The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

HOT TOPIC How I (didn't) become a millionaire at 19

_Seba_

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 24, 2015
26
51
31
23
Germany
so you are saying : bad idea + good execution = success

i'd like to read MJ Demarco's opinion on that.

i thought reality was : right idea + right execution = success
I'm pretty sure MJ said this (even a bad idea + great execution = success) in his book
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

ZF Lee

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2016
1,989
3,472
776
21
Malaysia
I'm pretty sure MJ said this (even a bad idea + great execution = success) in his book
A bad idea is still valid because it might turn out that someone else thinks its a good idea.
For example health consultants and exposes keep bitching on how unhealthy Pizza Hut, McDonalds' and KFC is, and yet millions continue to march to their counters to take their order.... :rofl::rofl::rofl:
 

Smoothsailor

New Contributor
Mar 21, 2016
19
17
15
34
New York
Liking this thread a lot. Congratulations on solving one of the biggest puzzles for mankind at such an early age: Making big bucks!
 

Ihar

New Contributor
Jan 10, 2017
3
4
13
26
Belarus
Congratulations, man!

I'd also love to know the details about how you landed your first client.

Did you have anything to show? A website, portfolio, testimonials? I mean how you established credibility?
What did you write in your ad?
Did your client contacted YOU or YOU contacted your client?

Really, I think everybody would appreciate some actionable advice.
 

Gamechanger

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 10, 2017
10
19
20
26
Texas
I'm pretty sure MJ said this (even a bad idea + great execution = success) in his book
To give an idea of the most important aspect, @MJDEMARCO says it's (Idea: potential top speed) x (Execution: Accelerator pressure).

"The Pawn: Idea (Potential Top speed)
Awful idea = 1 mph
Weak idea = 5 mph
So-so idea = 35 mph
Good idea = 65 mph
Great idea = 100 mph
Brilliant idea = 200 mph

The King: Execution (Accelerator Pressure)
Awful execution = $1
Weak execution = $1,000
So-so execution = $10,000
Good execution = $100,000
Great execution = $1,000,000
Brilliant execution = $10,000,000"

He goes on to give the example "a so-so idea with brilliant execution could be worth $350 million."
 

MakeMoreMoves

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 19, 2015
366
306
140
Wow...at 19, the world of entrepreneurship didn't even exist to me. Crazy cool.

Forgive my ignorance, but what you did was pretty much connecting people with app ideas with people who could build apps. Since you said you weren't an app developer, what was stopping the app developers from thinking "Hey, I know more than this guy, I'll just build apps for people myself?" Did you just go.. "Here is our client and here is the app they want us to build" to the app developers? And they were like Ok. Did you just check up on their app development after a couple months? Since you only had 15k starting how much did you pay them? Don't app developers know they can get paid much more working for someone else? Assuming they are slowlane?

Congrats dude. Awesome motivation!
 

Drew D

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Feb 16, 2017
76
151
137
22
Canada, ON
Wow...at 19, the world of entrepreneurship didn't even exist to me. Crazy cool.

Forgive my ignorance, but what you did was pretty much connecting people with app ideas with people who could build apps. Since you said you weren't an app developer, what was stopping the app developers from thinking "Hey, I know more than this guy, I'll just build apps for people myself?" Did you just go.. "Here is our client and here is the app they want us to build" to the app developers? And they were like Ok. Did you just check up on their app development after a couple months? Since you only had 15k starting how much did you pay them? Don't app developers know they can get paid much more working for someone else? Assuming they are slowlane?

Congrats dude. Awesome motivation!
These are great questions I would love to see an answer to but unfortunately the OP has been inactive for over a month. Maybe he'll check up on the thread in the near future.

It's a shame, I really wanted to ask what color he picked for his ferrari.
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
28,799
97,807
3,751
Fountain Hills, AZ
Marked NOTABLE, hoping @Chris Kelsey returns and updates so I can move to Gold. :thumbsup:
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Young-Gun

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 8, 2014
253
609
249
Austin, TX
Jesus. I thought I was 'smart' but this guy is on another level.
It took till my late 20s to get the balls and wisdom he's had since he was 15.
Even then, I STILL feel like he's way ahead of me!! whoa.

Part of me is extremely envious, I'm not ashamed to admit it.
19 years old and lauching a cutting-edge, global, automated construction company.
Makes me feel dumb and slow! lol.

Yet at the same time, it's so encouraging that endeavors like this *can actually be accomplished*, and in only a few years, by a teenager.
If another man can do it, so can I.
There is more than enough "success" to go round.

Most of all, I hope he comes back to share more wisdom :)
It's like talking to someone who never learned a single Limiting Belief. I love it.

Keep it up :)

EDIT: This is my favorite (VERY enlightening) interview with the OP, I've read many of them today and this one's the best.
No joke, this interview is freaking FANTASTIC... worth reading twice.
 
Last edited:

Christopher777

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 13, 2017
139
254
174
Manila, Philippines
Initially I managed the projects myself and even came up with a lot of the creative elements/feature ideas. Now we have a whole system in place with project managers that communicate with clients/partners. It was one of the best feelings in the world to see the whole system come into place where everything becomes almost automated.
Great stuff man.

What were the hard challenges that you had to overcome when you got your first order? Apparently the sudden cash made things a lot easier, but I'm curious about what you had to go through (and how you overcame them) while building your brand new company, starting from a small team of developers.
 

BrooklynHustle

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 3, 2014
736
1,465
441
36
DMV
Love this story & reading about your process. Congratulations & keep going!
I dropped out of high school in December 2014 when I was seventeen, against the decision of everyone around me (parents, friends, relatives). It was my senior year and I had a 4.0 GPA, so as you can imagine everyone thought I was even less bright than had I dropped out in my freshman year.

I had nothing going for me besides two failed businesses and the strongest desire in the world to become a successful entrepreneur.

In the beginning of 2014, at the end of my junior year, I knew that I would have to start applying to colleges soon. There was something in me telling me I shouldn't go down this path and that there was a better way.

I had told myself I wanted to be a dentist, but after asking my dentist what it was like, I realized that he had to start the same way just as any typical business was built, except he went to college for twelve years to do so (and had 300k debt when he got out).

That summer of 2014 I decided to learn as much as I could about business. I looked up all of the "classics" - Think & Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and some more modern books as well. I read TMF in July 2014 right around that time which turned out to be one of my favorites.

I also became addicted to James Altucher's blog and books which also helped me decide I didn't want to go to college.

I took a billion notes from each book and put them on EverNote, it was super boring but I wanted to solidify the knowledge in my mind.

In August of 2014, I started my first business, a flyer distribution business that would subcontract to different flyer distribution companies around the USA so that people could run big marketing flyer campaigns.

I made a video, put it on the landing page, and just started cold calling.

I setup payments through Square, but there was no need to as I never had one sale.

In September 2014 I decided to stop working on it and figure out something else.

By this point, school had started and I was literally just reading in class all day. I was starting to bomb classes (I only had a 4.0 cumulative GPA because I dropped out before the semester ended).

In November, my English teacher came to talk to me after class, and he told me that I was going to fail the class (it literally was the easiest classes I'd ever been in had I tried). I remember that moment very well because I just remember not caring. And I remembered thinking at the time how had it been 2 years ago I would've been crying or something like that. I asked myself, "What happened?"

It made me feel good for some reason. I began to feel a bit more free.

I started an online reputation management business at that time (October/November) which I did the same thing as the flyer business (cold-calling, etc.). I got upset with school because I couldn't cold-call during that time and I felt that it was holding me back from success.

On December 6, 2014, I ended up dropping out. I remember telling each of my teachers that I was dropping out and that I wished them best of luck. A lot of the kids were like WTF and confused. I don't really know what they were thinking, I think some had a feeling I would do well, but I think most just thought I was ready to fail.

My parents were screaming at me and it was really bad. For some reason I wasn't stressed out like usual. I just kept telling myself I would succeed no matter what. I didn't know how, but I said that I would.

At one point my dad told me I was going to fail and that nobody would want to work with me if I dropped out. I told him I would make $25k the next month and that I would prove him wrong.

Back to the second business... Yeah, it never went anywhere either. I almost had a client that was a small hotel chain but the manager quit his job and I lost the connection. I didn't feel like pursuing it and just abruptly stopped.

In mid-December, my barber told me she had an app idea. I knew a few developers and figured I could try to work something out. I gave her the contract, she said she didn't have the funds... two weeks later after I waited for her response.

At the end of December, I went and posted an ad on Craigslist saying I had a team that could build apps. I got a call the next day, I was surprised. He said he wanted to meet, but then cancelled the meeting two days after.

Out of frustration I searched Craigslist for people saying they had app ideas, and within the first 10 days of sending my first message, I had closed my first contract for over $15k. I didn't end up reaching the $25k by January 2015, but it was enough money to prove my dad wrong.

Within the first 3 months I had over $100k of contracts (payments were 50% upfront) (by March 2015).

By the end of last year I had made over $500k and had been part of a lot of successful apps like Premium Wallpapers HD which got over 40m downloads.

I felt that I did well but I wanted to become a millionaire, not a hundred thousandaire.

In January of this year I expanded the company quite a bit. $50k in January, then in February just one contract was $370k, and it was from a group of old people that pooled money together for an app idea they had, the funny thing was that they chose the price, I never gave them a quote... I soon realized that there was no limits with what I wanted to do.

What I learned:

1. There is no secret to success. I've met people that get up at 6am every morning and are super good with their daily schedule and work and make peanuts, then there's people that make $100k/month with an online business and all they do is party and almost never work. The main thing you need to have is the desire to succeed, because then the rest will come naturally.

2. Listen to your gut over anyone else, but know when to quit if the business will fail - You might have an idea that everyone hates but it succeeds. You might have an idea that everyone loves but fails. At the end of the day, only YOU know more than anyone else if it will work or not, listen to the advice of others but take it with a grain of salt. But at the same time, if your instincts tell you to drop what you're doing, then do it and follow. If I kept staying with the online reputation management business I would've just failed for more time even though I "technically" should focus on one thing.

3. MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE - This is HUGE. I've seen really dumb people raise $4M in funding for a startup that was a dumb idea from the start, but because they knew the right people, it didn't matter. SERIOUSLY, I don't say that like "Oh lucky him bla bla", I'm serious, I've met people who really don't have much know-how in business that have made money because of their connections. Now, when you are actually smart AND have the connections, it's a win-win. Just note, connections are key above ANYTHING else.

4. Don't waste time - At the same time remember that most people you meet are not going to help you move forward in business. James Altucher says how most meetings are a waste of time, and this is so true. People will want to meet with you only to "chat" and it isn't going to benefit EITHER OF YOU. So just say no upfront. This was one of the hardest things for me to get used to because I didn't want to be rude. But it's better to say NO.

There's a lot more to this but I'll post more another time.
 

rudyofer

New Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 10, 2016
8
4
16
After reading your interview. I admire your guts and resolve.. Godspeed
 

Ashwell

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 3, 2017
3
3
16
20
South Africa
Really great inspiration to all the young people finishing high school or just finished high school including me.
I dropped out of high school in December 2014 when I was seventeen, against the decision of everyone around me (parents, friends, relatives). It was my senior year and I had a 4.0 GPA, so as you can imagine everyone thought I was even less bright than had I dropped out in my freshman year.

I had nothing going for me besides two failed businesses and the strongest desire in the world to become a successful entrepreneur.

In the beginning of 2014, at the end of my junior year, I knew that I would have to start applying to colleges soon. There was something in me telling me I shouldn't go down this path and that there was a better way.

I had told myself I wanted to be a dentist, but after asking my dentist what it was like, I realized that he had to start the same way just as any typical business was built, except he went to college for twelve years to do so (and had 300k debt when he got out).

That summer of 2014 I decided to learn as much as I could about business. I looked up all of the "classics" - Think & Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and some more modern books as well. I read TMF in July 2014 right around that time which turned out to be one of my favorites.

I also became addicted to James Altucher's blog and books which also helped me decide I didn't want to go to college.

I took a billion notes from each book and put them on EverNote, it was super boring but I wanted to solidify the knowledge in my mind.

In August of 2014, I started my first business, a flyer distribution business that would subcontract to different flyer distribution companies around the USA so that people could run big marketing flyer campaigns.

I made a video, put it on the landing page, and just started cold calling.

I setup payments through Square, but there was no need to as I never had one sale.

In September 2014 I decided to stop working on it and figure out something else.

By this point, school had started and I was literally just reading in class all day. I was starting to bomb classes (I only had a 4.0 cumulative GPA because I dropped out before the semester ended).

In November, my English teacher came to talk to me after class, and he told me that I was going to fail the class (it literally was the easiest classes I'd ever been in had I tried). I remember that moment very well because I just remember not caring. And I remembered thinking at the time how had it been 2 years ago I would've been crying or something like that. I asked myself, "What happened?"

It made me feel good for some reason. I began to feel a bit more free.

I started an online reputation management business at that time (October/November) which I did the same thing as the flyer business (cold-calling, etc.). I got upset with school because I couldn't cold-call during that time and I felt that it was holding me back from success.

On December 6, 2014, I ended up dropping out. I remember telling each of my teachers that I was dropping out and that I wished them best of luck. A lot of the kids were like WTF and confused. I don't really know what they were thinking, I think some had a feeling I would do well, but I think most just thought I was ready to fail.

My parents were screaming at me and it was really bad. For some reason I wasn't stressed out like usual. I just kept telling myself I would succeed no matter what. I didn't know how, but I said that I would.

At one point my dad told me I was going to fail and that nobody would want to work with me if I dropped out. I told him I would make $25k the next month and that I would prove him wrong.

Back to the second business... Yeah, it never went anywhere either. I almost had a client that was a small hotel chain but the manager quit his job and I lost the connection. I didn't feel like pursuing it and just abruptly stopped.

In mid-December, my barber told me she had an app idea. I knew a few developers and figured I could try to work something out. I gave her the contract, she said she didn't have the funds... two weeks later after I waited for her response.

At the end of December, I went and posted an ad on Craigslist saying I had a team that could build apps. I got a call the next day, I was surprised. He said he wanted to meet, but then cancelled the meeting two days after.

Out of frustration I searched Craigslist for people saying they had app ideas, and within the first 10 days of sending my first message, I had closed my first contract for over $15k. I didn't end up reaching the $25k by January 2015, but it was enough money to prove my dad wrong.

Within the first 3 months I had over $100k of contracts (payments were 50% upfront) (by March 2015).

By the end of last year I had made over $500k and had been part of a lot of successful apps like Premium Wallpapers HD which got over 40m downloads.

I felt that I did well but I wanted to become a millionaire, not a hundred thousandaire.

In January of this year I expanded the company quite a bit. $50k in January, then in February just one contract was $370k, and it was from a group of old people that pooled money together for an app idea they had, the funny thing was that they chose the price, I never gave them a quote... I soon realized that there was no limits with what I wanted to do.

What I learned:

1. There is no secret to success. I've met people that get up at 6am every morning and are super good with their daily schedule and work and make peanuts, then there's people that make $100k/month with an online business and all they do is party and almost never work. The main thing you need to have is the desire to succeed, because then the rest will come naturally.

2. Listen to your gut over anyone else, but know when to quit if the business will fail - You might have an idea that everyone hates but it succeeds. You might have an idea that everyone loves but fails. At the end of the day, only YOU know more than anyone else if it will work or not, listen to the advice of others but take it with a grain of salt. But at the same time, if your instincts tell you to drop what you're doing, then do it and follow. If I kept staying with the online reputation management business I would've just failed for more time even though I "technically" should focus on one thing.

3. MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE - This is HUGE. I've seen really dumb people raise $4M in funding for a startup that was a dumb idea from the start, but because they knew the right people, it didn't matter. SERIOUSLY, I don't say that like "Oh lucky him bla bla", I'm serious, I've met people who really don't have much know-how in business that have made money because of their connections. Now, when you are actually smart AND have the connections, it's a win-win. Just note, connections are key above ANYTHING else.

4. Don't waste time - At the same time remember that most people you meet are not going to help you move forward in business. James Altucher says how most meetings are a waste of time, and this is so true. People will want to meet with you only to "chat" and it isn't going to benefit EITHER OF YOU. So just say no upfront. This was one of the hardest things for me to get used to because I didn't want to be rude. But it's better to say NO.

There's a lot more to this but I'll post more another time.
 

Shabeer

New Contributor
May 25, 2017
21
17
19
22
Toronto, Canada
Very inspiring brother! I'm so happy you found success and proved all the doubters wrong. My story feels very similar to yours, but it was with my decision to drop out of University. I haven't had the success you've had yet, but I know I'll get there. Idk how, but I know it will happen. Thanks for cheering me up today! :)
 

Silver Silk

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 10, 2017
97
146
137
Birmingham
I dropped out of high school in December 2014 when I was seventeen, against the decision of everyone around me (parents, friends, relatives). It was my senior year and I had a 4.0 GPA, so as you can imagine everyone thought I was even less bright than had I dropped out in my freshman year.

I had nothing going for me besides two failed businesses and the strongest desire in the world to become a successful entrepreneur.

In the beginning of 2014, at the end of my junior year, I knew that I would have to start applying to colleges soon. There was something in me telling me I shouldn't go down this path and that there was a better way.

I had told myself I wanted to be a dentist, but after asking my dentist what it was like, I realized that he had to start the same way just as any typical business was built, except he went to college for twelve years to do so (and had 300k debt when he got out).

That summer of 2014 I decided to learn as much as I could about business. I looked up all of the "classics" - Think & Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and some more modern books as well. I read TMF in July 2014 right around that time which turned out to be one of my favorites.

I also became addicted to James Altucher's blog and books which also helped me decide I didn't want to go to college.

I took a billion notes from each book and put them on EverNote, it was super boring but I wanted to solidify the knowledge in my mind.

In August of 2014, I started my first business, a flyer distribution business that would subcontract to different flyer distribution companies around the USA so that people could run big marketing flyer campaigns.

I made a video, put it on the landing page, and just started cold calling.

I setup payments through Square, but there was no need to as I never had one sale.

In September 2014 I decided to stop working on it and figure out something else.

By this point, school had started and I was literally just reading in class all day. I was starting to bomb classes (I only had a 4.0 cumulative GPA because I dropped out before the semester ended).

In November, my English teacher came to talk to me after class, and he told me that I was going to fail the class (it literally was the easiest classes I'd ever been in had I tried). I remember that moment very well because I just remember not caring. And I remembered thinking at the time how had it been 2 years ago I would've been crying or something like that. I asked myself, "What happened?"

It made me feel good for some reason. I began to feel a bit more free.

I started an online reputation management business at that time (October/November) which I did the same thing as the flyer business (cold-calling, etc.). I got upset with school because I couldn't cold-call during that time and I felt that it was holding me back from success.

On December 6, 2014, I ended up dropping out. I remember telling each of my teachers that I was dropping out and that I wished them best of luck. A lot of the kids were like WTF and confused. I don't really know what they were thinking, I think some had a feeling I would do well, but I think most just thought I was ready to fail.

My parents were screaming at me and it was really bad. For some reason I wasn't stressed out like usual. I just kept telling myself I would succeed no matter what. I didn't know how, but I said that I would.

At one point my dad told me I was going to fail and that nobody would want to work with me if I dropped out. I told him I would make $25k the next month and that I would prove him wrong.

Back to the second business... Yeah, it never went anywhere either. I almost had a client that was a small hotel chain but the manager quit his job and I lost the connection. I didn't feel like pursuing it and just abruptly stopped.

In mid-December, my barber told me she had an app idea. I knew a few developers and figured I could try to work something out. I gave her the contract, she said she didn't have the funds... two weeks later after I waited for her response.

At the end of December, I went and posted an ad on Craigslist saying I had a team that could build apps. I got a call the next day, I was surprised. He said he wanted to meet, but then cancelled the meeting two days after.

Out of frustration I searched Craigslist for people saying they had app ideas, and within the first 10 days of sending my first message, I had closed my first contract for over $15k. I didn't end up reaching the $25k by January 2015, but it was enough money to prove my dad wrong.

Within the first 3 months I had over $100k of contracts (payments were 50% upfront) (by March 2015).

By the end of last year I had made over $500k and had been part of a lot of successful apps like Premium Wallpapers HD which got over 40m downloads.

I felt that I did well but I wanted to become a millionaire, not a hundred thousandaire.

In January of this year I expanded the company quite a bit. $50k in January, then in February just one contract was $370k, and it was from a group of old people that pooled money together for an app idea they had, the funny thing was that they chose the price, I never gave them a quote... I soon realized that there was no limits with what I wanted to do.

What I learned:

1. There is no secret to success. I've met people that get up at 6am every morning and are super good with their daily schedule and work and make peanuts, then there's people that make $100k/month with an online business and all they do is party and almost never work. The main thing you need to have is the desire to succeed, because then the rest will come naturally.

2. Listen to your gut over anyone else, but know when to quit if the business will fail - You might have an idea that everyone hates but it succeeds. You might have an idea that everyone loves but fails. At the end of the day, only YOU know more than anyone else if it will work or not, listen to the advice of others but take it with a grain of salt. But at the same time, if your instincts tell you to drop what you're doing, then do it and follow. If I kept staying with the online reputation management business I would've just failed for more time even though I "technically" should focus on one thing.

3. MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE - This is HUGE. I've seen really dumb people raise $4M in funding for a startup that was a dumb idea from the start, but because they knew the right people, it didn't matter. SERIOUSLY, I don't say that like "Oh lucky him bla bla", I'm serious, I've met people who really don't have much know-how in business that have made money because of their connections. Now, when you are actually smart AND have the connections, it's a win-win. Just note, connections are key above ANYTHING else.

4. Don't waste time - At the same time remember that most people you meet are not going to help you move forward in business. James Altucher says how most meetings are a waste of time, and this is so true. People will want to meet with you only to "chat" and it isn't going to benefit EITHER OF YOU. So just say no upfront. This was one of the hardest things for me to get used to because I didn't want to be rude. But it's better to say NO.

There's a lot more to this but I'll post more another time.
Great post & very inspirational, good job on proving everybody wrong and I wish you more success and prosperity!
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Philip Marlowe

Every Day On, No Days Off
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Apr 28, 2017
279
883
316
36
NE
I dropped out of high school in December 2014 when I was seventeen, against the decision of everyone around me (parents, friends, relatives). It was my senior year and I had a 4.0 GPA, so as you can imagine everyone thought I was even less bright than had I dropped out in my freshman year.

I had nothing going for me besides two failed businesses and the strongest desire in the world to become a successful entrepreneur.

In the beginning of 2014, at the end of my junior year, I knew that I would have to start applying to colleges soon. There was something in me telling me I shouldn't go down this path and that there was a better way.

I had told myself I wanted to be a dentist, but after asking my dentist what it was like, I realized that he had to start the same way just as any typical business was built, except he went to college for twelve years to do so (and had 300k debt when he got out).

That summer of 2014 I decided to learn as much as I could about business. I looked up all of the "classics" - Think & Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and some more modern books as well. I read TMF in July 2014 right around that time which turned out to be one of my favorites.

I also became addicted to James Altucher's blog and books which also helped me decide I didn't want to go to college.

I took a billion notes from each book and put them on EverNote, it was super boring but I wanted to solidify the knowledge in my mind.

In August of 2014, I started my first business, a flyer distribution business that would subcontract to different flyer distribution companies around the USA so that people could run big marketing flyer campaigns.

I made a video, put it on the landing page, and just started cold calling.

I setup payments through Square, but there was no need to as I never had one sale.

In September 2014 I decided to stop working on it and figure out something else.

By this point, school had started and I was literally just reading in class all day. I was starting to bomb classes (I only had a 4.0 cumulative GPA because I dropped out before the semester ended).

In November, my English teacher came to talk to me after class, and he told me that I was going to fail the class (it literally was the easiest classes I'd ever been in had I tried). I remember that moment very well because I just remember not caring. And I remembered thinking at the time how had it been 2 years ago I would've been crying or something like that. I asked myself, "What happened?"

It made me feel good for some reason. I began to feel a bit more free.

I started an online reputation management business at that time (October/November) which I did the same thing as the flyer business (cold-calling, etc.). I got upset with school because I couldn't cold-call during that time and I felt that it was holding me back from success.

On December 6, 2014, I ended up dropping out. I remember telling each of my teachers that I was dropping out and that I wished them best of luck. A lot of the kids were like WTF and confused. I don't really know what they were thinking, I think some had a feeling I would do well, but I think most just thought I was ready to fail.

My parents were screaming at me and it was really bad. For some reason I wasn't stressed out like usual. I just kept telling myself I would succeed no matter what. I didn't know how, but I said that I would.

At one point my dad told me I was going to fail and that nobody would want to work with me if I dropped out. I told him I would make $25k the next month and that I would prove him wrong.

Back to the second business... Yeah, it never went anywhere either. I almost had a client that was a small hotel chain but the manager quit his job and I lost the connection. I didn't feel like pursuing it and just abruptly stopped.

In mid-December, my barber told me she had an app idea. I knew a few developers and figured I could try to work something out. I gave her the contract, she said she didn't have the funds... two weeks later after I waited for her response.

At the end of December, I went and posted an ad on Craigslist saying I had a team that could build apps. I got a call the next day, I was surprised. He said he wanted to meet, but then cancelled the meeting two days after.

Out of frustration I searched Craigslist for people saying they had app ideas, and within the first 10 days of sending my first message, I had closed my first contract for over $15k. I didn't end up reaching the $25k by January 2015, but it was enough money to prove my dad wrong.

Within the first 3 months I had over $100k of contracts (payments were 50% upfront) (by March 2015).

By the end of last year I had made over $500k and had been part of a lot of successful apps like Premium Wallpapers HD which got over 40m downloads.

I felt that I did well but I wanted to become a millionaire, not a hundred thousandaire.

In January of this year I expanded the company quite a bit. $50k in January, then in February just one contract was $370k, and it was from a group of old people that pooled money together for an app idea they had, the funny thing was that they chose the price, I never gave them a quote... I soon realized that there was no limits with what I wanted to do.

What I learned:

1. There is no secret to success. I've met people that get up at 6am every morning and are super good with their daily schedule and work and make peanuts, then there's people that make $100k/month with an online business and all they do is party and almost never work. The main thing you need to have is the desire to succeed, because then the rest will come naturally.

2. Listen to your gut over anyone else, but know when to quit if the business will fail - You might have an idea that everyone hates but it succeeds. You might have an idea that everyone loves but fails. At the end of the day, only YOU know more than anyone else if it will work or not, listen to the advice of others but take it with a grain of salt. But at the same time, if your instincts tell you to drop what you're doing, then do it and follow. If I kept staying with the online reputation management business I would've just failed for more time even though I "technically" should focus on one thing.

3. MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE - This is HUGE. I've seen really dumb people raise $4M in funding for a startup that was a dumb idea from the start, but because they knew the right people, it didn't matter. SERIOUSLY, I don't say that like "Oh lucky him bla bla", I'm serious, I've met people who really don't have much know-how in business that have made money because of their connections. Now, when you are actually smart AND have the connections, it's a win-win. Just note, connections are key above ANYTHING else.

4. Don't waste time - At the same time remember that most people you meet are not going to help you move forward in business. James Altucher says how most meetings are a waste of time, and this is so true. People will want to meet with you only to "chat" and it isn't going to benefit EITHER OF YOU. So just say no upfront. This was one of the hardest things for me to get used to because I didn't want to be rude. But it's better to say NO.

There's a lot more to this but I'll post more another time.
Chris - I think it's fair to say you were/are operating at a particularly unique maturity level when you made these choices. I'd hate to see the casual 17 year old reader of this forum think it's OK to drop-out of high school. (And they're here often, asking if they should go to college, dump their girlfriend and move to Viet Nam, how to "go fastlane", and the like).

A few - just a few - are like you. And maybe there's no right age to begin this journey but I'm going to make a solid generalization that most high school kids are not ready.

Did high school prepare me to run a small business - of course not (and so the usual refrain becomes that because it's not immediately useful, it should be avoided). But I certainly wasn't ready to head-out on my own, which is where you're way ahead of me. Unscripted and TMF are powerful stuff, but there's no reason a kid can't finish high school and hustle on the side.

Congratulations on your journey, but I'd be curious if you'd advise a similar move to others (who hadn't independently come to that conclusion).

-PM
 

Almantas

Nothing to Lose
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 21, 2015
863
3,940
876
27
Ireland
I've had pleasure talking to Chris some time ago. He's a busy entrepreneur that is a living example that age doesn't define a success. He has provided what market needed and was rewarded accordingly.
 

Philip Marlowe

Every Day On, No Days Off
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Apr 28, 2017
279
883
316
36
NE
I've had pleasure talking to Chris some time ago. He's a busy entrepreneur that is a living example that age doesn't define a success. He has provided what market needed and was rewarded accordingly.
No question at all. My goal was only to point-out he's exceptional. I read the press links - it's impressive.

He gave some good advice and was wondering if he'd qualify it in any way. Maybe he won't.
 

Almantas

Nothing to Lose
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 21, 2015
863
3,940
876
27
Ireland
No question at all. My goal was only to point-out he's exceptional. I read the press links - it's impressive.

He gave some good advice and was wondering if he'd qualify it in any way. Maybe he won't.
IMHO he's too busy working on his current venture (related to construction sector) to qualify anything.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom