Homeless and sleeping rough at 17, Harry Sanders from Melbourne, Australia, with sheer determination got off the streets a year later and became a millionaire at 21.
Sanders is now CEO of his own business, Studiohawk, worth $1.5 million AUD (about £830,000).
During his time on the streets, after some rough nights under a bridge, he sought out in shelters and couch surfed at friends and family when he could.
He says: “The first night of being homeless was the worst. I had no idea where to go or what to do. I spent my first few nights under a bridge, unsure of what to do and honestly feeling terrible asking anyone for help.’’
‘’It can be dangerous, as there are territories amongst the homeless. I had no idea bout that going in, so I got into a lot of trouble at the start. I always managed to find things to eat and would often visit soup kitchens.”
Tough as it was, he says it taught him some valuable life lessons: “Although there were a lot of negative moments, I think the experience of being homeless taught me a lot of resilience and matured me greatly.’’
Thinking about that year, he says: ‘’I wouldn’t be the same person if it were not for that. Going through a hardship like that also made me a lot more confident when dealing with stressful situation.”
“I owe my success to being homeless. Without it, I wouldn’t have been as pushed or as pressured to succeed as I had been.’’
“The determination was fierce as I knew that if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t have any backup plans.”
Just three years after getting off the streets, he runs his company, Studiohawk, a SEO company helping websites increase their visibility on internet searches and also recently opened an office in London.
“I started really hustling to get my first few clients, telling them I would get them to the top for free and they could pay me after,” he says. “I was regularly putting in 100 hour weeks getting them top rankings so that I could get some money coming in.”
Harry would like to help those in a similar position by sharing his top five secrets to success:
- Dress to be yourself.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep a night
- Read as much as possible about a topic you are passionate about.
- Be thrifty. Know exactly where you are spending money and cut back where you can.
- Find your purpose. If you’re just after money, you won’t be successful
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