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The decision I made that turned me into a millionaire

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today.

It's a stereotype of self-made millionaires that they made their wealth with hard work, persistence and unique skills.

And while that's largely true, many admit that the luck of making one right decision sent them on their way to greatness.

Yahoo Finance's New Investors show spoke to three entrepreneurs about their "one shot" that could have sent them into the abyss – but didn't:

Mining: Tolga Kumova

"You're always one decision away from a totally different life," says one of Tolga Kumova's Instagram posts.

Kumova was an assistant stockbroker many years ago when his fateful moment came.

His boss, after a client tip-off, sent Kumova to Western Australia to pull off a capital raising deal for a small minerals exploration company looking for gold.

But the day that he was to fly to Perth, torrential rain poured in Melbourne and brought traffic to a standstill. Kumova had missed his flight.

But his boss, the chief executive, was furious when Kumova phoned him from the airport to tell him he's coming back to the office.

"He screams down the phone to my ear, ‘Get out and get on the next plane’,” said Kumova.

"And he’s South African… He has a real thick accent and it scared me. I was 30 years old."

So he booked the next flight to Western Australia and pulled off his first massive initial public offering – raising $35 million for Doray Minerals.

"It was listed at 20 cents, [then] went to $1.60."

Kumova is now worth $95 million himself.

Internet: Andrew Maloney

Andrew Maloney sold his creation for $32 million, but many years before that, as a 19-year-old, he had a business idea he needed to sell.

Seeing his mates struggle to afford notebook computers, Maloney wanted to setup a buy-now-pay-later program for university students.

He had managed to arrange meetings with the Commonwealth Bank and Apple to turn it into reality.

But then he had a motorcycle accident.

"I remember flying through the air… and thinking, “Oh God, this is gonna hurt," he said.

Fortunately he escaped uninjured, but his only suit was completely shredded on one side.

The Commonwealth Bank meeting was in three days and he knew he couldn't possibly meet with the head of retail banking in unprofessional casual clothing. But as a poverty-stricken student himself, he didn't even think about buying a new suit.

So he repaired the damage with gaffer tape.

"I got black gaffer tape and I turned the suit inside out and I trimmed all the trims and I, very carefully… repaired the inside," he told New Investors.

"Put the suit on and… the left side was just solid gaffer tape."

The combination of his home remedy and walking sideways, he says, got him through the CBA meeting without raising eyebrows.

Later he met Apple and closed the deal that started his entrepreneurial career.

Social media: Gretta van Riel

Gretta van Riel wanted to sell tea. But she had absolutely no idea what e-commerce was.

In the early days she was handling every order manually, but as demand increased she couldn't possibly keep up.

"I just didn’t know how to respond to everybody. I was thinking, 'There’s got to be an easier way to do this'," she said.

So did van Riel consult an online sales expert? A business mentor?

No, she Googled "how to create an online store".

Her search query landed her at e-commerce site Shopify, which allowed her to create an online store in just eight hours.

SkinnyMe Tea went on to sell over 11 million cups of tea around the world, and van Riel now teaches other people how to be successful online salespeople.

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today.