15 August 2009

From being homeless to being worth $2.5 billion

I love reading stories about people who have overcome real hardship to become incredibly successful. Most of the time these people are very generous and huge contributors back to society because they know and understand that life can change on the toss of a coin.

One story that I read recently was about a man called John Paul DeJoria. The first 45 years of his life were spent chasing a dollar, trying to be a father, getting into lots of trouble and generally struggling to make ends meet. In that time he was homeless twice and forced to try and survive on the streets.

But then he started a company with a friend and his life changed. They both invested $350, making the grand total capital investment of $700 (John borrowed his $350 from his mother). The company was called Paul Mitchell Systems and they started off producing and selling hair care products which they sold door to door (John had sold encyclopaedias door to door in his earlier life, something I have done as well – so that is part of the reason his story resonated with me).

From there the “boys” built a company that turns over close to $1 billion per year. Along the way they started importing a special blend of tequila which, you guessed it, has become a huge success.

Today John DeJoria is worth about $2.5 billion. He spends time with the likes of the Hells Angels and Cher (a bizarre combination I know) and he counts his blessings every day. Amazing what can be achieved when you put your mind to it, regardless of how old you are or what your past has dished out to you. If you want to know more about John do a google search and you will be impressed.

There are incredible stories around the place. If you find yourself in an entrepreneurial “hollow”, pick up a book or a magazine that has some of these incredible stories and it might be enough to snap you out of it and get you fired up to make your first billion.

Till next time.

2 thoughts on “From being homeless to being worth $2.5 billion”

  1. Jean Burman says:

    Ok now I’m inspired… where do I sign up? (((chuckles))) So great to catch up on your blog posts AG.

  2. Thanks Jean – I always appreciate your kind words and I love following your blog. Cheers, Andrew.

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Andrew Griffiths is Australia's #1 small business author with 12 best selling books now sold in over 60 countries. He's a writing and publishing expert, an international speaker and leading business advisor with over 20 years' experience. Andrew presents around the world and is considered an expert in entrepreneurship and an authority on building a profile. He is a thought leader through writing, publishing and speaking and is featured regularly in mainstream global media.

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