Daymond John is walking and living proof that you don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to be successful in the world of business and finance. Most of you probably recognize him as one of the successful investors on the reality series, Shark Tank, but I know him as the founder of the FUBU clothing line that took Hip-Hop and urban wear by storm in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is estimated that John, who started out with nothing in the way of wealth, is now estimated to have a net worth of $300 million.
It is said that Daymond John Launched the FUBU (For Us By Us) clothing line with only $40 worth of fabric. When he started, he was selling hats on the street corners of New York while waiting tables at Red Lobster at night. Wow! He has definitely come a long way. As it turns out, there were someone ins Daymond’s family who believed in him enough to invest in his dream — his mother. His mother invested $100,000 of her money to give his business the infusion of capital it needed to make it successful.
As it turns out, Daymond was neighbors with up and coming Hip-Hop artist LL Cool J who wore one of the FUBU hats during a Gap commercial, ultimately leading to John landing a very lucrative distribution deal with the textile division of Samsung. Who even knew that Samsung had a textile division.
In a matter of only six years, FUBU grew to an annual revenue generation of $350 million — earning in excess of $6 billion in global sales. Unfortunately, with the rise of other brands like Sean John, Rocca Wear and Phat Farm, FUBU grew less popular in the urban wear industry. John would ultimately sell FUBU while it still had value, pushing his net worth well into the millions.
He took a significant portion of his earnings from the sale of FUBU and became a venture capitalist. He seems to have a very astute ability to recognize concepts that will be successful if properly funded and effectively managed. This has been seen on the show Shark Tank, where other investors have passed on a presentation but John decided to get behind the pitch. John is a great conceptionalist and business-minded person and he knows how to monetize that as good as anyone. He also owns a branding company that he uses to help other businesses optimize his brands.
Daymond John is also a successful author, having written three books, including “The Power of Broke,” which was published in 2016.
In addition to the promotional tours he takes to promote his books, he is also a very sought after public speaker — offering his expertise in business to crowds around the world. He is easy to connect to for most people who attend his events because he had to build his empire from the top and he is very approachable. He has had the pleasure of serving as the ambassador of global entrepreneurship — being appointed by President Barack Obama. He also won the NAACP Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1999, as well as the Entrepreneur of the Year Award issued by Ernst & Young in 2003.
Between his public speaking, book sales, ROIs from venture capital investments, Daymond is consistently growing his business. However, it was the massive thrust that he got from his first major endeavor (FUBU) that set the stage for him to earn the money that he is earning now. What should be celebrated about Daymond John more than his success and net worth is his willingness to encourage, inspire, and empower others to believe that anything is possible. There are a lot of people who have heard him speak and read his books that are now pursuing the dreams.
With Daymond not even being 50 yet, it can be expected to see a great deal more from him over the next 10 to 15 years. From FUBU to the Shark tank is quite an impressive journey that was full of pitfalls and setbacks, and yet Daymond John has risen to the top and he is living his best life unapologetically. I cannot wait to see what lies in store for him moving forward.
Written by Rick Wallace
Read more posts by Rick Wallace