Tony Xu found life tough as a Chinese immigrant in the United States. His family had to rely on a federal assistance programme, they juggled multiple jobs to survive, and even considered visiting McDonalds a “luxury”. Now, as the co-founder and CEO of food delivery platform DoorDash, Xu’s net worth sits at over US$3 billion, according to Forbes – testament to the fact that hard work and persistence pays off. Before founding DoorDash in 2013, Xu washed dishes in a restaurant, earned money through a lawn-mowing business and even worked as a Domino’s delivery driver. His early exposure to hard work likely played an instrumental role in inspiring his future financial success. Bling Empire in New York City? 7 real-life Crazy Rich Asians we’d love to see in an east coast spin-off When DoorDash launched its IPO a few months ago, its valuation skyrocketed to US$32 billion. The lucrative public offering made 36-year-old Xu a billionaire, who, according to CNBC, owns a 5 per cent stake of the company. Becoming a billionaire so young is a huge feat, so what was Tony’s life like before he got here? He had a good work ethic at a young age Tony spoke about his humble beginnings in a recent online lecture moderated by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He described his parents’ journey as the “classic immigrant story”, with his family coming to the US with just US$200 in the bank. His mother was a licensed doctor in China and his father was a graduate student at the University of Illinois. 5 times Elon Musk proved he’s the world’s biggest eccentric His parents had to juggle multiple jobs during their early years in the US. In the Stanford interview he explained that he “didn’t see [his parents] that often” as a result, but believes that may have been a good thing in the long run, saying: “Most of my time was pretty unstructured and as a result of that unstructured time I was able to … trial a bunch of new things and … that taught me a lot of lessons.” Education first Tony’s parents worked hard to put him into a prestigious university. Tony attended the University of California, Berkeley and has an MBA from Stanford. It was with his business school classmates that he conceived the business that would eventually become DoorDash. He worked at Domino’s When DoorDash was in its infancy, Tony and his classmates wanted to learn more about the food delivery business, so Tony worked as a delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza and FedEx. “We learned a couple of interesting observations”, he noted on Substack. “It was really hard for a small business to know how many drivers they need”. Who is China’s vape and e-cigarette billionaire Kate Wang? His work schedule is pretty loaded In a Lifehacker interview, Tony revealed that his workday is action packed, and revolves around “one-on-ones, team meetings, customer meetings, recruiting and general thinking time.” He also said that he spends most of his time recruiting, and is most productive in the morning. Who is Thai billionaire heiress Nualphan Lamsam DoorDash is about helping local communities One of our goals of starting DoorDash was to promote even more entrepreneurship locally. Proud to announce the start of our program to further that cause. https://t.co/dgSB4eSGqR — Tony Xu (@t_xu) February 24, 2021 In a letter accompanying the IPO prospectus, Tony wrote that DoorDash exists to empower people like his mum who came to the US as an immigrant. “Fighting for the underdog is part of who I am and what we stand for as a company,” he said. Even before the filing, the company has announced a US$200 million pledge to support local businesses and communities “to create greater access and opportunity.” Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .