Learning From the Young and Rich – Part 1

by / ⠀Startup Advice / June 22, 2010

young and richEvery year BRW magazine in Australia, publish “The Young Rich List”. The list includes the 100 wealthiest people in Australia under 40 and is read religiously by most people who are looking to create wealth.

The more I have seen in business, the more I have learnt the importance of learning from people who have the results you are looking for. These days many people are willing to give advice, the question is what advice do you take on?

Given that the average wealth of the people listed in the Young Rich List is $65.5 million, I think we can trust that these people, at least for the most part, know how to make money. Everyone in the list is self-made and has therefore not inherited any of their wealth. James Packer has never been featured in the Young Rich List.


1. Think big, start small. “Before you achieve that first $1 million, you have to get your first dollar.” Phillip Di Bella started a coffee business in 2002, selling coffee to cafes. He would roast his own coffee in a machine that he rented and would then pack it and deliver it himself, doing the books for the business on his girlfriends computer.

Sometimes people can have a romantic idea of what it is to be an entrepreneur, usually these ideals are shattered rather quickly when they realise that it’s not all glamour in the beginning.

Having said that, it can pay off. Phillip Di Bella is now worth $47 million and is still dedicated to delivering a quality product to his loyal customers. “My promise to them, and it’s a very simple principle I’ve kept, is that I’ll do for my customers what others are not prepared to.”

2. Never too young. Trent Davis started his company NetBox when he was 22. This was his third business, after his first two businesses had failed. Learning from the first two businesses, Davis went into NetBox with what he calls a “one foot on the brake approach.”

Now 32, David has built NetBox into a formidable company with annual sales of $30 million and 20 staff. Having started the business at 22, he remembers the sacrifices he had to make in order to get started early. “It was two-and-a-half years before I was taking home a proper wage, which is quite a long time to be living like a university student when you’re not at university anymore.”

3. Be willing to rough it (in the beginning). Peter Mavridis, the founder and Managing Director of a Melbourne IT Services company, S Central is turning over $80 million every year and has a personal net worth of $62 million at the age of 37. Last year when Mavridis was listed in the Young Rich List, his personal wealth was $100m but has come back this year due to the financial climate of the last 12 months.

However, in the beginning Mavridis wasn’t talking millions. He remembers the first office he and his girlfriend leased in Melbourne, “It was one of those offices where you were scared to take the lift, so you’d take the stairs.” Mavridis now owes a lot of his success to the fact that he didn’t spend the money he didn’t have, in the early days.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week. Jack Delosa examines more strategies we can take from the Young Rich, and offers further insight into how to accelerate the growth of your business.

Jack Delosa is a Gen Y Media Spokesperson and leading entrepreneur in Australia. He has been named in the Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30, in Australian Anthill 30Under30. He is the founder of The Entourage, a movement that connects the world’s best entrepreneurs, with the world’s next entrepreneurs. jackd@the-entourage.com.au

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.