Daymond John and the $750,000 Lesson

daymond-john

In the world of authority marketing and branding, Daymond John sits at the top of the mountain. He’s a near perfect example of both. But Daymond learned some hard lessons along the way.

In an article for Business Insider, Richard Feloni shares a story of Daymond losing near $750,000 in the first season of Shark Tank.

The experience taught him the following lessons that have allowed him to become a savvier investor and corporate adviser.

Lesson 1: Don’t get caught up in the moment

Because “Shark Tank” was new in 2009, the producers weren’t able to book the generally high caliber of entrepreneurs that appear on the show now.

Even if Daymond was seeing something he normally wouldn’t want to invest in, he found himself getting caught up in the excitement of a bidding war with his fellow investors. And even if he found himself in a dud deal, he would spend too much time thinking he could transform a hopeless business, since he had already made it that far.

Lesson 2: Throwing Money at a Problem Doesn’t Solve It

The scrappy attitude he had while building FUBU out of his mother’s house in the 1990s helped him become the CEO of a hundred-million-dollar business because he made decisions as though every cent mattered — and it did.

Not only did he try keeping his handful of “Shark Tank” season-one businesses alive for longer than he should have, but he unnecessarily spent $200,000 on legal fees vetting and closing deals with them.

Lesson 3: Rely on Your Team

To help with his season-one investments, John hired consultants for licensing, marketing, and social media.

It was unsustainable. It’s why he built a new company, Shark Branding, with a full-time staff that handled licensing, business development, legal issues, contracts, marketing, and internal management.