I understand what it’s like to be poor, despite the fact that I’m by no means John Paul DeJoria. I grew up in a dilapidated area with an exposed, one-meter-wide sewage drain right outside our door. I am a serial entrepreneur today, and my companies have assisted thousands of people in starting their own businesses.
Before DeJoria became a billionaire, he was homeless twice. He is the co-founder of the Patrón Spirits Company and the Paul Mitchell Hair Care Company. Here are four lessons that business owners may take away from his inspiring journey out of poverty.
1. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
DeJoria wanted to succeed on his own, but he was too proud to ask his mother for a place to stay while he was homeless. Instead, he requested a few hundred dollars from her to tide him over until he could stand up again.
DeJoria’s motorcycle-riding friend once offered him a room where he and his son, 2, could stay. Some of the “biker mothers,” as DeJoria called them, even helped care for his son so he could go out and work. DeJoria acknowledges that the act of support changed his life.
It’s difficult to say if DeJoria would have become the enormously successful businessman he is today if his friend hadn’t given him a leg up. You will occasionally require assistance if you are an entrepreneur. No self-respecting businessperson desires assistance. But having blinding pride can keep you from achieving your objectives.
I had no money when I launched my first company. I distributed business cards while walking the streets of Southall, London, as my first venture. I went to the Yellow Pages after that. I boarded the bus to get to my meetings. I’ve even scheduled a meet-up for a guy at a tube station.
I bootstrapped because I lacked funding or the tools to obtain financing. For the first few months, I didn’t get a salary or any dividend payments in favor of investing every single dollar back into the company. That company today has over fifty employees and generates several million dollars in revenue annually. That serves as the motivation for each new project I launch.
3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
DeJoria needed half a million dollars to start John Paul Mitchell Systems, the hair care product manufacturer that eventually made him a billionaire.
According to his version of events, DeJoria used up his last bit of cash shortly before he hopped in his car and drove off to collect the $1.5 million from the startup’s investor. When the lender pulled out later because of rising inflation, DeJoria was once again homeless.
We’ll refer to this as “cash flow” in business speak, a term that far too many companies came to know well during the COVID-19 crisis. DeJoria overestimated his chicken count and came up short.
Even though the word “entrepreneurship” is sometimes written as “risk,” this risk is foolish. I’d like you to keep an eye on the cash flow, please. And hold off on purchasing that brand-new fleet of Tesla Model S company cars since you have a written contract with funds that are not yet in the bank. Wait for 10 minutes to avoid unnecessary stress and indigestion.
4. Blaming others is pointless.
According to DeJoria, he never sought out a culprit. He simply hustled and started gathering soda bottles. I understand. My time spent in Southall, London, handing out business cards to numerous businesses didn’t initially result in any leads.
But instead of being angry or despondent and looking for someone to blame, I modified my approach. The business began to flow after several months of slogging.
Entrepreneurs need to start working right away. There isn’t time for whining. And placing blame on others won’t make you rich. Those who have had to fight their way out of poverty frequently have a different perspective on money.
Money comes and goes, but their underlying conviction that they can earn more of it does not. And that is the fundamental spirit of entrepreneurship: the readiness to face the difficulties of the world and the confidence that none of them are insurmountable.
Courtesy: The News Networks