Michael Masterson is not your typical businessman. An ex–Peace Corps volunteer, he never took a class in business, doesn’t read the business press, and doesn’t like to talk business. He spends his spare time writing poetry, collecting fine art, and practicing Brazilian jujitsu. His neighbors call him a bohemian. But he’s also an entrepreneur. He started his first business when he was 11 years old, and in the nearly five decades that have elapsed since then, he has played an integral part in dozens of successful businesses in a variety of industries.
The last business Michael admits to having helped launch is EarlytoRise.com, an Internet-based company that provides advice and training in “health, wealth, and wisdom.” Started initially as an informal weekly e-mail to a handful of his protégés, it quickly morphed into a $28 million enterprise.
The primary focus of his business life these days, however, is as consultant to Agora Inc., a $300 million, Baltimore-based publisher of information products with offices in England, France, Spain, Germany, South Africa, and Australia.
Notwithstanding clandestine luncheons that erupt into new multimillion-dollar ventures, Michael insists that he has been spending most of his time teaching and writing since he retired, for the second time, when he turned 53.
He writes poetry and fiction (“somewhat badly,” he says), as well as books on business and wealth building (all of which have been Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com, or New York Times best-sellers). “I have a readership that appreciates the way I look at things,” Michael says. “And that is gratifying.”
His nonfiction books include Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat; Seven Years to Seven Figures: The Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire; Automatic Wealth for Grads . . . and Anyone Else Just Starting Out; Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence; Power and Persuasion: How to Command Success in Business and Your Personal Life; Confessions of a Self-Made Multimillionaire; and Changing the Channel (with MaryEllen Tribby).