Lessons from Successful Millionaires


I remembered my first lesson on how to be successful when I was a young kid. We were in church and this lady who my mom knew was speaking on the podium. She was a known millionaire who went to the same church as we and when everybody knew that she was speaking, all ears were on her. She talked about her late father and the life lessons which he instilled into her. One his father’s teachings was “Use time wisely.” She elaborated by saying “Time is precious, so we should use it wisely. Don’t sit and wait for something to happen, time is passing by, create an opportunity for yourself.” Everybody was nodding in agreement and simple as her words can be, it still resonates with me until now.

Warren Buffet shares the same lesson. He’s always asked for business advice and he will always tell anyone to “Start early.” Mr. Buffet started making money when he was a young kid by selling golf balls, washing and detailing cars, and doing any job that will get him paid. His first investment was a pinball machine which he put in a barbershop. Eventually, he had lots of pinball machines all over town. Both Warren and the speaker in my church know that time is money; it multiplies as time goes by so we should consider it as an important commodity.

Another lesson from successful millionaires is that we all know is the importance of failing. Failing is important because it’s the greatest teacher. We learn from our mistakes and we come out better and stronger. Aside from this lesson, failing affects us emotionally. Take for example Dani Johnson who was homeless at 21 and a millionaire at 23. She knows the feeling of having nothing, and now she’s a mentor to people who have debt. Failing makes us face reality, makes us afraid and anxious for what’s to happen. This fear then pushes us to move, to study, to make things, to work. It makes us realize that trying and failing will just lead to better and brighter things.

Finally, Dr. Barry Nalebuff, the founder of Honest Tea, has this to share about success. Dr. Nalebuff says that we should always open our eyes for opportunities. The story behind Honest Tea started with a trip to the grocery store. He wanted to drink something and saw that the options weren’t going to satisfy his thirst. He though that water was too boring, soda to be too sweet, and energy drinks to be dangerous. He was annoyed by the choices and he decided to create one for himself, an opportunity to feel his need. He then collaborated with his former student, Seth Goldman, and studied the potential of tea. They knew that tea was the cheapest luxury good. Tea was also less sweet, had fewer calories, and was easier to make. They created Honest Tea in 26 days and they sold it to Coca-cola in 2011. It all started with an annoyance, then an opportunity to create something, and now Dr. Barry Nalebuff is a millionaire.

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