Full Podcast Transcription - Episode 5
THE XTERRA PODCAST
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Episode #5: Inspiration for Uncertain Times with Guest John Paul DeJoria
Lesley Paterson: So hello everybody. We're excited to have you back and yeah you know it's really funny when you experience those times in life where you feel really funky.
Dr. Simon Marshall: Funky as in? Lesly: Funky, as in ‘wha’, ‘wha’ and I think that both Simon and I, when we feel like that together, that's a recipe for disaster right? And how do we get out of that funk?
Dr. Simon Marshall: Well, I think one thing is to look for inspiration, right? Whether that's in the form of people, things, activities that you admire, someone doing, finding something that's bigger than you, I think is a real key to getting out of a funk, forcing yourself to get out of your own head into the lives of others to provide some help, assistance, or even if it's just something that stops you overthinking.
Lesley Paterson: Right, and you know, this month is really exciting cause we have an amazing guest and just researching him has totally gotten me out of my funk and excited about life again.
Dr. Simon Marshall: It really is. this month's guest we have John Paul DeJoria. And those of you that are in in XTERRA or raced XTERRA will probably know of John Paul already, because he's the founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems hair products, which are a sponsor of XTERRA. Of course, you may also know because you've used Paul Mitchell products, I suppose.
But what many people don't know is that he was also the founder of Patron Tequila. So, having two hit out of the ballpark businesses is pretty crazy. And John Paul's story is really remarkable. And we often talk about, you know, stories of building yourself up from nothing to having a successful business. And sometimes those discussions can be a little bit trite, but in John Paul's case, this is the real deal. And there's very, as it's not that often in life that you meet people who have had these sorts of experiences have really come from nothing and built a successful brand and managed to stay a really lovely person.
Lesley Paterson: Right, so without further ado, welcome John Paul. Is it okay to call you JP?
John Paul DeJoria: My friends call me JP, please do.
Lesley Paterson: Brilliant, in preparing for this podcast, I watched a ton of videos about you so I know a lot about your history. And I think what struck a chord with me being a Scots lassie, and now I know you're partly Scottish is dealing with adversity because in this sport, I've dealt with Lyme’s disease. I've had many, many ups and downs to win these world titles. And I think a lot of people, a lot of our audience knows me as someone that just never gives up. I'm like one of those pitbulls that just kind of grabs on and I can see that that's obviously a huge part of your background.
So, if you could just maybe jump in talk a little bit about obviously coming from homelessness, building this big company and dealing with adversity and how that's made you, the person you are.
John Paul DeJoria: I'm first generation American. My family came over from Europe, through Ellis Island many, many years ago. And we were born here. We had, my brother and I, very little to nothing growing up, but we had a lot of love with my mother. So, we didn't know we had little to nothing. We thought everybody had the same thing, but this is back in the 1940s. I was born in 1944. So in the late forties, early fifties, as a young kid, we didn't have a television.
We didn't know what was going on. So we thought, okay, everybody was just like us, even though we had very little time, but we were happy because we did have a lot of love. Now, there were many challenges, my mom got very ill at one time. And for about five years, my brother and I were in foster homes, but we were fortunate to see my mom almost every single weekend and be with her, which was good. I grew up as a person that a lot of Europeans then when they were young in my generation, I don't know about today's, but my generation that is, we thought working was beautiful. So at seven years old, I sold Christmas cards. At nine years old, I did the same, 11 years old I had a paper route every single day until I was 15 delivering newspapers, my brother and I both and we contributed to the family, gave the money to my mom so we have a little better life together.
I've worked my entire life, but loved it. Because the fact we even had a job was a big deal in my day. We just thought, hey, we have a job which is so cool. Went to high school, graduated high school and immediately went into the United States Navy. I went to Naval reserves while I was in my senior year in high school, but then active duty when I graduated from high school. I spent time on the USS Hornet and I am a Vietnam veteran. Came back to United States had a variety of jobs, just quite a variety of jobs to try and find what, where I really fit in and had a lot of experiences. A lot of disappointments I've been fired many times from three different jobs. That's many times to me and even trying to start a business, there were a lot of challenges, but I believe that if you know that what you have is something that's really good, that people will like that by gosh, you've got a good chance of having a business going forward. So we believed in that.
Come later on as time grew, I decided to start my own business with a dear friend of mine Paul Mitchell who was a top hairdresser. I was a businessman, he was a hairdresser. I was in marketing and sales, he was a great hairdresser and instructor, a good educator, very well sought after, by the top educators that wanted advanced training. Together these two friends started a business. John Paul Mitchell systems. We needed $500,000 to start our business. We got a backer, but our backer pulled out at the last minute. Well, I quit everything I did and I, we went for it, but no money in the bank.
So I started John Paul Mitchell systems between my partner and I, we came up with $350 each. That's all he could afford. And that's all I had left in my pocket I had to borrow some money from my mom, not telling her I left everything to start this new business, my relationship, everything I put on the line. Lived in my car for the first few weeks. And for the first two years we were business students and we did what everyone else was supposed to do. We should have gone bankrupt every single week for two years. Now why two years do we know we made it? It was the first time that we ever could give ourselves a dividend.
We each got $2,000 and we were paying our bills on time for the first time in our career. After two years, we actually paid them on time, not the checks in the mail, I'll be there in four days to deliver, take my firstborn. I mean, we were able to finally do it and that's when we knew we had it made. We could pay our bills on time. Got a couple of thousand dollars each. Hey the moon's our destination let's go for it. Anyways, we built our company under a couple of good things to represent. One was the highest of quality, we had no money whatsoever, no advertising, no anything. So we had to make sure our products were different, better that hairdressers that used it would want to use it again and again, and recommend it to their customers to use in between salon visits, they were the experts and they knew that what we had was that great. And that's how we went into business. With that in mind, do not go into the selling business.
Many people have a product or a service, and they go into the selling business. Don't do that because everything is focused now on how do I sell my product? How do I sell my product? Go into the reorder business. All it means is this, your product is so darn good or your service is so darn good that people want to use it over and over again and reorder it or tell somebody else about it, if it's a onetime item so they can buy it too.
Lesley Paterson: Well I think it's that quick fix. A lot of people want the golden ticket to success, and they don't realize the sort of hard work that goes into it, or the mastery of the craft and that the beauty of what you're doing is in mastering the craft. And I think so many of our listeners here they'll come up to me at races and, “oh, you're so lucky. And wow, look at what you've done and this and that”, and they don't realize that it really is sort of day after day of trying to perfect your craft, busting your ass to find that success. And that is actually the beauty. It's not in the end result, the process, it's not so much the outcome. And that's kind of what I'm hearing from you is focusing on the quality of that process of that product is what's given you the success, not necessarily looking for the success.
John Paul DeJoria: Correct, and by the way, may I compliment you on your ability to communicate. You are from me right now, several thousand miles, I believe. Where are you right now? Physically?
Lesley Paterson: Well, we're in San Diego. Not that far away.
John Paul DeJoria: Okay, well, not far, okay. Because you're communicating from your soul. There was, I could feel you and you’re a distance from me, you're not right in front of me. So you know how to communicate you're very sincere, but over there now I'm really in touch with you right now.
Lesley Paterson: Hey, even with my dodgy helmet tan, can you see that? I know, so the success that you've had has been incredible, but I think what, I'm bowled over by is you, you're dealing with adversity and coping with the no. And I think that most people in life, they assume that success or reaching your end goal. Not that it should be easy, but they don't realize that the only way to get there is to have many, many failures.
John Paul DeJoria: Failure by the way, if I may interject something, don't look at it as a failure, look at it as a learning experience. I'm going to give you a fast story for people to remember. When I was selling encyclopedias in the mid-1960s, I heard this one story. A gentleman who headed up a company as president, went in and handed in his resignation papers to the chairman of the board and said, I lost you $2 million. I will not blame any one of my staff for doing it because I headed it up. I'm going to blame me. Here's my resignation. I'm embarrassed. I'm so sorry, but I'm responsible.
The chairman of the board being a very smart wise guy in front of him, ripped it up in little pieces, put it in a pile threw it to the air and looked him in the eye and said, I just spent $2 million on your education. And now you want to leave me? Needless to say the year after that from the experience, he learned, he grew that company and grew it and it grown and more than paid back to the company that $2 million, took full responsibility though. He could have blamed it on somebody else, but the end result was that was a great education. So a failure and I've had many teaches you something either not to do again or don't get involved with, with the next thing that you do. You have to look at it as a lesson, not, oh my God I got fired holy cow it’s the end of the world, where am I going to pay my rent? Many times the world works that way. If I wasn't fired from Redken, Fermodyl, and the Institute of Trichology, I could have never started John Paul Mitchell systems with $700 total, because each company taught me something different, which is time to move on, and the universal forces just pushed me along the way.
Lesley Paterson: Well, you know, another thing I learned from your history is just the support mechanism that you had from your mother and the values that you garnered from her. And I think that when it comes to dealing with failure, having unconditional love in your support network is really, really huge, right? Because you feel like you can do anything. It doesn't matter because you know you have people around you that are going to hold you and protect you when the chips are down. And so I think that's certainly a lot of my successes come from, from Simon, my wonderful husband, but my parents as well. And it sounds like some of that too has come from sort of your mother and their support network of your friends and family, which I know you value.
John Paul DeJoria: Lesley, I'd love to add to that when you were saying is so correct. When people ask for what are the two biggest things every person or entrepreneur should know, whether they're working for someone, starting their own business, whatever they want to think. And it's two things. One was being the reorder business I explained, the other one is it's very important to know. You'll have love around you and you want that. Even if it's only one person, if you don't have that one person get a dog, they're beautiful. Okay, get a golden retriever. But the second thing was this, be prepared for a lot of rejection. If you know it's going to come, it’s not going to stop you and hurt you. I learned that when I was in selling encyclopedias door to door, it's all commission only no appointments. You have to be just as enthusiastic on door number 101, as you were on the first a hundred doors that were slammed in your face. In other words, if you know you're going to get a lot of rejection, then you know, it shouldn't affect you. You're going to get it anyways. It's going to happen. Successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don't want to do.
Dr. Simon Marshall: I love that quote, on that note one thing that I find really fascinating as a psychologist is learning about this grip fire in the belly. My wife has it, you have it, you know, people in successful in their own industries all seem to have it. If there's one through line that connects stories from very different industries. It's the fact that the ability to get back up when you've been knocked on your ass. And what fascinates me is can that be taught or you're kind of born with some of it. I mean, from the age of seven, surely before you're able to consciously think about what tenacity and grit is, you have it in you. What's your approach in, it might be in a leadership sense or in the business you run, how do you sort of get people to take on that perspective and see their relationship with failure as completely being redesigned?
John Paul DeJoria: This is very interesting. You and your wife must be very elevated in your frequencies because you're communicating directly with me as if you're directly in front of me. Almost like you're talking to my soul. Good show guys. You're very advanced in your frequency. Good show, man. Let's change this world. In answer to your question, sir it's this. I was born a very happy energetic person, but it was reinforced by my mother's love and her shall we say, continuous guys, you can do anything you want to do. It's America. It's a land of the free, the streets are paved with gold, so you can do whatever you want boys. So that helped out. But what's important to know that you don't have to be born enthusiastically. You don't have to be like full of that energy when you're born, but you have to have the right mindset, even if it's a calm energy that you have. A lot people have a calm energy and the mindset is anything negative that comes into your mind, throw it away. If someone's talking to you or gossiping with you about negative stuff, say thank you very much, but I'm on a positive flow today. I really don't want to hear it, but bless you. I'm sure that's important, but I really don't want to have all this stuff on my mind. I want to clear my mind and just have positive thoughts. And that builds somebody instead of building negativity on your shoulders and does build your whole life. When you stop doing that, it's amazing how things lift off your shoulders. If you hated somebody, if you're jealous of somebody, if you want to get revenge on somebody. Forgive them, forgive them all. Even if you do it silently in your own bedroom, and nobody could hear you just say, I forgive you, but mean it. Once somebody does that, a big thing is lifted off their shoulder and their amazing energy even more, it comes back and their frequency starts to rise. So I’d like to add that to what you're saying.
Dr. Simon Marshall: I agree with that. So we see that in athletes, there was a quote I've I forgot who said it, but it was “Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die”. And so you carry the burden of being resentful or bitter or angry. So, the quicker you can sort of move on through that. And it's interesting because in psychology, now the field is moving away from, that's sort of a control model of helping people. I must have all expungable negativity, only positive. And now you think it's okay to feel insecure and nervous. And you jump with hand in hand with your fear. And that gives a lot of people. I think, permission to say, you know, you don't have to feel completely unknown devoid of fear and being scared to take the pills. And that's really what holds a lot of people back.
Lesley Paterson: I think as well, one of the things I've done as an athlete, certainly as a person in the past, I've been very insecure or, you know, had a lot of self-doubt. And I had to create an alter ego to try and cope with this. And a lot of the people out there know of my alter ego. He is called Patty McGinty and he's a kind of MMA fighter, super badass, doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks about him. Because I'm from sort of an acting and a film background. So I have a very creative side. So I developed this alter ego and in fact, we've written about it in our book. We'll get you a copy. And I wondered if you ever sort of have an alter ego that you sort of assume when you're in these different roles. Because what has intrigued me about you and what you do is you have so many different roles, you know, you're a father, you're a husband, you have all these different businesses in different fields. Do you have an alter ego go for each one? Like if you ever thought about that before?
John Paul DeJoria: I have learned in my life, and by the way, I want to make a comment talking about the ego, the alter ego. I mean, how in the world can a double world champion have any ego? You just have to show up period, you don’t have to say a word. I mean, unbelievable, good accomplishment, but let, let me answer that for you. There've been many times in my life where it is a learning process where my ego took advantage of me. I made decisions on ego and not the right decisions.
As I got a little bit wiser in my life I realized, whoa, that's bad. I'm only hurting myself. So the ego really is something that slows too many people down from making the right decision. However, don't confuse the ego with being a champion. Because the ego is just look how great I am. I'm better than you ha, ha, ha whatever that might be, the ego is talking about yourself, you're boasting. Instead of you channel all that energy into my ego is going to be a silent one. I'm going to do whatever it takes. I'm going to do what other people don't want to do. I'm going to become a winner. Whether you're first, second or third place, the fact you tried really hard you're a darn winner, but let the results of how far you have come. One of the questions you wanted to ask me is about what is success? That was one of your questions I'm going to answer right now for you.
Success, especially in sports, in all the world. Sports, especially is not where you are today, how much money you have, how big you are, how great you are, what you have as a result. Success is how far have you come from where you started? I was one of the most successful janitors in high school because I cleaned steward’s cleaners better than anybody. And I got a quarter an hour raise for it, never asked for it, but I did the job. So the thing is if you have something to do, go for it, let the end reward be that I got there or I'm almost there, I'm halfway there. The ego is look how far I have come and you don't have to tell anybody about it. Just do it. The results will speak for themselves. I had to learn that lesson myself and get the “I, me and my” out of my vocabulary unless it was necessary. And don't go toot the horn, just do what you got to do and give the praise to others.
Lesley Paterson: Well, you know, it's funny, I've had to reframe a lot, certainly. And winning races, you get to the point where you get, maybe blasé about it, you stop understanding the reasons why you're doing it. So you have to reframe all of those things in your head in order to have the motivation to continue, or the passion to continue. Again, I'm sort of fascinated with all the success that you've had. How do you maintain that passion, that drive? Do you have to keep shifting in different directions once you feel like you've sort of mastered something? Are you looking for some other way to challenge yourself? Like how do you continue to fulfill that need?
John Paul DeJoria: That is a question no one has ever asked me. And what a brilliant question to ask. When you accomplish various things you don't have to sit and plan, okay I did that. What am I going to do next? Be calm. Appreciate what you've done. And now that you've done it, one, what can I do better, two, how can I benefit everyone around me by doing it? And then maybe my city, my country, but the most important thing of all of it is open yourself up to the universe. Let the force take you to the next step. And the example I could give you is when I was fired from Redken because I complained about them testing on animals and I was upper management and upper-upper management hated that when I said this is stupid don't test on animals. Why are you doing it? Makes us look good. Yeah but it’s hurting the animals is not helping with hair care whatsoever. Well, upper management didn't like that. So a couple of weeks later I was fired.
I was not one of the boys okay. But I learned in life that there's a reason for things happening. So I left myself open to the universe, accidentally the first time. And then all of a sudden I worked for another company. I did very well there and I was fired for another reason. Stupid reason. Somebody's ego took its place and fine I don't belong here anyway, okay. Third one, same thing, but because I left myself open, I was meant, and I didn't know that I was meant to run my own company one day and not only have a decent living, but be able to give thousands of people in 115 countries throughout the world, a great living and made people look better.
In other words, leave yourself open to the universe to help guide you. You don't have to come up with every answer. If you leave your mind open, it's going to come to you. And when it comes to you with the passion and you feel it in your heart, and it feels good, go for it. If it's just for money or fame, there's no need. There's no need.
Lesley Paterson: Well, I think what strikes me about you is your self-reflection, right? Is your ability to look at yourself where you're at, your faults, your warts, and all, and that has allowed you to maintain your openness. Whereas I think a lot of other successful people, they get trapped in a world where they can no longer see who they truly are. That's a difficult thing to do in your position and that's, what's admirable. And, you know, we try and tell this to both our athletes and our friends around us. So, you know, try and use yourself as examples to keep them open and by being open, it means looking at the bad sides of yourself.
Dr. Simon Marshall: One of the things that I'm fascinated by too, living with a very successful athlete, and I'm sure your family or your wife, Eloise, JP, may talk about the same things. It's about the experiences of living with someone who's very driven and has what seems like a laser pointed focus on what they want to do and how they structure their day. And sometimes it can be exhausting to be around people like that. It's very important for us to be around people like that, but it can be exhausting. So how do you balance when passion can sort of start creeping over into obsession? We often don't talk about the dark side of passion too much about in sport. Well, this obviously over injuries, injuries over-training and your world, that might be, how do you be present for your family, when you're on the road so much, and you're getting so many talks. So how have you managed to balance that?
John Paul DeJoria: I've been married to most wonderful lady Eloise for 27 years. Now that we've been married together almost 30 years. And she would remind me all the time, you don't have to work from early to late take a little break, slow down. When I wouldn't, she would occasionally bring me a glass of wine. Here why don’t you have a little glass of wine you know? But she learned how to deal with it over the years. And I don't structure myself where I'm going to do this between this hour, that, between that hour, other than with appointments or interviews. And I try to incorporate as much family life into it, even on my traveling as I possibly can. But yes, it is a challenge. In fact, my wife is asked many, many times so are my children, is JP really like that, or it's just come on and deal with like a bomb, you know, when you first meet the guy and they tell the same thing, that's him, that's how JP just is. You know, he just is that you're seeing an individual who is himself who's very, very real. He just happens to have this extra energy. But I will tell you, as life goes on, I try and reevaluate myself twice a year, where I take off for a day or two and take a look at myself and my life. And am I happy? Where should I be going? How do I become even more calm? So it's like there's self-analysis in there also. And when you deal, like you're dealing with the same situation I am, we have wonderful lives, beautiful women as our wives and just very great people okay Unbelievable. And we have energy there. What has maybe more energy than the other one when it comes to winning stuff. And in your case, you better behave yourself because she's strong. She can kick your ass. Be careful. Yes, honey. You're right. You're right. Let me share this with you. For me being an objective person okay to you, the way to get through a marriage and through difficulty is when the other person says something, listen to what they say. “Oh honey you're so right, however”.., and then give your opinion.
Lesley Paterson: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And, you know, obviously we've got XTERRA listeners out there. You guys support XTERRA, which is very much about, the outdoors and nature, the environment and that's that plays a, you know, that's got a huge part in your heart. I know. So tell us a little bit about why that is, and maybe some of the adventures that you take outside, like how do you live your life out in the environment?
John Paul DeJoria: And let me say this to you, that in that environment that we're in traveling and such one thing, Eloise does a hell of a lot better than I do okay, is almost every single day, almost every single day, no matter where we are in the world, she walks at least one hour, many times, two hours. You’re outside and tries to pull me outside and I try more and more maybe to get on the phone and put my feet in my grass in my backyard in Austin, Texas, or do business outside because when you're in touch with the earth and you have the fresh air in the energy of the earth and the leaves and everything else and trees around you, it makes you more one with this beautiful, energetic planet. There's no doubt about it. And those that are lucky enough to be in sports that are outside sports, that's wonderful because you're grounding yourself, just being in the air. And by the way, when you're done running or something like that, take your shoes off, put your feet flat on the ground, whether it's sand, whether it's dirt, whether it's rock and ground to mother earth, a very important thing to do. But being outside adds more energy and adds more reality to you and it makes you feel good.
Lesley Paterson: Well, you need to come and watch an XTERRA event because obviously we do swimming, biking, and running all in the dirt and we have to run through the dirt from the lakes that we swim in to get onto the bike, you know, through the transition area, onto the bike and then off the bike. And we're often in bare feet running, running through the mud. So I do feel a little bit Braveheart-esk and like I'm running through the mountains in Scotland, which is, which is pretty cool.
John Paul DeJoria: You are the earth you become one with the earth.
Dr. Simon Marshall: You become almost inseparable from the earth, but XTERRA is really become like a family. It's sort of like, you know, in the triathlon world, which is a very niche world and endurance sport, the world of off-road triathlon, they are surprisingly like familial with one another. It’s not like you just show up, you race, you leave. We have long-lasting lifelong friends from this event. And I know that the role of family and the people around you, if they come are really critical part of your own, not just your upbringing and how you run businesses, but your methods of leadership as well. Have you got sort of some life lessons about managing people or interacting with people that you could share with us?
John Paul DeJoria: Yes, I do. I have a couple I'd love to share with everybody. Number one, people say it, but not everyone practices it. Do unto others as you will have others do unto you. When you talk to somebody don't demand something, work with them as a team. The two biggest things I could give anybody is how to reprimand somebody and how to compliment somebody. And I would love to share that with everybody because you're all reprimanding somebody either in your own family or a friend or maybe in business. How do you reprimand someone in business, for example, where they love you when they walk out of the office? Here's how you do it.
Prepare in advance three things. Number one, what it is that you think they did not do correctly? Okay they may have thought they did it correctly. What do you think they may not have done correctly? The second thing is how do you do it right? Why do you do it a different way? So you're reprimanding somebody, for example, on they're not smiling when they answer the telephone okay. But they're answering it good. Well, you point out that I'd like to point something out to you that, you know, answering the phone. If you smile, for example, suppose you are being courteous as you are the person on the other end knows they're talking to a happy person. They like talking to happy people. It's human nature. And therefore, you know, I'd like you to do it, you know, because that's why we ask that you do it.
Third thing is before they ever walk in that room and I'll explain the rest in one second, is this. Have something ready that they do great already so that when it's over with the last thing they hear is how, much you appreciate them and they don't get all bummed out and want to stab you in the back. But here's what it is. Whenever you reprimand somebody or tell somebody something that is difficult to handle. Never, never, never do it with anybody else around, in your own home or in your business. Reprimand people behind closed doors, one on one. The minute another person hears, and they know another person is hearing them puts you down they're going to be pissed off at you and stab you right in the back if they could without you ever knowing it. And it's not right. You're embarrassing somebody. So always, always reprimand anybody closed doors or in your family, in a private room where nobody else hears it. The third and most important thing after here's what was incorrect, here's what was right, is the praise. By the way, Nancy or George, whoever's answering that phone. That was the example okay. You are one of the best staff members we have ever had, you come on time, you're really into us in what we're doing. And because you are so great, I'm wanting to tune this up a little bit, just to make you even better, but we love what you're doing. And I know, you know, we love you because we want you. Now we want you to be here a long time and want to just tune you. If we can but we can do the same for us. If we can tune us a little bit, let's do it. You're great thank you for being part of our family and shake their hand. Give him an elbow or a, high 10 or whatever we do these days okay. Show appreciation, so when they walk out, they're feeling good about themselves. It's the opposite for praising somebody. If somebody did something good, try and hold it in if you can, until at least one other person could hear it. So when you praise people, praise them loudly. And if possible, and from at least one other, if not many other people. It makes them feel wonderful because they know someone else heard them being praised. Or if you do it in a letter form or an email as you guys do, do it and copy other people on it if it's praise. This says oh wow, this person really appreciates what I'm doing. They let this person, this person, this person know about it.
Lesley Paterson: You know, it's, it's great to see that positive energy that you have. And I know that it pervades everything that you do. It's infectious. And again, just even watching some videos of you leading up to this, I don’t know, I woke up today with just a different kind of energy right. Which is great that that's how you affect other people. What I want to know is kind of deep down in your soul what are some of your biggest fears?
John Paul DeJoria: Fears, and there are fears. There were many fears before, not so much in the last couple of years, some of the fears were, which may sound very odd to you, is, oh my gosh, I did all this. But those people try to take it away. You know, like these horror stories, you hear. And then to one day I realized they could try all they want. They're not going to take it away cause they're not going to take me away. You know, it's fine. That was a little bit of a fear, but not a big one. The bigger one was when I got into more philanthropy, we've been philanthropic our whole lives. My mom taught me that at six years old, with a dime to give a dime. It's all we could afford that year. But in philanthropy, when I started to make more money, I started doing more projects. And my biggest fear was am I doing the greatest good for the greatest number? Is this really going to the people or the environment I want, or is it going to fundraisers and administration? And I was rather fearful of that being that, oh my God, it's a lot of money. I want it to do good things the greatest good for the greatest number. I’ve been blessed, I want to share it. And that was a fear, but little by little, I learned how to investigate those things and have the right person, Constance, my executive director, really, check these things out so I know, let’s say in 99% of all cases, if we're doing something we're personally involved, I either show up myself if it's a really cool thing and getting involved with it personally, other than just donating money. So now, and now it's less fear cause we checked things out more and more that with whatever we're donating, whether it's my time going there visiting, which I do a lot, or finances that go there either before or after I arrive, that it’s going to the greatest good for the greatest number, not doing what unfortunately many people do. Great charity, then they find out later, only 40% of the money went to that charity or 50%. And they weren't helping out as much as they say.
Dr. Simon Marshall: That’s actually a good little pivot quickly to how sharing success, because one of the quotes that I have heard, I'm not going to say, cause I'd like you to talk about it, about what failure is in relation to success, but it's about having a connection with others and really being able to find opportunities to give back. Now, most people struggle because while I've got nothing to give back, because I don't have wealth, they don't have material possessions, but you have time, then you have knowledge, you have wisdom, you have experience. And so the ethos of giving back is such a critical part of success. No matter what level you're at. And it's a hard, it's a hard lesson to learn for people who themselves don't feel as though they have anything to give. What's your sort of your philosophy or your comments for some of that?
John Paul DeJoria: One of the greatest things anybody could do in their life whether you have money or not is do something for another human being without asking anything in return to make their life better, or the planet better asking nothing in return. It's one of the greatest highs in the world. My reaction is this. Austin, Texas. We have a place called you know, Feeding Austin, where we go out to with only two employees and 200 volunteers, they're contributing, what do they do? The volunteers in their free time go to, now it's restaurants again, but to food suppliers, to grocery stores, to take out places, take-out food, whatever. And at the end of the day, collect all the food, they haven't sold their sandwiches, made they’re going to throw them all away anyways, and these volunteers take them to homeless people, food centers, old folks homes, people that need it delivered straight. They are contributing with their time, which is extremely valuable.
In other words, whether it's your time, energy, if you don't know what to do, go to an old folks home and you'll wear a mask of course if we go to an old folks home because today you're supposed to do that okay, so wear a mask. Ask them are there any elderly people here that never get a visitor and go over, just say, hi, I'm in the neighborhood, name is Joe, my name is Nancy. My name is JP. Whatever my name is, I was just stopping by and you know, I want to talk to someone that maybe hasn't talked to someone in a while just to say hello, because we all humans have got to keep in touch. How you doing by the way, and be prepared for them to tell you anything bad. But by the time they unloaded on you, they're going to feel so much better. I'm really doing okay thank you. Talk to them, not for two minutes, but take 10, 15 minutes chat with them. Listen to what they have to say, and then acknowledge them.
These are just ways to do great things for people, but I'm a child of the sixties, obviously being born in the mid-forties so I know what get high is all about, okay we all in the sixties, we smoked stuff, whatever. But I promise you, I promise you. You'll never get as high in your life as you will get, when you do something for someone else and ask for absolutely nothing in return you're giving of yourself and it doesn't have to be money.
Dr. Simon Marshall: I think that's a really interesting way to look at it and some people get paralyzed they get stuck in their own head and they're busy and they're overthinkers and over analyzers and sometimes that's really helpful, but other times it can be paralyzing for you. If you're an athlete or a business person, you end up not making any decision at all. You're so worried about making the wrong decision. So I think that when we talk about making good decisions or making bad decisions, how do we try and sort of learn the lesson? Because if you're an athlete, especially, failing is clear, you don't finish very well. You don't finish the race at all, but trying to get someone to reframe it, what that means to them so that you can then move on, because then you can teach that lesson to somebody else.
John Paul DeJoria: You learn what you didn't do enough of. What did you not practice enough of, and you go to your limit. I'll give you a personal experience. JP you're not a super athlete. Now, maybe in high school, you were in gymnastics, side horse whatever. But what do you mean? You're not an athlete not there proving it. So let me tell you a little story about don't limit your own limitations okay. Don't limit it. Don't create limitations out there. Then limit those.
My son, when turned 18 years old and graduated from high school, actually at 17, he graduated high school. But he wanted to on his 18th birthday climb Mount Kilimanjaro. So I got Constance who is in charge of our executive director of our charity, who’s very athletic and out there, much younger than me to go with him. Three months prior, I said John Anthony, your dad's going to do that with you Constance is not going to do it. I'm going to climb Kilimanjaro. I don’t go on the internet. So I don't have email, I don’t check anything out. So what I did was I took my wife's treadmill and I put it at 15 degrees right. And I was on that for 30 minutes. I did that four times right. I was on that sucker, by the way, I said, if I could do this at 15 degrees, I could do anything all right.
So I go there with my son to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, took us seven days to get to the top. And that's pretty quick, by the way okay. Anyways, all along the way our guides were saying we had 19 people with us, me and my son, everything that goes up must come down. So you have Sherpas everywhere, 19 Sherpas to get up there. And several times the head guy spoke perfect English, he said, “You know, JP. By that time, it's JP or my friend, you made it so far hey, you made it to 10,000 feet. You don't have to go any further. Hey, you made it to 12,000 feet see, and the big one was when we got to 5,500 feet. That was the last stop where everybody gets to stay. Beyond that is only the guide he said “JP look, you made it. You made it to number one camp. Okay you made it all the way to the top JP. You don't have to go any further. It's okay. You made it we can tell the world.” I said, “No, I'm going up there. What are you talking about? Going up there” right? He goes, “Are you sure?” I said, “Of course, I trained for this.” I didn't tell him how I was trained, but yeah okay. So I climbed it. And next to us was this group of the most fit people in the world. They were, I would say in their thirties, early forties, best hiking equipment. I mean, these guys play with a fly in the top, right? As we went up because you start at night you go all through the night, you get up there in the morning if you're lucky, they were sitting by the side. I thought they were resting. We just kept on going. As we got up higher it was like one step (out of breath), one more step (out of breath). And the guide said, take oxygen you should take oxygen. Nope, I'm fine right. Boom, boom, boom, boom. We get to the top. And it was like one step. Breathe 10 times, one more step. And everyone else is doing the same.
We finally made it at the top and there was a sign Mount Kilimanjaro highest point in Africa, 20,000 feet, whatever was on the sign for only 20 minutes you could be up, you got to go back down right? So we popped up the shirt. There was a Paul Mitchell shirt on under me, another Patron shirt. Then we went down. Now as we went down, we passed some of these people being evacuated. So we got down. When we got down there, our Sherpas were dancing and singing JP and our guide is laughing his head off. And he said, JP, do you know what they're saying? No. He says, they're saying JP made it. He didn't die. He made it he didn’t die. JP we didn't want to tell you, but are you aware that an average of 10 people a year die climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and thousands are evacuated, and at 73, you are one of the oldest people that ever climb it. I said, no. You said you practiced. I said, I did on a treadmill. He said, oh my God, everyone laughed their heads off. And then it took two days to get back down again.
So in other words, when you're limited by what others say, what you think you may or may not do, different things happen. I didn't know any better so there were no limitations. I love you guys. I love what you're doing right now. I'll go on as many times you want. I love your energy, to you and your entire team and all your listeners peace, love, and happiness to the world. If you need me back, I'll come back on again. But I got to jump out right now.
Lesley Paterson: Great, JP, thank you so much. I hope to meet you soon.
John Paul DeJoria: Peace, long live Scotland.
Lesley Paterson: We hope you enjoyed today's podcast. And if you like what you heard, be sure to subscribe.
Dr. Simon Marshall: If you want to learn more head over to xterraplanet.com, there you can register for your next off-road race, learn more about this podcast and find some amazing gear. If you have questions or comments, you can email us at podcast [at] xterraplanet.com.
Lesley Paterson: And if you're interested in learning more about how to master your brain for endurance sports, we’ve written a book.
Dr. Simon Marshall: It's called The Brave Athlete and is available everywhere they sell books.
Lesley Paterson: And we even have an audio book. In fact, we narrate it.
Dr. Simon Marshall: Yes, that's not exactly a great selling point.
ABOUT THE GUEST
John Paul DeJoria
John Paul DeJoria’s inspirational rags-to-riches success story exemplifies the American Dream. He has struggled against the odds not only to achieve success, but to share his success with others.
After high school and service with honors in the U.S. Navy, John Paul did whatever it took to make ends meet—from selling encyclopedias and working as a janitor to pumping gasoline. He was even homeless at one time. Eventually, John Paul took his talents to several hair care and cosmetic companies before becoming an independent consultant. That’s when he teamed up with his friend Paul Mitchell to launch John Paul Mitchell Systems®.
In 1980, with just $700 in their pockets, the two friends created a company for hairdressers, salons and the beauty industry as a whole. Instead of selling to a public corporation, John Paul vowed to keep the company family-owned and privately held, ensuring that Paul Mitchell® products are only sold in the professional beauty industry.
As a businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist, John Paul has donated his time, money and expertise to helping others, always on behalf of hairdressers and the professional beauty industry. John Paul, along with Brad Pitt, Richard Branson and the late Nelson Mandela, was a patron of Mineseeker, a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeking solutions to the worldwide problem of landmines. John Paul was honored with the Sustainability Award at Fashion Group International’s 25th Annual Night of Stars event and was also inducted as a lifetime member into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. In 2010, he founded Grow Appalachia, a non-profit initiative that teaches families in need how to grow, prepare and preserve organic fruits and vegetables in a region with little access to fresh, nutritious food. John Paul was a featured panel member on ABC’s hit television show Shark Tank, where he served as a mentor and potential investor for aspiring entrepreneurs.
ABOUT THE PODCAST
Hosted by five-time off-road triathlon world champion Lesley Paterson and her husband Dr. Simon Marshall, the new XTERRA Podcast explores the stories and science behind the quest to Live More. The XTERRA Podcast will feature guests who live, work, and play off the beaten path, share first-person accounts of epic outdoor adventures, and provide valuable tips from industry leaders in the physical and mental health industries.
Find The XTERRA Podcast on major platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio. You can always look here as well to use our embedded player to listen to every episode.
Learn more about the podcast here: xterraplanet.com/podcast
Lesley Paterson & Simon Marshall
Lesley Paterson is a five-time world champion triathlete, professional mountain biker, coach, motivational speaker, reluctant fitness model, and foul-mouthed Scotts lassie. Growing up in Scotland, Lesley was the only girl who played rugby on an all-boys team. When boobs appeared she was banned from playing with the boys so she started competing in running and triathlon. Lesley went on to become a national champion in cross country and an international triathlete.
Dr. Simon Marshall grew up in Africa and the UK. He spent his childhood playing rugby, soccer and tennis before finding competitive cycling. He started training and racing at age 12 and hasn't stopped. Simon has a bachelor’s degree in Sports Science, a master’s degree in Kinesiology, and a PhD in Sport and Exercise psychology. He is a former Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at San Diego State University and Professor of Behavioral Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
Simon and Lesley own Braveheart Coaching – a San Diego based company that trains endurance athletes to be faster and happier. Together they wrote the best-selling book, The Brave Athlete - Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion (VeloPress, 2017).