This week's Friday Reflection is in response to a reader who sent in this question:
“What’s the quote about getting the door slammed in your face 10 times and being just as positive for the 11th? I need to give a young man some encouragement. Thanks”
It turns out that this reader is helping his stepson find a job. It has been tough due to the economy and his stepson was losing morale. So the request was made for the quote - which is below along with the original reflection - and I went searching. I found the quote in the archives from 2007.
I was surprised, touched, and honored that a Point to Ponder from over 4 years ago would still be remembered by a reader today. I wanted to say thank you to that reader, and all of the readers, for supporting Friday Reflections. I hope it has and will continue to make a difference in each of your individual journeys.
So to the reader with the fabulous memory, here's the answer you've been looking for...
Persistence Pays Part 4: From Homeless to Billionaire (Reprinted from 11/01/07)
(Not the reader in question)
"I have said many times that the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people do a lot of the things that unsuccessful people don't want to do. Like when the door is slammed in your face ten times, you go on to door number eleven with just as much enthusiasm.”
- John Paul Dejoria.
If this were just another rags to riches story, I would probably not cover it here. However, the story of John Paul Dejoria was particularly exceptional and fascinating to me: because of his values, his "out-of-the-box thinking", and what he did with his phenomenal success.
John Paul grew up with a single parent, amongst the gangs of East Los Angeles, living in near poverty. At the age of nine, he would deliver newspapers at 3 o'clock in the morning with his brother, dreaming that he might earn $150 week someday so that he could afford a used car.
As fate would have it, while still in his early 20s, he became a single parent and now had a young son to support. To get by, he took various jobs - janitor, a gas station attendant, repairing bicycles, and selling encyclopedias - but during this time, he was homeless twice. Too proud to ask for help, he collected coke bottles and cans and cashed them in for small meals. By any standard, he was in deepest of valleys but managed to keep his hopes high.
In 1980, he finally got his break. He was able to borrow $700 with his friend, Paul Mitchell, to start a new company. This company would introduce a new line of hair care products under the brand name "Paul Mitchell".
At the time, this company consisted of one post office box and a single answering machine. The voice message on that machine was recorded by a female friend with an English accent in their office which was icidentally, the back seat of their car. The company could not afford colored ink and went with black and white packaging - which today is the instantly recognizable Paul Mitchell brand.
Instead of following the convention of chasing supermarkets and chain stores, the partners knocked on the doors of hair salons across the United States. They used an innovative sales strategy that had never been tried in the beauty industry before. They offered free demonstrations for customers and guaranteed that if the product didn't sell, the salons could return it without any conditions.
Suffice to say, the salons loved it and their customers did too. As the company grew, John Paul continued to innovate; running it with a management philosophy to hire, train and retain the best people, and reward them handsomely. As a result, his company operates with three to four times less resources than his competitors, or in his words, with “fewer moving parts ... fewer people doing more.”
With this combination of innovation and persistence in everything; ranging from design and sales to operations, his dream of earning $150/Week turned quickly into billions of dollars in assets. Today, John Paul Dejoria is still innovating. He is involved in many other ventures ranging from tequila and pet care products to solar cars and environmental projects. He donates $100s of millions to various charitable causes around the world. His motto is “Success unshared is failure.”
There are a few common themes that come out of the lives of successful people.
1. They have dreams and know what they want to achieve.
2. They are willing to pay the price (whatever it may be) to achieve them.
3. They go for them with passion and never look back.
Hint: you can see other stories in our 'persistence pays' series by clicking here