Daymond John has accomplished a lot in his life. He founded a clothing line that ended up being worth 6 billion dollars. He helps hundreds of businesses grow each year on his hit TV show, Shark Tank. And, somehow, he even finds the time to mentor a separate set of small business owners on the side. How does he accomplish it all? By using the “Power of Broke” mindset.
Most people would not believe that there is power in being broke. How can having the odds stacked against you be a better hand for would-be-entrepreneurs than a favorable deck? Could it be the energy you need to drive to success is found in the struggle? The answers to your most sought after questions only come through adversity? And, if you are willing to stay in the game long enough, you will acquire the know-how to fulfill your dreams?
“It’s all about tapping into the mind-set that finds us when we’re in that place of hunger, that place of desperation….and putting it to work.”
Daymond John grew up in Hollis Queens with his mother and no siblings. He led an average life with no extra thrills, but John wanted more for himself so he started designing and selling clothes on the street. Eventually, the power of broke took his company, FUBU, to 6 billion dollars.
Today John is known for being the People’s Shark on the hit show Shark Tank. He and four other business tycoons make offers on business opportunities provided by savvy entrepreneurs who are in need of a financial boost to make their product “pop.” I personally love the show and learn something new each time I watch it.
The power of Broke has proven to work for John, but the book isn’t just about John. He weaves in the stories of at least 10 other wildly popular entrepreneurs from millionaire skateboarder Rob Dyrdek to Under Armour founder, Kevin Plank, to a young girl named Acacia Brinley who couldn’t find one person to hang out with at school and is now followed by so many millions of young ladies across the world that companies pay her to endorse their products.
What do all of these stories have in common? You guessed it. A “power of broke” mindset.
Aside from the inspirational stories you will read, John gives us several business cases throughout the book that make you shake your head and feel sorry for the person who has gotten their hands on too much money too soon. “Bigger money early on, means bigger mistakes — at a time in your growth when you can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
There are even stories about others that John shares. Like the one about Michael Jackson. Seems as though Jackson would carry around a transistor radio at his recordings. Odd you might say when it is safe to assume that Michael and his engineers were using the best equipment money could buy. When queried about his little transistor radio Jackson replied, “Most of my fans will be listening to my music on this type of radio. I want to hear what they hear.”
In other words, Jackson wanted the experience of the end user so that he could do everything possible to make sure the end result for his customers was as good as it could possibly be. In my opinion, this story alone was worth the cost of the book.
Another personal experience that had me dumbfounded had to do with the best business meeting ever held in a bathroom. That’s right, a bathroom. Digital media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk once invited John to a “jam session” that took place in a W hotel bathroom. Of course it was a suite, but a bathroom nonetheless. Can you imagine game changers of all types from venture capitalists to execs from Twitter and Uber sitting around in a bathroom discussing things like the day when cars will be illegal? John said “there was more energy and excitement in that one hotel bathroom than I’d ever experienced under one roof, and we stayed there talking until four in the morning.”
You might not find this type of stuff interesting, but I love it when someone like John tells a story like this. It allows me to get a glimpse of how Daymond John, the billionaire, lives when there are no cameras around. It also sparks my creative juices to hear such out-of-the box stories. It lets me know that it’s okay to be different as long as you make an impact. Vaynerchuk’s meeting is an example of wealthy men who still have the power of broke mindset despite their riches.
When it’s all said and done, The Power of Broke is best suited for those looking for a little hope. The hope to continue pushing forward despite all odds. The hope to believe in ourselves and our ideas. The hope to be better than before in our lives, businesses and relationships. The hope that only comes from a power of broke mindset.