Entrepreneurs

Daymond John, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson prove you don’t need to be rich to start a business

It's not just moguls like Daymond John who discuss the importance of gratitude. Science says it boosts your chances of success.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
It's not just moguls like Daymond John who discuss the importance of gratitude. Science says it boosts your chances of success.

"Shark Tank" investor Daymond John wants budding entrepreneurs to know this: You don't need money to start a business.

In a recent video interview with Business and Burgers, he says that most people falsely believe that they must have money, know someone important or have a famous last name to launch a business.

"I want people to understand that they have the power to do what they want to do," John says. "Nobody is going to come to your house … and say I'm going to make you rich."

The "Shark Tank" star proves that having a lot of money isn't necessary to achieve entrepreneurial success. In 1992, he launched the hip-hop apparel line FUBU with only $40 worth of fabric and turned it into a brand worth $6 billion.

But he's just one of many successful entrepreneurs who have started businesses with little money.

Another successful entrepreneur: the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. He started the company with his friend Steve Wozniak in 1976. Originally, the two worked out of Jobs' parents' garage, according to CNN.

In order to bring in revenue to buy the necessary materials, Wozniak sold his HP 65 Calculator for $500, although the buyer ended up stiffing him on half, according to Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography.

Jobs also sold his Volkswagen bus for $1500. But just two weeks later, the buyer came back because the vehicle's engine had broken down. Jobs agreed to pay for half of the repairs, according to the biography.

With a final total of about $1300, the two friends began buying and assembling parts to create their first products for sale.

Bill Fernandez, Apple's first employee, knew Steve Jobs (right) and Steve Wozniak (left) since childhood.
Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bill Fernandez, Apple's first employee, knew Steve Jobs (right) and Steve Wozniak (left) since childhood.

The company is now worth $750 billion and is swiftly approaching a valuation of $1 trillion, according to CNN Money.

Richard Branson serves as another great example of an entrepreneur who started a business with little cash to start.

The self-made billionaire began his first foray into business with the launch of a student magazine. He recalls having about £300, no employees and working out of a telephone box at the start, according to a Virgin blog post.

His magazine covered pop culture and music and became a success after he persuaded Mick Jagger to give him an interview. From there, the entrepreneur continued his business in the music scene by founding a mail-order record company. A year later, he opened a shop in London called Virgin Records.

Branson now owns over 60 companies that bear the Virgin name, resulting in his current net worth of $5.1 billion dollars, according to Forbes.

The entrepreneur admits that starting a business is tough. "Most people who set off in business without financial backing fail at some time in their lives," Branson tells Big Think. "I've only just stayed at the right side of that dividing line."

Yet the billionaire still urges people to take a chance. In an interview with Fortune, Branson gives this advice to burgeoning entrepreneurs: "I'm a great believer in just getting out there and trying," he says. "Screw it, just do it."

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See also:

This former factory worker is now the world's richest self-made woman

The No. 1 reason Apple has been so successful can be traced to Steve Jobs

What Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson can teach you about taking vacations

Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."