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Daymond John is known all over the world for starting the fashion brand FUBU. But what John has in common with entrepreneurs everywhere is that he’s had to overcome adversity to get where he is today.
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Let’s take a closer look at some of the lessons that budding entrepreneurs can learn from John’s experience. Even non-entrepreneurs will likely learn something from his career and life story.
Never give up on your vision
When John set out to start FUBU, he needed to secure a loan to get the business off the ground. But after more than 25 banks turned him down, things started to look bleak. In truth, there weren’t many other options to which he could turn.
Humiliated and frustrated, John’s mother came to the rescue. She took out a second mortgage on her home for $100,000 to help him fund his vision. Although this money was a lifeline, John wasn’t out of the woods yet. He continued to pick up shifts at Red Lobster, where he’d been earning a living while filling clothing orders out of his makeshift home factory.
Finally, John got his first real, big break. Intrigued by the trend of urban clothing, Samsung contacted him and agreed to help fund his orders if he could earn $5 million over the course of three years.
As you might have guessed, John smashed that three-year goal. He generated more than $30 million in just a few months after contracting with Samsung.
John never lost sight of his larger goal, no matter how close he came to losing it all.
Related: Daymond John Is Looking for a Few Good Unstoppable Entrepreneurs
Work smart AND hard
There’s a common saying across many different industries: Work smarter, not harder. Although this expression has its merits, John has demonstrated, time and time again, the value of working hard AND smart.
When he started out, FUBU was a very small operation, so John worked constantly. He did whatever it took to keep the engine running. In John’s mind, there was nothing wrong with this. After all, if his business was going to be successful, it would be in large part due to his own effort.
But as his business became more well-known and more profitable, John was approached about participating in a new show on which investors listened to televised pitches made by entrepreneurs. From there, the investors could make offers for equity in the entrepreneur’s company, or structure a deal in …….