After graduating from the University of Chicago, Grant of Millennial Money found himself unemployed, living at home with his parents, and with a bank account balance of $2.26.
"That was a huge wake-up call for me," the now 31-year-old, who goes by his first name exclusively, tells CNBC. "I remember thinking, 'I never want to feel like this again in my life.' I took a screenshot of my bank account as motivation and made it my personal goal to have $1 million in assets in five years."
He landed a digital marketing job that paid $50,000 a year, but "quickly realized this just wasn't going to be enough money. I wasn't going to be able to get ahead making this and saving 5% to 10% of my income."
Grant's solution was to start a side hustle building websites. "The first website I built was a $300 one for a law firm," he tells CNBC. "That law firm ended up recommending me to another law firm, and in six months, I went from charging $300 per engagement to $5,000."
Within a year, he sold his first $100,000 project and decided to quit his full-time job to focus on growing his consulting business. Five years after taking the screenshot of his $2.26 balance, Grant hit seven-figures.