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A “Detailing” Millionaire

By Thomas J. Stanley on Jul 7th, 2009 in Millionaire Next Door Stories

The following is a letter I received a few years ago from a true “Millionaire Next Door”…

I am a 39 year-old Californian who is writing to let you know that I think your books, The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind are right on the money.  Please excuse my spelling and penmanship.  I have no education.  I was very dyslexic as a kid and they figured I was just a dummy.  I am in the car detailing business in a very prosperous area. I detail only high end cars at my customers’ homes.  I work out of a 9 year old Toyota truck I bought used with 75,000 miles on it six years ago. As a result, I have made a very good living in this business.
 At the age of 27, I bought a repo condo for $105,000…fixed it up and sold it for $190,000 two years later.  [Good timing]  Then I bought a custom built 2,000 square foot house for $300,000.  But I got tired of paying them payments at $2,000 a month. My friend told me to sell the house and take the $100,000 and put it towards a 4-plex.  That way you live for free.

Well, 4 1/2 years later I still live in the apartment and I have bought both 4-plexes on both sides of me and one across town.  Now I still make the same money detailing cars.  It’s my investments that are going to make me very wealthy.  I plan to get another building this year and hopefully go over the 2 million dollar mark.  I get a real kick out of myself thinking maybe one day in my life time I could really be a multimillionaire. 

You may wonder how I figured all this out on my own.  Well I work for the real wealthy…the people I work for with a ton of money or cash flow are not the doctors or the attorneys. I started looking at my customers and looked at the life style not the house or cars.  I found that the people who had apartments would do whatever they wanted.  I used to want to be rich to show off.  Boats, cars and so on but the more I understand money the more I realize that people with money don’t care so much about money or I mean having the big ticket items.  

7 responses to “A “Detailing” Millionaire”

  1. Val says:

    this is hard to believe.

  2. Alan H. says:

    I believe it. he saved, he didn’t buy fancy cars…makes sense

  3. jenn51 says:

    do stuff for the rich – that can make your rich. that’s true.

  4. Anonymous says:

    no chance

  5. William says:

    Right on…many of us wanna be ‘millionaires’ think we need to drive up to the fancy potential customers in a 2011 Ford F350 Superduty, tricked out, to get their attention to do business with us. The proof is in the pudding, though. Your work is your work, no matter what vehicle you drive, or where you live. The wannabees work hard to look good, the millionaires just do good work.

  6. Joanne says:

    I was also considered “a dummy” as a child … but my husband (who didn’t even graduate high school) and I are PAWs. We are very happy, have the finest of everything (all bought used). Lots of people earn more than we do, but we are wealthier than most of those people. We know how to live! Here’s to us millionaire dummies!

  7. pc says:

    Val – says “this is hard to believe.” Not at all…

    By wisdom a house is built,
    and through understanding it is established;
    Through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures.
    -Solomon (Proverbs)

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