Starting up a business from scratch is never easy. There are a lot of things you will encounter along the way. Some thrive and are working their way towards success; however, many will also fail along the way. But failure is not the end, especially if you are determined to succeed in this path that you choose to take.
Whether you are thriving or at the point of breaking, the good news is some people have gone ahead of you. There is so much that we can learn from seasoned business owners and their success stories. These entrepreneurs started with no capital, no funding, and sometimes no education or experience, yet they could build massive successes.
John Paul DeJoria
John Paul DeJoria started selling at the age of nine. He used to sell Christmas cards and newspapers with his older brother to support their family. When he grew older, he even worked as a janitor and tow truck driver to meet the family’s needs. Eventually, he entered the world of hair care, where he met Paul Mitchell, who then was a hairdresser. The two eventually became his business partner. With a loan of $700, John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell started a business that turned into the conglomerate now known as John Paul Mitchell Systems. Later on, DeJoria co-founded the Patron Spirits and became a founding partner of the House of Blues chain. DeJoria became so successful with a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Kevin Plank is the founder and executive chairman of the famous sportswear brand, Under Armour. While he was still at the university, Plank used to sell roses on Valentine’s Day, where he earned $3000, which he used as seed money for Under Armour. It wasn’t easy for Plank to start his business—Plank sold Under Armour’s first shirt from his car. The company’s break came late in 1999 when the company was nearly broke, and employees agreed to go without pay for a week, just so the company could take out a $25,000 advertisement in ESPN The Magazine. That ad blew and resulted in $1 million sales in the following year. After that, athletes and teams began buying Under Armour, and Plank became a billionaire in 2011.
Jan Koum is the co-founder and was the CEO of WhatsApp. From a small village near Kyiv in Ukraine, Koum was born in a poor family. In 1992, they emigrated to California, where Koum started learning about computers in his spare time. By the age of 18, he became interested in programming and had developed impressive skills. In 1997, he was hired by Yahoo! As an infrastructure engineer. After a decade, he resigned and later on applied to work at Facebook but got rejected. Later on, he realized the vast potential of the app industry, and in 2009 he started WhatsApp Inc. By 2014, WhatsApp became popular and later on acquired by Facebook for $19 billion.
Sam Walton is best known for founding Walmart, which grew to be the world’s largest corporation by revenue and the biggest private employer in the world. Walton started in the industry with the help of a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law, plus $5,000 savings from his time in the Army. It was an instant success in the retail industry. In 1962, Walton opened the first official Walmart located in Rogers, Ark., And by 1976, Walmart was worth more than $176 million, which makes Walton the wealthiest man in the United States during those times.
George Soros is one of the most successful investors, having a net worth of $8.6 billion as of March 2021. But, with all that he had today, it wasn’t a smooth sailing journey for Soros. In 1947, Soros was a teenager in Hungary who fled Nazi persecution to live in England. He worked his way through the London School of Economics to obtain his degree despite having little money to fund him. Then, in the 1950s, he moved to the United States, later becoming an investment manager for several major firms. He eventually started his hedge fund and later on built his own company.
Now that you know the stories of these great entrepreneurs, it is time to carve your own story by starting your own business with The Inspection Boys. You have the potential to be a successful entrepreneur.