Recently I sat down with a multi-millionaire. He went from broke to rich in his twenties. Here are the lessons.

His story started in the early 70’s.

He was your average broke 23 year old.

We will name him Dan for the rest of this post.

Dan didn’t know what he wanted out of life. He was lost but had something that separates most from the top 1%.

He had vision and a ruthless work ethic.

Like me he only attended college for 1-year. He realized that it was a waste of time and all he’d walk away with is debt.

Dan became a construction worker. When he told me how much he made, I almost choked on my coffee.

He made $1.90 per hour to lay down roofing. To put that into perspective that’s a little over $8 an hour by today’s standards.

Dan didn’t settle with that wage. Instead of complaining he decided to stand out and make a name for himself.

On his first day he finished the roofing quicker than the other men so he started working on the drywall.

The boss came over to him and said:

Boss: Dan what the hell are you doing? I told you to do the roof not put up dry wall!

Dan: I finished an hour ago. I wasn’t going to sit there with my finger up my ass so I found something else to do.

Boss: Wow, great work Dan. I’ve never had a young man with that kind of work-ethic.

Dan got a promotion several weeks later. He used that money to start a side-hustle.

He’d do 12 hour days Monday through Friday as a construction worker.

On Saturday and Sunday he did contracting work for himself.

He smiled as he told me that because he knew it would resonate with me.

Dan then went on to say that within 6-months he made more from his side-hustle than he did from his job.

He was now 24 years old with two new cars, a house, and two income streams.

In the beginning of this story I left out that Dan was married. Not only was he working to provide for his vision.

He was also working to put food on the table for another person.

Most 23 year old’s would use that as an excuse. They’d let it hold them back from starting a side-hustle.

But not everyone is destined for millions.

Dan looked at himself as a business from an early age. As he made more money he invested his profits into himself.

By the time he was 25 he had saved up a good chunk of money. He quit his construction job and started his own construction company.

Dan hired his own workers and leveraged the skills he learned while building his side-hustle to bring in money.

By the time he was 27 years old he was rich. Most people would sell their company and retire early.

Not Dan.

He took his profits and created 3 more income streams.

Businessman talk about profits.

Normal people talk about savings.

One of those income streams was a big chunk of land. His gut told him that the area would be popular within a decade.

He was right. The area went on to become one of the most affluent places in Charleston.

This area now has some of the most expensive houses in Charleston.

Dan built a marina on top of that land.

The marina has 7 stores that pay him rent.

His marina also has its own staff that rents out docks to the rich and gives boat tours to the lucky tourists.

He also opened up storage facilities all over South Carolina that bring in a nice payday.

Fast-forward to today and he is 75 years old. If you met him you’d think he was in his early 60’s.

He’s got the fire in his eyes and prides himself in excellence.

While we talked a few of his workers came in. They showed Dan some of the most respect I’ve ever seen employee’s show their boss.


Because he doesn’t ask them to do anything he wouldn’t do. As a matter of fact as I waited on him.

He walked by me carrying boards on his shoulder with a smile.

Dan works 6 days a week doing whatever he wants. Some days it’s construction, other days it’s running his storage empire.

As for his workers, they are set for life.

He created an LLC for them and has spent the last decade teaching them what he knows.

When he finally retires from the construction business. They will have a business and the know how to build their own wealth.

As you can tell Dan is an extraordinary individual. He turned himself from a broke 23 year old into a multi-millionaire by 27.

He didn’t have a college education or a silver spoon in his mouth. Dan taught himself, studied the greats, and took daily action.

He’s the epitome of a self-made man.

Before you leave, here are some of the key lessons I walked away with. Take them and use them in your own life.

Your Million Dollar Lessons

1) Vision and Hard Work

Dan had nothing when he started. Hell he didn’t even know where to start.

But he did have a vision. He wanted to be his own man and was willing to eat shit in order to do so.

In your own life these two things will reshape everything.

Your vision gives you your end game. It will get you through the dark days.

Your hard work is what will bring your dreams into reality. It is through hard work that you wake up and live the life of your dreams.

Like Dan you will Think (vision) and Go Hustle (hard work).

2) You Can Do Anything

From the get go Dan told me:

Dylan you can do anything that you want. Don’t ever let another mortal tell you otherwise.

The conviction Dan had as the words poured out of his mouth gave me chills.

I want you to feel the power of his statement. Realize that you literally can do anything in this world.

That is, if you put your mind to it. You aren’t meant to do anything and everything. You’ve got a purpose.

Many purposes actually. Don’t ever let another mortal tell you what you can and can’t do. It’s nothing but a projection of what they lack.

Get clear on what you want.

Create your script and then go out there and get it.

3) Many Streams

As you saw, Dan’s side-hustle morphed into a construction company. Later he created other income streams.

He turned several streams into an ocean.

This isn’t the only way to get rich. But it is one of the most proven ways for a nothing to become a something.

It’s a numbers game.

You build up your income and then keep stacking. Eventually you will have each business producing enough that you become rich.

You’ll become rich while you’re busy working. The only advice that I have is for you to build each stream one at a time.

Start your side-hustle. Once it is making enough bring on someone to replace you. From there move onto your next venture.

Build + Hire + Repeat = Rich

4) Don’t Work 30 Hours A Week

Dan worked 12 hour days 7 days a week. He told me without a doubt that if he would’ve worked less, he wouldn’t be rich.

Through the internet you can free up your time. That doesn’t mean you should take it easy. It comes down to your script.

What is the vision that you have for your life?

If it is to become rich then you can’t do it how the normies do it.

Normies want to work less while making more per hour. This is ultimately what will lead to the future of jobs.

That is, robots will replace them.

You on the other hand can realize their mistake and work smarter. Work your day job, but then give your time to a side-hustle.

You won’t get rich working a 9-5.

Instead look at your day job as a way to pay your bills while giving you the money to invest in yourself.

Start a side-hustle like Dan did. From there you will use those skills to build your own company which will make you rich.

Remember that the work that you do today is what will pay you tomorrow.

Go ahead and start now.

Get started with a full chapter from my book for FREE.

See you in the game.

Your friend,

dylan madden



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About Dylan Madden

My name is Dylan Madden. I've written over 300+ articles for those who want more out of life and are interested in traveling the world. I am from US city where most people work the same old job for their entire life. Now after traveling to 18 countries. I've set up a home in Dubai where I spend my days helping freelancers build successful businesses within The Real World and on the blog Calm and Collected. Within this website you will find the motivation and action steps to make your life better.

12 comments add your comment

  1. Very inspiring to say the least. Also made me aware that I must work even harder.

    Great prose as well, I’ll learn from your easygoing eloquent writing style and you can’t stop me.

  2. Strong post. Would be cool if you did a Podcast with this guy. Most would use the excuse of “oh this was decades ago it means nothing these days!” But times haven’t changed as much as we think. In fact, if it has changed, we’ve only got MORE opportunities than Dan had. We don’t need to be a construction worker. Or an online hustler. Hell, the opportunities in any area are present if we know how to look for them. Resourcefulness is a skill we must all acquire (in today’s age where information is in abundance) to progress. To have the ability to filter the fake from the real (in many aspects) and to act upon the info we have.

    Most wont.

    Most will still be in the same place in a decade.

    Be like Dan.

    • Good idea.

      That’s a great point Conner. Each person here has the chance to make magic happen in their life. As you said, most won’t.

      The few who do, will be the game-changers. We may even invite them out to Asia to see us.

  3. That was a great article, I am motivated and more confident in my visions and hard work thanks Dylan

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