Stay Hungry: Daymond John’s ‘The Power of Broke’

Daymond John has run a billion-dollar company, been a reality TV personality, and given speeches to the next generation of up-and-comers across the globe. But before that, he was an entrepreneur. And before that, he was broke.

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No Funding? No Problem!

brokeWould you start a company with no funding? According to his book The Power of Broke, a lack of money was the reason for Daymond John’s success. 

“Businesses built on steroids and on injections of capital are running on borrowed time,” John writes. He argues that businesses built on creativity and hard work will run circles around stagnant startups. These businesses are “genuine.” Even if the companies are small and broke, hungry people run them. And consumers want a genuine product from “real” people.

Daymond John knows a thing or two about genuine products. He grew up broke and hungry in Queens. And he was broke and hungry in the early ’90s, too, when he and three friends started Fubu, a fashion label based on the styles found in their neighborhood.

“Our designs came from the streets,” John says. “We wore them proudly … they were a reflection of our world.” They also sold very well, taking their creators from the bottom to the top in a few short years. Fubu is now valued in the billions, proof that rags-to-riches stories are alive and well in today’s world.

Too Hungry Not To Succeed

John is quick to point out that he and his friends were not outliers, and much of The Power of Broke focuses on entrepreneurs who were similarly “too hungry not to succeed.”broke

From DJ Steve Aoki and skateboarder Rob Dyrdek to cupcake mogul Gigi Baron, John delves into why people succeed when they face nothing but adversity.

He concludes that adversity itself is why they succeed. “When you’ve got nothing to lose, you’ve got everything to gain,” he writes.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to benefit from The Power of Broke. Do you want to succeed?

John says it’s all about investment, but not the financial kind. “I’m talking about emotional and personal investment,” he says.  “The more you’ve invested, the more you’ll get back in return.” That’s great advice for any business — or any person, for that matter. Stay invested. Take risks. Fight hard. Don’t be afraid to be the underdog.

And, as Daymond John says, “It doesn’t hurt to be broke!”

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