Lesson 3: Lessons From Legendary Self-Made Billionaires

I recently wrote a book, 26 Lessons From Legendary Self-Made Billionaires. I’m sharing a few of the lessons here.

Lesson 3: Be prepared for a lot of rejection.

This lesson comes from John Paul DeJoria of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Paton tequila fame. He says one of the great secrets in life is to be prepared for a lot of rejection. John learned this early on selling Encyclopedias door to door. After having one hundred doors slammed in your face, you need to be just as enthusiastic on door number one hundred and one. John recommends writing down "Be prepared for rejection" on a note and carry it wherever you go. Anytime you hear you're too old, or too fat, or to young - or whatever; take the note out and read it as a reminder.

John often shares a story called the Eagle and the Oyster. It's worth including in a book on lessons from self-made billionaires:

When God created the oyster, he gave it a free house to live in called a shell. He put the oyster at the bottom of the ocean for protection from predators, and gave the oyster easy access to food. Essentially, the oyster is perfectly taken care of. It just isn't going to go anywhere. It stays at the bottom of the ocean. But hey, the oyster has free food and free shelter, right!?

God also created something called the Eagle. The Eagle is a whole other species. If the Eagle wants a house, he goes out and builds it. The Eagle wants some food? No problem. Go out there and fly mile after mile in wintertime. Fly through sleet, snow, and rain.

Interestingly, the Eagle fails to catch its prey 95% of the time. The Eagle is so big and cumbersome that when it swoops in on its prey, they can most times take off in another direction causing the Eagle to miss.

Only 5% of the time does an Eagle succeed. And what does success mean for it? Well, the Eagle is the strongest bird in the sky. It's the only bird that can fly into the thermals of a hurricane just for fun. The Eagle, unlike the oyster, can go wherever the f%^k it wants! The Eagle, not the oyster, is the emblem of the United States.


Follow John's advice and learn not to fear rejection. It's part of the process. Be an Eagle. That 95% of the time you keep getting rejected puts you closer to your 5% success.

You might also like my book, The Golden Age: 101 Thoughts on Business, Entrepreneurship, Investing & Technology