Somewhere the other day I read that there are 7 secrets to success: Solo focus, undying conviction and imagination, crystal clear path, connection to the heart, extraordinary energy, skill set and stop at nothing. It seems to me that success cannot only come out of hard work but can also come through opportunity and determination. There are many success stories online, hundreds of people who have worked hard, have made smart decisions and have successfully managed to make the “million dollar mark”.

I was intrigued the other day as I read the story of a young English boy named Ben Way, many years ago he reached his first million by the age of 17 and then lost it all. It was a story of sheer chance, opportunity, hard work and success… which made me look into other extremely young people who made their million at a very early age.

Here’s the short stories of 5 very young people who made their first million before they reached the age of 20.

Ben Way: Schoolboy entrepreneur Ben Way made his first million at 17 years of age. Ben grew up in a small British village dealing with his parent’s divorce. He considered himself a nightmare child, he was always tinkering with gadgets or destroying things around his home, he also suffered of severe dyslexia. At a young age his dad gave him a huge laptop which marked the beginning of his success. As many people around the world were barely waking up to the computer age, Ben was charging £10 an hour helping his friends understand their newly purchased computers. Very quickly Ben was running a large computer consultancy business from his bedroom and made around £20,000 a year. Ben ran this business for 3 years and even left school at 16 to work full-time. After chat shows and a new six-figure salary from an investor, Ben became a paper millionaire. Unfortunately, as the computer world grew the investor’s monthly checks stopped and Ben lost it all. He is now 27 and head of an innovation venturing company in London, he is savoring success again. According to Ben, his failure made him a better person, he learned not to take himself so seriously anymore.

Catherine Cook: In 2005, at age 15, Catherine Cook and her 17-year-old brother, Dave Cook, convinced their older brother Geoff, to write a $250,000 check to help them launch, a social-networking site. By 2006, after merging with, raised $4.1 million in venture capital and the site was ranked by Nielson Netratings as one of the top sites for kids between 12 and 17. The business, which now has 45 employees, has grown to more than 3 million members worldwide and brings in annual sales in the seven figures with advertisers such as Disney, Neutrogena and ABC.

Soulja Boy: DeAndre Wade, better known as rapper Soulja Boy has made his first million at the young age of 16. After living a harsh life of moving around with his family, DeAndre landed in Atlanta at the age of 6. They were financially poor, he was a grade A student but was always distracted by music. By the time he was in high school he was living in Mississippi and this is where he had the opportunity to access the internet, this was the tool that launched his career. With the use of modern technology he began recording songs, movements and videos with a small camera. With the use of websites such as Soundclick he began to upload his songs and gained some popularity, DeAndre then launched to give himself that push to fame. At the age of 16, Soulja Boy has released several mixed tapes, one full-length album and has become a top million dollar entertainer.

Cameron Johnson: Cameron started his first business at the age of 9. His little business consisted of designing and printing little greeting cards, stationary and invitations for his family and friends. In a year’s time he had already saved $50,000 and used it to start his company. My EZ Mail, Cameron’s little start up company generated over $3,000 a month in advertising revenue. By the time he was a freshman in high school he had already teamed up with a couple of friends and were receiving checks between $300,000 and $400,000 a month. Cameron made his first million before his high school graduation.

Fraser Doherty: Fraser began making jam from his grandmother’s recipes at the age of 14. He would sell them to friends and family as well as throughout his neighborhood in Edinburgh, Scotland. By the age of 16 he had already come up with the name “Superjam” and quit school to work on his recipes and dedicate himself full time to the business. As he began to grow the business selling his product in local supermarkets he got a bank loan to produce massive amounts of his three favorite flavors. By 2008 Fraser had introduced Superjam to 300 stores across Britain and made his first million.

Author: Ann Brampton

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My First Million Before I Turned 20 – 5 Stories of Opportunity and DeterminationSomewhere the other day I read that there are 7 secrets to success: Solo focus, undying conviction and imagination, crystal clear path, connection to …