Most of us have at least one person who we look up to and strive to be more like. Sometimes this connection is sparked because of shared, similar backgrounds or because we admire how someone has catapulted themselves through adversity to realize their personal or professional dreams.
My own list of mentors runs the gamut. From the deep admiration for my brother for overcoming addiction to the super-fangirling of Pitbull for his business acumen and educational endeavors, it’s time to add another one to the list.
Daymond John. Business mogul extraordinaire, Shark Tank panelist, and branding genius. His story has had a deep and lasting impact on how I view myself, my business, and the world…and we haven’t even met. Yet (more on that later).
His Early Age Entrepreneurialism
Daymond began cultivating his entrepreneurial spirit well before many of his peers. Starting in first grade with his custom pencil business and eventually shifting to handing out flyers and waiting tables before hitting it big with FUBU, Daymond seemed to innately comprehend the level of hustle and go-gettedness required for success.
Looking back, his history shows us that it’s okay to try different things — with various levels of success and failure — until we find exactly what suits our talents, skills, and interests.
Where we connect: Growing up, I always had business on the mind, launching multiple companies starting in elementary school. From cleaning windows for local restaurants to designing balloon arches for Home Depot to coordinating job fair events, I pushed until my true niche was found with Restaurant HR Group.
His Dedication to Struggling Entrepreneurs
Throughout his time on Shark Tank, Daymond has interacted with hundreds (if not, thousands) of entrepreneurs. And while not every entrepreneur has received an offer or a deal, Daymond frequently shares at least a tidbit of fundamental advice with the departing business owner. Whether that is a quick suggestion to redesign the packaging or the encouragement to come back again in a year because the idea is too premature, these simple words of wisdom can be enough to breathe life back into the struggling entrepreneur.
And he doesn’t stop there. Between his books and keynote note speaker appearances, Daymond continually shares his decades of knowledge with others, breaking it down into applicable steps for entrepreneurs around the world to follow.
Where we connect: While I’m certainly not to his level of influence or knowledge (yet!), I do regularly share advice with other business owners through my role at Restaurant HR Group. Between face-to-face meetings, trainings and seminars, and publishing content online, lifting up other entrepreneurs has become a daily, rewarding venture.
His Ability to Overcome Adversity
Growing up in a single parent household following his parents’ divorce at age 10, Daymond took on additional responsibility at a young age. Instead of letting that muddy and narrow his view of the world, he used it as initiative to explore his options and opportunities and dream big instead. And eventually, FUBU and a string of other successful endeavors came to fruition.
Diagnosed with the vague term “learning disability” early on in his education, Daymond struggled with reading and writing but found math to be a breeze. While he wasn’t officially diagnosed with dyslexia until adulthood, he found a workaround to his troubles by enrolling in a business co-op program which alternated his studies between classroom time and the First Boston investment bank in Manhattan. This view of real world business at play only further solidified his passion for business.
Where we connect: My parents divorced when I was 10 years old as well. Despite the turmoil created during that time, I chose to stay focused on my eclectic mix of business dealings. Business, like life, is pretty much never smooth sailing. Overcoming those obstacles and finding ways to turn them into treasure is where it’s at. Thank you, Daymond, for that invaluable lesson.
His Branding Genius
Have I mentioned that Daymond is an absolute branding genius?!? After successfully launching FUBU by identifying an untouched market in the highly competitive fashion industry, he learned early on that you have to narrowly define your market and identify their top needs and wants. Daymond’s other branding advice centers around commonsense practices, such as keeping the message simple, always controlling your brand’s image, and making transparency a top priority.
Where we connect: While I can’t claim to have gone from zero to $300+ million like Daymond, I have managed to build a multimillion dollar company from the ground up…and I have only just begun! Daymond’s experience represents my ultimate stretch goal and pushes me to better define my business and target market each day.
Meeting Your Mentors
If you had the opportunity to meet one of your celebrity mentors face-to-face, would you go for it?
Well, if I can sort out some scheduling conflicts, then I just may be able to say yes to that question! Recently, I found out about an incredible event that’s happening from June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. Fast Inc. Network is hosting an Accelerate Your Business conference (click on the link below to learn more about this event!) and is offering exclusive VIP access to Daymond John, complete with a meet and greet! Plus, there are master classes to attend, hours of small group learning sessions, and the ability to network with other likeminded entrepreneurs.
If you’re as inspired by the work of Daymond John as I am, you can check out all of the details and register for this incredible event here >> https://bg322.isrefer.com/go/event/Carrie
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