How to be successful at 21: Tips from young digital millionaire Damian Prosalendis

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Become Successful at 21
Become Successful at 21

You probably have heard countless times that “success is the by-product of hard work,” but it’s easier said than done. With continuous struggles in the workforce, add to that the unstable political and economical stratosphere, success seems so distant that your dreams are like light-years away. That success is bestowed only to a chosen few.

This is certainly not true.

Yes, success is hard, if not impossible to attain but only if you’re not willing to work for it. This is what the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Howard Schultz, Do Won Chang and modern-day millionaire Damian Prosalendis figured out early on in life. Regardless the cards they were dealt with, they were able to reach success and become million-, even billionaires.

Twenty-one-year-old Prosalendis was even close to being homeless just two years ago, before starting his own company and propelling himself to the millions. Now, he is the youngest self-made digital millionaire in his country of Greece. Like these people, there are no limits to what you can do with the right attitude and the will to succeed.

A millionaire at 21

Like Mark Zuckerberg, Prosalendis also realise his potential at a young age. However, unlike the father of Facebook, he did not have a Harvard-education or the comfy confines of his dormitory to build what would be a future estate. After leaving for college, he found himself living in a cockroach-infested apartment with a mattress he found in the garbage. To survive, he worked as a flyer distributor for 1 euro per hour. Still barely making ends meet, he moved in with his girlfriend to avoid being homeless. On top of that, he was hit with the news that his mother had cancer.

Believing that the world is your library, Prosalendis focused on gaining knowledge from everything possible. Not to waste any time, he spent his days reading and watching webinars and videos online. He wanted to learn everything he can about the resources he had to be an effective entrepreneur. He started with a goal to earn 400 Euros a month to relieve his parents of the burden of sending him money monthly. However, as he continued, he realised he can earn so much more if he worked harder. His goals went from earning 400 Euros to 1,000, to 10,000. Soon, he was aiming for 100,000 Euros a month.

“You’ve got no excuse for not having time. No excuses for anything. All excuses are lame,” Prosalendis noted.

At 19, Damian founded his own consultancy firm. He left school and focused all his time, energy and resources on his new venture. In two years, he has established three companies, leveraging on technology —  a consulting firm specializing in eCommerce and digital marketing, a retail business powered by Shopify and Amazon, and a media and publishing firm.

He is now known as the youngest self-made digital millionaire in Greece and joins an elite group of multimillionaire college dropouts who’ve paved a way for themselves to achieve their dreams by using tech. Such group includes Zuckerberg, Evan Williams (Twitter), Jan Koum (WhatsApp) and the late Steve Jobs.

“Every day, I am making moves, not excuses. If I can do that, why can’t you? What’s your excuse?”

Tips to become a young millionaire

The 21-year-old magnate knows that the path to success is not easy, but having gone through the journey himself, he knows he has a lot to share with the business-minded youth. Prosalendis has established principles to success that he has been imparting with people through various summits and business magazine interviews. He has spoken to a crowd of more than a thousand at the Amazing Selling Machine Summit in Las Vegas — his first ever public speaking engagement.

“I was in my hotel's suite, getting ready to go to the pool to chill out. The moment I was taking my suit off, I got a message telling me I had only 15 minutes to be at the conference room,” he recalled.

“I was like ‘are they crazy? I need just 10 minutes to walk to there. When will I get ready for the speech?’ Well, I allowed myself to panic for 1 minute, and then got myself together, went on stage and nailed it.”

To encourage the younger generation to face their fears and work towards their dreams, he created “Make Moves and Make Excuses,” a manual that teaches Damian’s core philosophy about life.

“Success in business and in life is often as simple as consistently and deliberately adopting and acting on the ‘make moves’ framework instead of the ‘make excuses’ framework.”

Here are some of Damian Prosalendis’ expert tips on achieving success:

Get rid of anything that drains your time and energy, unless it contributes to your end game

Success is easier achieved if you know what you are working towards. Regardless of what it is you want to achieve, setting goals will help you map out a plan for your own “operation success.” This also allows you to only spend your time and energy on factors and solutions that will help you achieve your ultimate goal.

Having smaller goals in between milestone ones makes it easier to see your progress. Just make sure that all these are on the same path to winning.

“Why wander from goal to goal never achieving ANYTHING when you can concentrate your efforts into ONE something and gain EVERYTHING?” Prosalendis quipped.

Like the 21-year-old millionaire, he figured out what he wanted to do before he even hit 20. While leaving school as a Chemical Engineer student was a hard decision, he figured it will help him reach his goals faster. So he took the leap. Even if that meant hiding the decision from his parents and close friends.

“I knew what I wanted and why I needed to work, so it was easy to put in the time and effort to realize my ambitions,” he told Forbes.

Learners are Earners

Although he dropped out of school, Prosalendis has always championed the importance of learning. The young entrepreneur spends all of his waking hours absorbing every bit of knowledge he can. Aside from heading his three businesses, he also spends three hours a day reading books.

“Knowledge compounds, more than compound interest. A good rule of thumb is to read 75 pages daily. That’s 525 pages a week, 2250 pages a month, 27375 pages a year. That’s 2 books a week, 8 books a month or 110 books a year,” he explained. He added that reading is one way anyone can be more successful.

“If you did not read or learn for a few hours today, I can guess your bank balance.”

Aside from reading, his late afternoons are spent taking up English classes daily. He then takes up private dancing lessons at his home, followed by 2.5 hours of martial arts training. A person of his stature admits the need to learn more, embracing the idea that knowledge is power.

Stand on the shoulders of giants

Having gone through a rollercoaster of experiences, Damian believes that listening to the success stories of others will help you on your own path. He looks up to several people he considers mentors and advisors and makes sure to look for advice when needed.

“Wise men follow the footsteps of their great predecessors, imitating those who have been outstanding, so as to become great themselves,” the young entrepreneur shared, adding that great mentorship saves time in achieving your dreams.

“Great mentorship, shaves years off the learning curve and eliminate time wasting mistakes.”

Among his mentors are Matt Pocius, a Lithuanian entrepreneur who made his first million at 18; Tai Lopez, a Mensa member who is a consultant for several multimillion companies; and real estate mogul, Grant Cardone. He is also a proud mentee of Arizona State University professor Dr. Robert Cialdini who teaches the Principles of Persuasion.

Prosalendis believes that achieving success at a young age is not impossibility with the right attitude. If you make it a point to make moves and not excuses, regardless of what life throws at you, you could still end the day on top. Just like he always does.

“All things considered, the ball is in your court. You have to make a move.”

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