We read about millionaires in the news almost every day. We stand shocked at their fortunes and wish that we also led what many call ‘a 1% life’. But not every millionaire you come across has money simply handed down to them by their parents. The most famous ones weren’t the ones who inherited their wealth but rather were the ones to overcome the adversities around them and achieve what many thought was impossible.
They achieved this not by following the path taken before but forging their own. These unconventional methods were what got them to their level of success today. Let’s take a look at some of these unusual strategies that people have used to make a fortune.
1. 14 years old and rich
If you haven’t heard the name Rhys Davies, it okay, but we can guarantee you won’t forget it now. He was a shy 14-year-old who had a talent for creativity.
Around 2006 he created text with glitter which he gave away for free on his website. His glittery text became so popular that he made about S$13,000 in the first month. By the end of the first year, he had already made S$130,000! Even though he charged nothing for the text, he was able to use Google and Yahoo ads to monetise his website.
The best part is that all it cost him was the subscription to the server space, which totals to about S$6,500 per year.
2. Using trash to make money
While there is no specific name to mention here, this is still a very unconventional way to make money. This is not just about taking trash and recycling it, it’s a bit more than that. Many computer recycling companies have been contributing to your dental needs, your next gaming laptop, and even the space age.
How they do this is by collecting discarded computers and recycling them to extract the gold from them. It may sound like a fool’s errand but these companies can make up to S$11,000 per ton of computer trash that they collect.
3. Trash to packing material to millions
Sticking with the theme of trash to riches; Zhang Yin of China is considered one of the wealthiest people in the country. All the way back 1985, she decided to get into the waste paper business and invested all of her savings of about S$5,000 into it. Soon this business became the raw material for her company that began producing packaging material.
The result of this clever investment was that today she is worth about S$2.7 billion. The company was, in 2011, reported to be a source of income for 17,000 people and reporting a turnover of about S$5 billion.
4. Bringing style to your K9 companion
Yes, it does sound a bit strange but this is exactly what a lady from California managed to use to make some serious money. She noticed that her dog would squint while playing outside and decide to make him a pair of glasses. Thus the Doggles were born. Most people thought that it was cute but would never make any money. But in 2012 Doggles managed to help the inventor reach a revenue of about S$4 million.
5. The Million Dollar Homepage
This was the brainchild of one Alex Tew who was preparing to go to college and was looking for a way to pay for his education. The plan he came up with was simply GENIUS! He purchased a website and on the homepage set up an area of 1 million pixels. He then sold each of those pixels for about S$1.3 per pixel. Before you know it, he had sold every single pixel and made a cool S$1.7 million in just 5 months.
6. Smiles to millions – Have a nice day
The smiley is something we know like the back of our hands, and have probably used it hundreds, if not thousands, of times. But did you know that the Smiley was created in 1963 by Harry Ball? However, since he failed to copyright the creation, he made only about S$54 off it.
It was later changed to what we now know as the smiley and attached to the text “Have a nice day” by Bernard and Murray Spain who managed to sell over 50 million buttons with a smile on them.
7. A slice of S$3.5 million
The internet has given lots of people the opportunity to make a fortune and Chris Clark is no exception. He bought the domain pizza.com when the internet was still a novelty (basically the 1990s). He had other plans for the domain but even though they didn’t pan out, he stuck with the domain for 14 years. When he finally decided to sell it, a bidding war began and the domain was finally sold for S$3.5 million.
If you haven’t struck gold with your business idea, don’t fret. It might happen one day! In the meantime, make sure that you maximise your daily expenditure with a travel credit card or shopping credit card. Small rewards and cashback can amount to a large sum over time.