Many entrepreneurs fund their passions, products and ideas for self-made businesses on a wing and a prayer. Though lack of funds may cause many to avoid stepping out on their own to succeed as an entrepreneur, there are several stories of those who overcame the odds to build multi-billion dollar products and brands.
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As shared on Forbes.com, John Paul Dejoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell and Patron Spirits, was once homeless and living out of his car before pooling together $700 to start Paul Mitchell. Based upon his experiences from being homeless to now being a billionaire, he offers the following four secrets for entrepreneurs to build world class brands from the ground up.
1. Create the best product you can and know it’s the best product.
“Believe in yourself and know you have a great service and a great product that will put you in the reorder business… You’re never selling–you’re trying to get it into someone’s hands, whether it’s a service or a product–knowing it’s so darn good they’ll want to order it again or tell a friend about it.”
2. Stick to your vision and be ready for rejection.
“You’re going to run across a lot of rejection. Be prepared for the rejection. No matter how bad it is don’t let it overcome you and influence you—keep on going towards what you want to do–no matter what… You need to be as enthusiastic about door number one-hundred as door number one.”
3. Win over your early customers again and again.
“Once [a customer] says yes, you have to put your personality into it. Go by and thank them, make sure it’s going well…You must pay attention to your first customers—real attention, because it’s easier to keep somebody than to get somebody new. And those people you give the extra attention to will be your best sources for recommendations because they’ll like you and tell someone else.”
4. Hire one employee for multiple roles—it makes the company more flexible, efficient and lean.
“If you are hiring people, give them two or three jobs, and pay them a little more. If things get tough, you’ll never have to lay them off.”
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
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