These days, billionaire co-founder of Patrón Spirits International John Paul DeJoria can buy all the tequila he wants. But there was a time when the serial entrepreneur struggled to afford a 99-cent happy hour margarita. Back then, he ordered it for the complimentary chips and salsa, which were dinner.
"The salsa was my vegetable," he tells CNBC.
As a kid growing up near Los Angeles, DeJoria would help his family make ends meet selling newspapers and Christmas cards, and later he was a door-to-door salesman. Twice he was homeless and had to live out of his car.
DeJoria is now worth about $3 billion, according to Forbes, thanks largely to Patrón, which brings in an estimated $1 billion annually according to a 2015 Fortune article, and Paul Mitchell Systems, the hair care company he co-founded, which also has estimated yearly revenues of more than $1 billion.