5 Things With Daymond John

Every Friday, the world gets the chance to see multi-million dollar investor Daymond John in action as he makes some of the biggest business decisions on television. For six seasons, the Shark Tank regular has brought his expertise to American television, now he seeks to help young entrepreneurs make their dreams come true.

But there’s much more to Mr. John than his savvy business persona and fly style. The Queens, NY native’s background shows just how far one can truly go if they take a risk. After all, that’s what business is about: taking risks.

The FUBU creator and author doesn’t hold anything back as he shares tidbits about his life, career, and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. 

Growing Up Daymond

“I grew up in a lower-middle class area in Queens where most people know as the home of Run DMC and LL Cool J. I had a normal childhood, you know, playing in the streets and doing all of the normal stuff. I fell in love with the lifestyle of hip-hop, and I couldn’t really find any other people who were really supporting and proud of the people who were wearing the clothes and other lifestyle things that we were purchasing as hip-hop consumers. So I decided to come out with my brand FUBU (For Us By Us).”

It Was Always About Business

“I always wanted to be a businessman. I’m dyslexic, so school was always very challenging. At that time, we didn’t have very many images of people that were our color that were successful in the areas of business, even though there were many out there.”

Being the Boss Comes With Sacrifice

“That world has a lot of ups and downs and joys and pains. Many people may think that [being the boss is] a position where you sit there and point the finger and tell them to get your coffee or they’re fired. But being in that position, you’re always working. You continue to sacrifice. You’re usually the first in the office and the last to leave. Many people will get paid around you and you will be the last to get paid (if you get paid) since you own the company.

When times are great, they’re amazing, and when they’re not, you have to risk it all again. You’re not supposed to tell anybody your problems because your job is to listen to everybody’s problems. They’re your employees; they’re not going to run the business. They’re not going to be there to listen to you because it’s not their job to listen to you. All those things come with it, it’s a big responsibility, but over time you learn that that’s the way of life.

You Gotta Love What You Do

“If you’re like, ‘Wow. we’re gonna make money money money money,’ then the only reward will be money. That’s IF you ever make it. But when you’re part of a movement and doing something you’re really excited about, the money, hopefully, is gonna come. But even if it doesn’t, you had a great time.

When I started FUBU, I had my friends with me and I was dressing people. I loved to put things together, and somebody would purchase and wear the outfit the same exact way that I would put it together. I would’ve dressed people for the rest of my life for free, so I was very excited and passionate about what I was doing. That is the key to investing. Be very passionate and excited about the product and the people or the results of the product that is for people.”

Entrepreneur Tip

“Understand social media. Don’t use it as purely a form of entertainment. Understand the concept of how to create a following. Understand that it is a very powerful platform to monetize and sell something. Once you test that, you may be able to open up a store or a company. So use it more than just as a tool for funny jokes or stupid videos, you know what I mean?”

Daymond, along with a few other savvy businessmen and women, will travel to six cities to hear live pitches from young entrepreneurs as part of Miller Lite’s “Tap the Future” competition. Catch him every week on ABC’s “Shark Tank” Fridays 9/8C. His book, “The Power of Broke” is available now.