There are few people in the hair industry, let alone any other industry, who have truly achieved worldwide recognition. One of those people is Vidal Sassoon. The other, arguably, is John Paul DeJoria, Cofounder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and the top-shelf tequila Patrón Spirits Company. On Thursday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, hundreds attended the Los Angeles red carpet premiere of Good Fortune, a new documentary narrated by friend Dan Ackroyd that chronicles DeJoria’s life and philanthropy.
Despite DeJoria’s current wealth—Forbes estimates his net worth at $3.1 billion—his upbringing was anything but plush. Good Fortune chronicles the loss and adversity DeJoria endured in his early years, including foster care, two bouts of homelessness, and losing his brother. Yet despite the emotional and financial hardship, his lifelong devotion to giving back has rewarded him tenfold. The film opens with a clip from Shark Tank, on which DeJoria is a guest “shark.” The other sharks are incredulous that the contestant, a farmer from Florida, isn’t charging enough for his invention to reduce agricultural water consumption. The bemused farmer can’t understand why he’d charge more when he doesn’t need it, and DeJoria agrees, hopping in to offer the all the support the farmer needs to get his company off the ground. This is but one act of the “Conscious Capitalism” that DeJoria practices, which puts people before profit. He has signed the “Giving Pledge,” alongside fellow billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to give 50 percent of his earnings to charity, is involved in more than 160 charities and actively helps to improve the planet as well as people’s lives.
“Everyone has a definition of success,” DeJoria says in the film. “It’s not where you are today and how much money you have, or what kind of a big position you have. Success is: Are you the best at what you do? And, success unshared is failure.”
Speaking of failure, the film doesn’t gloss over some of the mistakes DeJoria made along the way. But the film makes it apparent that his positive attitude, alongside his driven work ethic, has helped him get to where he is today. “In the end, everything will be OK,” DeJoria says in the film. “And, if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
After the screening, the directors and DeJoria hosted a Q&A where they asked viewers what the movie meant to them. “Your good fortune is the world’s good fortune,” one attendee answered. Photo by: Amy Dodds
Good Fortune is set for limited nationwide release beginning June 30, and will become available for download on iTunes and Amazon on August 1. Visit goodfortunemovie.com for more info.