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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 (163 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

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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 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: #257,817 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Having worked hard to overcome the challenges of coming from abroad and facing the seemingly unsurmountable challenges of a radically different culture, I find it easy to appreciate the hunger for success, and the incredible drive it takes to achieve it in spite of all the difficulties you find at each step of the way. "Everything was different; the food, the clothing, and even the 33 letters of the alphabet I was used to." But as hinted by the title, 17 Cents and a Dream, this book presents much more than the author's advice as the No. 1 mortgage loan officer in the world to "work smart and aim high"; and much more than a self-serving description of his struggle to the top.

At its core, this book frames Daniel Milstein's life as a link in a three-generation chain, coming full circle with the past. It is about the preparation for his life journey, which Daniel Milstein received from his hero, his grandfather who died from radiation poisoning after the Chernobyl accident in the USSR, Dr. Joseph Khiterer. This preparation set a dream before the author's eyes, and braced him with sheer grit to reach for it. At the same time it is about dedicating his journey to his daughter Julie, whom he lovingly describes as a girl with chocolate eyes, and with a scent of candy, soap, and innocence that warms his heart.

On the day he left the USSR as a youth, Daniel Milstein had in his pocket the sum of seventeen cents that a friend had given him for postage to mail a letter back. By holding to that 'fortune' he was taking a risk. If caught, he could have faced serious repercussions. When it was his turn to undergo the inspection, the seventeen cents jingled just slightly as the officer patted him down. The officer paused--but then let Daniel and his family board the plane.
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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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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 A truly inspiring story
This book was recommended to me by a friend who said I would like it. Well, he was right as this is the powerful and moving story of one mans quest to succeed in the land of... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Dennis Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite an inspiration
Wow.. Daniel Milstein has accomplished so much in such a short time span. It is hard to believe the hardships he had to endure. Read more
Published 10 days ago by D. Cressy
3.0 out of 5 stars A Quick Read
This story is engaging, interesting, and depressing all at once. You have to admire Daniel's spunk and determination to succeed. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Rita Francis
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring, well written true tale
An amazing, inspiring story! A quick read too. Lots of good info for young people just starting out in the working world. Proves how hard work can really pay off!
Published 1 month ago by Bob@Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars The American Dream
Experience is said to be the best teacher. Daniel's experiences taught him a lot! His journey through hardship is not only a good story, but full of sound advice. Read more
Published 2 months ago by csarpalius
1.0 out of 5 stars need to read first
Don 't know did not get a chance to read it before I had to rate this book so who knows
Published 2 months ago by Bad watch
5.0 out of 5 stars Congratulations
What an amazing and courageous story about struggle and living one's dream. Not only his, but taking others along with him. I am looking forward to reading the next chapter. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathleen A. Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book of hope and faith.
I enjoyed this book very much, even though I seldom read this type of book. Dan's faith in himself, fortitude and courage are truly inspiring. He lived his grandfather's dream. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James P. Cotten
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
I really enjoyed this success story, coming to the United States with 17 cents and a dream. Great book. You must read.
Published 3 months ago by LALETA SHIPPER
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story
Well worth reading but I wish the author had made it more personal, instead of staying out of it emotionally. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Samy
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More 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.

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