John Paul DeJoria

John Paul DeJoria


John Paul Mitchell Systems & Patron Spirits Company

Los Angeles, CA USA

Success unshared is failure.


By Roadtrip Nation

John Paul DeJoria


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
I was raised by a single mother and would find odd jobs to help her support our family from the time that I was nine years old.
I didn’t have the grades for a scholarship, so I chose to join the U.S. Navy rather than go to college.
After leaving the Navy, I held a variety of jobs, including driving a tow truck, selling encyclopedias door-to-door, and running a boiler room for Time Inc.
When the opportunity arose to work for a beauty company, I took it because I knew that could be an industry that I was passionate about.
I worked for three different beauty companies and was fired from each—though I had helped the companies succeed, the upper management either didn’t believe in me or didn’t think I fit in with them.
My friend Paul Mitchell (a hairdresser) and I founded John Paul Mitchell Systems to sell hair care products—when we started, I put all that I had into the company and lived in my car!
In addition to working with John Paul Mitchell Systems, I co-founded Patron Spirits Company and also spend a lot of time giving back to different communities and charities.
Keep following my journey


High School



I co-founded a beauty company and a tequila maker.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Working with Others

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Instead of taking any job out of high school or college, try and find a job or industry that you think you might be passionate about. I had no experience in the beauty industry, but when the opportunity arose to work for a beauty company I took it—even though it was very little money—because I thought I could be passionate about it. I ended up becoming successful because of that passion. Once you find a job you're passionate about, do that job better than anyone else even when no one is looking.


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You're not management material. You're not one of us. You don't fit in."

Challenges I Overcame