the ability to start with nothing and create a fortune by leveraging intelligence, resourcefulness, and courage. To keep all of us motivated, may the following list of self-made millionaires serve as inspiration and a reminder that from little things, big things can grow.

Tony Robbins

Whether you agree with his teachings or not, Tony Robbins has risen from humble beginnings to become a world-recognized multi-millionaire. As a child, Tony grew up in a small, low-rent Los Angeles apartment where his family struggled to pay the bills and stay afloat. One Thanksgiving day, it was the sympathy of a stranger who donated food to his family that became a turning point in Tony’s life. Empowered to give back, at age 17 Tony set out to feed two families, and the next year, four. 18 years later and he is proud to have founded and built companies that have fed over 2 million families during the holidays. Using these and similar experiences to inspire, Tony is an accomplished author, public speaker, and coach to some of the biggest names in sports and business.

John W. Hetrick

Don’t recognize this name? That’s OK, you’re certainly not alone. A U.S. inventor, John Hetrick created a car safety device that dispatches a gas-filled cushion – the airbag; subsequently saving countless lives and minimizing personal injury claim car accident lawsuits. An industrial engineer by trade, Hetrick was also a member of the U.S. Navy and credits his experiences with compressed air technology in torpedoes as being part of the idea.

Justin Herald

One of Australia’s most popular and well-known entrepreneurs, Justin Herald (at the age of 25) launched his Attitude brand back in 1995 with just $50. Six years later he had a multi-million dollar empire on his hands.

After being told that he would never amount to anything because of his attitude, Justin set out to prove everyone wrong and his Attitude brand was born with $50 worth of t-shirts printed and slogans such as ‘In the end, it’s all a matter of attitude.’

Now a motivational speaker and author of seven international bestselling books, Justin believes we all have the ability to become millions – we just need the right ‘attitude’ to make it happen.

Nathan Tinkler

Named on BRW’s Young Rich List in 2008, Nathan Tinkler is Australia’s richest man under 40. A former electrician, the 35 year old got his big break in 2006 when he bought a coal mine with $500,000 he borrowed from friends and family. Mr Tinkler then sold the mine to Macarther Coal for the tidy sum of $275 million.

The Tinkler Group – founded by Mr Tinkler – owns multiple companies including mining and coal companies, the Tinkler Foundation, Patinack Farm, and the Newcastle Knights.

As very private man, Nathan Tinkler prefers to let his businesses and CEO do all the talking while he and his family enjoy the benefits he has worked hard to create.

Byron Reese

What started as a tribute to his late mother grew into a million dollar enterprise in just four years. In 2001, Byron Reese started a company offering personalized letters from Santa Claus to children all across America. With postmarks from the North Pole, sold 10,000 letters in its first year of business before reaching sales of over $1 million dollars in 2005.

Taking the magic of Christmas very seriously Reese has added birthday cards and post-holiday cards to the list of services Santa’s elves offer. A year-round role, Reese’s goal for the future is to deliver snow filled coolers on request so people can enjoy a white Christmas no matter where they live.

Fiona Markowitz

When Fiona Markowitz let her children create their own party hats 14 years ago, there was no way she could have predicted creating a business with $1 million in sales in 2006. Fiona owns Party Hats Entertainment, a business founded by her and her husband, offering pre-made party hats that can be decorated by guests with items such as feathers, beads, buttons, flowers and more. Not just for children, Party Hats Entertainment offers a number of products to its clients including: Party in a Box; Pimp Your Tux; thongs; gloves; and handbags, all of which can be pre-decorated upon request. Not bad for someone looking to entertain the kids at a party!

Tara Krapes

With a starting capital of just $1050 in 2002, Tara Krapes created a company that grew to sales of $2.5 million in 2004. Tara’s company, Vesta Executive Housing, offers executives temporary housing for a minimum of 30 days. Having built a relationship with more than 42 apartment complexes in Cincinnati, Tara rents the apartments for 12 months then re-leases them to executives who need temporary accommodation.

Tara’s business idea was simple. Working in real estate, she reasoned she would need just one client in need of housing to get started and she was right. Finding her first client, Tara paid the first month’s rent on an upscale apartment and from then on, asked clients for payment upfront. So popular is Vesta Executive Housing it rarely has vacancies – more often than not when a client seeks housing through Vesta, Tara has to lease a new apartment instead of re-leasing one of the many other apartments on her books. Having started with just $1000, Vesta Executive Housing now has two offices and 12 employees to its name.

As you can see, building a million dollar empire doesn’t mean re-inventing the wheel or require a new idea. Something as simple as party hats, t-shirts, and letters to Santa have made millionaires out of their owners. But one thing’s for sure, each of the self-made millionaires above devoted time and energy into their businesses to get them to where they are today. Who knows – with some hard work, a desire to create a fortunate with your own hands and a passion for what you do, you too could be a self-made millionaire in just a few years.

Filed in: Business Success, Entrepreneur

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