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

4.3 out of 5 stars 187 customer reviews

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Length: 200 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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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 and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1461 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gold Star Publishing (January 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,519 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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!
3 Comments 16 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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