John Paul DeJoria may not be as much as a household name as the likes of Richard Branson, but he is just as successful. He overcame near impossible odds to elevate himself out of some desperate situations. Read this blog post and be inspired!
DeJoria is the ultimate self-made billionaire and entrepreneur. He was born in 1944 to an Italian father and a Greek mother in Los Angeles. When he was two years old, his parents’ marriage broke down, and to help his family stay afloat, he began selling newspapers and Christmas cards so they could eat. He and his brother were eventually taken into foster care, as his single mother was no longer able to take care of them due to financial hardship.
As a young man, DeJoria spent two years in the Navy. Following this, he worked a number of menial jobs including janitor work, and door-to-door sales. He was homeless, living in his car at the age of 20. However, this did not stop him and a friend named Paul Mitchell from trying their hand at business. They managed to procure a $700 loan, and used it to form John Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980.
DeJoria turned out to be multi-talented in the area of entrepreneurship. In the same decade, he launched a drinks company called Patron Spirits Company, as well as a night club chain called House of Blues. Decades later, he has interests and owns parts of huge businesses including car dealerships, food and beverage manufacturers, as well as a diamond business.
Later in life, John Paul has developed an interest and involvement in the film industry, getting in touch with his creative side. He started by making minor appearances in a number of films and shows, including Don’t Mess with the Zohan, as well as a few TV commercials. He has also been a producer and director. He is a “Shark” on America’s biggest business investment show (equivalent to the UK’s Dragon’s Den).
It can be easy to think you have to be from a privileged background or already have a lot of money to even start a business, let alone succeed in running one.
DeJoria had a very rough start in life, and one could accurately say he came from the wrong side of the tracks. But he had a mindset centred around possibility. Necessity meant he had the opportunity to develop inventive ways of making money, thus uncovering a real talent for sales and business.