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Rags to Riches

Wednesday, 6 Jun 2007 | 4:04 PM ET

No one embodies The American Dream like John Paul Dejoria. A first generation American who hit rock bottom early in his life, he eventually turned around and started not just one, but two multi-billion dollar businesses, each making him $1 billion each!

At one time, he was homeless, living in a car and collecting three dollars a day from returning empty bottles. At other times in his life, he was a janitor, an encyclopedia salesman and even repaired bicycles! It wasn't until -- along with his good friend Paul Mitchell -- he set his sights on the hairdressing industry, that he became a co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems. Later, his love of tequila also led him to launch the Patron Spirits Company, now the maker of one of the best-selling premium tequilas out there.

Jean Paul's "Rags to Riches" story is an inspiration for anyone out there thinking they just can't overcome the odds. What's most inspiring about his story is not simply his words, but his work ethic -- no matter if it's hair products, repairing bicycles or making tequila, he has always strived to be the best. He's even turned down extremely lucrative offers to sell Paul Mitchell in order to stand by the professional beauty industry and to continue making high-quality products. He's a great guy and an encouragement to us all.

He took over last night's Speaking Deutsch segment with some more inspiring words: "You make your own opportunity; you make your own destiny; believe in yourself... because you can do it." He reminds us all that, no matter what the odds, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Questions? Comments? donny@cnbc.com