Following on the triumph of his New York Times bestseller, The Power of Broke, Shark Tank star Daymond John has penned his fourth book about his secret to success. Rise and Grind: How to Out-Perform, Out-Work and Out-Hustle the Competition.. The take-home message in Power of Broke is that business success depends more on determination, passion and ingenuity and less on having money and investors.
Having no money forces you to be creative. His $6 billion fashion company, FUBU, started as a side hustle in the early 1990s with $40. When he wasn’t waiting tables at Red Lobster, he toiled in his basement, sewing logos onto T-shirts and hats. He sold goods out of a 1979 Ford van, which he also used to chauffeur people around Hollis, Queens.
The sequel to Power of Broke, Rise and Grind highlights the daily habits and rituals of highly-accomplished people — like Kyle Maynard — who rose to the challenge and ground their way to victory. The 31-year-old athlete holds the record for being the first quadruple amputee to scale Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Aconcagua without prosthetics.
“So what do they all do in the first 90 minutes of their day?” John asked rhetorically. “The last 90 minutes their day? What did they learn when they were a kid that they forgot and then returned to? What did they learn as a young successful person and they continued? Where is the balance of personal time and work time and spirituality?”
Fellow fashion mogul Russell Simmons does yoga. Musician Carlos Santana prays. John sets goals and reads them every single morning.
“Other people will write out their day. But it all will be about meditation and concentration within the first 90 minutes of the day,” said John. “You’re going to find seven to 10 things that (successful) people do. And hopefully people such as you as well as myself — I learn from them as well — will either say, ‘I’m doing some of these things. I need to do more of them. Or hey, I am not doing them, let me try some of them.’”
Think of the rise as your defense strategy while the grind is your offense.
“The grind is how much offense you put out,” John said. “You and I both have the same 24 hours in a day. So why would you be more successful or I be more successful if we have the exact same 24 hours a day?”
Like all high-octane entrepreneurs, John struggles with balancing work and family life. He sets goals to spend time with his wife and daughter and puts them in his schedule.
“I didn’t do that earlier on in my life,” John said. “What happened was it was always ‘I will get to it. I will get to it. I will get to it.’ But you don’t get to it.”
In addition, you must make health your No. 1 priority by working out, eating healthfully and getting rest, John advises.
“If you don’t do that, all of the sudden you’re sick,” John said. “You’ve got ailments. You have to have surgeries. And I only learned that maybe about 10 years ago.”
From age 25 to 35, John’s life consisted of airports, hotels, restaurants and conference rooms as he traversed the globe at least three times. That jet-set, on-the-go lifestyle taught him he must set aside time for himself to relax.
“If I carve out one or two hours to run on the beach or go sightseeing wherever I am at, I tend to let my mind drift and wander,” John said. “I tend to spend time hopefully with my family and friends. And I also get to enjoy my life and don’t feel as run down.”
“No matter what, even following all of those rules and having your faith, it’s still a challenge and something that has to be worked on every single day,” he added. “Finding balance is the hardest thing to do.”
What to Do With Ideas
John and his staff teach an online course about how to start, build and scale a business from the ground up at DaymondOnDemand.com. It costs $997 or $250 a month for four months. Ideas are nothing unless you execute, he said in response to question about how somebody can pitch a business idea to him for funding.
“If you didn’t go out and execute it and show that it works, then why would somebody want to license it?” he said. “If you have a company that needs investment and if you don’t show who your customer is and I don’t know (who your customer is), you’re using my money as tuition. And we’re both not going to be idiots.”
“So the bottom line is everybody has a butthole and an idea,” John deadpanned. “You have to execute.”
Instead of asking questions, aspiring entrepreneurs should do their own research, just like he does. Despite more than three decades in business and having a hand in five dozen businesses, he is still learning and failing.
“I have to fall on my face and get doors slammed in my face too — till today,” John said. “The secret to success is out hustle everybody. Get up before everybody. Go to sleep after everybody. Get the door slammed in your face and have a huge rejection muscle. And stop asking people for the answer because they don’t have it.”