It became clear earlier this month, when Kylie Jenner was revealed as the youngest ever self-made billionaire (yeah, right…), just how obsessed we are with young, wealthy 20-somethings.
But how do you become of these chosen ones? There are, of course, those who happen to be born into wealthy families — with fiscal leg ups and trust funds with zeroes to outnumber their ages. But, if you’re not lucky enough to be part of one such dynasty, there are other ways to reach seven figures before your third decade.
We spoke to some experts in money management and entrepreneurship to discover what you can do to build considerable wealth by the time you hit the big 3-0.
Age is just a number
While a lot of industries will still only consider you for promotion or increased responsibilities if you’re past a certain age, you shouldn’t let this stop you from pushing your ideas and trying to progress, or even start your own business.
Reece Mennie, CEO and founder of Hunter Jones, says that “confidence is key” in getting people to look past your age. He continues: “If you are confident in both your expertise and knowledge and genuinely believe in the value of your product or service and brand, your age won’t matter.”
“Age is irrelevant,” agrees Erica Wolfe-Murray, one of the UK’s leading business experts and author of Simple Tips Smart Ideas. “The customer or end user is totally unconcerned about your age, they just want to know whether the product or service delivers.”
Do you need a degree?
Most of the famous billionaires you’d be able to name don’t have degrees — think Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg… — so does that mean that further education is irrelevant?
Rob Moore, the man behind the UK’s most successful business and lifestyle podcast, The Disruptive Entrepreneur, believes a degree isn’t a necessity for all wanting to start their own company.
“If you want to be an entrepreneur by 25,” he says, “and your interests lie in starting up a tech company, then university may not be the way forward. You’re going to have to put the time into studies — which aren’t commercial, therefore you can’t monetize them. Instead, if you want to be a millionaire by the time you’re 30, you need an entrepreneurial business that solves a big problem, that can scale fast.”
So no degree, right? Perhaps not. If you ask Nathan Cable, who set up his travel brand Party Hard Travel while at university, he’ll tell you that you don’t need to choose between studies and entrepreneurship.
“University was a great experience,” says Cable. “I learned a lot and met some great people. But you don’t have to make a choice between university and entrepreneurship, as being at university can often help you to set up a business in the most effective way.”
Surround yourself with the right people
Sometimes it really is who you know. Creating the right type of network can be more valuable than any assets in your portfolio. Or, even if your contact book isn’t bulging, your network could just consist of a business partner who is there to see things in a different way and give you a boost when times get tough.
Sara Lou-Anne Jones, founder of the Centre for Excellence e-learning platform, says: “Avoid energy vampires. Be careful who you spend your time with and share your ideas with.”
Rob Moore adds that you should avoid “listening to what the doubters, the critics and everyone who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Don’t listen to them, get mentors instead who’ve been there and done it.”
Nathan Cable, who started his company with business partner Barry Moore, believes that this partnership was one of the keys to his success.
“There were so many times in the early days where either myself or Barry would be feeling down and want to chuck in the towel,” Cable admits. If you don’t have that other person to help keep you positive and strive forward through the hard times, I imagine it could get very lonely and negative really quickly.”
Now find out how to negotiate a pay rise…