Check out our list of Insane Ways People Became Millionaires
1. Harvey Ball ran a small PR company and came up with the instantly recognisable smiley face and slogan “Have a nice day” in 1963. It wasn’t anything special, just a little icon that he eventually sold for nothing more than a double figure sum. The men he sold it to, the Spain brothers, bought the legal trademark and began sticking it on anything that was moving. It started to diminish in popularity around 1971 but by that time, the financial gain had reached $50m, and their chain of stores- Dollar Express- were worth $500m by the time they sold the chain in 2000
2. When Ken Hakuta received a package from his mom, little did he know it would spark his multi million pound business. She sent him a wacky wallwalker from China and he immediately saw its potential, buying the right for $100,000 and then began marketing it in Washington DC. Nothing happened until a reporter wrote about and that started the buzz. It only took a few months for them to sell around 240 million of the products and net around $80m.
3. The Wuvit is something of a happy story, the creator of the microwavable pillow is Kim Lavine, and the family was down on their luck when the invention came about. Both of the Lavine’s were out of work at the time due to redundancy and their annual income was $0. Then, in 2002, things turned around very quickly, as the Lavine’s sold nearly $250,000 worth of pillows in just under 2 months. They made enough money to be set for life from the little pillows.
4. Chia Pets are a simple concept; you buy a small porcelain figure, water it and it grows to make the plants look like part of the figures. Simple, right? They come in all shapes and sizes and reached peak popularity in the 80s but can still be bought today. The company is worth over $100m. I think it’s a fantastic idea this is type of thinking is the key to Self-Made Millionaires they think different
5. Another fad item on the list is the Koosh ball, reaching their most popular in the 80s and early 90s but still around today. ITs inventor was Scott Stillinger, who was just out to make a toy for his kids that they could easily catch. It then took a few years before his bank balance was that of a millionaires.
6. Eternal Reefs are a blast from the 80s and invented by a couple of college roommates. The idea is to emulate sea bed reefs and create plaques of recently deceased as a place of memorial for them have outside a cemetery. The business now makes over half a million dollars a year.
7. This could possibly be the silliest item on the list, yet there is nothing silly about the revenue is generated. These are Doggles, simply glasses for dogs, and it was labelled as one of the most useless things ever invented. A Californian couple can be credited with the idea and found many people approaching them when they took their own dog out for walkies with a pair on. Soon they started to sell them and the idea became instantly profitable.
8. For a small fee of $10 you can order a letter from Santa to be delivered specifically for your own child. Such a simple idea but over the past 12 years the business has amassed over $3.5m and runs from Santa Mail that includes different styles of letter and in 6 different languages too.
9. The Scrub Daddy is insanely simple and also something that isn’t really new at all-it’s a sponge. He wanted to revolutionise the sponge, he made it longer lasting and added a little smiley face (more of those to come) and his business somehow made over $15m in sales in just over a year.
10.These people don’t just wake up a millionaire they have a way of thinking that gives them the edge. Back in the internet’s infancy, a guy named Alex Tew had a brainwave for advertising online that was so simple it was highly effective. He set up a blank web page where people or companies could buy a single pixel for $1, the amount of pixels equalling 1 million. He sold them all and made $1m buy 2006.
11. The Slinky was born out of clumsiness, with Richard James dropping a spring and watching it slink down a flight of stairs. It was 1945 and he took his invention to Gimbals, staging the first sale to a friend. After 90 minutes he’d sold out all 400 he’d taken with him. The toy has sold over a quarter of a billion since then for $1 a pop
12. Most Ridiculous Things can make a person become a millionaire overnight for example the Pet Rocks the are perhaps the stupidest of ideas on this list and were born in the 70s. It was inventor Gary Dahl who had a conversation with a friend in the pub one night about how tough keeping a pet actually is, he jokingly suggest that rocks should be pets. After some general mocking and teasing, Dahl expanded his idea that very night and ended up selling Pet Rocks as though they were real. He had a turnover of $2 per $2.95 sale and sold over 1.5m in its first year.