Daymond John at a young age had a vision for his passion of hip-hop and fashion, as he planned to create a brand-line of attire for the culture of hip-hop. It all started with placing his t-shirts into videos. The public believed that FuBu was a huge company, even though he only had 10 t-shirts made up, while working at a restaurant as a day job. His motivation for FuBu was his love and passion for Hip-Hop even though he considers himself a poor rapper and dancer.
His connection for working with LL Cool J as a sandwhich runner and his productivity and ambition to get his product out was the beginning to something greater than he realized.
Daymond John sees “Entrepreneur” as “somebody who is responsible for every single failure that stops at them. They are somebody that needs to figure something out and they are not going to figure it out right away, but sooner or later it will unlock a way for them to be productive. An Entrepreneur is about taking responsibility for your own actions and realize that there are many people that will help you in regards to your success, but only you will be the one responsible for your failures.”
For Daymond it was easier at the start of his business for him, but now he says “It is easier now to fail”. At his level he feels he has too many options and not enough information. He tends to throw money into projects and 80% – 90% of them don’t work out. But in contrast he also has plenty of resources which allows him to wait and look at other opportunities that some wouldn’t take on.
As an entrepreneur “you never stop learning”. Even though he failed way more than succeeded, he can see his strengths and weaknesses from his failures, that allows him to grow in areas he’s passionate about and thrives in.
Advice On A Worthy Project For Entrepreneurs
Set your goals in order to achieve milestones. Even if you have a side project with a minimum of 7 hours a week, set affordable steps and goals that you feel you can hit. This may help you discern your priorities to apply continual effort towards your project.
Is your priority to make thousands of dollars a week? Or to make a change in the world, in service to someone’s life? What are you in it for?
“At the end of the day, you’re the customer. What are you going to get out of it? My quest right now is to change people’s lives, have one at the same time, and challenge people.” – Daymond John
The Joy In His Workmanship
“I wanted at first to empower a culture and I was fortunate enough that many people helped me.” says Daymond John, “I felt bad when I was making a lot of money and I had a lot of people around me but they were around for the wrong reasons” When business spiraled downward, he started seeing how people were.
This made him realize that he wanted to have fun, but also make money with people he admired. The passion for his FuBu project in his early days was about having fun, and bringing something to those around him. To Daymond, it’s more about the lifestyle. The family, friends, health and people around him that can experience his service. Profit of money to him comes after.
It’s Business, Nothing Personal
A line is to be created between business, and personal. Don’t believe that other businessmen are out to cut you down. Daymond himself has fired many friends and humorously said “Are you coming to the barbecue tomorrow?“. The only problem is that they can’t do business together.
Business and personal both require a covenant that must be kept. for example, to a customer, if you’ve made an agreement to provide for that customer, and you break the agreement. That customer will move elsewhere.
It’s the same with friends. If you give your friend a number of hours to work with you. He agrees, but then only works 5 hours a day. The covenant is broken. Both parties must be functioning cooperatively. Daymond from experience has had to let go of many friends in hard positions.
Daymond John personally does not work on something new often, but instead continues striving at what he knows he’s good at, and continues to improve.There are no shortcuts when it comes to attaining goals and results. You either learn the abilities in order to grow, or find someone in that area of expertise.
“I try to partner up, and strategic partners are way more important than money. I’d rather split a dollar in half with somebody and make way more than go try and learn it myself and lose trying to learn a whole other industry.” – Daymond John
Learning From Failures
Even though Fubu’s exposure was globally extensive. There were many mistakes and fall-backs that the company endured. Creatively Daymond John understood his business. But he didn’t know “the business behind it”. They lost about $5 million on an album they were working on with an artist.
At that time he learnt that there is no shortcuts. He didn’t hit a record executive and he wasn’t keeping track of numbers. “Did we get a lot of exposure? Yes! But from the business model, we died.” Daymond also learned that unless you have goals set, you don’t know what you’re doing.
When it comes to salaries, create a formula. “Surround yourself with a mastermind group. What are your liabilities and assets? Take affordable next steps and keep growing and growing.”