The 'Reallionaire'

"My phone started ringing off the hook. People wanted to know, 'how did you start an investment club? How did you become a talk show host? Come speak to our old people's group, our young people's group. Here's a check. Here's another check and here's another check.'"

Gray concentrated on making money through projects that took advantage of what he knew best. He had enjoyed helping his grandmother cook. After watching her make syrup, he tried his own concoctions and flavors. Then he started a food company after first reading a book about marketing.

"I started just reading through the book and taking each chapter step by step on how to start a food company. I took what I had on the stove, poured it into a bottle. Sent it to a co-packer, and I tried to find mentors in the industry to teach me."

With the food company and other assets, Gray made his first million dollars by the age of 14.

Secret to Your Success? Ask Yourself Three Questions

Despite the fact that he actively promotes his success in creating wealth for himself and advising others, he is reluctant to quantify his own net worth.

"I have some change," he said. He declined to estimate the range of his worth.

"There is not a suit in my closet that I paid less than $1,000 for, but I properly invested my money. The businesses have been very, very successful."

His current interests include real estate brokerages and a foundation to teach business skills to young people. He is also the publisher of InnerCity Magazine, and has written a book called "Reallionaire." His picture is on a prepaid credit card.

He received an honorary doctorate in April from Allen University in South Carolina.

He is, in short, a walking resumé who can also do 250 push-ups a day and says that comfort is the enemy of achievement. But he is also a human being who is in a race against time. Gray's sister, Greek, has leukemia. His latest undertaking is one he hopes will save her life. She needs a bone-marrow transplant. No one in the family is a match; and Gray -- who in typical fashion has done his homework -- is out campaigning to get African-Americans to sign up for the bone-marrow registry.

"People of color only make up 3 percent of the registry," Gray said. "But they make up a pretty large number of the 35,000 who are diagnosed with some form of blood cancer every year. I don't ever want anyone's family to go through what we're going through -- the pain, the suffering, the fact that I can't write a big check to cure my sister."

"Now he's taking on another huge responsibility," said Greek Gray. "I love him for it."

"I believe the two most important times in a person's life is when we were born and when we find out why we were born," said Gray. "And when we're able to find out why we were born, then we have found our area of excellence.

"Ask yourself three questions. First, what comes easy to me but harder to others? The second question is, what would you do for work for years and years and never have to get paid for it? And the third question is, how can you be of service and how can you give back? Because I always say, 'If you're here on Earth and you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room.'"

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