Envision a man who understood true struggles. Having known homelessness, this man was likely to remain hopeless regarding his financial situation; instead, he found it within himself to keep pushing forward. As a child, he grew up poor with his single mother. Yet she told him, “You may be poor, but there are so many people less fortunate than you.” His mother’s words rang true to him for years to come. He did everything he could to make ends meet, including selling encyclopedias door-to-door, selling Christmas cards, and becoming a janitor. He refused to believe that he would be stuck in this life of struggle and so he eventually met up with someone and started a line of hair care products. This man is now worth $2.7 billion.
John Paul DeJoria teamed up Paul Mitchell in 1980 and turned $700 into the popular John Paul Mitchell Systems, one of the most thriving hair care lines in the world. He is also the founder of the tequila company Patron Spirits Co., in which he sold his 70% stake to Bacardi in 2018. This billionaire has one of the most inspirational rags-to-riches story: not only because of the hardships that he faced, but also because of how he deals with it now.
DeJoria is known for his charitable contributions. He is always looking to make the world a better place, including through his contributions to anti-poaching organizations and signing The Giving Pledge – a pledge to give half of his earnings to better the world. He says, “I have been so down and out in my life. It makes me feel really good to be financially blessed and give back. I get great joy and a great high out of it. It’s my way of paying rent on this planet to share with others less fortunate.”