Former Burger King employee Mike Vetter no longer flips burgers — now he flips cars, and he makes a killing.
The Florida-based entrepreneur has always been fascinated with exotic vehicles and got his start in the auto industry by building kit cars. He would buy a Pontiac Fiero, take the body off of it, use it to build replicas of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and sell them for a small profit.
"Everything was going great," Vetter says on CNBC's "Blue Collar Millionaires." That is, until he got a cease and desist letter from Ferrari and Lamborghini.
"Luckily, it just forced my mind to expand and I thought, 'I'm going to build something that they can't do anything about.'"
He started creating something even more lucrative: Concept cars.
"My business is building custom movie cars and concept cars from the ground up," the owner and operator of The Car Factory tells CNBC. "In order to make this work, I basically had to make sure that I was the best one out there doing this."
His customers can typically afford luxury cars, "but they live in a neighborhood where all of their neighbors have Lamborghinis or Ferraris, and they want something unique and different," Vetter explains.
Just how lucrative is the self-made millionaire's custom car-building enterprise?
Most cars he builds start at $125,000, and they can go for up to $500,000. "The only limitations really are your pocketbook," he says.
For a car that retails for $250,000, Vetter will take home about $133,000. That gives him a gross margin of 53%.
The biggest perk that comes with the job is driving the final product, Vetter says: "The sense of pride when somebody asks, 'Where did you get that vehicle?' I tell them I built it from scratch. ... And you can see the deep admiration that they have for you when they realize that you really did do that."
When it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur, "there's not really any trick," the self-made millionaire tells CNBC. "I'm living proof that everyone of us can have anything that they want. You simply set a target and work towards it. It may not arrive as fast as you hoped, but if you keep working at it, it will come."