Author: Daniel Milstein

Publisher: Gold Star Books (January 5, 2013)


The name Daniel Milstein may not ring a bell, however, after reading his mesmerizing personal memoir, I assure you that you will be inspired never to give up on your dreams.

Daniel is the founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group who has led his company to the Inc 500 list and to becoming one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Employing more than five hundred employees, the company's forty-three offices are spread across the USA. And The Detroit Free Press named the company a Top Workplace in Michigan for four years. In addition, Daniel holds an honorary doctorate and BBA in business management from Cleary University, Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with honors.

His first book, The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar became the number one sales book on Amazon and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales. Now with his most recent tome, 17 Cents and a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the U.S.S.R. to Living the American Dream, Daniel once again illustrates that with the right combination of motivation and perseverance daunting challenges and appalling events can be overcome no matter what odds you may be up against.

Daniel begins his memoir by recounting his and his family's experiences concerning the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe which occurred very close to his home in Kiev, Russia. His depiction of events that transpired as a result of this horrendous calamity is not a pretty one and tragically it even claimed the lives of his grandfather and grandmother. After experiencing ugly antisemitism as well as the fears from the Chernobyl radiation after-effects, Daniel's family decided it was time to escape their motherland and journey to the golden land of America. This was no easy feat and the planning and actual escape were filled with many perils, however, in Dec. 1991 at the age of sixteen Daniel together with his parents and young brother flew off to Michigan eventually settling down in Ann Arbor.

Arriving in the promised land with just the shirts on their backs, nearly penniless, with little knowledge of the English language or American customs, Daniel and his parents worried how they would even survive in this foreign environment. As Daniel recounts: “when I first started school, the challenges virtually exploded. I couldn’t communicate with anyone or make friends and, worst of all, I couldn’t understand what was being said by the teachers. Learning wasn’t just difficult, it was nearly impossible. It wasn’t long before some of the kids started making fun of me for having an accent, or for the way I dressed. Coming from a longstanding enemy of the U.S., they made me feel like an enemy—an outsider—from the very start.” For seven months Daniel's family were forced to be on welfare and they couldn't even afford to properly feed themselves. It was so bad that Daniel lived on a diet of bananas as they were inexpensive and nutritious and he needed to eat something to get him through the day. His mother would sometimes walk miles in the middle of winter to take advantage of the various grocery store sales while at the same time using her five-person allotment of one hundred and twenty-five dollars per month of food stamps.

To help his family meet everyday expenses, young Daniel began working in an auto shop, however he was determined that this was not going to be his final destination. Moreover, he strongly believed that his new homeland was going to be a place for opportunities and not failure. He applied for every advertised job finally ending up as a lowly employee at a local McDonald's restaurant. Milstein “worked his butt off “ at McDonald's and he credits his experiences as the catalyst that helped him succeed in his future endeavors.

This fascinating memoir is a reminder of the inner strength all of us possess and which Daniel realized early in his life how much willpower he really possessed inside of himself that eventually enabled him to overcome many of his difficult challenges. The story is devoid of self-pity or regret but rather it serves as an affirmation that no matter how difficult life may appear at any given moment, it is up to us to deal with it, learn from it and persist in achieving the goals we set out for ourselves.

Follow Here To Purchase 17 Cents & a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview With Daniel Milstein

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