John Paul DeJoria and the Pursuit of Conscious Capitalism
Paul Mitchell hair products. Patron tequila.
These are the products and brands that most people associate with John Paul DeJoria, the self-made billionaire whose extremely modest beginnings taught him the value of hard work and persistence. But JP – as his friends and associates refer to him – is not your typical billionaire. His story is universally celebrated but also uniquely American. That is precisely why Accelerate DFW selected him as the inaugural inductee of the Entrepreneurs Hall of Giving on October 3rd in Fort Worth. The award recognizes entrepreneurs with extraordinary philanthropic accomplishments.
During his remarks at Accelerate DFW’s debut fundraising gala, Mr. DeJoria spoke at length about the power of business to help solve social and environmental challenges. Companies large and small have the resources and ideas to devise cutting-edge solutions that can address these challenges more quickly and efficiently than governments or charities can do on their own.
Mr. DeJoria was instituting these practices, often referred to as Conscious Capitalism (and a variety of other names), long before the terminology for it existed. Paul Mitchell products, a behemoth in the hair product industry, never tested on animals and has always used ingredients that are not harmful to customers, while never sacrificing quality. The Patron production facilities in Mexico are at the cutting edge of sustainability, like converting the toxic byproducts of tequila production into rich fertilizer that is provided to local farmers and using 100% recycled glass for bottling.
The efforts of these companies in his portfolio are not unique. Virtually all of the companies in which he is invested follow the principles of generating profit while simultaneously championing people and the planet. The list of foundations and charities Mr. DeJoria supports is nearly endless, plus he is a member of the Giving Pledge (along with fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett), committed to donating at least half of his fortune to charitable causes. He also established JP’s Peace, Love, and Happiness Foundation, which funds charities involved in child and animal welfare, sustainability, and social responsibility.
Mr. DeJoria is well known for his motto “success unshared is failure.” This is a common thread throughout most stories Mr. DeJoria relates about entrepreneurship, as does his commitment to prioritizing what’s right over what might be most profitable, but if you were to ask him he would probably say they are completely interrelated. Mr. DeJoria’s sentiment taps an evolving perspective between businesses and their customers: it is not enough to simply provide a solution to a problem your customer faces; rather, a successful business in the 21st century must also be mindful of how it conducts itself and whether customers are proud to associate with your brand. We are eager to see how this movement manifests in companies new and old.
For more information on Accelerate DFW and our inaugural gala, please visit www.accelerateDFW.org and find us on social media.