7 Successful People that Became Millionaires Before They Turned 20 Years Old

Business partners with luggage walking towards private jet at terminal.

YONKERS, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — May 22, 2022 — Everyone wants to be a millionaire one day. Yet, at 20, most people are fresh out of high school. Maybe you’re focused on college, travel, landing your first professional job, or starting your own bestselling YouTube channel. Perhaps you have a million-dollar idea. Imagine turning your dream into millions of dollars before you even finish college. That’s a life achievement that some young entrepreneurs managed to accomplish.

Most young entrepreneurs had a great idea and worked hard to make their dream a reality. Others hit the success jackpot overnight. Some started their own companies, became investment gurus, or turned their design, coding, or advertising skills into wealth. Even if you’re still in high school, there are ways for teenagers to make serious money that go beyond traditional teenage jobs. Some might even turn you into a millionaire.

If you’re interested in how many young millionaires got started, check out these seven successful people who became millionaires before they turned 20 years old.

1.    Ashley Qualls

Sometimes all it takes is showcasing your skills for your career to take off. 

Ashley Qualls, the founder of WhateverLife.com, came up with her inventive idea at age 14. 

In 2004, at age 14, Ashley launched her first business. Ashley Qualls’ website, set up to show off her skills in design, hit the ground running when she began handing out free layouts for MySpace. 

When someone offered to give her over $1 million in addition to whatever car she wanted in return for buying her site, the young entrepreneur declined. However, Qualls didn’t miss out on her only chance for success by turning down the offer and going her own way. Today, her net worth is estimated at $8 million.

2.    Adam Horowitz

At just 15 years old, Adam Horowitz gave himself a challenge that isn’t on most teenagers’ radar. Horowitz dared himself to make $1 million by 21. 

He did this by developing Mobile Monopoly, a tutorial that teaches mobile marketing. As a result, Horowitz not only met his goal and became a millionaire by his 21st birthday, but today he rakes in an unknown income totaling six figures.

3.    Elise MacMillan

As a toddler, Elise helped her grandmother make candy in the kitchen. By age 11, Elise started working at a chocolatier place. As a teenager, Elise took her career to the next level by founding a business called Chocolate Farm. By age 20, she earned career awards and made it onto Ernst; Young lists.

4.    Tyler Dikman

By the time he started eighth grade, Tyler Dickman had a knack for fixing computers. As an IT wizard, he began charging $15 per hour to repair computers. His big break came when executives at Merrill Lynch noticed his skills. At age 15, Malcolm Taaffe hired him onto his team. 

Shortly after, Tyler launched Cooltronics, a computer repair business that netted millions. His business success earned him a place on Businessweek’s popular 25 Under 25 list.

5.    Robert Nay

It’s no surprise when the geeky kids in school turn their skills into success. 

Robert Nay, who taught himself coding, created a code that launched a game called Bubble Ball at age 14. 

Instead of trying to cash in on his game, Nay put it up for free on Apple download. In less than two weeks, over 1 million people downloaded the game. An instant success, Nay reached $2 million in net worth just weeks after his free launch.

6.    Tim Sykes

Not every millionaire under 20 achieved wealth by starting their own business.

Tim Sykes put his bar mitzvah money to good use as a young investor by investing in the stock market. First, Sykes started with penny stocks. By turning 21, Sykes had more than $1.5 million. But Sykes didn’t stop there. Currently, he gives motivational talks and trains people on how to use penny trading to get rich.

7.    Scott and Stacey Ferreira

Some siblings shot to wealth and fame by working together. With Scott in college and Stacey in high school, the brother and sister started MySocialCloud.com and then eventually sold it to reputation.com

The siblings felt inspired to entrepreneurship because their father worked at Google and IBM as children. Today, Scott and Stacey have secured a $1 million investment to expand their social media platform based in the cloud.

The Takeaway

It’s hard not to feel like you’re falling behind when you read about these young entrepreneurs’ astonishing success. Some million-dollar ideas are like rockets that catapult their creators to the highest echelons of wealth. But unfortunately, other types of wealth accumulate more slowly. 

The good news is that more people are becoming millionaires every day. Over 1.3 million Americans joined the millionaire club in 2021. The important lesson is that while some achievements take longer, becoming a millionaire before you retire is an achievable goal. So, when you have a great idea, pursue your passion, launch a business, get creative, and put in the work to become successful. 

It’s never too late to chase your dreams wherever they take you.