WHAT I LEARNED FROM DAYMOND JOHN

He is known as the mastermind behind FUBU, an investor on the award winning show Shark Tank, the People’s Shark, and much more. I admire him for all of that, but even more for what he speaks about constantly and that is “financial intelligence”. Majority of the interviews that I see of him he at some point talks about the importance of financial intelligence.

Many people think of financial intelligence or financial literacy as just knowing how to handle money, but it is more than that. It is also about how you handle yourself in life that leads to opportunities to bring money into it for you to handle. One of the programs that I do across the country on college campuses is “Building A Brand”. Through that workshop/keynote I show students how to get their foot in the door of internships and jobs without sending a thousand resumes. All of the strategies I provide are based off what I do in my business to get in front of opportunities.

The most important strategy is knowing how to use social media as more than just a platform to talk about what you ate for breakfast. I tell students all the time social media makes the world smaller and you can talk to almost anyone that you want today if you do the work. Social media has removed the gatekeepers. Now back to Daymond. He was in town last Thursday for a speaking event that I had a ticket to the first hour they were released! The morning of the event I was in Starbucks doing work when Daymond went live on Instagram and because I have notifications on I was alerted to it. As soon as he came on he said he just landed in Greensboro NC. It is only 11AM so in my head I am thinking what is he doing until 6PM!

I continue to watch the Instagram Live and Daymond just before he ends it says he will be at a certain Hardees thirty minutes from where I was currently. I immediately rushed out of that Starbucks to my home to change because if you know anything about Daymond he is the king of branding and marketing. There was no way I was going to meet him in a shirt and jeans. I changed into the dress you see in the picture. As soon as I arrive at the Hardees the lessons begin.

First, it is easily seen that Daymond is building a “Honey Empire”. That means that you can be in business and still be nice to people. When I finally arrived at his table where he was eating I was met with a smile and not a look like, why are you bothering me. He also surrounds himself with people who also understand the “Honey Empire” mentality. Chauncey and Danny who I have seen on many Instagram stories were just as nice and are helping him build that “Honey Empire” not only by the hard work they put in, but by how they lead with smiles also!

The next set of lessons came from his keynote that night. I knew Daymond from his days of building of FUBU so hearing him speak about how FUBU was built was exciting. He incorporated real hip hop into the keynote which took it to another level. As he takes you on this journey he goes through his SHARK tips which are “Set A Goal”, “Do Your Homework”, “Amore”, “Remember You Are The Brand”, and “Keep Swimming”.

I won’t go through all five, you can attend one of his keynotes for the full picture. I will however share a couple of the tips. He shared a story about trying to get big names to wear FUBU in the early days and how he and his partners went to LL Cool J house to see if he could get some of his “famous” friends to wear the clothing. LL told him that if you want to get in front of people you have to “stalk” them. This is on a whole other level back then because there was no social media so you had no idea where people were. Today we have social media and we can get to people much easier.

The only reason I met Daymond that day is because I have been lightly “stalking” him for a few years now. LOL. As the day for him to speak drew closer is when I kicked it up a notch just in case I had the opportunity to meet him before he spoke on stage. Now that Daymond said it is okay to “stalk” people in order to get the opportunity you need I have no problem continuing to tell college students to do the same!

His “Amore” tip helped me remember who I am doing Debt Sucks for and that is my family. I can’t get so ahead of myself that Debt Sucks actually ends up hurting them so I must keep that balance at all times or it is not worth it. My FAVORITE SHARK tip is “Keep Swimming”! He talked about how as an entrepreneur you will hear the word “NO” over and over. He still hears the word “NO” today! Even though people may turn you down you have to “Keep Swimming”! He said if sharks stop swimming, they die and so as an entrepreneur it tells me if something doesn’t work out I can’t just stop and give up. I need to move on to the next opportunity.

Daymond John taught me much more than I have written here, and I will use those lessons going forward not only in my business, but also in life. You may not get to see him live on stage, but many of the lessons he used to build his “Honey Empire” can be found in his newest book “Power Of Broke” on Amazon. Here is one lesson that I will share with you. If you have the opportunity to learn from someone who is where you want to be, whether they are a multimillionaire businessman like Daymond John or a potential mentor that lives one city over do whatever you can to get in front of them.

I know you seen the picture of us at the top, but that picture came after the UNBELIEVABLE! Below you will see where Daymond John shared “Debt Sucks University” with the world! As of this morning 18,000 people have viewed this FB Live. Daymond like so many times before has used his brand and marketing power to push another brand (Debt Sucks) to another level! Thank you Daymond!

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