Would you like a template on how to think and grow rich? There is no shortage of lists of the wealthiest people on the planet. We are fascinated by the rich, and when they get rich super young we want to know everything about them, including what they eat, how they think, and even their genetic makeup.
Sifting through all of the rich lists, some clear trends emerge on how young entrepreneurs get rich. The young technology paladins are always ahead of or making the trends. When MySpace was hot, they were there. Social networking – bright, young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg owned this space. Ingenuity is a key trait. In iPad apps – ingenuity and intellectual curiosity have proven more important than a programming degree. We cannot provide data on the gene pool of the nouveaux rich but another interesting trend does emerge. Many entrepreneurs have developed a passion for an area through parents and grandparents. Some have even turned old family recipes into multi-million dollar businesses.
While there is no clear template on how to get rich, these young entrepreneurs reveal some well-trod paths to becoming successful.
How to Get Rich Under 20
For those under 20, the entertainment industry is a quick route to riches, but also one of the most competitive.
Pop stars are among the biggest earners. Justine Bieber made $160 billion in 2013. Disney darling Miley Cyrus follows close behind the Beeb with a net worth of $150 million. Show business pedigree helps. Miley Cyrus is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Talent counts more. Justin Bieber is one of a long line of self-made pop stars. As the success of the singing competitions the X Factor and Voice show, singing is a super competitive industry.
Acting has produced many wealthy child stars. Before her pop career, Cyrus was paid $15,000 an episode as the star of Hannah Montana. Once dubbed the richest teen in Hollywood, Miley was MTV’s Artist of the Year in 2013. Among the richest sitcom kids, Kate and Ashley Olsen know how to promote a brand through movies, and clothing and other product spin-offs.
App developers can make just as much money on one app as Miley makes over a year of concerts. Developing apps for iPad, Android and Windows operating systems is a big opportunity for those who are entrepreneurial. No one had heard of 14-year-old called Robert Nay in 2010 when his app for an iPad physics puzzle game called Bubble Game took over Angry Birds as a top seller. New releases are still going strong. Nick D’Alosio, a 17-year-old British teenager, sold his app Summly to Yahoo for 15 million pounds. For game app developers, the only thing between you and success is your popularity with the app users.
While it may seem as if the under 40 billionaires of Zuckerbergs and Dorseys have done it all, there is plenty of room for ingenuity by young minds. Gaming for fun and at work is happening everywhere. Chinese-Canadian Brian Wong became one of the youngest people to get venture capital funding for his mobile rewards platform Kiip. Wong understood that rewards motivate game players. Now everyone is following this trendsetter and developing mobile rewards platforms.
Billions of dollars are spent each year trying to breakthrough to the fast growing consumer markets. As these young entrepreneurs show, some of the freshest ideas are created by the youngest minds, and may be in your attic. These child consumer entrepreneurs are growing up and continuing to grow their income. American Leanna Archer was nine years old when she started her all natural hair product line. The recipes have been in her family for generations. At just 14, Scotland’s Fraser Doherty took his grandmother’s jam recipe, turned it into Super Jam, and started selling it to major supermarket chains. Another notable under 20 is Madison Robinson. She makes colorful flip flops under the brand name Fish Flops. She has expanded into other apparel and her goods are sold to Macy’s and Nordstrom.
How to Get Rich Under 30
If you can make it as a teen movie star, you have a good chance of not only staying in the business but choosing the movies you make. Many famous movie teens are now adults who have moved onto new interests. Some of the most successful movie stars are the Harry Potter actors – 24-year-old Daniel Radcliffe is worth 54 million pounds and his costar Emma Watson 28 million pounds. Daniel Radcliffe is a true thespian who has chosen to pursue the highest form of his art – live theatre. After his successful nude part in a London play to change his image, he has done several Broadway plays. Currently performing in “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” Daniel would like to do musical comedy next. Meanwhile, he is turning down Harry Potter sequels for the lower paying theatre work.
The Twilight stars are also targeting big movie star roles, including Robert Pattinson, who at 27 is worth 45 million pounds. Taylor Lautner and Dakota Fanning are also proving themselves as serious thespian material.
Social media continues to be a virtual land of opportunity. The first movers are moving onto second and third careers. Facebook billionaire spin-offs include Dustin Moskowitz,,who is worth $3.8 billion at 28 according to Forbes, was the roommate of 28-year- old Mark Zuckerberg. There is something to be said for the hang out and grow rich strategy. Dustin left Facebook to run his online software company Asana with Facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein. Another Facebook founder Eduardo Severing, 32, is worth $2.2 billion. The Internet entrepreneur invests in early stage startups, giving the next set of les nouveaux riches support.
These teenage technology tycoons are now in their 20s. The only startup costs many young Internet entrepreneurs had was their domain names. Catherine and David Cook started myYearbook.com, now MeetMe.com, in their teens. With help from older brother Geoff, they turned the online teen site into a $20 million in revenues business. Some entrepreneurs, especially young ones, lose their business influence to investors who hire seasoned executives to take over day-to-day management. Courses in business development and how to be an effective startup CEO could help you retain more control and a bigger chunk of your business.
How to Get Rich Under 40
The under 40 group starts off with a truly inspiring business woman. Australian Carolyn Creswell, 34, was about to lose her job because her company – a maker of muesli – was closing. Carolyn invested $1000 and built Carman’s into a $50 million food manufacturer. Muesli remains a top-selling product. Another name to add to our favorite group of consumer market creators is 36-year-old Maxim Nogotkov. This entrepreneur capitalized on Russia’a burgeoning middle class by founding cellphone company Svyaznoy and has now started Svaznoy bank. Nogotkov worked his way up from computer program sales to trading cell phones wholesale before entering the retail market.
An important market strategy of successful business people used by Creswell and others is finding an underserved niche. Sales of muesli and its natural grains, nuts, and dried fruits have grown with the healthy consumer trend. Nicholas Woodman, 36, found a niche when he invented an underwater camera. He started making cameras at home with his mom’s sewing machine and now makes the GoPro underwater camera. His company has just filed for an IPO.
A trait of the wealthiest social networking entrepreneurs is the ability to set new trends, and even break the rules. At 34, social networking trendsetter Sean Parker, the founder of music sharing site Napster, is an elder among his peers. The first president of Facebook is currently focusing on video chat. His approach to breaking all the rules has worked for him. After many lawsuits and negotiations with the music industry, he invested in and helped launch Swedish-based music sharing service Spotify in the US.
Another innovator in social networking Jack Dorsey of micro-blogging service Twitter has also been at the leading edge of mobile payment services with Square. At 36, Jack is worth a cool $2.2 billion. Let’s add Yoshdikazu Tanaka to this group of elders. Tanaka, 33, founded social network game site GREE. This young Japanese entrepreneur stayed on top of the trends, turning his hobby into a billion-dollar business after reading Alvin Toffler’s power shift.
This list could go on and on. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brine top it. We’ll wrap up the tech section with two techies, who unlike many of their contemporaries, actually finished university before striking it rich. Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, both 33, make enterprise software that improves operating efficiencies. Facebook vice president Jay Parikh is on the board of their company, Atlassian. These Aussies are each worth a quarter billion dollars.
We would be remiss to overlook the real gold miners – those making money in the mining, energy and resources sector. The world’s fast growing middle class need lots of energy and metals to make its products and keep its transportation and economies humming. These entrepreneurs had family members in a business in which connections, especially political, can help.
Ukrainian Kostyantin Zhevago, 40, owns mining, energy and shipbuilding assets through his Finances and Credit Group. The son of a mining engineer, he is Europe’s youngest self-made billionaire. Israeli entrepreneur Dan Gertler made it to the Forbes list of billionaires investing in diamonds and other resources. He owns diamond and copper mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His grandfather was the president of the Israeli Diamond Exchange.
Getting in early on a pre-IPO company is still one of the best get rich quick routes, although companies do not go public seemingly overnight as they did during the Internet boom. Gary Fegal,,the head of Glencore’s aluminium unit earned a billion dollars when the commodity giant went public.
Young Millionaires by Region
As a young entrepreneur, you have the greatest opportunities in fast growing developing economies. The average age of entrepreneurs differs greatly around the world, according to a report by Spears magazine and WealthInsight. In Russia, the average age of millionaires is 46, followed by South Africa at 48, and Hong Kong, Singapore and China at 49. In contrast, the US average is 58 and Japan 63. The faster growing and less mature economies provide more opportunities with middle class cities being built seemingly overnight. Large migration from rural to urban areas is feeding this trend. Russia is the only country to have an average age of multimillionaires under 50, at 49. Not surprisingly, China follows close behind at 52.
Many successful people contend that having the mindset for success is key. The findings of what factors made 40 millionaires researched by Napoleon Hill rich are now presented in the whiteboard video course Think and Grow Rich. The Entrepreneur Success Series using a similar approach of mirroring entrepreneurs to find out how the best business minds think and act. As our Under 20, 30 and 40 list of successful young entrepreneurs shows, there are clear patterns and trends that show how to get rich young. One of the best ways to discover how to get rich young is to apprentice or work for some of these young, entrepreneurial people. One place to start is Forbes list of young entrepreneurs who are creating jobs.