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The Founder of Under Armour was Once so Broke He Couldn’t Pay a $2 Toll

Billionaire Under Armour founder Kevin Plank aims for nothing less than having his company become the US leader in sports apparel and equipment.

Under Armour is expected to report another successful year, with $3.91 billion in estimated 2015 revenue, up 27% from 2014, and $408 million in profit, up 15%, according to the Motley Fool.

Plank launched Under Armour with its flagship synthetic fiber athletic shirt in 1996 with his $16,000 in life savings. After he and his friend, and now Under Armour CMO, Kip Fulks found some collegiate customers, he partnered with a textile source and manufacturer to get the business going

Plank found himself on his way home to Maryland from Atlantic City, stopped at the toll booth of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, begging for mercy from the toll operator. “It was the single worst moment of my life, having to face that poor toll booth operator, waiting for her two dollars,” he told “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John for Johns’ new book “The Power of Broke.”

“I was so broke, I couldn’t even check for loose change in the ashtray, in the seat cushions,” Plank said.

A day after his blackjack trip, Plank dropped by his mom’s house for dinner. He told her the business was going great, but he was thinking that he’d just made the biggest mistake of his life.

After eating, he went to the post office to check the P.O. box he was using for Under Armour, and inside was a $7,500 check from the Georgia Institute of Technology — the athletic director had owed him the payment for awhile, but Plank didn’t expect to get it in time to cover his own bills.

It taught him two fundamental lessons that he continues to pass onto new entrepreneurs: Don’t blame forces outside of your control for misfortune, and tough it out in the early days rather than taking on investments and giving away equity.

Source : yahoo.com

 

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