Tommy Hilfiger didn't have a fashion empire handed to him. In fact, en route to becoming the founder and lead designer of his eponymous clothing company, which does about $6.5 billion in annual sales, Hilfiger had to weather financial crises and scores of critics.
As he writes in his new memoir, "American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business," the entrepreneur started out with just $150.
Naturally, he had to get resourceful.
Hilfiger tells CNBC that these three elements helped him succeed.