6 Self Made Millionaire Case Studies

The other day I was on HARO… actually, let me rephrase that: The other day my virtual assistant was on HARO… looking for case studies of people who had become self made (my all encompassing obsession as of late). Lots of people responded to our query, but 6 stood out as legitimate and inspiring self made millionaires and I thought I’d share their stories with you.

Now do note that these stories aren’t written or really edited by me, they were either written by the person’s publicist or by the millionaire themselves (you can guess which one is which). I decided to leave them this way so my thoughts or personality wouldn’t taint the information a savvy reader can gather from these 6 self made case studies.

Enjoy and let me know your thoughts afterwards… I’m impartial to their stories but I think each has interesting and inspirational lesson to be learned from.

self made millionaire - jessie connersJESSIE CONNERS
Company: PeppermintPark.com

If there is a strong go-getter, self-made, female entrepreneur who has followed her passions to launch not just one, but four successful small businesses; it would be Jessie Conners.

Her life is a true rags-to-riches story – she went from a trailer with no running water – to an orphanage – to opening a marketing company at 17 –  to buying her first piece of real estate at 19. At 20, Jessie was a published author, then a reality star at 21 (Donald Trump’s The Apprentice).

Jessie became a national speaker (speaking at over 1500 real estate conventions) and by 27 started her e-tail company PeppermintPark.com. Now, at 28, Jessie is finally a multi-millionaire – and she achieved all of it by chasing the dream of becoming self made.

This year, real estate magnate, author and owner of newly minted PeppermintPark.com expects to shatter glass ceilings with sales reaching close to a million from her latest endeavor.

By having a unique member model coupled with featuring over 300 designers that appeal to women from all walks of life, she’s looking for her Minneapolis-based one stop, online shop to almost 10 thousand members.

Jessie’s fearlessness and tenacity has wowed the likes of notables from Donald Trump when she appeared on the first season of The Apprentice as the youngest contestant to date.

self made millionaire - Bert MartinezBERT MARTINEZ

Company: www.bertmartinez.com

The keys to becoming self made and a self made millionaire are:

The saying, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he“, not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life.  A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.

So all people are self made, the real difference between a millionaire or a billionaire
or a zillionaire is knowledge and fear. Most people know what to do but are afraid to take action. They are afraid of money, success, criticism, work, failure, success and the list goes on.  Their self-esteem or unconscious belief controls their results.

Through marketing I became a self-made “millionaire” by the time I was 30 and filed bankruptcy at 32. My self esteem surrounding money reared its ugly head, then marketing and sales allowed me to hit millionaire status again at age 35.

My company Bert Martinez Communications is dedicated to teaching small business owners strategies to grow their business and their self image so they avoid the mistakes I made.

self made millionaire - Todd TresidderTODD TRESIDDER

Company: Money Coach

I’ve been coaching clients to wealth for the last 12 years after achieving financial independence at age 35. I’ve written extensively on the keys to self-made wealth. It is my passion.

From a sound bite perspective the key to building wealth is to make more than you spend and invest the difference wisely. Rinse and repeat until wealth is achieved. No secret there. The key is not in knowing what to do, the key is in getting it done

* You must have a plan.
* The plan must be based on proven principles that lead to wealth including leverage, risk management, and much more.
* You must set up support structures to pull you through when you run into the inevitable obstacles and setbacks.
* You must understand the concept of “enough-ness” and the tradeoffs involved because the goal is happiness and fulfillment – not wealth. Wealth is a tool or vehicle but never the end goal.

I retired at age 35 by saving roughly 60-70% of my earned income and investing it wisely. I published an article explaining exactly how the process works here.

self made millionaire - Debra CohenDEBRA COHEN

Company: Home Referral Network

Becoming a self made millionaire, doesn’t only require hard work, it requires discipline. Earning millions of dollars is irrelevant if you spend more than you earn. Living lean and saving for the future have always been my mantra in addition to maintaining an affordable and conservative lifestyle.

As soon as my Homeowner Referral Network business started to generate a good income, my first priority was to save at least 1/2 of what I made. The millionaire next door doesn’t necessarily drive a Bentley–it may be a 10 year old Honda.

Several years ago after the purchase of our first home, not only were my husband and I struggling to make ends meet but we faced the all too familiar challenge of finding reliable home improvement contractors. Based on our experience, I decided to create a business to address this need in our community.

HOME REMEDIES OF NY, INC. is a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) for homeowners seeking reliable home improvement contractors. I pre-screen and represent a network of more than 50 home improvement contractors ranging from painters, plumbers and carpenters to general contractors, architects and decorative painters. Contractors in my network pay a pre-negotiated commission on any work secured and my service is free to homeowners.

I started my business with just a $5000 loan from my husband’s retirement savings plan and Home Remedies has grossed more than $4 million to date.

self made millionaires - AJ KhubaniAJ KHUBANI

Company: TeleBrands

TeleBrands markets “As Seen on TV” products to the consumer audience.  From the PedEgg and Windshield Wonder to today’s new Chef Basket and One-Second Needle, TeleBrands helps consumers find a common solution to everyday problems.

AJ Khubani founded TeleBrands at the age of 27 with his life savings of $20,000.  While in college, Khubani began marketing an AM/FM type radio in the back of the Nation Inquirer for $10.

He broke even.  But, that lead him to creaing many new products and moving into television infomercial advertising.  In the late 1980s, he began marketing the AmberVision Glasses for $10 at retail establishments — the first time an “As Seen on TV” infomercial product was available in a bricks and mortar environment.  The product became a household name and a new approach to the direct response television (DRTV) industry was born.

Khubani offers the following advice:

  • When you have a new product idea, start by “Googling” the idea — see if someone else invented or marketed it before you did.  Take the time to do your research.
  • Apply for a provision patent for just over $100 at www.USPTO.gov.  There is no need to begin with expensive lawyers and spending your entire savings on your product/idea.
  • Learn the marketplace.  If you are creating a consumer product for a specific audience, is that potential audience large enough to result increased revenues?  Be realistic in your goals.

And most importantly — enjoy what you do!

self made millionaire - Tony HartlTONY HARTL

Company: Planet Tan & Selling Sunshine (book)

There are several keys to becoming a wildly successful, self-made millionaire. Creatively solving problems is important, great stewardship of money is a must over the long-term, and a large tolerance for risk is key as you start out.

But what really separates the successful from the unsuccessful, in my experience, is an unrelenting desire to accomplish your goals.

This is NOT an unrelenting desire to make money; it’s the passion for making your ideas into reality. Money hasn’t been the main drive behind any of the successful people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. There are more interesting things in the world than currency, after all.

People with passion who solve problems in new, relevant ways will make money, and those who deal with adversity, take logical risks, and put their money where it matters the most will grow their businesses quickly.” – Tony
Tony Hartl founded Planet Tan in 1995 and built the company into one of the most recognizable brands in the Dallas area. He currently sits on the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Board and has been a guest lecturer at the Caruth Institute of Entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox Business School. He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Inc. magazine, Fortune Small Business, and the Dallas Morning News.