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7 entrepreneurs who sold their cars or prized possessions to start a business

Embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship often requires sacrifices, and for some visionary individuals, this meant parting ways with their cherished cars or prized possessions to fund the birth of their business ventures. This article explores the inspiring stories of seven entrepreneurs who chose to sell their personal assets to turn their dreams into reality.

  1. Elon Musk - Tesla, SpaceX:

One of the most well-known entrepreneurs globally, Elon Musk, faced financial challenges during the early days of his ventures. Musk sold his luxurious McLaren F1 sports car to fund the initial stages of SpaceX and Tesla. Today, both companies are pioneers in their respective industries, revolutionizing space exploration and electric vehicles.

  1. Sara Blakely - Spanx:

Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, started her shapewear empire with just $5,000. To gather the initial capital, she sold fax machines door-to-door and even parted with her car. Blakely's determination paid off, as Spanx became a billion-dollar brand synonymous with innovative undergarments.

  1. Richard Branson - Virgin Group:

Renowned entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, made a bold move in the early days of his career. To fund the launch of his magazine, Student, Branson sold his prized asset - a necklace that had been a family heirloom. This marked the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey, leading to the creation of the Virgin brand we know today.

  1. Jan Koum - WhatsApp:

Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp, faced financial struggles in his early days as an immigrant in the United States. To make ends meet, he worked odd jobs and even sold his Porsche 911 to cover basic expenses. This sacrifice paved the way for Koum to focus on developing WhatsApp, which eventually became one of the most widely used messaging platforms globally.

  1. Brian Chesky - Airbnb:

Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, faced financial constraints while trying to get his startup off the ground. In a desperate move, he and his co-founders resorted to selling collectible cereal boxes to fund their business. This unconventional approach eventually led to the creation of a global hospitality platform that changed the way people travel.

  1. Steve Jobs - Apple:

Before Apple became a tech giant, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had to gather funds to kickstart their business. Jobs famously sold his Volkswagen van, and Wozniak sold his scientific calculator to raise the capital needed to build the first batch of Apple I computers. This marked the humble beginnings of a company that would redefine the technology landscape.

  1. Daymond John - FUBU:

Daymond John, known for his role on Shark Tank, is the founder of the iconic clothing brand FUBU. In the early stages of FUBU, John sold his car and even mortgaged his home to fund the production of the first FUBU hats. His dedication and willingness to part with personal assets eventually led to the success of FUBU as a prominent streetwear brand.


These stories of successful entrepreneurs who sold their prized possessions to fund their dreams serve as a testament to the resilience and determination required to build a successful business. The sacrifices made by these visionaries not only shaped their own destinies but also left a lasting impact on industries and the entrepreneurial landscape as a whole.

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