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Monday, December 17, 2012

John Paul was Homeless

If there ever were a rags-to-riches story, this is definitely it. John Paul DeJoria (photo) is a billionaire (he's worth about $4 billion) today but before making it big, the co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems was homeless. Twice.

DeJoria grew up in a poor single parent household and got his first job at the age of 9, selling Christmas cards door-to-door. In his early 20s, things got so bad he didn't have a place to live.

DeJoria found himself homeless again just as he was starting up Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980 (with a mere $700). He was in the middle of a divorce with his wife at the time and ended up sleeping in his car for a few weeks.

Despite these challenges, John Paul DeJoria has said that his mom instilled a solid work ethic in him, letting him know he “could do whatever you want to do, never give up . . . keep on working, keep on going forward . . .”

Even nowadays, DeJoria travels lightly (albeit on his private jet), using the skills he learned during time of being homeless and in the U.S. Navy in the early '60s. He's proud of the fact that he takes just one suitcase on trips. "You wear your jacket with you, and get it dry cleaned if you have to."
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