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Even If You Don't Have Bootstraps—Business Fuel Podcast #10

Listen to Aimee Elizabeth’s interview

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We hear a lot about the value of pulling oneself up “by the bootstraps,” but what if you don’t have bootstraps? This weeks podcast with Aimee Elizabeth is about just such a “bootstrap-less” entrepreneur. Out of the house and homeless at 15, Aimee finished high school and in just a few short years has become a multimillionaire who now spends her time helping homeless teens.

Although you may not have heard about this real-life rags-to-riches story, in her book, Poverty Sucks! How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire, she outlines how she did it, the mistakes and successes she had along the way, and how you can duplicate her success in your own business. This was a fascinating interview.

If I have ever met anyone who has pulled themselves up from the bottom to be a success, here she is.

Author: Ty Kiisel |

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About the Author

  • Ty Kiisel

Small business evangelist and veteran of over 30 years in the trenches of Main Street business, Ty makes small business financing and trends accessible in common sense language devoid of the jargon. Ty writes about small business financing and other best practices for Lendio, in addition to sharing his passion for small business every week on Forbes.com. He's also the author of the book, Getting a Business Loan: Financing Your Main Street Business.

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Comments

  1. Thanks to Ty Kiisel & Patrick Wiscombe for a great interview! Aimee

  2. Hi, Aimee, Ty and Patrick,

    Although I’ve not all ready found the way to do what you did, Aimee, I fully intend to. I’m working on many ways to do so and also plan to read your book. I thought almost everything you said was true, especially about the so-called 99%. They’re just jealous AND sour grapes! I have so much less outwardly than many even famous and rich people (I’ve contacted hundreds of them over the years about so many topics and things I have to offer like alternative healing, and most of them didn’t even bother to respond! For all their wealth and fame, they can’t seem to separate the wheat from the chaff, even if it’s supposed to be their metiers, like the customer service reps you mentioned, who are trained to behave the way they do by their companies!), but it seems that rather than supporting me, they too envy what I have. . .inside!

    I try to always give everyone their props., as it were, whether they have surpassed me or not, and I try to acknowledge excellence and not compliment people who don’t deserve it. I think I’ve got the right stuff and I plan to PROVE IT in the very near future, in spite of ANY obstacles against me, no matter how formidable they may seem. . .I’ve learned that I’m even more formidable! Congratulations once again, Aimee Elizabeth!

  3. Hi, again, Aimee, I don’t know how many people are paying any attention to this podcast, but I decided to go to your website where the only way I could contact you is to pay you money (when I clicked on the contact button, it did not respond). I called three numbers for your teen help organization and I got no answer at any of them, even though it’s a Thursday afternoon and was during regular business hours (I got one unidentified voicemail which is supposed to be for someone named Renee Cruz, and two voicemails, one saying that Lisa Preston is on maternity leave since July 2012 and another, the hotline saying she answers on weekdays but giving no hours). If I really wanted to help desperate teens, I would have someone manning at least my hotline, 24 hours per day. If I didn’t really care, I wouldn’t bother at all!

    • Dear Donna Lee,

      I don’t understand why the “Contact me” button did not work for you on my website. I have received many emails that way and I will ask my computer girl to check into it. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.
      Regarding StreetTeens.org, unfortunately they are underfunded and understaffed, which is why I try so hard to promote them. They only have limited hours right now. I know Lisa Preston and Renee Cruz personally, and they do care very much. They work on volunteerism and donations, and many people prefer to donate to cancer charities (or others) thinking that teens on the street must be “bad” kids and deserve to be there. So it’s hard to fundraise, which greatly limits their resources.
      I very much appreciate your kind words in your first email, and I admire your determination to be a winner and not a whiner – you have the right attitude to create your own success. Please keep me updated on your progress. Nothing makes me happier to see others succeed!
      Warm Regards,
      Aimee

      • Dear Aimee,

        I’m so glad I checked back to see if you responded. It seems I was mistaken and misunderstood about Street Teens. I thought that this was an organization that you started. My apologies.

        There is another organization in CA for street teens called Children of the Night. I’ve spoken with Dr. Lois Lee, the executive director, who was not willing to help me when I asked, which help would have cost her nothing and would have benefited her organization, even though I’d been donating small amounts of money to their organization as I could for 16 years (! I hadn’t realized that it had been that long myself until I looked to see when I’d first heard of them!) They are probably helping street teens, though, and although I don’t donate money from my present small budget to them anymore, I wish them well in their work and am not bitter against them.

        I also wanted to mention that in the past month or so since I’ve completely changed my attitude, at least three companies who tried to practice gratuitous hate on me, I turned away from and surrendered trying to get them to treat me as I would have liked, went somewhere else, and all three times got the product I wanted with good cheer at 1/3 the price! I figure that will show them! It is my firm motto that living well is the absolute best revenge!

        Finally, most people have totally misunderstood about the way the world works, as I did for a long time. We are NOT victims of our circumstances, unless we allow ourselves to be! You have proven that, and I am determined to, as well. My neighbor was gossiping apace about things she knows absolutely nothing about concerning our neighbors and in the next breath insisting that she wasn’t gossiping at all and telling ME that I’D misunderstood! It never once occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, SHE’D misunderstood both herself and me!

        I believe that one of the main reasons that people are so victimized is that they are filled with subconscious self-hatred and don’t realize that THAT’S the reason why they can’t get the love and other things they think they deserve; I know I was! It can be hard to overcome that, but it’s the inner that determines the outer mostly. As I said, it took me a long time to even consider what was going on inside myself, but through thorough, but gentle honesty, with myself, I have come to a new understanding. I also want to help those I can who want my help. I have very much to offer, and I feel that NOW is my time.

        Blessed be! (I also believe I have great spiritual protection, although I’m not religious in the conventional sense. I consider myself to be a mystic, which means to me that I have a direct connection with the source of all that lives from inside of me that guides me and protects me, so to speak, as long as I live in as sensible and wise a manner as I’m able.)

        About my accomplishments, I published eight (8) books on http://www.amazon.com‘s Kindle e-reader this year (you can enter my name on the Kindle Store on amazon.com to see free previews of all 8 of my books; all my books have black and green covers). I was able to do this after someone who later tried to harm me and whom I have since broken off relations with, told me how to do it! As you may know, it is free to publish on Kindle and they pay 70% royalties worldwide! I also got my photos on postage stamps without having to die! It’s real postage! Anyone can do it, you just have to know how, and there is a vetting process. I think I’ve run on here long enough, so, if you want to know how, just ask and I’ll tell you!

        What I’ve wanted for so long is that I’ve gotten my life back! I’ve retrieved my soul and I’m so at peace, in spite of day-to-day turmoils or upsets. Peace is my natural condition and has been since my childhood!

        Thank you for your warm regards, Aimee, and I wish you the same!

  4. Dear Donna Lee,
    I was so happy to read your email – what a lovely person you are, both inside and out. No, I can’t take credit for StreetTeens.org – it’s not my charity, just one I try to help, as you did with Children of the Night. Bless your kindness. :)
    I’m delighted to hear about your success with 8 kindle books published in one year – truly amazing & something to be proud of!
    And yes, just for the fun of it, I would LOVE to know how to get my photo on postage stamps – if I can’t live forever, that seems a cool way to stay around!
    Btw, I checked on the contact me button on my website & have been assured by my computer girl it is working just fine. I am a technophobe, so I don’t really know how they work, but could it be that the technology is changing so fast that our computers won’t play nice together anymore. If you want to contact me personally, do me a favor and friend me on facebook (Aimee Elizabeth) and send me your email address & remind me you are the Donna Lee from the Ty Kiisel podcast, and I will send you my email address.

    So glad I made your acquaintance Donna!
    Aimee :)

    • Dear, dear Aimee Elizabeth!

      Everything you said, I feel likewise! Blessed be!

      I am not on Facebook (I’m kind of phobic about that!) and if you click on my name above, as I did on yours, it will take you directly to my website, where you will find my e-mail and where you might like to look around for more ideas on publicizing your work! Once you e-mail me, I’d like to give you my phone number, as well as the place to get your photos (or basically whatever you want!) on real postage (!) as well as a hyperlink to my other website, where you can see more things I do. Perhaps we can put links to each other’s websites on our websites; I’d like that; I hope you would too!

      I’m not all that computer savvy. I just know enough to do a lot of what I need to do, although I wouldn’t say I’m exactly a technophobe.

      Bless you, Aimee! It was so cheering to receive your kind words! Continuing warm regards and affection, Donna Lee!

      P.S.–I checked my account on amazon.com, and already in the first week of its publication, I’ve sold two copies of my book entitled, Instant Spelling and Grammar Helps! I got permission from a generous man who originally published this, which I got for free (!) when I was working as a temporary secretary, and he gave me his permission, in writing, to republish it without having to pay him any royalties, although I offered them to him. I also added the times tables from 2 x 1 to 12 x12, which I’d been taught to memorize in my early childhood. I tried calling him to make him a collaborator in my publishing effort, which took about 16 years (! oddly, the same amount of time I’d been donating to Children of the Night! I avidly notice coincidences of this kind; I think it’s one of the Universe’s many ways of speaking to me !) but I was unable to reach him because many people’s phones in New York City are still down, two weeks after the Hurricane! My doctor’s assistant told me when I called for an appointment that he’d been without power for two weeks!

  5. Hi, Aimee,

    I’m really disappointed and hurt by you not answering my repeated e-mails after declaring yourself my friend! Perhaps we have different ideas of what friendship is. For one, I don’t have friends whose phone numbers I don’t have unless I just don’t know where they are.

    I’ve mentored, loved (adored!), and became very close to many human children over many years. Most of them are physically lost to me now. Some of them, still minors, who were homeless at the time, I don’t know where they are or if they’re well or even alive! I can only hope! I trust in the love we had and I have surrendered them to their fates, even though I’ve also tried to locate some of them without success. As you may guess, this is very painful! But as I suggested to you, I’ve basically surrendered their fates to themselves, their other caretakers and Providence. I also believe that love is stronger even than death! So, I shall never be separated from the love we’ve shared!

    In conclusion I want to alert you to the fact that no one but me even responded to this post! I don’t like my human value taken for granted, nor my loving attention! And to me, it is a serious matter when I declare my friendship to someone, which I don’t lightly do, or s/he declares hers/his to me! This is the only other way I could contact you and hope to reach you, since you said you’re not answering e-mails at present.

    Good luck to you, Aimee, but although you’ve made your (financial) fortune, it seem you still have some serious feeling or relationship issues going. I wish you the best whatever you decide to do, but what I consider your shabby treatment of me, as your friend, I don’t appreciate!

    As Suze Orman, of whom I’m sure you’ve heard is fond of saying: “People 1st, Money 2nd, and Things last.” She did not make reference to animals there, but there needs to be proportion (balance) in everything!

    Love, Donna Lee!