An entrepreneur who parks his luxury cars inside his office to motivate staff has opened up about how he and his family fled war-torn Iraq and why he believes everyone can be a millionaire like him.
James Donatossian, 35, the owner of printing company Printech, is now worth more than $30million – but as a teenager he wase hunted by the militia in his hometown of Baghdad.
He and his family fled to Australia when he was 16 and after finishing school, he was desperate to ‘do something with his life’ and started a career in sales.
Mr Donatossian started off knocking on doors selling credit cards when he was 18 before eventually landing a sales job for a photocopying company in his early 20s.
He worked at the company for five years and quickly excelled, earning up to $150,000 a year.
He then started his own business in 2012, with Printech now employing 27 staff and worth $20million.
Mr Donatossian, who also owns a telco company and a financial loans business, revealed how he nearly didn’t make it out of Iraq.
James Donatossian, 35, (pictured with his wife) the owner of printing company Printech, is now worth more than $30million
The father-of-two proudly owns six luxury cars – including a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, McLaren and a Mercedes – worth a combined $3.5million
He also spends between $50,000 and $100,000 a year on leasing a yacht that hosts a private chef, which he enjoys with his wife who he met in primary school
‘We came to Australia with under $9,000 in our pockets,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The militia had come in and were trying to kidnap people. I was chased twice, they wanted to kidnap me because they thought we were rich as my dad was a doctor.
‘My dad received a letter from one of his patient’s that said ”you’ve got to get your son out of the country as soon as possible, because they’re going to come and take him”.’
Mr Donatossian and his family then packed their bags and left, unable to say any goodbyes to their loved ones.
‘At the end of the day it made me stronger and more mature, but I grew up too fast,’ he said.
The businessman once lived a humble life and had fled war-torn Iraq for Australia with his family when he was 16
Mr Donatossian said he feels that he should be able to enjoy the perks of his success
He said he knew of families who had paid kidnappers to bring back their sons, but they were returned in body bags.
Mr Donatossian came to Australia with English as his third language.
He had wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a doctor but the language barrier made it too difficult.
The father-of-two now proudly owns six luxury cars – including a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, McLaren and a Mercedes – worth a combined $3.5million.
He not only stores the cars at his home in Barden Ridge, in Sydney’s south, but he also keeps them in an area at his office which he has dubbed a ‘motivation room’.
‘Since I was a kid I always had a picture of a Lamborghini in my room and always wanted to have one, now that I do I want to treat myself,’ he said.
‘I want to show people that they can do it too, I want to motivate my staff and show them that if you’re working hard you can enjoy yourself too.’
The businessman not only stores the cars at his home in Barden Ridge, in Sydney’s south, but he also keeps them in an area at his office which he has dubbed a ‘motivation room’
He also spends between $50,000 and $100,000 a year on leasing a yacht that hosts a private chef, which he enjoys with his wife who he met in primary school.
The business owner said he wasn’t fazed if people thought he was being a show off, and said at the end of the day he should be able to enjoy the money he earned.
‘If you’re successful or not, people are going to criticise you,’ he said.
‘People get motivated with what they see, but I’m easy going because once upon a time I didn’t have any of it, I’m just a hungry person and I want to achieve more.’
The millionaire said a problem he had seen in younger generations was that many were too scared of failure to pursue their dreams.
Mr Donatossian said he’d always dreamed of owning a Lamborghini when he was a child in Iraq
‘It’s hard to motivate the younger generations because they get stuck with this mindset in that what they want to do is never going to happen,’ he said.
Mr Donatossian had been told by nearly everyone around him not to pursue building his own business but chose to ignore their advice.
He said that because he had self-belief and was willing to implement the skills he had learned in sales, he was willing to risk the hefty salary he was on to pursue his dreams.
‘The hardest challenge Australians face today is that people don’t implement what they want to achieve because people tell them it’s not worth it,’ he said.
In Mr Donotassian’s eyes, anyone can be a millionaire.
‘The first thing is master what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in just be very good at it,’ he said.
‘Have a plan and implement, be positive about it, take calculated risks and just do it.’
The millionaire said a problem he had seen in younger generations was that many were too scared of failure to pursue their dreams