Getting Inspiration from These Inspired Entrepreneurs
Every entrepreneur has two things:
- An idea
If you’re looking for inspiration to start your next business venture, check out these entrepreneurs who made it big:
In 2006, while travelling in Argentina, Blake Mycoskie saw firsthand the challenges children faced when they grew up without shoes. That’s when the idea behind TOMS was born. Since then, TOMS Shoes has donated more than 86 million pairs of shoes to children. Mycoskie also founded TOMS Eyewear, which has restored sight to over 600,000 people since 2011, TOMS Roasting Company, which has provided over 600,000 weeks of safe water since 2014, and TOMS Bag Collection, which has helped support safe birth services to more than 25,000 mothers.
John Paul DeJoria—John Paul Mitchell Systems, Patron Spirits
Forty years ago, John Paul DeJoria was homeless and living out of his car when he partnered with Paul Mitchell and founded well-known hair-care company John Paul Mitchell Systems. Just nine years later, DeJoria’s love of tequila led him to team up with Martin Crowley and create Patrón Spirits, the creator of the popular Patrón Tequila. According to DeJoria, “Success unshared is failure.” Both companies have donated millions of dollars to local, national, and charitable organizations.
Sophia Amoruso—Nasty Gal
In 2006, Sophia Amoruso founded Nasty Girl, an eBay store that sold vintage clothing. Since then, she has turned her online shop into a multi-million dollar empire with her own clothing line and even wrote a New York Times Bestseller, #GIRLBOSS.
Jan Koum—WhatsApp Inc.
Jan Koum was born into poverty in a small Ukrainian village. When his family emigrated to California, Koum began learning about computers. In 1997, he was hired by Yahoo! as an infrastructure engineer and in 2009, he started WhatsApp Inc. Just five years later, the app was so popular that Facebook purchased it for $19 billion!
Brian Chesky and Jo Gebbia—Airbnb
In 2007, roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were living in San Francisco, unemployed and struggling to pay their bills. A design conference was visiting the area, and all hotel rooms were booked, which inspired them to purchase three air mattresses and rent their apartment out. They hosted three guests the first night, and Airbnb was born—revolutionizing the rental industry.
With a $25,000 loan from his father, Sam Walton opened a Ben Franklin franchise in 1945. In 1962, he opened the first official Walmart; and just 14 years later, the chain was worth more than $176 million. In 1985, Forbes named Walton the wealthiest man in the United States.