John Paul Dejoria, cofounder, chairman, and CEO John Paul Mitchell Systems; cofounder and chairman, Patron Spirits Company; and cofounder and chairman, John Paul Pet

Converting Back Stories Into Empires

Serial entrepreneur John Paul Dejoria is a phenomenon. He’s converted his own back story into an empire, John Paul Mitchell systems, producing over ninety products sold through 90,000 hair salons worldwide with annual sales topping $600 million.

A sixty year old back story was the seminal influence on his success he told Peter Guber. Little John Paul was living with his brother and single Greek immigrant mother near downtown Los Angeles. John Paul’s mother didn’t have enough money to buy Christmas presents, but John Paul and his brother loved to look at the Christmas window displays. When John Paul was five his mother pointed out a woman in a navy suit who stood in front of the store ringing a silver bell.

“Boys,” she said, “I’m giving you a dime. See that lady ringing the bell? Put this in her bucket.”

John Paul didn’t understand. In 1950, a dime was a lot of money to a kid who didn’t have much money. Why did he have to give it away?

Peter Guber & John Paul Dejoria

Peter Guber & John Paul Dejoria

“That’s the salvation army,” his mother said. “They need it more than we do. Always try and share. I know it’s a lot for us, but it means even more for them.”

The story his mother told him – that success unshared is failure – remained with John Paul. This sharing of success continues with the philanthropy that is associated with all his products from pet care to environmentally safe bottles for his Patron tequila company.



blog-telltowin-linkTo validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.


Susan R. Estrich, professor, USC Gould School of Law; first woman to manage a presidential campaign; lawyer; and commentator for Fox News

Use Your Props Properly Or They Can Tank Your Story

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