How One Entrepreneur Started a Company With His Credit Card and Became a Millionaire

In 2007, college dropout and credit card collector Jason Calacanis started a company with his credit card. He turned the business into a multi-million dollar enterprise before he sold it for $150 million in 2011.

The who was the first person to become a billionaire is an interesting question. There are many people who have been able to start their own company and make millions of dollars, but there is no one person who can be credited with being the first person to become a billionaire.

How-One-Entrepreneur-Started-a-Company-With-His-Credit-CardSam Jain is the founder and CEO of Fareportal, a travel technology firm that owns popular brands including CheapOair and OneTravel. Fareportal was founded in 2002 with the goal of creating e-commerce sites, booking engines, and administration solutions for the retail and wholesale travel industries. Sam attributes Fareportal’s current multi-channel distribution strategy for enabling the business to survive through some of the most tumultuous periods the travel industry has ever experienced.

I recently got the chance to interview him about his experience developing his company from a concept to a multibillion-dollar corporation.

What motivated you to start your company?

It was the 1990s when I first began working in the tourism business. There were no technologies available at the time to assist in organizing the travel business in the manner I envisioned it. Because I came from a technological background, I was able to satisfy the demand for order in a very crowded company. We were able to arrange such systems utilizing technology advances that would allow for simpler dissemination since many of the airline databases were done by hand and on paper. My motivation for starting my company was to organize the jumbled distribution techniques.

What was the most challenging aspect of obtaining financing to start your business?

The most challenging aspect was having no prior experience. Investors were hesitant to lend money to someone like me. I didn’t have any prior experience in the field. My first investment was made using my own credit card. I was able to grow that original $4,000 investment in myself and my firm into the $3.2 billion corporation that it is today.

What are some cost-cutting strategies for a new business?

You must do a lot of things yourself and keep an eye on your discretionary spending, which may be very beneficial. We purchased all of the furniture for my first office from Staples for a few hundred dollars and built it ourselves. We didn’t have the luxury of having secretaries, therefore many administrative tasks were delegated to team members. Multitasking is a great way to save expenses.

What resources or tools did you have at the time to assist you with the planning stage of your business?

My team and I relied on my previous expertise in the tourism business when we initially began. I identified a gap in the distribution system that I thought I could fill with my technical knowledge to make it more efficient. Knowing what I was doing and experiencing it personally helped me comprehend it. I didn’t need to look up any information. Knowing the industry from the inside out makes a significant impact. I was able to use my expertise and utilize it in order to create functional distribution systems.

What was your one-of-a-kind selling point that set you apart from other travel agencies?

We began by collaborating with airlines. They had a “wholesale” business in place, in which they supplied unique goods to a select group of travel agents. The merchandise wasn’t readily accessible due to the airlines’ outdated business practices. We were able to enter their goods and contracts into databases and provide our agents less than 10 seconds to issue a fare code. Customers would have to wait 5 minutes for a fare code if they contacted other agencies. The efficiency with which we were able to offer the customer made a significant impact, allowing us to provide a high-quality product at a rapid pace. This was before I put it on the internet, mind you!

What were some of the difficulties you encountered in the early phases of your company’s development?

Because I was self-funded, I had to deal with being bootstrapped. I’m sure a lot of business owners can relate to it. In the first year of business, you will not earn any money. Even though I wasn’t earning any money, I had to make sure I paid all of my expenses. Because I couldn’t afford to employ a CFO, I had to keep a careful eye on my financial accounts and devote time to managing them. Also, since I had to be cautious and make sure we were always okay with financing, any company growth, marketing, sales, and giving customer support had to fall on mine and my tiny team’s shoulders. That’s a lot of different responsibilities to manage, and it’s all of these things that make the early phases of a company so difficult.

The entrepreneur to millionaire pdf is a book that tells the story of how one entrepreneur started a company with his credit card and became a millionaire.

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