A few weeks ago, I experienced one my greatest and most surreal #theFMartini moments when, completely impromptu, I interviewed the iconic John Paul DeJoria! The Greek-American entrepreneur and philanthropsist, Co-founder of Paul Mitchell and the Patron Tequila, was invited by The Hellenic Initiative and the THI international Ambassador, Tatiana Blatnik, to talk about “How to start a business with little or no money“, in the Athens Hilton hotel. Considering #theFMartini, my own entrepreneurial baby step, I thought it would be quite the fit to take some bullet points and advice from this man, who had been homeless twice in his life, and now is a Billionaire!
Little did I know what was about to happen… I got to the Athens Hilton, where the DeJoria talk was being held, straight from the office, a bit disheveled from the day and late, as per usual. Fortunately, I was just about able to catch the ever-so-eloquent and elegant Princess Tatiana, introducing John Paul DeJoria on stage. For the next 45 minutes, I was completely blown away by this legendary man’s story, who has achieved so many great things and has given back so much. Inspired on another level, I found myself tearing up more than once, was utterly captivated by every word of his and trully felt that anything is possible, if you put your mind to it and work hard for it. All I could think about was “I wish I could ask him a few Q&A myself“.
The lecture ended, followed by a reception held in the room next door. DeJoria was swept away to a third room, to give interviews to Kathimerini (a renowned greek newspaper) and CNN Greece. I decided to wait, introduce myself and express my enthusiasm about his lecture and life work. After a while, like one of those moments straight from a Hollywood movie, the doors of the press room opened and DeJoria came out, looking for his wife Eloise. It was then that Tatiana Blatnik – to whom I owe this opportunity and interview – introduced me to him! She spoke to him about her own #theFMartini interview and my blog work with the kindest words. He looked at me straight in the eyes, and in the most casual and kind manner, he turned around and said: “Would you like to ask a few Q&A, too? I have time!” My jaw dropped! CNN Greece had just exited the room, in front of me was a man that had, in the past, given an interview to Barbara Walters, and I was standing there completely unprepared for this (with not even a blog business card to show) – struck by the surrealism of it all …
#theFMartini is a blog, where I mostly love to write about Greece and share greek success stories, both on a national and international level. I can’t think of a bigger Greek – American success, or a more inspiring story than that of John Paul DeJoria! It took me a split second to realise all this, while still in the Athens Hilton. So, feeling thankful and rather overwhelmed, I took a deep breath, turned on my iphone voice recorder and said to myself : “All right, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity – let’s roll!”.
This is what I have recorded. Get the full Interview here
Thank you John Paul DeJoria for the great honor.
Thank you Tatiana Blatnik & The Hellenic Initiative for making this possible.