People ask Daymond every day how he got where he is today, and I think it’s kind of funny. The opportunity to be one of the sharks on Shark Tank didn’t just fall out of the sky on a kid who grew up in Brooklyn. And, really, there’s nothing “special” about Daymond that made him either more or less able to start a successful apparel company when he was really still just a kid.
The only difference between Daymond and people who work 9-to-5 jobs is that he never stopped thinking like an entrepreneur. Daymond has said multiple times that he believes we’re all born as entrepreneurs. When we first come into this world, we’re just figuring it all out and figuring out our own ways of doing things, but then people tell us, “No, you have to do it this way,” and, “No, you can’t start a company, you have to go work for someone else.”
Before you know it, most people have had their inner entrepreneurs pushed down so low that they don’t even know they’re there anymore. That’s why Daymond encourages anyone who wants to be a successful business owner to really embrace and nurture their inner entrepreneur.
Of course, I can almost hear you saying, “But how? How do we do that?” It’s pretty simple. Just follow these tips…
PRACTICE SEEING CHALLENGES AS OPPORTUNITIES
First of all, even if you’re not in “entrepreneur” mode, start thinking of the challenges in your life as opportunities. Daymond started FUBU because he was a part of an urban community of young people who loved hip-hop, and he noticed that none of the big fashion houses were focusing on making clothes for them.
Instead of thinking, “Man, nobody makes cool clothes that I wanna wear,” Daymond said, “I’m gonna make some hats.” Then he said, “I’m gonna make some shirts…” Before long (even though it felt like forever at the time), he had a whole clothing line, and was really in business.
Think about the challenges in your life, and the ones you see in other people’s lives, and think about how you could turn them into business opportunities. For example: are there a lot of seniors in your area who could use a good food delivery or errand-running service? Do you have what it takes to put that kind of service together?
BE A PROBLEM SOLVER
Basically, whenever you see a problem, think of a creative way to solve it. You might just end up going back to the old tried-and-true way, but you’ll never know until you try, whether you’re just sitting on a gold mine in the back of your head. The more you practice coming up with creative solutions, the more easily they’ll come to you. The more easily they come to you, the more likely you’ll be to come up with one that would knock Daymond and the other sharks off their feet.
DON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER
Finally, as an entrepreneur, you’re going to hear the word “no” a lot. Every time someone tells you that you can’t do something, go ahead and ask them why. I don’t mean get in their face or get confrontational, but ask them why they honestly think that your idea won’t work. A lot of the time, they won’t have an answer, but sometimes their answer will give you a clue to fix a weakness in your plan or to help you come up with a better pitch to show what you can do.
The more you practice these tips, the more your inner entrepreneur will grow, and the more successful you’ll be. Good luck!