Image source: Daymond John

How Daymond John Becomes the Irreplaceable Symbol of Success

Although Daymond John could not receive the same educational background as others, he proved to the world that he could defeat the given destiny by his constantly learning and absorbing new knowledge.
By Iris Cao | 8 min read
on August 18, 2020
Image source: Daymond John

Daymond John, also known as Daymond Garfield John is one of the world’s most successful business owners and respectful CEOs. His long career list ranges from being an entrepreneur, investor to being an author, television personality, and motivational speaker. Yet, his popularity comes mostly from being the founder and CEO of FUBU and for his role as an investor on ABC television Shark Tank.  

Until now, the amount of money he has invested in the startups on the show has gone up to millions. Every week, millions of viewers tune into the show to see who will receive a valuable investment offering from Daymond John and if he would provide any advice for the potential entrepreneurs. It can be said that his influence in the world of entrepreneurship is huge since there would be few people who could compare to the success of this Daymond John. 

This New York City native is not only successful financially, but he has also received huge respect and a strong network of followers owing to his motivation works. These works include his speaking around the country and publishing the books that purposed to motivate the entrepreneurs into achieving the same level of success as he did.  

Daymond John has been so popular that it is easily understandable that people would look to him as a role model for success in business. Yet if learning from his success by sitting down and reading one of his books might take you some time, then looking at Daymond’s resume would be a better way or in other words, we will look at his past journey that contains the real-world experiences that resulted in a successful Daymond John that we know today.  

How Much Is Daymond John Worth?

Daymond John has been a symbol of success in the fashion world for decades and respected by many by his business talent and impressive bank account. It is estimated that the CEO’s fortune worth is over $300 million and his organization, FUBU, has generated $6 billion in sales since it was first established. 

When Daymond John joined the Shark Tank show in 2016, he earned an Emmy Award for his performance as well as an Outstanding Reality Program from 2012-2014. Today, several brands and celebrities are willing to collaborate with him aiming to create additional revenue streams and brand extensions. Some of his clients include the famous rapper Pitbull and the Miss Universe Organization.  

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Image credit: Press associate

Besides, he is a brand ambassador for the e-commerce company Shopify as well as consistently advancing his preferred design and clothing items on his Daymond John profile. His FUBU has been loved not only by artists in the entertainment industry but also by the sportsmen. This brand has been worn or supported by LL Cool J, Janet Jackson, Will Smith, Lennox Lewis, Whitney Houston, and many more.  

First Venture: Commuter Van Service 

Daymond John’s first big venture was a commuter van service. After graduating from high school, John started this business when he owned his commuter van. Every day he drove it about 16 hours and came home with $300 a day. However, after doing some calculations, he realized how much his little business costed him. It turned out he was only able to earn only $50 per day despite his working hard.  

After this realization, he changed his career path to work at Red Lobster and appeared to like working in this restaurant more. He said he could make a hundred dollars per day and he knew how much he got paid for his time plus he could go home without any stress. Although at that time he could decide to return to the world of entrepreneurship, then he stayed back and believed that he could learn a lot from this experience. He learned with this situation how important it is in producing and utilized this experience in his other professional ventures.   

His Breakthrough: FUBU  

Today, perhaps his biggest company FUBU, the clothing giant is what makes people most admired of Daymond John. At a time when John noticed that there was a trend in the wool hats with tops tided with fishing line in the city. But those simple hats were sold at the price of $20 in his area. This motivated him to start making his own and selling them for $10 each in front of the New York Coliseum. This strategy landed him $800 per day and this was also the base for his coming up with FUBU later.  

To gain enough capital for FUBU establishment, Daymond and his mother had to mortgage their home for $100,000. He also kept on working at Red Lobster to pay for the bills. And it was until he could convince LL Cool J to wear one of his shirts in a promotional event that orders began pouring in. Then Daymond’s mom took out the second mortgage on their house. The rest belonged to history. Now the brand is reported with a net worth of $6 billion.  

Daymond John on Shark Tank 

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Image credit: Press associate

As the show’s creator, Mark Burnett requested, Daymond joined the cast of Shark Tank in 2009. Since his first performance on the show, he has invested millions of his dollars in several ideas pitched on the show. Among them, he said 2 deals that were his favorite are Bubba’s Q BBQ and Bombas socks.  

Daymond John made a deal with Al “Bubba” Baker when he invested $300,000 in this boneless rib business for an exchange of 15% stake and the business was generating around $150,000 annually when the deal began. The restaurant was doing better and after negotiating a deal with CKE Restaurants, Bubba’s Q BBQ is averaging $16 million in business every year.  

His second favorite deal, Bombas, was also another success. Daymond invested $200,000 for 17% of Bombas business. Bombas is indeed a company donating one pair of socks to the charity for each pair sold and was earning an income of $450,000 annually at the time of this deal. And next nine months later, that revenue rose to $12 million. It can be said that Daymond clearly has the golden touch. He used to say: “I appreciate an entrepreneur I can get behind and trust, since I know they are putting effort to move forward in life”. 

Daymond John’s Success as a Writer 

With so much success from business, Daymond decided to write as a way to inspire other entrepreneurs. And during his career, this multi-faceted CEO has released four different books and each of them as successful as the last.  

His first book is called “Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding, and Lifestyle”, which he describes the founding and development phase of FUBU. With the book, the readers will know better about John’s history, his struggles, and how he made it to the top of corporate America. In addition, he also talks about what it takes to make use of the potential power that everyone has inside of them to reach their own goals and dreams.  

The Brand Within-The Power of Branding from Birth to the Boardroom was his second book, which concentrates more on business. While the first one was mostly about FUBU business, with his second one, Daymond put effort into motivating and empowering the young entrepreneurs. He also emphasized the importance of looking at the loyalty relationships that entrepreneurs, companies, and celebrities can form with their customers with customers and fans. Not only the idea of branding is mentioned in the book, but it is also about what the customers would expect when they buy into a brand.  

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Image credit: Press associate

And the third best-selling book by Daymond John is The Power of Broke-How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage. This book was published in 2016 and became a hit. Daymond believed “the power of broke” has been something he has been practicing since the first time he started selling home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. It was when he knew he had to think of unique ways to promote his products as he had no money to do it.  

Finally, his latest book in 2018 following The Power of Broke is called Rise and Grind. John believes that to shortcut the way to the top, you need to put in more work. It means that you need to work harder to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone else. And to achieve that, you need to rise and grind. In this book, he also mentions the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of the individuals who found their way to rise to the challenges and grind their way to the top. Along the way, the readers can also know how the grit and persistence both assisted him to overcome the obstacles in life and ultimately fueled his business.  

Daymond John: Why Learning Is So Crucial? 

To become this successful, there must be one key that sets Daymond apart from others. And he believes it is learning that helps him achieve the status like today. Daymond was not lucky like others when he could not afford to attend a college. Yet that does not mean that he stops learning. He said while working at Red Lobster, he was able to learn a lot from necessary communication skills like listening, asking questions to business knowledge like customer service, inventory control, employee management, and more. 

Daymond John believes that when it comes to learning and educating, it will never be enough, the entrepreneurs should search for ways to make themselves sharper and more well-informed about the industry they are in. There should never come a time when we could be satisfied with ourselves and say, “that’s it- I know everything I need to know”. Especially, in this fast-changing world, learning to adapt should be put as everyone’s priority. 

Education expands your network and resources 

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Image credit: Press associate

Daymond John claims that even though a person can be good at sales naturally or he could have strong entrepreneurial skills, without connections and resources, his revving business is likely to be stuck in neutral.  

There are several ways to build your resources. According to John, you should listen, read, ask questions, and absorb everything. When someone suggests a resource, never say no, instead check it out.  

In terms of building your network, you can take courses, attend workshops, networking events, trade shows, and conferences. These will give you a chance to meet more people who can share experiences and knowledge and even assist you with your business.  

Daymond recalls the days when he first started FUBU, he spared lots of time to attend countless workshops, which taught him a lot. Later, with years of experience, business successes, and failures, he founded a program called Daymond John’s Success Formula, which contains several instructors who can teach every need-to-know thing about how to start and scale the business.  

Education sharpens your financial intelligence 

After Daymond John found the initial success with FUBU, then the lacking financial intelligence and discipline costed him. The Notorious B.I.G. used to say it, “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” and Daymond admits that he has seen it happen all around him. He also witnesses the failures of some of his favorite athletes, musicians, and businesspeople, who did not do their homework and surround themselves with the wrong people. Thus, it should be wise to know that financial intelligence is non-negotiable and the only way to gain it is by educating yourself. 

Education gives you access to mentors 

Daymond John believes that the more you reach for education, the more mentors you will meet. His first mentor was his mother. He said, as a single mother, she was, in his eyes, the ultimate entrepreneur, who he learned a lot from especially her work ethic. His mother was one of the few people who could trust and support him when he first started FUBU. Since then, “several mentors have come into my life”, he said.  

There are numerous ways to find mentors. According to Daymond, they are everywhere, a mentor does not need to be a famous or untouchable person. You can indeed find them in the places you would least expect. You might be stuck in a job which you do not like. And Daymond suggests that while plugging away, why not seek out management, an executive team, seasoned co-workers, who can help you to answer your questions. If you are a student, the mentors could be professors, teaching assistants, students that you admire. Even in workshops, trade shows, and conferences, you will have a chance to meet your mentors. Daymond recommends the young start-ups to hold their chance by striking up the conversation with coaches and attendees in those workshops. The self-made entrepreneur says that “you’ll realize that most people will be willing to help you and happy to answer your questions.” 

Education protects your assets, including your biggest one-you 

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Image credit: Press associate

It is true that as an entrepreneur, you are your own brand. There would be nothing that could replace you, which makes you an asset and all assets need protection. Daymond claims that it is so crucial to ensure about the plans in place that could protect your good name. The best way is to look for professional advice from the attorney who specializes in asset protection. The billionaire emphasizes the importance of this protection, “prepare and change the plans that could benefit and protect you because trust me, not doing these will cost you a lot in the long run.” 

Education helps you channel your energy 

The final benefit of learning is that you can know how to control your energy. There is no doubt that the entrepreneurs are the ones who are bursting with energy and ideas and who are constantly on the move. Their wheels are always turning and there is no definition of “a day off” in their dictionary. Daymond believes that caffeinated intensity will fuel and get you far, but it is better to learn how to utilize every ounce of that powerful gift to greater work. For example, you can navigate that energy into useful activities such as attend a communication class, read a business book or watch a YouTube video about entrepreneurship. 

According to Daymond, investing time into building a business is important, but that does not mean keeping your nose so close to the grindstone will lead you to the right way. Sometimes, it is better to take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at the big picture to get the macro as well as micro vision. There would be new resources, people who come to your business life. When it comes, just let them in. Let them assist you in how to think differently and more intelligently. This will help you take the best advantage of your energy so you can move on and take further steps toward achieving your goals. 

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