A Night Dive with Sharks

by Sam Watson
SUCCESS.com Web Designer

Daymond John, creator of FUBU clothing and celebrity investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, says looking back, he now sees the roots of his entrepreneurship. Speaking to a Dallas consumer banking audience recently, Daymond shared how at a young age he was shoveling snow for money and getting paid in advance for spring cleaning, and thus funding a workforce of other kids to help shovel the snow for him.

“Success is never about money.”

Daymond framed his story around the rising hip-hop scene during the early 1980s, spending time around up-and-coming stars such as LL Cool J and Run DMC. He described the monumental scene in Queens and Brooklyn and how poised he was at the time to create FUBU clothing for an emerging market.

“Living in New York City, the inner-city kids wouldn’t notice the real heroes, their parents who put food on the table, but the neighborhood drug dealers who rolled down the streets in Cadillacs and flashy, expensive clothes,” Daymond shared. Then came the hip-hop movement, something they could identify with.

He became a roadie, moving speakers and helping set up shows of 100 to 200 people. One day, watching 30,000 people at a concert of Flava Flav and The Fat Boys, he knew no matter what he did with his life “it had to be involved in hip-hop.” Daymond laid down his recipe for success in his acronym for SHARK:

S. Set a decisive goal. And read it every day.

H. Homework. Do your homework. “A day job doesn’t get you rich; it’s your homework.”

A. Amore. Love what you are doing.

R. Remember your brand. People don’t invest in your product as much as they invest in you. Be able to explain yourself in three to five words.

K. Keep Moving. An entrepreneur might fall and stumble but always takes a step forward.

“The only thing that will get us out of these uncertain times is entrepreneurship.”

A firm believer in entrepreneurship, Daymond attributes most of his success to being decisive and taking action.

If we were to follow our passions in local organic farming, bread making, comic books or whatever, there’s probably an untapped market or a way to revolutionize and monetize that in a way no one else has. Maybe you could be the next Shark.


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