For those of who aren’t familiar with Dr. Farrah Gray, buckle your seatbelt and get ready to go for a trip down his path to being the youngest (non-celebrity) millionaire in the history of the entire planet!
He learned how to market himself at a very young age, living among violence, drug abuse, and mayhem in the south-side Chicago projects, coming out of it with an inspirational story that truly defies the expectations that many of you out there would have for an impoverished black kid from urban America.
The author of the best-selling book “Reallionaire” got his start collecting “nearly” empty bottles of lotion, combining them together and then selling them door-to-door – at the age of 6!
Not a bad way to kick off one’s business career eh?
Farrah got bored with this over the next couple of years and decided to start his first business, the “Urban Neighborhood Enterprise Economic Club” along with co-founder Roi Tauer, his mentor – this was shortly after Farrah’s 8th birthday! The UNEEC was the start of what eventually would take Farrah to his first official Wall Street business in his late teens called “New Early Entrepreneur Wonders”.
Getting excited, yet mildly jealous yet? Check out this Youtube vid of him talking about the road to fulfillment:
While most teens were dealing with middle school and the hormonal surges of puberty, Farrah decided to start building businesses that he knew would create long-term customers. See, Farrah knew that in order to become a millionaire, he would have to create businesses that could be marketed nationally and globally, and provide people with services and products that they couldn’t live without.
Here’s the list of businesses he founded and ran during his early teen years:
- KIDZTEL pre-paid phone cards
- One Stop Mailboxes and More
- Farr-Out Foods (this was his million-dollar idea that netted 1.5 mil in the first year of operation)
If that’s not a full plate of responsibilities, I don’t know what is. Hell, most of you out there who’re parents know how tough it can be just to get your teenager to clean their room, or wash the dishes! Farrah was still living in the projects at this time, and it’s not tough to imagine that he certainly must have been the bread-winner in his household!
During the years when he was busy forming his first businesses, he was also delving into the world of public speaking on “Backstage Live,” a radio and TV broadcast out of Las Vegas that reached over 12 million people at the time. The program was a celebrity interview-style show, but listeners and viewers took an immediate liking to the laid-back, mature style of Gray.
Check out Farrah’s site: http://farrahgray.com/
The site contains a blog that’s updated by Farrah himself quite frequently, but it’s by no means the type of site where you’ll find daily posts; he’s too busy jet-setting all over the place for that.
He’s also been quoted alongside greats like Mark Twain, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, and many others. Check him out on this Forbes Top 100 Inspirational Quotes article (his quote is #76 on the list):
Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.
Nowadays, Farrah’s a motivational speaker who reaches millions of people per year. He isn’t anywhere near a ‘Tony Robbins’ as far as overall reach, but he did only just turn 29 this past September. He’s got plenty of time (and money) to continue to market his business and grow his reach.
Of course, this post hasn’t dropped any nuggets of knowledge; any techniques that you can use to better market your business. The purpose of this post is about letting all of you know that there isn’t some magic genie out there that dispenses success – he had to work for it and so do the rest of us.
If Farrah was able to set himself up for a life of freedom all before the age of 20… to do whatever he wanted with his life… to be a leader, business owner, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and receive an honorary doctorate for his ability to motivate… then certainly those of us who’re adults (young or old) can muster up the drive and passion necessary to do whatever it takes to make our dreams a reality.
Wouldn’t it be nice to settle back, be financially independent for life, and just help others achieve their dreams?
Photo credit: http://farrahgray.com/about/
Definitely a great inspirational story! I think the moral here is that hard work to get where you need to pays off. It’s important to invest in your future as early as possible, and even those from disadvantaged areas can become successful through hard work!
Indeed, and one more thing: Start early. Make mistakes as much as you can so that you can find success sooner 🙂
Thanks for your comment!