5 Wildly Successful Businesses with Humble Beginnings

Are you looking to start your own business but apprehensions get in the way? Many new entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about their new enterprises. They imagine it to take off the ground, grow, expand and become large companies in the future. However, this excitement is also often coupled with fear – and the most fatal of all is the fear to fail.

If you’re looking for inspiration and motivation to push through that brilliant business idea of yours, here’s a list of successful businesses with humble beginnings.

1.       Nike

You probably already have one of those famous Air Jordans, but did you know that Nike Shoes started from a handshake between its founders? In 1964, track coach Bill Bowerman, joined forces with his running athletes, Phil Knight, to import inexpensive but high-quality Japanese running shoes. They initially sold Onitsuka Tiger, which is now popularly known as Asics. The two was later joined by Jeff Johnson and started selling Nike shoes from the back of his van during athletic meets. From there, Nike has dominated the sports community with its vast offering of shoes and apparel, and today remains to be one of the coveted brands with such impressive influence.

2.       Apple

Apple is a wildly famous brand, but did you know that its founders, initially invested their knowledge, expertise, time and effort with little financing backing? Yes, Steve Jobs and his partner, Steve Wozniak didn’t start with a real office. Instead, they built their first few computers straight from the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents’ home. Today, Apple is one of the reputable technology brands that’s worth around $750 billion.

3.       Disney

Every kid today has heard of Disney, but what many people didn’t know was how this famous and highly successful business began and flourished throughout the decades. Roy and Walt Disney worked at their uncle’s home, doing sketches and cartoons of what we know today as Disney characters. Their cartoons soon rose to fame, but not without the hurdles. The company lost a lot of money and nearly went bankrupt. But Disney rose to the challenges and today is one of the most profitable companies in the world.

4.       Mattel

Everybody knows the beautiful and famous Barbie dolls, but a lot of people are unaware of Mattel’s humble beginnings. Mattel, the famous brand behind Barbie, started as a toy company that started with creating doll houses out from frame scratch. When these houses sold like pancakes, the founders figured they could start creating toys, like the Barbie doll, and do away from the framing industry. In 1959, the first-ever Barbie was created by Ruth Handler. Over the years, Mattel started making a variety of other toys and operate several other known brands, such as Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price.

5.       Google

If you want to search for something, you “Google” it. Google has more than become a company name; it has also become a verb that many people use nowadays. While Google has such imposingly huge headquarters in Palo Alto, has thousands of employees and is today the most popular search engine in the world, did you know that their first office was from a garage? Google was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, students who graduated from Stanford, who had the vision to create a resource of a database for anything on the web. They rented the garage of Susan Wojcicki, who would later become Youtube’s CEO, and from then, has grown and expanded considerably. Today, Google is more than just a search engine; it also offers a slew of tools and features like Drive, Maps, Email, and online courses.


Your business won’t grow as successfully as Google or Nike or Disney overnight, but what this article wishes to impart is that even these giant companies started small. They started from a terrific idea. The founders worked on their ideas even if it meant initially working on a garage, and they invested every available resource, especially commitment and dedication, to make the business grow.

What the founders of these successful businesses also tell us is that we all go through a process. Success doesn’t come in a day, in a month, or even a year. You will meet several hurdles along the way that may weaken your spirit and tempt you to surrender, but that doesn’t mean that you should. You have to press through and persevere with a positive mind and spirit, and who knows, your idea can turn into a business that grows even beyond your wildest dreams. Anything is possible, right?


Evoni SeiglerComment