February 25, 2017

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Growing Up Fast: How a 14-Year-Old Boy Made Millions

A lot of entrepreneurs started young. But this young?

Sean Belnick was possessed with the entrepreneurial spirit from an early age. By fourteen, Belnick was already making cash selling things like Pokemon cards on eBay. Perhaps it was only the logical next step to launch a website selling office furniture.

See, Belnick’s step-father worked at a manufacturer of office furniture. One day, fourteen-year-old Belnick was visiting his step-dad’s work, and he had an idea. The way the company was doing things didn’t make sense to Belnick. I imagine the conversation going something like this:

Sean Belnick: Let me get this straight, people go into a store and pick out a chair they like, then pay for it.

Step-Dad: That’s right.

SB: Then the store calls you and orders the chair.

SD: Yep.

SB: And then you send the chair to customer.

SD: Right on all counts, Sean.

SB: So why do you need the store at all?

Belnick’s step-father sensed his son was onto something. Cutting out the middle man is a dream a lot of whole-salers have. But how? Well, back in 2001, there was this hot new thing called the internet…

Sean, who already had some experience building websites, decided to start a site where customers could order their office furniture directly from his step-dad’s company. His step-dad agreed. So Sean locked himself in his room for a few days, and we he came out, Bizchair.com was born.

With a budget of only 500 dollars, most of which was used to advertise the online-store to potential customers, Bizchair.com was doing solid business from the get-go. It wasn’t long before Google listed Bizchair.com as the number one organic search result for online office furniture sellers.

And that was only the beginning. Today, nearly ten years after 14-year-old Sean Belnick conceived and launched the company, Bizchair.com‘s recent sales figures exceed 38 million dollars.

So what did young Sean do with his millions? Well, when he was old enough, he began attending business school at Emory University. While Sean was away, his step-dad took over Bizchair’s day-to-day operations.  Now, if I were Belnick, and I had created a multi-million dollar business model before I was even old enough to drive, I probably wouldn’t enroll in any school, business or otherwise. But that’s the great thing about entrepreneurs like Sean Belnick. Their appetites for business knowledge and for hard-earned success are nearly insatiable. For people like Belnick, major success isn’t the end. It’s only the beginning.

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  • Schlomo

    It’s “Belnick” not “Belnicks.” But great story! I love reading about this guy!!

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    Thanks for the correction @Schlomo! Always appreciated.

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