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LOS ANGELES—“What do you ask a billionaire?” I ran this question through my mind as I stood on the red carpet. I had the rare opportunity to interview John Paul Dejoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and founder of Patrón tequila, at the City Gala, an Entrepreneur-sponsored event that’s all about entrepreneurship and creating a brighter future through charity.
As the founder of Osmond Marketing, I had many questions to ask. How do you hire well? How do you create a great culture? How do you scale effectively? But the one burning question I had was, “What advice can you give us business owners?”
Here’s what Dejoria had to say.
Be prepared for rejection.
First and foremost, Dejoria said that anyone who is embarking on a business venture should be ready to hear the word “no” a lot.
“It’s going to happen,” he said. “If you are prepared for it and know it’s going to come, it won’t be able to stop you and get you down.”
Be in the ‘reordering’ business.
If you are doing the right things with your business, cold calls will become a thing of the past. “Don’t be in the business of selling,” Dejoria said. “You should be in the ‘reordering’ business. Make sure whatever it is that you are selling is so good that people will want to reorder it again and again.”
Your product or service should speak for itself if you want to achieve success. And once you have found that success, Dejoria said to make sure you spread that fortune because, in his words, “success unshared is failure.”
Be enthusiastic in the face of all odds.
Dejoria was not handed his wealth or success. Before finding his way, he has openly talked about his humble upbringings growing up poor in Los Angeles. He co-founded Paul Mitchell with just $700 and sold door-to-door while living in a 20-year-old Rolls Royce.
Today, his estimated worth is $4.2 billion.
Through these lean times, he never lost his optimism and credits his fortune in large part to those formative years. “Be enthusiastic and don’t give up, no matter what is put in your face,” Dejoria said. “No matter the struggle or adversity–keep on going if you truly believe in it.”
Amy Osmond Cook
Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., is the CEO of Osmond Marketing. She enjoys reading business books, playing the violin, and trying new restaurants with her husband and five children. Follow her at @amyocook.
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