**How Lucy Guo Made Her First Million: Lessons from a Serial Entrepreneur**
**Growing Up Frugally: The Early Years**
Lucy Guo’s journey to building her massive net worth began with a frugal upbringing. Her parents, both electrical engineers, instilled in her a strong sense of thriftiness. She vividly remembers being kicked outside if she complained about the cold indoors, as her parents aimed to save on heating costs. They bought cheap clothes and insisted she licked her plate clean, reminding her that other children were less fortunate.
Even as a child, Guo demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit by selling Pokémon cards and colored pencils on the school playground. However, her parents disapproved of these activities and eventually started taking away her earnings as a form of punishment. Undeterred, Guo turned to the internet, where her parents couldn’t touch her funds.
**The Path to the First Million**
In high school, Guo used the money she earned online through various websites and eBay to invest around $5,000 in Bitcoin. Although the Bitcoin’s value has since soared, Guo never transferred it to a wallet and ultimately lost access to it when the website she used got seized by the FBI.
Despite this setback, Guo continued to accumulate wealth through her work. She received salary payments, equity, and made smart investments. One significant milestone in her financial journey was Scale AI’s Series B funding, which contributed to her first $5 million. By strategically investing this amount, Guo managed to turn it into even more wealth.
**From Purchasing Power to Extreme Thriftiness**
During her wealth-building journey, Guo maintained an extremely frugal lifestyle. She wanted to maximize her lifestyle while minimizing expenditures until she reached $10 million. To achieve this, she relied on various strategies like obtaining a buddy pass for free flights and booking cancellable tickets on Southwest to access the AmEx lounge for free meals. She even chose to live in a low-cost property near the Las Vegas airport, allowing her to reach it quickly on a skateboard.
**The First Big Paycheck and Sensible Spending**
When Guo received her first significant paycheck, she didn’t immediately view it as a life-changing amount. It was only after a small secondary investment in Scale AI that she perceived the true magnitude of her earnings. However, she remains cautious and prefers not to view her wealth as truly life-changing until she experiences another major financial milestone, such as an IPO.
Despite her substantial net worth, Guo refrained from extravagant spending. Although she considers her home as her most substantial investment, she perceives it as a piece of art that will appreciate in value over time. As for splurging, Guo owns a $500,000 Audemars Piguet Tourbillon watch adorned with white baguette diamonds. However, she rarely wears it and views it more as an heirloom to pass down to future generations.
**The Current Net Worth and Perceptions of Wealth**
According to Forbes, Guo’s current net worth ranges from $350 million to $400 million. However, her ownership in Scale AI might place her net worth closer to $437 million. While some might see accumulating wealth as a competitive pursuit, Guo views it as a means to reach new levels in her personal and professional development.
She attributes some of her financial success to her career in tech, where lucrative product design and software engineering roles, along with growth opportunities, provide the potential to accumulate wealth quickly. Additionally, Guo emphasizes the importance of being resourceful and creative in order to extend one’s wealth significantly.
**Advice for Building Wealth in the Tech Industry**
For those seeking to grow their wealth in the tech industry, Guo suggests exploring various avenues, such as product design and software engineering roles. These positions often offer substantial salaries, especially for talented individuals in high demand. Additionally, Guo advocates for taking on growth roles early in one’s career to maximize earning potential.
Guo’s own journey exemplifies how a combination of frugal living, strategic investments, and entrepreneurial pursuits can lead to significant financial success. As she continues to make strides in the tech industry and build her net worth, Guo serves as an inspiration and provides valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors alike.