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17 Cents & a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Milstein , Mike Ball
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Through pure determination, fortitude and attitude, Daniel pulled out of impossibly difficult situations. His story is true, his story is a personal inspiration to me and I hope it will inspire you too to maximize your potential and go for the greatest of dreams.” - Mark Victor Hansen, Bestselling Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul.

“Powerful and inspiring, Daniel Milstein’s story is a testament to following your dreams and never taking no for an answer.” - Seth Green Actor, Writer/Director

On a cold December night in 1991, a young boy with seventeen cents in his pocket first set foot in the United States. Twenty years later that young man found himself the founder and CEO of a Multi-Million dollar corporation. Daniel Milstein’s harrowing story about how his mother, father and brother escaped the oppressive government of the U.S.S.R and immigrated to the United States and carved out a life for themselves has been described as the quintessential immigrant story of the era.

17 Cents and a Dream begins with a candid, gripping account of the Milstein family’s tough life in Kiev, Ukraine under the oppressive government of the former Soviet Union. He recalls how he and his family were affected by the 1986 explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant: Daniel was ten years old, and the disaster took place only 78 miles from their home, killing 100,000 people and spreading poisonous radiation throughout the environment. A few years later the family, struggling against poverty, government oppression, and anti-Semitism, made a secret plan to flee to America. After a narrow escape, the family arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan with no understanding of English and few belongings. Young Daniel had only seventeen cents in his pocket, given to him by a friend to cover the cost of a postage stamp so Daniel could send him a letter. In the ensuing years, Daniel endured extreme poverty, endless hunger, relentless bullying from his new classmates, and cruel mistreatment while working long hours mopping floors and cleaning toilets.

“The never-ending sense of hunger in the pit of my stomach,” he writes, “became a part of me and manifested into the drive to do more, to be more, so my family could eat without worry.”

That hunger, plus the work ethic instilled in him by his grandfather, fueled Milstein’s determination; after graduating from college, he worked for various financial institutions and was consistently promoted because of his strong work ethic.

But perhaps most inspiring is Milstein’s courage and sheer willpower as he began to build upon his success in the world of finance, working harder and longer than anyone else until eventually opening and growing his own multimillion-dollar company, Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group.

"17 Cents and a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream" is both a true American success story and a manual for anyone who dreams of becoming successful in today’s competitive world of finance and sales.

DANIEL MILSTEIN is founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group. He has been recognized as the #1 loan officer in the United States; has achieved more than $3 billion in personal mortgage originations; and is one of the top 40 finance professionals in the nation, ranked by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Milstein led the company to the Inc 500 list and one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Gold Star has over 500 employees in 43 offices across the U.S. and has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan for three years by the Detroit Free Press. Milstein holds an honorary doctorate and BBA in business management from Cleary University, Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with honors. He is the author of The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar, which in March 2012 sold 10,000 copies and became the #1 sales book on Amazon.com and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales.

*Foreword by Mark Victor Hansen


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DANIEL MILSTEIN is founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group. He has been recognized as the #1 loan officer in the United States; has achieved more than $3 billion in personal mortgage originations; and is one of the top 40 finance professionals in the nation, ranked by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Milstein led the company to the Inc 500 list and one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Gold Star has over 500 employees in 43 offices across the U.S. and has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan for three years by the Detroit Free Press. Milstein holds an honorary doctorate and BBA in business management from Cleary University, Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with honors. He is the author of The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar, which in March 2012 sold 10,000 copies and became the #1 sales book on Amazon.com and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1666 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983552746
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gold Star Publishing (January 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AXCVJ6Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,206 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple narrative March 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I have to give it to Daniel Milstein: he knows how to turn a buck through hard work. For that this is a quick read for those who feel they are forever stuck in a dead-end job.

The story is quite interesting, actually. Milstein starts the story with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Then he mentions the Soviet anti-Jewish riots of the late 1980s. Then the fall of the Soviet Union and the drastic changes about to happen for Russians and the world. No doubt there is tension and mystery here, but the writing style is so simple it reads more like a story written for pre-teens, or for those English Language Learners needing to learn the foundations of the English language. The story lacks detail and compassion to be a heart-wrenching story.

There are a few family photos in the middle of the book to give readers images of his grandfather, parents and himself as a young boy.

The theme of hope and hard work reverberate all throughout the narrative. The focus is on Dan, and how he made it big despite being pushed down, hazed, bullied and discouraged. At times the narrative reads like a motivational story of "You can do it!" What is lacking is that despite all the bullying he endured as a young Ukrainian immigrant, his success is partly due to those people who saw potential in him and gave him a chance to succeed. Instead, Milstein only focuses on and gives credit to himself for being the wealthy man he is today. The closing of the book ends in a narcissistic tone that prevents me from truly wanting to celebrate his success vicariously.

The story of how he and his family came to America and landed in Ann Harbor is interesting. The story of how he started out working at McDonald's is also worth noting.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Story Never Told. January 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
There is no doubt that Daniel Milstein is an inspiring individual. He just isn't much of a writer. He claims to have been so dedicated to achieving financial success in his adopted home that he barely has time for anything else. And it shows. This "memoir" (at just over 100 pages it's more of curriculum vitae) reads like something he tossed off in a couple of weeks. Or, at most, months. I kept waiting, in vain, for the author to reveal something about his life, or family, or friends, or other personal details that would make him come alive as an individual, rather than an embodiment of "The American Dream."

After reading his "life story" I don't know any more about the real Daniel Milstein than I gleaned from the summary. I don't even know if he's married, single, divorced, or a widower. He claims his daughter is the most the important person in his life, yet, apart from telling us what she smells like, he didn't reveal a single thing about her - including who her mother is.

Similarly, Milstein reveals virtually nothing about the line of work in which he has achieved such spectacular success. Anyone who hasn't been living in a cave knows the mortgage market has gone into the tank yet Milstein seems to have been immune from the meltdown. How come? How did he keep from going bankrupt? What is the secret of his success in the financial industry - apart from working harder than anyone else?

After being induced by an email from one of the author's friends (or publicists) into reading this "best selling" author's memoir I checked out his self-help book and the free sample contained the same material as opening chapters of this book, related in the same vague, unspecific language. Less than forty years old, and Daniel Milstein is already recycling his life story. As a writer, he's a hell of a salesman!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dare to dream...dare to do. March 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
April 26, 1986 an explosion tore through the Nuclear Power Plant at Chernobyl and, as it did for hundreds of thousands of others, ripped through the life of a young boy named Daniel Milstein. The long range impact of this explosion has yet to be measured, and probably won't be for generations. How it changed the life of young Daniel can be measured in this notable work of a man who came here to the States with 17 cents in his pocket.

Leaving that country at that time was a treacherous undertaking; never knowing if, or when, the officials would intervene, crunching hopes, dreams, lives in their grip. It brings to mind the emotions of our veterans of Viet Nam, holding their collective breath, waiting for that Freedom Bird to be airborne.

Yet the veterans were going home. The Milstein family was leaving behind all they knew; their deep roots in a city founded in 882 when the Varangians, or Vikings, moved the capital city of Novgorod to Kiev to free it from under the hegemony of the Khazars. It is a city that lived through the Einsatzgruppen slaughters at Babi Yar,

Kiev had played a major role in Russian history; the very name Rus coming from the term for the Vikings. It was the only world young Daniel knew. To leave it meant giving up home, history, and passports; truly a move of no return.

The Milstein family took the chance at emigration and were fortunate to make it out from under the thumb of oppression, radiation, food shortages.

They came here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY !
FABULOUS STORY, THANKFUL THAT MY FRIENDS CASSY & JON HUMBURGER SUGGESTED IT - REALLY INSPIRING
Published 3 days ago by Kimberly Holman
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
A very inspirational story of family, sacrifice and HARD work. Congratulations to Daniel and his family. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Deb B
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoy reading books about others life stories........Loved the book
Published 24 days ago by Reba
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 29 days ago by unsubscribe!
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read.
An interesting self-promoting book, but still, it serves it's purpose reminding us that it is still true that anyone who works at it can make it in America.
Published 1 month ago by R. Laughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very nice
Published 1 month ago by bill medbery
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history and story of rags to riches by going for your...
I started reading and couldn't put it down. Very interesting hearing the authors childhood and history. I started reading and couldn't put it down.
Published 1 month ago by kim E.porter
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing novel
this book is amazing!!! Well written and enjoyable. Such an inspiring rags to riches story. I truly loved this book
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Inspiring story. We are truly blessed to live in a country where we can dream and live our our dreams into reality. Daniel's story is a terrific read for all of us. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Scott Spink
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!
It was very interesting and I enjoyed it very much. The family had to go through so much and lived to tell about it.
Published 3 months ago by Judi H.
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More About the Author

DANIEL MILSTEIN is the author of "The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar," "17 Cents & a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream," and "Street Smart Selling: Street Smart Selling: How To Be A Sales Superstar." He is known as a successful business executive, author, job creator, company builder, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group, an Inc. 500 Company.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Dan and his family experienced hardship, religious persecution, and life-and-death situations, all in the shadows of one of the greatest disasters that ever occurred, the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Forced to escape the Soviet government, Dan's family fled to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Highly motivated to succeed, Dan worked his way up from mopping floors in a McDonald's restaurant, through a series of difficult and challenging jobs, to ultimately establish one of the 15 fastest-growing financial services companies in the United States.

He graduated with honors from Cleary University, earning a business degree, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater. He is currently in his second term on the Cleary University Board of Trustees.

Under Dan's leadership, Gold Star has grown to be a national leader in the mortgage industry, with offices across the U.S. The company has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press, and a Michigan Economic Bright Spot by Corp! magazine.

Dan has been ranked the #1 loan officer in the United States, out of more than 550,000 professionals in the lending industry. He has been included in the prestigious "40 Under 40" in Crain's magazine, "30 in Their Thirties" in DBusiness magazine, and has been named one of the nation's 40 Top Finance Professionals by National Mortgage Professional magazine.

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