The Young Millionaires Club

The First Million Before Age 30

With 15 million people still unemployed in the U.S. and companies being tight on their spending, it’s easy to throw your hands up and say, “But nobody’s hiring!” The truth is, if no big corporation is hiring, YOU can hire you — Become an entrepreneur. Study different types of business and figure out a niche where you can make money. All it takes is an idea and the drive to take it to market. And if you think being a small-business owner can’t make you a lot of money, or can’t make you a lot of m

With 15 million people still unemployed in the U.S. and companies being tight on their spending, it’s easy to throw your hands up and say, “But nobody’s hiring!”

The truth is, if no big corporation is hiring, YOU can hire you — Become an entrepreneur. Study different types of business and figure out a niche where you can make money. All it takes is an idea and the drive to take it to market.

And if you think being a small-business owner can’t make you a lot of money, or can’t make you a lot of money fast, we’ve found a few people who may change your mind.

They are the Young Millionaires — Not famous people like rap stars and NBA players, but everyday people who made their first million in their 20s — or their teens! They were busy making their first million while others their age were fetching coffee — or playing with their friends.

Click ahead to read their stories — What their idea was, how they turned it into a business and how they made their first million before they were 30.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 21 Oct 2010


Tune in to CNBC Thursday, Oct 21 at 9pm for “How I Made My Millions.” 

Jon Koon

A millionaire by age 16 Business: Auto parts, fashion Jon Koon’s dad was a car fanatic. Young Jon would look through his dad’s magazines — the magazines, that is — from Japan. He saw all these super sleek cars and said to himself: “How come no one does that here?” Jon, a Chinese-American in New York City, took the $5,000 he’d received in red envelopes for holidays over the years and bought parts from overseas suppliers, partnered with a local mechanic, and started souping up cars with high-end

A millionaire by age 16
Business: Auto parts, fashion

Jon Koon’s dad was a car fanatic. Young Jon would look through his dad’s magazines — the car magazines, that is — from Japan. He saw all these super sleek cars and said to himself: “How come no one does that here?”

Jon, a Chinese-American in New York City, took the $5,000 he’d received in red envelopes for holidays over the years and bought parts from overseas suppliers, partnered with a local mechanic, and started souping up cars with high-end finishes, audio systems and engine work. The business took off and later became one of the main suppliers for the show “Pimp My Ride.”

He could’ve been a victim of his own success: The idea spread like wildfire and today, there are at least 60 to 70 shops in New York City that pimp out rides. Instead, he saw the changing landscape and got into the manufacturing business, starting his own line of parts – some high end, and some appealing to that impulse under $10 crowd, like the spinning-wheel air freshener. His manufacturing move opened the door to fashion and today, he manufacturers fashion lines including Young Jeezy 8732, a partnership with platinum recording artist “Young Jeezy,” and a denim line with Italian designer Domenico Vacca.

He made his first million by age 16 and today, TyKoon Enterprises is worth $80 million — its profits jumped 500 percent during the recession.


Tune in to CNBC Thursday, Oct 21 at 9pm for “How I Made My Millions.” 

Stewart Vernon

A millionaire by age 25 Pool cleaning Stewart Vernon, of Macon, Georgia, was always entrepreneurial, running a door-to-door car-wash and detailing business when he was a teenager. When he graduated from college, he knew he wanted to start his own business and saw a need for better service in the pool-service business. So, he used the few thousand dollars he’d saved up in college and in 2001, bought truck and some chemicals. And, he spent a few weeks shadowing a local pool cleaner who was about

A millionaire by age 25
Business: Pool cleaning

Stewart Vernon, of Macon, Georgia, was always entrepreneurial, running a door-to-door car-wash and detailing business when he was a teenager. When he graduated from college, he knew he wanted to start his own business and saw a need for better service in the pool-service business.

So, he used the few thousand dollars he’d saved up in college and in 2001, bought truck and some chemicals. And, he spent a few weeks shadowing a local pool cleaner who was about to retire. To get customers, he went door-to-door.

The first four years, the revenue of ASP Pool and Spadoubled every year, making him a millionaire by 25. Today, he’s franchised that business, teaching other entrepreneurs, not only about the pool-cleaning business, but about how to become a millionaire within five years. There are 56 franchises throughout the southeast and a couple of them are coming up on that five –year mark – and their first million.

His advice? “No matter what job you’re taking, deliver your product and back it up with exceptional service. That is what will separate you.”

Tune in to CNBC Thursday, Oct 21 at 9pm for “How I Made My Millions.”

Maddie Bradshaw

A millionaire by age 13 Bottle-cap jewelry for kids Maddie Bradshaw of Dallas, Texas says her family has always been creative – and into recycling. When she was 10, she wanted to decorate her locker. So, her uncle, who had an old Coke machine, gave her 50 bottle caps. She painted them and put magnets on them, and even gave some to her friends, who loved them. She liked them so much she decided to turn them into necklaces so she could take them anywhere with her. With the help of mom, Diane, she

A millionaire by age 13
Business: Bottle-cap jewelry for kids

Maddie Bradshaw of Dallas, Texas says her family has always been creative – and into recycling. When she was 10, she wanted to decorate her locker. So, her uncle, who had an old Coke machine, gave her 50 bottle caps. She painted them and put magnets on them, and even gave some to her friends, who loved them. She liked them so much she decided to turn them into necklaces so she could take them anywhere with her.

With the help of mom, Diane, she withdrew $300 she had saved up from birthdays, Christmases and the tooth fairy, and went out to buy supplies. She took about 50 of the necklaces, called “Snap Caps,” to the local toy store, and they sold out in a few hours.

She made her first million by age 13. Today, m3 girl designshas 40 employees and sells over 60,000 necklaces per month in over 2,500 stores. They also make Snap Cap hair bows and Snap Cap “Huggers” to decorate your Ugg boots.

She’s at the ripe old age of 14 now and a freshman in high school. In her spare time, she wrote a book, “How to Make Millions,” which comes out Nov. 1, and is working on a new jewelry line, called “Spark of Life” that appeals to an older age group – teens. She thinks she might want to be an immigration lawyer, patent attorney or publicist when she grows up -- but admits she still has a few years to decide.

Her advice? “Follow your passion. If you come up with an idea and you love it, chances are other people will, too.”

Tune in to CNBC Thursday, Oct 21 at 9pm for “How I Made My Millions.”

Tad Agoglia

A millionaire by his mid-20s disaster-recovery work Tad Agoglia (far right) was actually planning to be a priest, getting his masters in theology. His great grandfather had a mechanic shop in Brooklyn and he used to help out there. As it turns out, his desire to help people, combined with his experience working with his hands, would come together to make him a millionaire. He noticed that during clean-up after a major storm, the trucks just weren’t big enough to move the debris fast enough. So,

A millionaire by his mid-20s
Business: disaster-recovery work

Tad Agoglia (far right) was actually planning to be a priest, getting his masters in theology. His great grandfather had a mechanic shop in Brooklyn and he used to help out there. As it turns out, his desire to help people, combined with his experience working with his hands, would come together to make him a millionaire.

He noticed that during clean-up after a major storm, the trucks just weren’t big enough to move the debris fast enough. So, he took $300,000 he’d saved from odd jobs in lawn-mowing, pumping gas, house painting and other odd jobs, and bought the supplies to build the monster truck of all monster trucks: It’s 120 cubic yards, 20 times the size of the average dump truck, but has a secret weapon: A giant crane on top so it’s self-loading.

The service that Disaster Recovery Solutions provided to disaster-stricken cities was so in demand, he made his first million by the time he was in his mid-20s. Most of us would’ve stopped there but the caregiver in him was frustrated by the fact that he was brought in three months after the fact, and people were suffering in the meantime. So, he turned his business into a nonprofit, called First Response Team, and now, they do immediate relief efforts FOR FREE.

They’ve become a nomadic crew, camping out where they think the next storm will hit, so they’re ready with what sounds like Iron Man-caliber cool stuff: Mega-generators that can power a Walmart, tiny cameras that can dig into rubble to look for survivors and hovercraft, boats that can fly over the ground.

Tune in to CNBC Thursday, Oct 21 at 9pm for “How I Made My Millions.”