21 Year Old College Student Turned Million Dollar Business Owner

Nate WebsterToday I wanted to share with you the story of Nate Webster as part of the next installment of my Young Millionaire Series.  Nate is 21 years old, and is currently the CEO of Warrior Diamond Inc., based in Pennsylvania.  You read that right – 21 and a CEO of a multi-million dollar business!  Beyond being a CEO of a medium-sized business, he is still a student at Villanova University, with plans to graduate in 2014.  And if that wasn’t tough enough, he’s also become a major political influencer in his state!

Remember, the purpose of the Young Millionaire Series is to inform, inspire, and show you that, as a college investor, it’s possible to make it big with just about any idea.  There’s a lot of press out there about Millennials being lazy, still living with their parents, and not getting jobs after graduation.  But, at the same time, there’s a whole other subset of young adults like Nate, who are really making an impact!

Anyway, let’s get to know Nate a little better…

 

Getting Started with Nate Webster

Tell me a little about yourself and your company?

Nate: My name’s Nate Webster, and I’m currently a senior at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, majoring in Political Science. I’m also CEO of Warrior Diamond, Inc., a diamond saw blade and construction equipment company. My company manufactures and sells equipment used to cut concrete and asphalt. We have customers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries around the world.

I can’t believe you’re the CEO of such a big company while you’re still in college!  Why did you want to become a CEO before graduating?

Nate: I didn’t actually set out to be a CEO before I graduated! As a sophomore I took a part-time data entry position in a company and worked my way up. Then, like many shrewd entrepreneurs, I took advantage of a great opportunity, and now I run the company.

What have you struggled with the most when it comes to balancing work and school?

Nate: I’ve had to master strict time management skills, and I have to be able to communicate that with my sales team. I’m effectively doing two full-time jobs, so I have to be able to divide my time and let people know when I’m available to answer questions or deal with issues that arise – and also be firm in letting them know when I can’t be reached.

I know that you’ve also become pretty heavily involved in politics as well – which is almost like a third full-time job!  Why become so involved in politics when you have so much else going on?

Nate: I’m a Political Science major, so it’s kind of par for the course! Seriously, though, I’ve been interested in politics for as long as I can remember. My dad was always interested in politics and when I was younger we always listened to NPR and watched the Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, which just fanned the flames. More young people should be involved in politics, no matter what they study or where they work, or what their passions are.

I ran for Township Supervisor a couple of years ago and I got a lot of encouragement from people, regardless of affiliation, because I was a young person who was standing on their doorstep trying to make a change.

 

Nate Webster on Being a Millionaire

How did you make your first million?

Nate: My holdings in Warrior Diamond, Inc.  put me over the $1 million mark.

Where do you currently invest your money and why?

Nate: Most of my investment is in my company. I do have a bit of money in the stock market, which I mostly manage myself. I do, however, have a brokerage account with one of the large investment firms.

Have you received an help in managing your money?

Nate: Nope!

 

Nate Webster on Entrepreneurship

Is there another way to become a young millionaire without starting your own business or basically being an entrepreneur?

Nate: I don’t think there’s an easy way, that’s for sure. But being an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean having a ‘eureka’ moment and inventing something new.

What’s the biggest risk you ever took? Do you regret it?

Nate: By far the biggest risk I’ve ever taken was taking a leave of absence from the University of Denver freshman year with no set date of return. Needless to say, I never went back. Not long after I started working here, I now own the company, so no regret at all.

If you could make one change, what would it be?

Nate: Sometimes I wish I could make things happen more quickly. It’s taken a lot of time and hard work to build my company, and I still have a long way to go to meet my goals. But when I do, I know it’ll be worth it.

What advice do you have for young adults and college students when it comes to entrepreneurship and money?

Nate: Don’t pursue money for money’s sake. Selling diamond tipped saw blades doesn’t sound sexy or cool but I absolutely love what I do, and would never have predicted that this would be my first company. I took an existing business, learned how it worked, and then made it better. You don’t need to create a brand new product to be an entrepreneur.

 

What I Learned from Nate Webster

I love Nate’s story.  Just when I think that I have a lot going on between work and running a small business, I listen to stories like Nate’s, and it just amazes me how much you can layer on, and still be successful.

A few key phrases from Nate really resinated with me.  First, Nate said don’t pursue money for money’s sake (<- Click to Tweet).  That is such great advice.  It reminds me of my interview a few months back with Neil Patel, where he was all about following your passions, and don’t worry about the money.  I’m a firm believer that you can be successful in anything if you really like to do it.  The money will come – but you have to understand your passions and how you can make a difference.

Second, I really agree with Nate that more young people should be involved in politics.  A lot of the decisions being made today by our politicians will impact us for the next 20 years.  In a lot of cases, the politicians that made the decisions will be dead and the young people who were apathetic will be dealing with the consequences as middle-aged individuals.  Even though I don’t know where he finds the time to go door-to-door for political causes, it’s an extremely inspiring position to see and take.

Finally, you don’t have to create a brand new product to be an entrepreneur.  In fact, it’s pretty hard to invent something new and revolutionary these days.  However, I believe what you do need to have is a unique selling proposition.  In Nate’s case, it’s a better product.  For others, it could be a different brand identity or story, or a new way of doing things.  40 years ago, it was always about being first to market or about being the cheapest in the market.  Today, consumers care about more than that, and your job as an entrepreneur needs to be identifying sellable uniqueness.

What are your thoughts on Nate’s story?  Could you balance school, entrepreneurship, and politics?

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  • http://fiscalflamingo.com Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo

    Keep these coming. I just love ‘em. It’s inspirational to hear stories like these where young people (or any people) are taking life by storm and not looking back.

  • http://www.savvyfinanciallatina.com Savvy Financial Latina

    This is such an inspirational story! Puts things in perspective.

  • http://blessedinhomemaking.com Alix

    Impressive and inspiring!! Great post!!!

  • http://moneystepper.com/ moneystepper

    Great story. I would like to hear more detail on:

    “I didn’t actually set out to be a CEO before I graduated! As a sophomore I took a part-time data entry position in a company and worked my way up.”

    Seems like quite a rapid progression. Where did the funds come from to invest enough to hold over $1m in the company…?

  • Zachary Webster

    @moneystepper- I being the brother of Nate Webster will tell you, we do not come from money. Nate decided when he was young he wanted to go to a prep school. Out family didn’t have that kind of money. Nate took it upon himself to obtain grants, scholarships etc. I remember he found ways of receiving money you would never believe. He showed me that he could get a small amount just for being a left handed red head. Nate has always pursed what he wants. Where there’s a will there’s a way. He would also tell you that he took a risk, but knew in his mind that he could change things around. And that he has. He has dedicated himself to education. Yet even with all this going on he still visits family on the west coast. It wasn’t so much getting investments and money to take the reigns of this company. It was time, and time to me is a lot more then money. You can’t buy time or replace it no matter who you are. He has devoted so much time to the things he has truly wanted in life. He went into this not saying I wanna make this amount of money. He went into it saying I wanna turn this company around and make it successful and that he has. He has also remained humble thru out it all. He doesn’t drive a Benz or live some lavish lifestyle. You wouldn’t know he was the ceo of a multi million dollar company. Like he said don’t chase money. He followed his dreams and his ambition, that’s what made him successful. No hand outs were given. And at the end of the day, he is still an ordinary brother who makes time for his family even on top of all of this. His ambition led him to success.

    • http://www.moneyahoy.com MoneyAhoy

      Wow – I figured he was just taking over with the family business until I saw your post. Sounds like he is a real go-getter. Very inspiring!

  • http://www.iheartbudgets.net Jacob | iHeartBudgets

    What a baller! I love his risk taking AND strict planning. I think you really need both to become a young millionaire. I’ve seem this thread throughout the entire series. Now, I REALLY would like to know the details of data entry > CEO. That’s quite the leap!

  • http://www.moneylifeandmore.com/ Lance @ Money Life and More

    Wow, that sounds like a lot to balance, but if he made it to CEO that quick then I have no doubt he deserved it! Inspiring story.

  • http://www.krantcents.com krantcents

    I want to point out that he did not have to go out on his own to be successful! He grabbed opportunities as he saw them workin while going to college. Your career is the best way to achieve what you want.

  • http://www.tortoisebanker.com Chuck@Tortoise Banker

    Nice write up, very inspiring! I was wondering what the business was… never would have guessed diamond tipped sawblades! Reminds me of the “purespin” diamond crusted golf clubs… :)

  • http://www.couponmamaciita.com Myrah – Coupon Mamacita

    Thank you so much for this post! What a true inspiration…..I am honored to say that my daughter is headed this way. She is so brilliant and self taught!

  • http://prairieecothrifter.com Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter

    Wow, what an inspirational story! It’s not something I think I’d ever even want to do, let alone would be able to do, but good on him! I couldn’t even imagine myself having the maturity at that age to do all of that.

  • http://www.collegefocus.com College Focus

    Wow, that is an amazing story and truly inspirational!