Today you’re in for a real treat. I interviewed a friend of mine, and king of dad jokes, Daymond John. He was telling so many dad jokes that had me rolling, I didn’t even think we were going to be able to record the interview.
Not only that, but he is an amazing businessman with great insights anyone can use.
If you’ve ever wondered how to become an entrepreneur, how to get started in investing, and how to balance your work and family life, you’ll love Daymond’s perspective.
On this episode of The School of Greatness, Daymond shares the most important things he’s learned from the most successful people ever. One of the biggest things is one we all neglect: our health. By taking on the lessons that he shares in his newest book Rise and Grind, Daymond learned to listen to his body and discovered cancer in his throat.
Daymond is a truly remarkable man who has started from the ground up and is constantly learning and changing his game to adapt not only to the world around but also to how he himself is changing all the time.
Daymond is the CEO and Founder of FUBU, a famous lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, and his marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today.
In 2009, he joined the cast of ABC entrepreneurial business show Shark Tank by acclaimed producer Mark Burnett. Shark Tank has been such a success, it’s now on its 10th season!
Get ready to take notes from Daymond’s insights on Episode 598.
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 598 with New York Times bestselling author and the Shark Tank master, Daymond John.
Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.
Stephen Covey said that, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
We’ve got an incredible guest today, my friend, Daymond John. And if you don’t know who he is, throughout his career, he has continued to be an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. He is not only a pioneer in the fashion industry, turning FUBU into a six billion dollar brand, but a shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, New York Times bestelling author, branding guru, and highly sought after motivational speaker.
Even President Barak Obama appointed Daymond as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, a position focussed on promoting the power and importance of entrepreneurship on a global scale. He consults for some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world, and his Shark Tank group share advice and experience on branding, licencing, social media, product placement, marketing strategy and overall business consultation.
In this interview, we dive in on some of the things that I haven’t heard Daymond talk about before. And things he doesn’t talk about in his new book, which is, what Daymond has learned from the other sharks the most. Also the greatest negotiation Daymond has ever done. Why it’s important to schedule in time for your family, and the lessons Daymond has learned through having multiple kids throughout his business career.
Also, how Daymond discovered cancer in his throat by listening to his body, and the key to optimising health. Also, how to separate yourself from everyone else in any business. That and so much more! I’m super pumped about this. Make sure to take a screenshot of this while you’re listening, tag me and Daymond John on Instagram or Twitter, let us know that you’re listening.
And, as always, we’d like to give a shout out to the Fan of the Week. Every week we get reviews from people who are listening, who love the podcast, who get great results from the information, the inspiration they’re hearing from the interviews. And so many of you have left reviews. We’ve got over 2500 five star reviews, I think, at this point.
So, this week’s Fan of the week is from Derek S. who said, “I just stumbled upon this podcast after iTunes recommended it, when I finished Tim Ferris’ Tribe of Mentors. As a former collegiate athlete, your tone and mindset resonates very deeply with me. And when you mentioned your experience with abuse as a child on the judgement episode, and the way you overcame emotional issues after 25 years in silence, I was truly inspired and began reflecting on some of the similar issues of resentment and anger I have carried for over 29 years of my life. I can’t wait to get through all these episodes and begin implementing the actionable advice you gave in every podcast. Thank you for being genuine and honest and helping another young man begin to reshape his life through a clearer, more purposeful lens.”
So, Derek S. thank you for sharing that, and I just want to let you know that you’re not alone, and that I’ve got your back, and I know what you’re going through. So, continue to open up your heart, continue to share, let go of the things that you’re holding on to that you’ve been resenting or haven’t forgiven, and allow yourself to feel free, my friend. But, thank you so much for leaving that review. You are the Fan of the Week. And if you guys want a chance to be shouted out on the podcast, go ahead and leave a review over on iTunes, or you can just open up your podcast app that you’re listening to on your phone, and you can leave a review right in the podcast app through your iPhone.
And I’m always looking for the best ways that you can optimise your business, your entrepreneurship and your life, and one of the things I’ve been talking about lately, is really optimising your bookkeeping. Peace of mind with finances is one of the most powerful things that we can have, and that’s why our sponsor today is Bench. It is the online bookkeeping service for your business. They give you a team of bookkeepers to do all your financial books, and simple, elegant software to track your financials.
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And one of the keys, that I talk about, to my success as an entrepreneur and my business has been the focus and implementation of high quality design. Branding and design. There are so many people talking about the same things, so how do we differentiate ourselves in any industry. Well, the design, the story, the messaging, the branding, that all helps you resonate with an audience.
That’s why I use designcrowd.com/greatness for so much of my branding and design. When I want to do book covers, when I want to do social media graphics, all the ads that we do for social media on Facebook and Instagram. When I’m doing any type of design for websites, whatever it may be, Tee-shirt design, anything you’re looking to do, logos. So many of my courses have been designed through designcrowd.com/greatness.
It’s so easy to get started. A typical project receives 60-100 designs from designers all around the world, that you get to give feedback on and get more results back from on these different designers. And at the end of the day, you pay when you’re happy with the result that you want for your specific design.
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Thank you, again, to our sponsors for always supporting us in getting the message out there to more people in the world, we couldn’t do it without you.
And without further ado, I’m super pumped for this one! Get ready, guys, the Shark himself! The one, the only Daymond John.
Hi, and welcome back everyone to The School of Greatness Podcast. We’ve got the legendary Daymond John in the house. Good to see you man!
Daymond John: Thank you for having me!
Lewis Howes: And the reason we’re laughing right now, is because Daymond just told me two dad jokes that were hilarious!
Daymond John: Really bad dad jokes, really bad!
Lewis Howes: The last one had me rolling! We’ll do an Instagram story later where you guys can see the dad jokes. Man! Good to have you back on.
Daymond John: Thank you for having me.
Lewis Howes: You got a new book called, Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life. If you guys haven’t got it, go get it right now. Powerful lessons in here, examples, case studies, all the good stuff. You’re a legend, man! Shark Tank continues to elevate, you know, you wrote…
Daymond John: I’m not a legend, I’m just one of those people on the show. I think, that the sharks are really not important to the show at the end of the day. I think that it’s the fundamentals of the business that all of us know. It’s just that Mark Burnett and ABC do a really great job editing and putting information out there that people need to learn from, but any business person that knows the fundamentals could be on the show. But, yes, thank you for saying that I’m somewhat on the show.
Lewis Howes: It’s great, though, it continues to elevate. I still watch it, because it’s still good.
Daymond John: I learned so much being on the show, from, not only the sharks, my fellow sharks, but I learned so much from the entrepreneurs coming up, doing business a whole new way, but yet understanding the fundamentals of what it takes to make it.
Lewis Howes: What do you think, who has been the most inspiring entrepreneur that’s come on, that either did a deal or didn’t do a deal. Whether you got with them or not, but were just like, “Man, there’s something about them that they had, that every entrepreneur should have.”?
Daymond John: So hard to say that, because we’ve seen now, I think, over the years, we’ve seen two thousand people. And, trust me…
Lewis Howes: Does it ever get old?
Daymond John: No, it doesn’t. Three, four hundred of them have been people like Little Mo. Mo’s Bows who will come on there and remind me of my mother and myself as a little kid, trying to hustle. Or the guy who joked all the time, but did the Scrub Daddy or the… I mean, there’s so many people. Like Cousins Maine Lobster, all these people.
I met people one day, they just said they mortgaged everything. There was the one lady on there who did, she basically said she was selling the aluminium out of glass when they take down houses and she’d sell the aluminium and she made her first $250 dollars selling the scrap metal back and then she started her company. I mean, just really, really amazing people. So, I can’t even pick one.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. It’s been inspiring though. How long has this show been going on for now?
Daymond John: We are about to start shooting our tenth season and we are in our ninth right now. And I’m loving all these amazing guest sharks. Because if you think about it like this, I sit next to Cuban, you know, I sit next to Mark and Kevin. After a while I know their philosophy of business, right? Whether I agree or disagree, it doesn’t matter.
But when you get a new shark on, you get new theories, new philosophies and you get to object. After I hear Kevin say a hundred times, “You’re dead to me,” I’m not offended by it. But when I hear the new person, like Richard Branson, or Bethany or A-Rod or Sarah Blakley or Rohan say something, I may not agree. Or they may say something that’s so profound that it changes the way I look at things and do business today, because I’m constantly trying to learn.
Lewis Howes: Right, you’re constantly evolving in business as social media and the internet and all the marketing changes.
Daymond John: Yeah, everything.
Lewis Howes: What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself over the last ten seasons.
Daymond John: I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned about myself over the last ten seasons is that I don’t know enough. No matter what business I invest in, it has to go back to the fundamentals of, “I love the person, I love the business and I want to learn more about it,” and it’s like Christmas every day when I wake up to learn the business. If it’s just a money play, it’s of no value to me, because I can go and put my money in the market or in bonds or in something like that.
Lewis Howes: Crypto, or whatever.
Daymond John: Yeah, I put my money in Tesla, you know, Elon is not calling me, asking me how to build a car. Right? So, I have to love the person, the business, and I have to wake up every day, like Christmas, and want to learn more about it.
Lewis Howes: What do you think has been the greatest negotiation you’ve ever done, whether it be on Shark Tank or in life?
Daymond John: The greatest negotiation I have ever done really, if you look at it from a business perspective, is when I negotiated out of ignorance with Samsung Textile Division, when I first got my FUBU deal. I was a young kid, I was very scrappy, I was hungry, I was a little ignorant in business. I was really ignorant in business. I had mortgage on my house and I was running my own factory and I had met with Samsung’s Textile Division for manufacturing and distribution, round about six months prior to mortgaging my house.
And I remember calling the president of Samsung all the time, of the textile division, and saying, “Hey! What’s up? I want to do the deal! I want to do the deal!” And he never called me back. It was kind of like how I don’t call a lot of people back who just pitch me. And I got really pissed off because I felt like he was ignoring me and, now, he had already had the meeting with me. He had showed some interest.
So, now I have a hundred thousand dollars from my mortgage of the house, and I turned the house into a factory, and I’m up and running. Samsung starts to hear about how FUBU is doing well and everybody’s wearing it, so he calls back. And I remember, now that I have a hundred thousand dollars, I’m thinking that’s all the money in the world, and I will never need any help by anybody else, and I was pissed off, I was like this on the phone: “Man, you’re so full of s**t! Why don’t you call me back?”
I was taking it really emotional, right? And I was like, “The deal I better have is this deal, this deal, this deal!” And they said, “No problem, just come on in,” because they had offered me a deal that was, you know, it was standard, but because they saw that I grew, and I had this ego, like, “I don’t want you, I don’t need you any more,” I negotiated out of ignorance and it was my best deal ever. I would never do that today.
Lewis Howes: You negotiated out of the deal, right?
Daymond John: I negotiated out of ignorance and got the best deal ever.
Lewis Howes: Oh, wow! Got you!
Daymond John: But, as I know myself now when I turn around, I was out of that hundred thousand dollars in almost a month later, because I was paying for raw goods 90 days ahead of time. I was paying for my salary and staff and I was giving my stores terms: 60, 90 day terms, and I would have lost my house and the business and everything else, and thank God, thank God I did that deal. But it was out of ignorance that I did the deal.
You know, I guess, everybody always says, “Do you believe in luck?” and I say, “No. I don’t believe in luck,” but maybe I should, now that you asked that question that nobody ever asked me, maybe that was a little bit of luck.
Lewis Howes: It was a little bit, yeah. Ignorance, luck, timing, everything. Now, you said you have a couple of daughters, right?
Daymond John: I do, I have three daughters. A twenty-four-year-old, a nineteen-year-old and this really, really nasty and aggressive two-year-old. She’s vicious. She’s a hard negotiator.
Lewis Howes: Now, when you had your first daughter, did you feel like your views of business shifted, or the way that you worked shifted? Did you start working harder? More balanced? Less? Or did everything stay the same?
Daymond John: My first two daughters in my first marriage, I worked thirty hours a day, because I said to myself, “How am I ever going to be able to take care of these three humans and now my life is no longer about me, it’s about providing every single thing I can to them, getting them to have a place they can live that is safe for them, an education, and medical and things of that nature. And I would die for them. I didn’t have a life at that point. And FUBU was just starting, and I never knew, or I never thought that FUBU would be anything larger than a boutique for my four friends and I to work out of, and I was, like, “This is my shot at the big time. I’m not going to let anybody stop me.”
And I really kind of mentally said to myself, “I’ll get to know my daughters when they’re ten or fifteen years old, because there is no time now. I have to be in Asia for six months at a time. I have to be doing this and that.” And I questioned if it was the smartest move to do, but I said to myself, “You know what? If I was a sanitation worker, I would still,” nothing wrong with that, but if I worked a city job, I would still work every overtime I could, because I need to be able to provide for them.
And now I have my beautiful little two-year-old and now it’s a different way of life. Now, and going back to this, as we’ll talk about the book, Rise and Grind, now my theory is, “How much love can I give to this little being?” Because it has changed. Now my life, obviously I am in a better place, and I have the opportunity to be able to give as much love as I can to her. Not that I don’t give as much love as I can to my other daughters. They’re my driving force as well.
Lewis Howes: Do you feel like you have a little bit more balance now? Do you feel like you’re working just as hard, but do you feel like you take that time to…?
Daymond John: I do, but that’s exactly how the theory for the book came around.
Lewis Howes: Because I don’t see you slowing down, really.
Daymond John: Right, so what was happening was, I looked at it and I said, “You know I’ve been going on nine years of Shark Tank and I have hundreds of companies I work with and/or deal with and I’m investing in a bunch of them. I have a new two-year-old, I have work/life balance, I want to get home to my lady,” I want to do the things I love to do, fish or archery or whatever, snowboard. I’m really good on the board, baby. But, I want to do all those things. How do I do it.
And I went and I would go in to speak to other people that I respect, and I would say, what’s the tricks or techniques you do to have work/life balance. They all told me the same exact thing, but in different forms. And I started to notice that I can improve those scenarios. Again, like you and I were talking, I don’t know if it was on-camera or off-camera, but there is no one area of success or mastery you get to and you go, “I’m done!”
You know, you can be somebody who is a master at Jujitsu or Karate or something like that and at forty years old, or twenty-five years old, you’re a certain master, but at eighty years old you don’t have the same muscle retention or the same speed, so you have to learn to master it in a different way. Kind of like when Ali came out of jail and they had stripped him of his prime, he had to learn the rope-a-dope to beat George Foreman and he had to fight a different way.
Lewis Howes: You can’t just sit in the park and just grind it all day.
Daymond John: Yeah, you can’t do that, right? So I had to start figuring out how to master my grind today, because the Daymond John at forty-eight years old is not the grind that the Daymond John at twenty-eight years old had. And I learned all these techniques from the book, from asking these people.
Lewis Howes: So what were the big things that people taught you, then, about this, how to navigate?
Daymond John: So the theory in the book is that I study these fifteen subjects in there, and they have success from all various ways of life, whether it’s Santana or Tyler the Creator, the Grammy Award winning kid, or our buddy Kyle Maynard, who army-crawled Mt Kilamanjaro with no arms and no legs, right?
Lewis Howes: He’s one of the most inspiring guys ever.
Daymond John: Yeah, I mean, he made me feel like a absolute loser, right? And they all told me the same thing, but they told me in different ways and different formulas. And what I found, the takeaway is, that everybody is extremely selfish. All successful people are extremely selfish in a very good way. Like Chris Hack always says, and a lot of these people here will not answer any e-mails for the first hour of the day, because they believe that you give up all your power if you’re answering everybody else’s problems when you wake up.
They’ll send out e-mails, and like Chris Hack always says, his inbox is his defence and his outbox is his offence. They won’t look at Instagram when they first wake up or anything else, because they don’t want to hear about how everybody else on the Gram is looking beautiful, they’re smarter, skinnier, whatever, they’ve all got problems, right? And then they’ll take care of their health in some shape or form, eat a great piece of nutrition and put adrenaline in their body.
They’ll schedule time with their families, where most people would say, “It’s so cold. I’m not going to schedule when I’m going to call my mother and tell her I love her, or take my daughter out on a little daddy and daughter date.” But you know what? You’ll never get to that if you don’t do it, right? You’ll schedule everything else, and be on time for everybody else in the world. You’ll be on time for when the train runs, you’ll be on time for when the boss wants a meeting, you’ll be on time for your friends to go to dinner, but you won’t be on time for your family, and before you know it, they’re twenty years old and you don’t even know your kids any more. Your wife and yourself, your husband, you don’t have the same interests any more.
They also schedule time to go in a dark place and meditate, and/or find a place that they can be very grateful for what they currently have and they want to know what they currently want, other than serving anybody else. And in the act of doing all these things, they become more proficient and also more beneficial for everybody else. They’re a better person, they’re on time and they have their faith and they have everything else.
And number one thing they all do, they value and take care of their health. They go out of the way. And throughout this process, when I was talking to Wendy Williams and she is a vegan now and she’s into shakes, I learned to ask more serious questions about my health. If we’re in business, we’re always going to always ask how do we increase sales and decrease costs. We’re going to keep asking why, why, why? How can we convert more on Facebook, social media, and this sort, but we don’t ask about our health. And for many years I’ve been going to the doctor.
I’d do the normal thing, go get a check-up, you know, he checks my throat and he sees if my glands are swollen here or not. But I started to realise, I didn’t feel right and some of the things, I need to look deeper into these things. And doing that, throughout studying these people here, I ended up finding out that, I got an executive physical, I found that I had stage two cancer in my throat. I had a nodule in my throat, I had a marble this size, of stage two cancer in my throat.
The doctors touched my throat every year for the last ten years. It probably was going to be five years, didn’t know it, but I started asking more questions and I started to find out all the things that were wrong with me because I just didn’t take the, “Oh, your physical looks okay,” right? I started going deeper and deeper and I ended up finding out I’m stage two cancer. I’m cancer free now.
So, these things all had come out of doing a lot of the practices in the book. People will read the book and find out that either they’re doing the right thing, or there’s five other ways to go about it, let me try these five, these four don’t work, but bang! that one’s the one.
Lewis Howes: Wow! When did the cancer thing happen?
Daymond John: I got the surgery Good Friday on 2017.
Lewis Howes: Oh, wow! It’s fully gone, cleared up?
Daymond John: It’s fully gone.
Lewis Howes: That’s great! Congrats man!
Daymond John: Thank you. Absolutely. And it’s important for me to say, and I’ve been telling people about it because the bottom line is early detection. The bottom line is going out there and finding out. Listen, if you think there’s something that runs in your family, go check it out. Don’t put your head down and say, “I hope this bus doesn’t hit me one day,” you know? Don’t put your head in the sand, right?
Go check it out. Get a mammogram, pap scan, endoscopy, colonoscopy, you know what? Because entrepreneurs don’t take care of themselves, they take care of everybody else.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. For me, the more I understand about my health, I feel like the more my business begins to grow. When I maximise my health and I’m on and I schedule in every single day, I’m not perfect every day, but when I am, I feel like my business is unstoppable.
Daymond John: You know, we all talk about business all the time, but the aspect of health is the most important part and nobody talks about it. Nobody talks about it. And most businessmen and women, you go around and you’re travelling all the time and it’s not easy to eat the best things, then you’re at two and three dinners a night, you’re drinking because you’re bored with a lot of people, you drink because you’re happy because you’re off. You know, you’re not sleeping, you’re in between climates and things of that nature, and then all of a sudden it implodes and you have nothing left.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s crazy. Do you have a schedule every day, then, for your health right now?
Daymond John: I try, and you know, I’m not perfect. I go back to the book often to look at all the things that I want to do. So, I’ll give you and example, Sway likes to say, “I get up and I bust down four sets of twenty-four push-ups a day and it gets my adrenaline running.” I was doing that until I blew my shoulder out doing something else, right? So what I do now, I was actually diving in Mexico, trying to embarrass my daughters with this dive and I hurt my shoulder. I embarrassed myself.
Alright, so now I have to adjust that. So what do I do now? Alright, so maybe now, after, I will answer e-mails after when I do, but I’ll be walking on the treadmill for two hours answering them, so I’ll put the steps in. I’ll do leg lifts, I’ll do whatever the case is, but, again, it’s always adjusting, I’m not going to make an excuse, “Oh, my arm’s blown out, so now I can’t do anything,” right? Because Kyle Maynard climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with no arms and no legs. What the hell’s wrong with me? I got something wrong with my shoulder here? And I can’t work out?
Lewis Howes: I had our good buddy, Gary Vaynerchuk, on recently and I always try to get something different out of him, you know? He speaks about…
Daymond John: How can you get something, I mean, he’s crazy! He’s in the book, by the way. His book is out too, Crushing It.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. I asked him what his big insecurity was, and he had an interesting answer, but I was curious if you have any insecurities, because, the answer he gave, I felt like I didn’t hear often, so it was nice to get something new out.
Daymond John: I think my biggest insecurity, I don’t know. What would my insecurity be?
Lewis Howes: If your dad joke is going to land or not?
Daymond John: No, my dad jokes are smokin’, you know? They are. You know why seagulls fly over the sea, over the ocean, instead of over a bay, right? Because then they would be called bagels [bay gulls].
Anyway, let me say, fears, maybe let’s say fears. Not to beat a dead horse, but, my health, right? Am I going to be around when my three little girls go down the aisle. That’s a fear that I have that “When is my time to go?” If I didn’t have daughters and beautiful people in my life, if I went today, I’d be happy. I would have lived the life of three people, but my time is to serve them. And, you know, I think maybe a fear or insecurity is, “Am I doing enough to save the planet?”
You know, if I have a public stage, every time I see something happen out there, whether it’s something happening to animals or human trafficking or every time I hear something going on out there, I want to be the first person on the line, on the front line, and I sometimes suffer from analysis paralysis, but if I can use my public stage to bring attention to taking illegal guns off the street, or catching predators and things of that nature. So, my fear is, “Am I doing enough to change the planet?”
Lewis Howes: How do you decide what cause to support? I mean, there’s so many. Every day there’s some issue, someone’s health.
Daymond John: It’s very hard, so I have to take inventory of myself and say, “Where can I add value to these things, and maybe it’s the public stage to bring it to attention, but people have this perception that people who have any level of success, walk on water, they have all the money. Like, people think I can invest in every single thing in the world. I’m not the government! You know what I mean?
Even the government can’t do it, so they think that I can just wave a magic wand and change the entire world, and sometimes you get caught up and go, “Well, if I see people that go out in the world, and help build schools and go to the Peace Corps and go and build dams in other countries, they’re making me feel like a loser. I can do more. But I can’t do everything.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Of course. And how do you choose, how many companies have you invested in now, in total?
Daymond John: It could be 60 or 80 or something like that.
Lewis Howes: How do you choose which opportunities to take on when you have so much thrown at you on Shark Tank, but also just e-mail and Twitter and people just saying, “Hey, here’s my idea, can you invest?” How do you make money when you have so many things you’re working on?
Daymond John: Yeah, well, first of all, I don’t really invest in other companies outside of Shark Tank, because that takes up a lot of… It’s my money and it’s time. And if I would follow my own rules, then, if I were to invest in other companies, then I should go and invest in myself even further, you know, help bring FUBU back, or my other companies that I own, you know, the grass is not greener on the other side. I need to work on myself. Work on myself, how to maximise social media and empowering people.
So, I really don’t invest outside of Shark Tank. But, no, it’s a massive, massive job to decide on where to focus your energy and your staff. Because it’s really easy for me to say to my staff, “Hey! Why don’t we go do this?” Well, now you put five, ten, twenty, thirty people and you gave them all ten hours of work a week, and then all of a sudden you’re going to ask, “Why is this crumbling?” And they’re going to say, “Well, boss, you told me to do this.”
So, it’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s rise and grind. It’s writing down goals, A’s and B’s on your goals, and finding what you want to do the best.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. What do you think it is that you can do this year to help you drastically increase your revenue or income with everything that you’re doing? Is it the FUBU thing of investing back into yourself? Is it taking a couple of things and going all in with a few things?
Daymond John: I think, today, if I was going to maximise, then it would have to be really looking at the 80/20 at the company and personally. Meaning, what is the 20% of stuff that is creating 80% of the revenue and/or joy or time in my life, whether it’s personally or whatever the case is, and digging deep into that thing. And a lot of times people don’t want to look at the 80/20. I do look at it as often as I can, but I’m human as well. I get caught up in some things that may be from a reason I think needs to be done, and I get off track, and I have to go back to my goals and look at them. But, yeah, it would be the 80/20, like, what are providing the 80% of revenue and/or joy for myself and my staff and keeping people there.
Lewis Howes: What do you think that is right now?
Daymond John: I would say that FUBU right now is doing real well. We have a collaboration now with Puma, that’s having a resurgence. Of course, whether it’s 80/20 or not, the new people that come on the Shark Tank I need to invest in, because they gave me the opportunity to invest in their dreams, and it’s their time right now, and I took on that job of making sure that I do the best for them.
And then my personal brand as I get out there and I start to educate people, because for a long period of time, I didn’t necessarily feel like I want to go out and educate, because I didn’t want people thinking, “Oh, my gosh, he’s trying to make money selling us books and curriculum!” But you know better than anybody else, you don’t make money off of books, right? You do it because you want to change people’s lives.
And now I realise that, unfortunately, there’s too many people out there selling people insecurities in this world, and that I do need to come out with more products and ideas, because I was put on this public stage to show people that if my d**s can make it, everybody else can. And that I need to make more curriculums, like Daymond on Demand, or like Rise and Grind, or The Power of Broke, or my DJ Success Formula, or Speaking Engagements, or whatever, to empower people and not feel guilty that, “You know what? I got to charge you, because I got to get the lights on. I got to pay this staff that’s travelling around and the writers and everything else.”
So, I think, to improve more of what I’m giving the people, to show people that you can make it, and you don’t have to have a lot of money, you got to just be ready to bust your butt and get out there and do it. So, again, investing in myself, to get this information out to the world, on my podcast or things of that nature.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. You did the new podcast around the book, right?
Daymond John: Yeah, I did the new podcast around the book. It was me kind of giving people insight on the questions I’m asking individuals, and really fascinating stuff. My Rise and Grind pocast has been doing really amazing, and I put people on there who weren’t even in the book. People like Barbara. I had a really great conversation with Barbara.
Lewis Howes: She’s great, yeah.
Daymond John: I’ve learned so much from Barbara. She is really a brilliant person. The reason I like that is she comes at things with a very average, everyday, the people’s shark type of approach. Very simplistic. She says stuff that’s really amazing, like, “Listen, I used to write down what I love and what I hate and I made sure that things that I hate, I outsource it or got people away from me that created this hate for whatever this is, and I focussed on what I love. And as I did this, everything else mentally started to shift here, and I got rid of these things.” And so, she has such a simplistic approach to things, but she’s a brilliant, brilliant woman.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. What would you say are the things that you’re excited about the most right now? You got so much going on.
Daymond John: I’m excited about everything I do, to be very honest, but I’m going on ten years on Shark Tank. The next Oprah Winfrey or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates is in their pyjamas eating cereal, watching Shark Tank, and they’re going to get up here, the Phil Knights of the world, they’re going to go and they’re going to change the entire world. And they’re twelve years old right now, eating cereal in their pyjamas, saying, “I’m going to be that next person.” So, Shark Tank is absolutely amazing.
Having books, when you’re so close to it a lot of times, that when you finally put it out and you see that it’s changing people’s lives, I’m really, really excited about that, you know, I’m so on this health thing, that I’m realising how screwed up I was prior. And that I’m going to figure this thing out. I have my little girl, of course, and my two older girls. And my two older girls, as most people watching or listening to this would, most parents, would say to themselves, “Was I a good parent and did my child grow up to change the world?” And I’m seeing my older girls, are growing up to be the women that I wanted them to be, and that they’re adding a positive impact to this planet.
I’m really looking forward, this year, I’m looking forward to acquiring a lot more dad jokes that just make me that guy.
Lewis Howes: I’m going to send you some. I’m going to find some and I’m going to text you some.
Daymond John: You got to send me some dad jokes. I mean, dad jokes are really, really important. They are high on my list.
Lewis Howes: What’s your favourite one of all time? The pirate one was pretty good.
Daymond John: No, I have a lot of them, there’s no one favourite dad joke, and they come any time, so, they can come at any time and then you won’t even laugh at them right then, you may laugh at them a lot later.
You know, like, what does a pirate say when they turn eighty years old?
Aye, matey! [I’m eighty!]
That’s going to hit you at two in the morning when you get up to go to the bathroom.
Lewis Howes: That’s good! That’s good! Oh, man!
What’s the thing you’re most proud of?
Daymond John: I’m most proud of being able to escape the clutches of everybody else’s goals that they set for me when I was sixteen and twenty years old, like most of the people that grew up in neighbourhoods that people told them they were going to be dead or in jail, or that they weren’t good because of the colour of their skin or education, or because they didn’t have any money.
And I escaped those goals that were set for me by society, by people in the neighbourhood who may not have had the right support system around them, and I defied those odds and I became a person that I’m very proud of who I am today, and people can look at me and say, “If he can make it, I can make it.”
So, that’s the thing I’m most proud of. If I die today, or tomorrow or fifty years from now, there’s nothing in my closet that I need to hide. There’s nothing that I need to second-guess, and it was okay, it was okay doing the right thing, when I had everybody else listening to us, had the option to do the wrong thing. It was okay to do the right thing.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah. If dad jokes bring you the most joy and laughter, what’s the thing that pulls at your heart the most? Is there things that happen in your day to day?
Daymond John: It’s just those causes. It’s those causes to, there’s a meat market for dogs.
Lewis Howes: It’s crazy, right?
Daymond John: You know, to find out that there are people who you can put your trust in them to have your kids go and be gymnasts and then all of a sudden they abuse your trust and they violate your children, and things like that, you know? Those things cause me pain.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah. What’s been the most painful thing in your life?
Daymond John: Getting a divorce from my first marriage, because my ex-wife is a driven, brilliant person, and my marriage was sacrificed due to me working hard, me being young, and dumb and you don’t give a thirty-year-old a couple of million dollars and fame at the same time, and that doesn’t have an adverse effect, you know what I mean?
Lewis Howes: How long were you together for, or married for?
Daymond John: We were probably married for about four years, I forgot what it was. But we were together, she was with me before the FUBU success, you know, she’s still one of my closest friends and biggest inspirations. She’s the best partner I can ever have, we’re just not married any more, very supportive, yeah.
Lewis Howes: Right. That was a challenging transition for you?
Daymond John: Of course it was a challenging transition, but as you look back, I mean, when would you ever not want to be in your family’s lives and stuff like that, knowing that you could have controlled, or you could have made a better effort to be a better person, right? But being human is human. There’s so many different aspects and things that come up in your life and many people who are business people, they’re on their second and third marriages. But, on the flip side, listen, my wife now and my baby now, wouldn’t be here if that didn’t happen. So, everything happens for a reason. I don’t ever regret anything that happened, it just becomes a pain that you think about.
Lewis Howes: Did you ever think about your family as a business, in terms of running it like an entrepreneur?
Daymond John: I didn’t in the past, but I do now, almost. Again, because of some of these studies I have in here, I realised that making the family a priority and running it like a business is great. It may seem cold, but it is very proficient if you do.
Lewis Howes: It’s effective, right?
Daymond John: It’s effective, yeah.
Lewis Howes: How do you run your family like a business now, then?
Daymond John: You schedule time, first of all. You look at the investment that you’re doing into future education, and/or… you know, it all is going to be time, generally. It’s going to be personal time, educational time, relaxation time, and solving problems.
I think one of my friends said to me, when he had a problem with his wife, the wife said, “Well, why aren’t you trying to work this out?” He said, “I don’t have the time.” She said, “But if I was a client, you’d make time, to work this out. Right? If I was paying you, you wouldn’t want to lose that deal. Why do you want to lose this relationship or this discussion we need to have?”
And I realised that, and that was something that somebody said in the book, and I started to put in more time. And if you look at this book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I realised, throughout that time, you start to find out more about yourself as you start to look at your family, you see what you’re doing good, bad or indifferent and you start to understand yourself and you become more proficient in other areas of life.
When FUBU really went down, it was right around when I had my divorce. I don’t think it was a coincidence. It was reality. I was miserable at home, I was taking it out on my work, I was making bad decisions, and I think that we just don’t talk about family and health and all of that stuff in regards to how important it is for a success in business.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s huge. Why is it, do you think, that so many entrepreneurs will not have those conversations with their partner or their wife, or fiancé, but they’re willing to have those negotiations with their business deals.
Daymond John: I think because…
Lewis Howes: It’s more fun on the business stuff, or it’s too messy on the other…
Daymond John: Well, I think that business is a very clear thing. It’s a number, right? Tomorrow you have money for payroll or not, and you have to address it. You can try to hide it if you want and not talk about it, but the rent needs to be paid on the 1st, or the 30th, and/or the inventory is sitting there. So it’s something you have to address and all these other personal things, they’re personal, right?
I’ve seen the biggest titans of industry be someone who’ll do billion dollar deals but yet they’re afraid to have a conversation with a woman at a bar. Because they feel too open and vulnerable, when they can hide behind a pen, a checkbook or a desk, or a wall. So I think that the personal aspect of life, is something that people don’t want to address because it’s so fluid.
Lewis Howes: It’s scary. It’s scarier, right? Like, the heart.
Daymond John: The heart. You know, listen, I can sit across the table from you and I can say I’m going to give you this fifty dollars for this and you say, “Seventy,” and I say, “Screw you.” Because you’re just negotiating with me. But if you’re personally sitting across from the table and you go, “Can I hold your hand?” and a woman or a man goes, “Get the hell out of here,” you’ll remember that for the rest of your life.
I remember when this girl didn’t want to kiss me when I was sixteen years old. That damn Lisa.
Lewis Howes: That’s why you went out and built up FUBU, to show Lisa.
Daymond John: That’s right, to show Lisa!
Lewis Howes: I had a question I wanted to ask you and it’s escaping me now.
Daymond John: Do you let that roll through the podcasts? Like, you thinking now?
Lewis Howes: Yeah.
Daymond John: That’s good, because I like that. I want people to know that you’re processing the information.
Lewis Howes: I had a really good thought. Sometimes when I’m interviewing I have really good thoughts, but my goal is to be so present that then the thought escapes me. This is what it was! Got it!
You’ve seen so many deals over the last ten years. You’ve been in business for a long time yourself, pre Shark Tank. Now, with cryptocurrency and just everything online, what companies like Air B&B and Uber and these other companies have been able to do, just scale so quickly. Dropbox and things like that that have just built massive businesses really quickly.
Over the next ten years, what do you see as a great opportunity to get into in business? Is it more physical goods and clothing? Is it more food products? Is it more online digital software products? If you were to recommend for an entrepreneur starting today, knowing that so much has been changing and so much is going to continue to change, what would be the best industry, business idea to get into?
Daymond John: Well, it would be hard to tell somebody what the best industry is, unless they’re just a passive investor then you can look at industries, like, I’ll play the market, I’ll play infrastructure, I’ll play technology and various things, because I don’t need to operate the business. But if you really have to operate the business, it has to be something that you’re fascinated in, something that, again, is Christmas every single day.
Lewis Howes: So if it’s Christmas every day for someone, whatever that is.
Daymond John: I think that it doesn’t really matter what it is, it doesn’t have to be anything specific, it has to be something, though, that is converting direct to the customer and you’re cutting out all the middle men, because right now, with all the noise, it’s very hard. So, I like companies, whether you’re selling socks or you’re selling food, or you’re selling fitness products or curriculums, you’re talking directly to the customer and you have various different platforms that you’re talking to them, because I’m finding out, well, I was talking to one of my guys, and he was like, “Well, Vine is going right now.”
So what happened with those people who had 5 million people online, but they don’t have any e-mails, they’re gone now. They have 5 million people, they worked so hard for that, so whether it’s a membership and you’re selling somebody a subscription model or whatever the case is. Or you’re on Amazon. You’ve got that button on your washing machine, you hit that tide is coming straight to you, you just eliminated everybody advertising all kinds of other things, because you’re a creature of habit. You’re going to hit it.
Or, if you’re a credit card that bills $5 a month, you’re not going to take that damn $5 off. By the time you call those people, they’re going give you such a heartache for taking the $5 off, you’re going to give them another 50, right? So, I think it’s anybody that is delivering something straight to the customer, they have a full margin, they know their analytics, they know who their customer is so they can upsell their customer and/or provide better value, and also get real time information on what is working or not working, from the customer. No matter what it is. That’s the business, you know?
Lewis Howes: That’s why I love the online world so now, there’s just so many opportunities. It’s like, I got in at the right time. I knew nothing about business ten years ago. I got kind of lucky with timing and just curiosity and working really hard to understand this.
Daymond John: Online is where it’s at.
Lewis Howes: There’s no inventory.
Daymond John: No inventory, that’s it. And I mean, even if it is inventory, you can probably turn your inventory fairly quickly, and not have to worry, like I said, the 60 and 90 days turn and things of that nature. So, fascinating, fascinating time.
But the only thing that people have to understand about this is that, now, everybody can do it as well. So, you better get up and bust your ass. You better rise and grind, because everybody can do it, so how do you separate yourself from the noise. It goes back to the fundamentals of being able to get up before everybody else and go to be after everybody else, you know?
Lewis Howes: Yeah. What would you say is your unique super power?
Daymond John: Picking good people. I am not the smartest person in the world, but I have this knack for picking good people. I have this knack also for allowing people to fail and seeing the good within them. And when everybody else goes, you know, they’re short tempered with the people or whatever the case is, I figure that, just as in entrepreneurship, if this stuff has failed between you and I and you didn’t do a good job, I know one less thing I can give you.
But now, where can I give you stuff that makes you who you are? And that’s my knack. I give a lot of people a lot of chances, but it ends up coming back to me double and triple in value, because they are amazing people.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. What’s the thing you see, that you look for? When you can pick them? Is it a feeling right away, is it more like how they carry themselves?
Daymond John: No, it is not a feeling right away, because they have to unfold, you know, everybody’s on their best behaviour when you first meet them.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, take the onion off.
Daymond John: Take the onion off. It’s drive, it’s that they think outside the box, they’re problem solvers, they’re also able to communicate throughout a team and a system, and they have a very clear vision on the things that they like, and they know how to communicate that to everybody else, so everybody else can see their way.
They may not be good in one area, but it doesn’t matter. If I pick a person, I’ll put them in any area and they’ll figure it out. Common sense, those type with drive and some level of respect, honesty and stuff like that. I mean, you can’t lose when you have somebody like that. You have somebody ready to bust their ass, they’re never going to stop.
Lewis Howes: They’re going to figure it out one day.
Daymond John: Yeah. You can’t beat those people. And if you don’t work with them, they’re going to go off and be your competitor.
Lewis Howes: Exactly. That’s cool. I like that. I got a few questions left for you, but I want to make sure you guys get the book, go check it out, Rise and Grind, powerful book, lot of great case studies. You got Gary Vee in here, Kyle Maynard, Grant Cardone I saw was in here as well.
Daymond John: Grant Cardone, Mr TenX, you got Gary Vee.
Lewis Howes: We’re speaking at the event together, right?
Daymond John: Yeah, yeah, we were there last year. Grant, you know what I love about him in this book? He says, “Time is so valuable that he’ll set a meeting at nine o six and be there at nine o six and be over at nine fifteen. So what does that do? That puts everybody else on their best behaviour in regards to time. They’ll know, “I ain’t gonna come in at nine and float around. Nine o six, we’re on!” And when you start valuing those 1440 minutes you have of the day or 86,660 seconds you have of the day, when you start scheduling it and understanding the value of that, then you get the most out of your day.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Do you schedule everything every day for you, pretty much?
Daymond John: I do schedule most of the stuff, but I also leave that gap for s**t happens, you know, when Peppa Pig is not on at the right time, you know, Minka, she’s going to set it off in the house and I’m going to need that half an hour to calm her down, you know what I mean? Problems are going to come up. But a lot of people, like, let’s talk about e-mails. Twenty years ago, did you walk around just opening your mails all times of the day.
Lewis Howes: No.
Daymond John: I mean, you got it at 9am or whatever. Some people in here will say, “No, I’m opening e-mails from 4:30 to 5:30, I’m done. I’m not letting any of that consume me.” And then move on to other things, right? So there’s a lot of different ways to maximise time, but we all know that’s the only thing we’re never going to get back.
Lewis Howes: That’s true, that’s true. This is called, The Three Truths. I can’t remember if I asked you last time I interviewed you.
Daymond John: You did not.
Lewis Howes: Okay, this is called, The Three Truths…
Daymond John: Maybe you did.
Lewis Howes: Maybe I did, but I want to see what’s changed. So it’s the last day for you, many years from now, and you’ve achieved everything you’ve ever wanted to achieve, written all the books, businesses, made all the money. Your daughters, you’ve walked them all down the aisle, everything you’ve ever wanted to do. You’ve caught the biggest bass in the world, you’ve got the world record. You’re a bass guy?
Daymond John: I am, I am! I’m a bass guy.
Lewis Howes: You’ve got the world record for the biggest catch, right? Everything you want, it’s happened. You just lit up there with that.
Daymond John: I could just feel myself right there, with the bass.
Lewis Howes: Done! But for whatever reason, all the stuff you’ve ever created has been erased. The books are gone, people don’t have access to your information any more, you lessons, your wisdom, it’s gone, for whatever reason. Hypothetically, right?
But you’ve got a piece of paper and a pen and you get to write down three things you know to be true about all the lessons you’ve learned from your life, whether it be personal, family, business, health, anything. But you only get three things to share, and this is all the world has to remember you by. What would you say are your three truths?
Daymond John: Be in the moment. Live in the moment. Love as much as you can, your family, and whatever else it is. Have faith in God.
Lewis Howes: Solid. I like those.
Daymond John: Yeah. That’s it.
Lewis Howes: And go for the bass. The world record.
Daymond John: Well, if you have faith in God, then you’re going to catch that bass. And if you love your family and they love you, too, they’re going to allow you to go fishing as much as you can. And if you’re in the moment, you’re going to take a rod and go right down to the lake every moment you can. It all goes back to that bass, man.
Lewis Howes: That’s good, yeah! I like that! I want to acknowledge you, Daymond, because every time I’m around you, you’re always very generous and kind and giving and supportive.
Daymond John: Well, thank you, man.
Lewis Howes: And I think people sometimes, people who have a lot of success and recognition and a lot of opportunities aren’t always so nice. But you always show up with a very caring, giving heart. Every time I’m around you with your friends or people that maybe aren’t close to you, you’re always very kind and giving of your time and wanting to always support and lift others up. So, I acknowledge you for our friendship and always…
Daymond John: I think the same with you, man. And I think a lot of people can learn from this in some form, because, well a lot of us are raised with the theory that business has to be hard and cut-throat and you have to be like J.R. Ewing on Dallas or Michael Douglas on Wall Street, and that’s the only way to go, you know, it’s wreckable.
My life, I’m here because of a lot of those giving people. I’m here because of those teachers that believed in a little dyslexic boy, or my stepfather who came into my life at the age of fifteen, who is of the Jewish faith, and it gave me a world view to understand that love doesn’t come in a colour or a gender, and that people are amazing and I got to understand something about white people that, first of all, they’re white, black, yellow, love doesn’t come in a gender and white people are just as screwed up as black people, too, right, and he made it very human.
But I remember his brother, his brother was the lead attorney in America to fight for the abolishment of Apartheid and the freeing of Mandela, and when I see that people of all colour and people like that are giving and we don’t get to see the human aspect of society and the beautiful part of it. And then, when I was growing up, you know, I business, you would think it would be my competition, Karl Kani, who created, you know, who is really a prominent figure in urban apparel. He was one of the first people to introduce me to stores and help me, right?
So, I came up seeing people who were giving. I didn’t come up seeing cut-throat people, and maybe I had blinders on and I wouldn’t deal with them, so I think that that’s a lesson that people need to know outside, because everybody’s trying to put on this facade, like you got to be so tough. You can’t be tough to be on a team, so I appreciate the acknowledgement, but, you know, I just think that’s the way it should be. You know?
Lewis Howes: Of course. Well, keep it up! You’re doing an amazing job.
Daymond John: Thank you, brother. I appreciate it.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Make sure you guys get the book, follow you on Instagram. Where do you hang out the most right now on social media?
Daymond John: I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. My Insta Stories, I’m doing that.
Lewis Howes: You’re getting hot on there, I like it.
Daymond John: Yeah, you know, I’m trying, man. I’m trying to be like you guys. I got to get that mentality of just, flip on the camera, don’t over think it. Flip it on and say, “What’s up?”
Lewis Howes: Don’t produce it too much.
Daymond John: Yeah, but that’s where I am, and hopefully I’m out there giving good information and then obviously you can catch the podcast.
Lewis Howes: It’s called Rise and Grind Podcast?
Daymond John: Rise and Grind Podcast, it’s up there now.
Lewis Howes: Is it a lot of the interviews you did with the [book]?
Daymond John: A lot of these interviews, as well as other interviews that are not in the book.
Lewis Howes: Oh, sweet, awesome. So go subscribe to that. Final question: What’s your definition of greatness?
Daymond John: Well, the quick answer is the one that everybody knows, which is what success is, you know, doing something you love every day. But I think my… Greatness, being satisfied with yourself and being able to sleep at night, because of the journey that you’ve taken, and just really being able to sleep at night, and not having to say, “Man, I shouldn’t have done that, and now I’ve got to correct myself,” just being able to, I sleep really, really good and night. I do.
And I’m glad that I do, because, my life, you know, growing up in a tough neighbourhood, I could have made other turns. I was very tempted as a kid. So many people think that money is success, and it’s not. It really isn’t. And I’m not saying that because I got a couple of dollars, you know what I mean? It really isn’t. I know people that don’t have a pot to piss in and they’re the happiest that you can ever imagine.
Lewis Howes: Great, thanks bro.
Daymond John: Thank you, brother! Appreciate it!
Lewis Howes: Thanks, man.
Ah, yes! If you enjoyed this one, make sure to let me know, let Daymond know, over on Instagram. Take a screenshot of this, tag me and @daymondjohn. Let us know what you thought, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and I always love connecting with you, over on Instagram, over on the Twitter, over on Facebook, anywhere you like to hang out, but I’m mostly spending my time over on Instagram.
And, as always, the show notes, you can get all the full video interview, all the links, to Daymond’s book. Go and get a copy of his book at lewishowes.com/598. Go check out that link to go get all the resources and feel free to share that out with your friends as well, who might be interested in hearing this also.
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Again, a big thank you to listening to this episode with Daymond John. If you haven’t left a review yet, make sure to head over to iTunes, or on your podcast app, and leave us a review right now, for a chance to be shouted out of the Review of the Week.
And, as always, I hope you remember how meaningful and important you are to this world. This world needs you. It needs your gift, it needs your smile, your joy, your compassion and your generosity. We need more good people like you in this world. And you are a good person, you have so much value to add. Whatever you’re doing in your life right now, continue to improve upon your life and add value to those around you.
And as Stephen Covey said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent, and not enough time on what is important.” Think about the thing that’s most important for you to do right now in your life, and go do that.
And, as always, you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!