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Young millionaire: Gurbaksh Chahal

Website: http://www.luckystartups.com/2008/10/oprah-interviews-gurbaksh-chahal-the-26-year-old-founder-of-ad-network-bluelithium-and-more-recently-the-ecommerce-startup-gwallet/

UPDATE( advice from Gurbaksh Chahal: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/24/LV8P13K9P3.DTL

UPDATE( more video and advice): http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/everything_else&id=6459540

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October 24, 2008 Posted by | Book, Business, Entrepreneur, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , | Leave a comment

Business idea: sticks and stones

Spelling Out Success

This family turned a childhood game into a multi-million dollar business.

Spelling Out Success
This family turned a childhood game into a multi-million dollar business

Jera, 34, and Brad Deal, 39

Sticks And Stones, Peoria, Illinois
Projected 2008 sales:
$10.5 million
Description: Custom keepsakes made using framed photos

 

Picture perfect: When Jera Deal took her oldest daughter “letter hunting,” it was merely a way for the 15-month-old to learn the alphabet by finding letters in nature and architecture. Four years and two kids later, however, that game had evolved into a full-time business. When they needed a unique and memorable gift for a wedding, Jera and husband Brad framed photos of the letters that spelled the newlyweds’ last name. The keepsake was a hit, and the Deals quickly realized they were on to something.

 

Show biz: Following the 2005 launch of their website, the Deals got into their first catalog and set out to get their product into as many hands as possible. There was one person, however, who they especially wanted to reach: Oprah Winfrey. After a couple of trips to her show and “a little bit of luck and persistence,” says Brad, they finally managed to reach the icon. “I stood up in front of 300 audience members and [gave] her a keepsake,” he explains. “She opened it and loved it”–so much so that she commissioned one on the spot for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Says Brad, “We were already self-sustaining at that point, but having [Oprah’s approval] helped a lot.” Word bank: Today, Jera and Brad continue to build their letter inventory, brand, reach and sales. They’re inking deals with a third catalog and are working on relationships with Disney and Hallmark. But staying true to their original vision remains a priority. “We don’t ever want to come across as commercialized,” says Jera. “This is a family business [that started] as a hobby with our daughters. We want to maintain that integrity.”

Follow their lead: Even a successful business can benefit from a high-profile endorsement.

Online Exclusive

What is your secret to success?
Brad and Jera:
The gut answer is faith. We can’t tell you how many things got answered in our business because we prayed and prayed. But from a business standpoint: building the brand. When you think MP3 player, you think iPod. In our small industry, we are like that. We are the iPod of our specific market.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?
Brad and Jera:
Seek out people who have done it before or who can help. Don’t be afraid to humble yourself and ask. And don’t be afraid to go straight to the top. Ask for the producer’s name; ask for the editor’s name.

When did you know you’d “made it”?
Brad and Jera:
Getting on Oprah’s show as an audience member and giving her a keepsake. When she said, “I have to have [one] for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes,” the audience collectively gasped because they all knew what that was going to do for business. She’s the most recognizable face in the world. We would have been a nameless catalog company without her.

What was the first toy or reward you bought for yourself when you became successful?
Brad and Jera:
Honestly, we have not bought a thing for ourselves. We just donate it. We’re house hunting and we’ll get a new car at some point, but we already have nice cars and live in a beautiful home. We already have a blessed life, so it’s a privilege to give back to the community. In January, we bought new desks for our daughters’ classrooms at their private school. The desks have been around since 1972; they were falling apart.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, invention, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, News, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Young millionaire: Jasmine Lawrence

Today’s American Story with Bob Dotson comes from Williamstown, N.J., where a teenager thinks she’s found the key to success. It’s not a question of being dealt a good hand, she says. It’s playing a bad hand well, over and over again.

I found Jasmine Lawrence watching her mom struggle to learn how to load a high speed-labeling machine. Shampoo bottles were spinning and sticking, their labels crooked. April Lawrence hung her head in frustration

“There’s a label stuck here.”

“Oh, Lord,” mutters Jasmine. 

She is living every kid’s dream. She gets to boss her mom.

“Hold the bottle up to here.” April works for her 16-year-old daughter.

“How’s that working out?” I smile. Jasmine’s mom laughs.

“A couple of times I thought she wanted to fire me!”

It began with a bad hair day. The chemicals Jasmine used to relax her curls left her practically bald. She decided to create her own recipe, and tested it out on herself, her friends and family.

“Until I developed a hair oil that actually made my hair grow back!”

Using all natural ingredients.

“You get to lick the bowl,” she giggles.

Jasmine was just 11 years old when she began experimenting. At 13 she went off to summer camp to learn how to start a business. When it got bigger, she turned to her mom for some bucks.

“She actually had money saved up from her allowance, so it was easy to trust her,” April contends.

“I promised I’d pay her back,” says Jasmine, “and I’d do my chores. Whatever it takes.”

So, Eden Body Works was born with a $2,000 loan, using her allowance as collateral. Her little sister, Crystal, became her first employee. 

“How do you wrap this?” the 12-year-old asks, putting bottles in a box.  

“Like a gift,” says Jasmine.

At first big sister had trouble with Crystal.

“She was making too much money,” chuckles Jasmine, “and I just didn’t like it.”

Crystal quit. Started a line of organic candles. Now, Jasmine’s company markets them.

“I’m making a lot of good money,” Crystal grins, and then whispers conspiratorially. “Not as much as Jasmine, though.”

At an age when most kids are lucky getting summer jobs stacking shelves, Jasmine already has 30 products on the shelves. She’s signed a distribution agreement with Wal-Mart and plans to take her brand worldwide. She projects profits of $1 million.

Jasmine spends little. Plows most of her profits back into the business.  Eden Works World Headquarters is still in her basement.

“Why is Jasmine so successful?” I ask her mom. ‘We’ve all had lemonade stands that didn’t make a nickel.”

“She’s up at 5 in the morning. I’m literally still asleep!”

“I have about 9 or 10 alarms on my phone that go off periodically,” Jasmine points out. One to tell me to wake up. One to tell me to really wake up!”

For her 18-hour day. Of course she makes straight A’s. Shines in engineering and math.

“How do you do you explain all this to your boyfriends?”

Jasmine ducks her head. “No, no boyfriends. They really can’t handle that I don’t have a lot of time for them.”

Too busy tutoring kids in spare moments. She teaches science. 

“As a boss,” I ask mom, “how generous is she?”

“I left a six-figure job to work for her.”

April negotiates contracts, but in all things business, her daughter is in charge.

“I definitely know where the line is between mom and employee,” Jasmine says.

“Just because she’s my boss, I still have to be a parent,” April points out. “When we’re working, we’re working, and when we’re off, it’s do your chores!”

After all, Jasmine is part of a big family, with a single mom.

April says, “A lot of people say, ‘You’re a great mom and you did something really special to raise a child like that.’ But I’ve raised all my kids the same.”

Jasmine just seems born to make a buck. By fourth grade she was actually taking her Christmas toys and leasing them to other kids in school!

Batteries not included.

Want to contact the subjects in this morning’s American Story with Bob Dotson? Here’s their contact information:

Jasmine Lawrence, President and CEO
Eden Body Works
P.O. Box 876
Williamstown, NJ 08094
(856) 513-0726
http://www.edenbodyworks.com/

For more information on starting a business:

The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
120 Wall Street, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 232-3333 or 1-800-FOR-NFTE
www.nfte.com
Video and Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24794995/

mauthor: “Isn’t she the modern madame c.j. walker”

July 12, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entertainment, Entrepreneur, invention, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , | 4 Comments

Young millionaire: Ben Way

 

Ben Way was one of the first dot com millionaires after developing a search technology called Waysearch which later became a business-to-business product called Pulsar. He was reportedly worth £18.3m in the 2001 Sunday Times Rich List. He started his first business in 1995 on his 15th birthday making him at that time the youngest company director in the UK.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entertainment, Entrepreneur, invention, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , | 9 Comments

Kim Babjak: from McDonald’s to a millionaire

more on kim babjak’s success: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DTI/is_8_33/ai_n15681426/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1

July 7, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entertainment, Entrepreneur, invention, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, News, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Business Idea: Wuvit

Great business ideas are everywhere — if you’re willing to look closely.

Kim Levine, invented Wuvit, which are little bags that comes in various patterns and provides soothing penetrating moist heat. She describes her eureka moment in her book “Mommy Millionaire: How I Turned My Kitchen Table Idea into a Million Dollars and How You Can Too” that led to her product invention as:

“My husband was feeding deer in the backyard of our sprawling tree-lined suburban neighborhood … I saw a fifty pound bag of corn he had left standing upright next to my sewing machine and a lightbulb went off in my head. I had heard of rice in socks, surely corn would be better: It had a bigger grain that would hold on to heat longer. I put the corn in a hastily sewn pillowcase, heated it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then took it out and held it against my chest. I was blown away by the wave of soothing moist heat that enveloped my body.”

 

Kim Levine on “The big idea”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiHSCOVAnjI&feature=related

Kim Levine’s website: http://www.greendaisy.com/aboutus.html

Source Material: http://www.womenhomebusiness.com/blog/2008/03/eureka-moment-kim-levine-creator-of.html

June 27, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entertainment, invention, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , | 1 Comment

Rags to Riches: Elon Bomani

Elon Bomani says she was trying to make “a way out of no way.” After a separation from her husband, Bomani and her newborn son moved to a women’s shelter. While living in the facility in 2001, Bomani knew she had to regain control of her life.

“I found myself homeless because I had given up my power. I bought into the idea that men were better at math than women, even though I had graduated with these degrees that let me know that I was capable,” says Bomani, 42, of Missouri City, TX, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in natural health.

 

“I was programmed that men are supposed to be the providers and handle the checkbooks and that kind of stuff. I realized that’s why I found myself in that situation.”

Bomani knew she had to change her thinking and attitude first. She thought far beyond a “job” and wanted to learn how to build wealth.

“I went to the library and punched in millionaire and I read every single book on biographies of millionaires, anything dealing with money, stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities trading, e-business, taxes, you name it.”

Bomani now has a book of her own, Dynamic Diva Dollars, which shows women how to take responsibility for their finances.

“I always tell women that I wasn’t a rocket scientist in this whole thing. What I did was become a very good copycat. I basically studied what wealthy people did. I found that the 90 percent of people that became wealthy invested in real estate.”

Bomani’s first priority was to leave the shelter and move into her own home. Though she had just $36 in her checking account, she knew her dream could come true. With the advice of her father, she studied real estate guru Carleton Sheets’ “no money down” programs.

With her 701 credit score she found a lender that would finance 100 percent of her home loan. She asked the seller to pay closing costs on the $125,000 home and walked away from the closing with a $625 check. Without a job, Bomani says, this was just the beginning of her journey.

“I thought creatively. I rented out my room. By renting out one of my rooms, that gave me half my mortgage, the other half was her (roommate) deposit,” she explains to JET. “I didn’t have to pay my first mortgage until a month and a half later. So during that time, I sold my wedding ring; I didn’t need that any longer, I was going through a divorce. I sold my car; I opened up my natural health practice outside of my home and I started seeing clients again. I had garage sales. You do what you have to do.”

Bomani, who moved into her home two weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, points out she didn’t buy any furniture and that she and her son slept on the floor with a “pillow and blanket. I was clear I needed more the house than I needed the material things.”

With a new wealth consciousness, she recognized the housing market was profitable at the time and then took equity out of her home to invest in other properties.

“I did speculative real estate investing. I went to new developments and put a down payment on property to hold it until it closed. The property closed within a year and it had already increased in excess of equity of $100,000. So I invested approximately $20,000 ($5,000 on four properties) using cash advances from credit cards, not even my money. I’m very good at OPM, using ‘other people’s money.’ I walked out of the deal with $400,000.”

She adds, “I accumulated over 16 pieces of real estate property (over the course of three or four years). In doing so that gave me a net worth of about $2 million at the time … I was able to live off the positive cash flow of the real estate.”

Michael Curtis, president of Ram Investment and Loan, Inc., a San Diegobased financial firm, has worked with Bomani for more than five years. Curtis says Bomani has always had the insight to change direction to stay successful in the industry.

“Elon is one of those kind of people that nothing can get her down. She’s always looking to the next deal. And along the way there were some hurdles that jumped out in front of her and I would explain to her how she would have to clear them and she clears them,” he says.

Though Bomani owns and operates four companies, she says her main job is home-schooling her two children.

“It’s not so much that I’m making more money than I did previously. It’s just now I’m working smarter with the money I already had instead of harder. It’s not like we don’t have the money to do this. It’s not like we don’t have the education to do this. Being a millionaire, it’s a formula to it. If you study it and practice it, you’ll become it.”

Wealth Tips From Elon Bomani’s Dynamic Diva Dollars

* Clean up your budget. To increase your disposable income, that could be saved or invested, create a wants vs. needs list. Live below your means and eliminate cell phones, hair and nail salon visits, dry cleaning, shopping, cable, big vacations, etc. Be honest about what you “need”

Devise a plan to pay off credit cards. Credit card debt is the most expensive debt you can have. This is the first debt you should try to get rid of.

* Become financially literate. Read wealth-building books and remember. “As long as we work for somebody else, we’re helping them get rich.”

* Create an e-commerce Web business, which involves low start-up costs. Profit from selling your ideas, products and services on the Internet.

 

* Purchase investment property. Bomani recommends that each person have three rental properties plus their home as part of their wealth-building plan.

source material: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_19_113/ai_n25469808/pg_1

Melody K. Hoffman “How a homeless single mother became a millionaire in 18 months“. Jet. May 19, 2008. FindArticles.com. 14 Jun. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_19_113/ai_n25469808

 Reader Alert: As you all know by now, Tim Russert died on friday, June 13th 2008. Please put his family and friends in your prayers. May he rest in peace.

June 14, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entertainment, Entrepreneur, invention, Life, Millionaire, News, Uncategorized | , | 14 Comments

From Homeless to Millionaire: The Power of Writing Your Goals on Paper

 

There is great power in writing your goals on paper. Here is a real life story about one man who put his pen to paper at the most trying times in his life. His written words got him through the tough times and laid the groundwork for a phenomenal future.

In 1992, inspired after hearing Oprah Winfrey say to write things down, a young man wrote a series of letters to himself in an effort to find catharses for his own childhood pain.

You see, as a boy his father was verbally and physically abusive towards him. The boy found refuge in his writing, which infuriated his father. His father even tried to beat that joy out of him.

When this young man was in his 20’s, a friend read his writing and thought it was incredible and encouraged him to do somthing with it. His first play was titled “I Know I’ve Been Changed.” At first the play bombed and the young man even became homeless for a time. However, he persisted and the next play he presented sold out and was a huge success!

The man’s name is Tyler Perry and he is now a very successful playwright, director, producer and actor. He has written and starred in 10 major screenplays and several movies. His works break box office records all over America and his plays have grossed more than $100 million and counting. Seven years ago he was homeless. He is now a multi-millionaire at only 35 years old.

Here is what Tyler Perry says about writing through his challenges:

“I had all of this negativity coming at me, and I learned that a positive word is MUCH more powerful than a negative word.”

Tyler Perry went from abused youth to homeless to multimillionaire because he had the determination to follow through and write his own future.

Write YOUR own future. Your written goals become your blueprint for your life. Become the author of your own story, creator of your destiny.

Write your goals on paper. Let your written words speak to the possibility of what your life can be when you believe.

Live Your Dreams

source material: http://ezinearticles.com/?From-Homeless-to-Millionaire:-The-Power-of-Writing-Your-Goals-on-Paper&id=279693

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Life, Millionaire, Movie, News, Television, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Millionaire under 21: Ephren Taylor Jr.

 

 (AUDIO from NPR):  mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=9913840&m=9913841

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Business, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Idea: Bear Naked Granola

  
 
Kelly Flatley, 28, and Brendan Synnott, 29
Bear Naked, Norwalk, Connecticut
Projected 2007 Sales: $50 million
Description: Manufacturer of all-natural granola productsIt’s All Natural: Childhood friends Kelly Flatley and Brendan Synnott were in between jobs in 2002 when Flatley, ever the health nut, began making all-natural granola in her kitchen and enlisted Synnott to help. “The whole food chain [has become] so processed and filled with artificial ingredients,” says Synnott. “[To both of us], it just didn’t make sense why you would want to put that in your body, if you are what you eat.” Flatley and Synnott each invested $3,500 and moved back in with their parents as they began selling hand-wrapped bags of granola at street fairs.

Healthy Returns: Repeatedly pitching Bear Naked products to local grocer Stew Leonard’s yielded no response. Finally, Flatley and Synnott upped the ante: At 7 o’clock one morning, they showed up in matching outfits, armed with granola, yogurt, milk and fruit “[to] bring the buyer breakfast in bed,” explains Synnott, “which was so cheesy, but it worked.” In fact, when their target buyer wasn’t there, they spotted Stew Leonard Jr. walking by. “He [said,] ‘Come on in.'” Today, Bear Naked is also sold at Costco, Kroger, Safeway, Target and Whole Foods, and four of its products are sold in Canada.

 

 

 

Food for Thought: Scaling their company upward was challenging. “It was often difficult to maintain the balance between the amount of product our sales team could sell and the amount of product our manufacturing team could produce,” says Flatley.

Not wanting to give up their control to investors, they built from within. Says Synnott, “It forced us to ensure that every decision we made yielded value and success for us, even if it was the harder decision.”

Follow Their Lead: Do something creative–but still in line with your product philosophy–to distinguish yourself to buyers. –Nichole L. Torres

UPDATE: receipe for success:- Bear naked

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqskUD8BrPY&NR=1

( Double click on the website address if it’s says no longer available)

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krbSnSsv5Yg&feature=related

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUUhGHQ0bhQ&feature=related

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o4hwUCen7k&feature=related

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , , , | 2 Comments