Monthly Archives: July 2009

Embrace Rejection


John Paul DeJoria

John Paul DeJoria

I just started reading Entrepreneur Magazine again after a long hiatus.


Three articles in the July 2009 issue caught my eye.

The first article talks about learning how to alter customers buying habits in order to get your sales going again.  In this economy, customers must be jolted into buying again, not unlike the jolt one receives from a defibrillator in order to get the heart started again.  Customers have hunkered down and have learned a new pattern of buying behavior:  they aren’t buying.  This is causing a downward spiral that by now we know only too well.  To get them to buy, you have to do something drastic like offering them something that’s almost free, just to get them to learn how to say “yes” again.

Another article lists 5 ways to ramp up marketing in a downturn:

  1. If your product is a great value, scream it from the rafters.
  2. Use social media like your life depends on it.
  3. Cause marketing can bring in new customers.
  4. Take the fear away from buying by giving an iron-clad guarantee.
  5. Give stuff away to generate some good PR

The last article tells the story of John Paul DeJoria, the entrepreneur who turned a $700 startup into Paul Mitchell Systems, a $900 million hair care empire.  Not yet done, he co-founded Patrón Tequila, accidentally creating the ultra premium tequila market and becoming rich in the process.  He’s worth an estimated $2.5 billion, making him one of the richest men in the U.S.

John hails from an immigrant heavy part of Los Angeles that I’m very familiar with. On his way to making his fortune, he sold Christmas cards when he was 9, delivered newspapers at 4am and sold encyclopedias.  John was homeless twice; he was sleeping in his car while getting Paul Mitchell off the ground.

John’s story is an amazing rags to riches story of determination.  He says the biggest hurdle in business is rejection.  The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the ability to handle rejection and soldier on. Pretty good advice.


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Layoff City




Like a lot of others, I’ve tried to maintain my optimism about an economic turnaround. That was especially tough today when two friends and colleagues informed me they had lost their jobs.  One is a recruiter in Richmond, the other is a producer for an internet radio network in Portland, OR.

I’ve wondered for some time where all the folks in Richmond who have lost their jobs due to the demise of several of this small town’s major employers, will find new ones.  Richmond is a great place to live and work but employment opportunities are very limited, especially for people like me who work in advertising, marketing and public relations.

Fortunately, there are a lot of job search resources out there and Richmond’s networking community is one of the most diverse and vibrant I have ever seen. Richmond is fighting this recession with everything it has and job seekers have a plethora of career networking opportunities and professional organizations and special interest clubs where attendees can hone job finding skills and beat the bushes for their next opportunity.

The best advice:  Don’t give up.  That next great job may be right around the corner.

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