Video transcript+ Daymond John
Daymond John — "So this is my message to all the entrepreneurs that are out there and they think they are alone, and they are struggling to create a business. I have been there. The first several years of Fubu were really, really hand-to-mouth. As I’ve said many times, for the first two years I put ten t-shirts out into the market and created this vacuum, but even prior to that I had failed, closed down Fubu three separate times because I ran out of money. But I started to learn how to really manage my time and manage my expectations. I would work at Red Lobster - I would go to Red Lobster from two o’clock in the afternoon until ten o’clock at night, then I would come home and I would sew hats, sew up shirts, change labels in shirts, or whatever the case may be - from about ten o’clock at night to about two or three o’clock in the morning, and then I would get up at six or seven o’clock in the morning to go and deliver them to as many of the stores as possible. Then probably answer a couple of the voicemails (the messages), and then I would repeat that all over again.
I was fortunate enough to have three other partners: Keith, Carl, and J, who also helped me with various things in the business. I think it’s important when you are starting a business to understand that if you’re gonna have partners - what is the role that each individual plays? (Number one). Number two is dedicate a certain amount of time to the business: two hours a week; four hours a week; fifty hours a week; no matter what, it starts to compound, after year one; after year two; after year three. If you dedicated two hours per week to this new hobby or love or business, at the end of the year it’s over 100 hours put in.
Don’t be in a rush. Learn all the mistakes early. And then: have some kind of strategy. Know that this is where you want to be after year one; two; three; four; and five. You have to really be honest with yourself. Is the business worth it? Is it costing too much? Because you will know. I was working in Fubu and I probably had it seven or eight years before I finally quit my job because the money that was coming in was good enough to support me. A lot of business owners tend to not calculate themselves as an expense to the business. You are an expense to the business: whether you are thirty-thousand dollars or a hundred-thousand dollars. If you are running it out of your house then a portion of your mortgage is an expense to the business. You want to be able to put it in a form or a way that a strategic partner, a financier, a bank can understand it. If you go to somebody and say ‘Well I am a hundred-thousand dollars plus!‘, but you’re not taking salary and it’s in your home and your kids are working on it - you’re not a hundred-thousand dollars plus, you’re probably about flat. It’s not a problem, but as long as you know what your business is costing you - that’s basically called the P&L statement.
Those are the tips, and I like to say you are not alone, but again, it goes back (and I don’t want to sound like a corny guy), but it goes back to doing something you love - you’ll never get tired of it. Sometimes that success, that tipping point is right there. As long as you have a strategy you’re bound to hit it."