Daymond John is the founder of FUBU clothing and an investor on Shark Tank. In a Business Insider podcast he gives an insight of his success and how it happened. I’ve summarised the podcast here.
Daymond John starts by describing the shock of his stage 2 cancer diagnosis and his gratitude at its safe removal. He says that being healthy again reinvigorated his drive. Daymond continues to encourage people to get checked for early detection and loves how that can save lives.
He reminisces about his childhood and the massive influence of his mother and her work ethic. Entrepreneurial at a young age, Daymond John describes how he and and his friends took scrap bikes, reassembled them and sold them on. He also bought and sold chocolates at a profit and used the proceed to buy a television to watch his first Mets game.
As a child, he was taught and encouraged to dream.
Daymond John was massively influenced by the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He read it three times and set lots of goals. Daymond kept reading and visualising his goals although achieving them wasn’t all straightforward. He hit some dark times and realised that he had to stop just chasing the money and pursue something more.
FUBU (For US By Us) is Daymond John’s clothing brand and it started as a hobby to create clothing for his favourite rapper influences. His main motivation was to get a free pass to the filming sets for his favourite rappers’ video sets!
Daymond John describes the culture of FUBU as a place where all people are respected. He advertised by painting the gates of houses and shops with his brand -once he had asked permission.
In 1992, FUBU took off and became much more real for Daymond John. He turned his home into a factory, got a distribution deal in 1996 after an advert asking for a million dollars of investment. And in 1997 the brand went global selling thirty million dollars of product
Daymond John talks openly about his dyslexia and how he didn’t really know he was dyslexic. He isn’t ashamed of his dyslexia, rather he attributes a lot of his success to being dyslexic. His mother continually encouraged him to find what was special inside of him and to deal with his challenges. Daymond attributes the unique and innovative workarounds he finds to challenges to his dyslexia. He thinks it contributes to his success as an entrepreneur.
Initially, Daymond John thought Shark Tank (an American equivalent of Dragon’s Den) sounded like a waste of time but he he flew out to L.A anyway to hear more as it was a free flight to see his friends. He obviously liked what he heard because Shark Tank took off and is now in its tenth season.
‘Rise and Grind’ is Daymond John’s book and it focuses on being an antidote to being sold the insecurities of life. He talks about how and why successful people do the things they do and that it is about so much more than just the money.
Daymond John ends the podcast with some great advice:
- Don’t quit your day job.
- Set goals and network with people.
- Build your network and find mentors who are willing to invest in you.
- Take affordable steps.
- Be willing to learn how to do all the parts of your business.
- Invest in yourself as it is the biggest investment you can make.
I highly recommend listening to the whole podcast. It’s great to hear the success story of someone with dyslexia and it’s really encouraging and insightful.
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