Daymond John Inspires New York Audience

"Know What You Want And Go Get It"

Daymond JohnSharing his personal and inspiring life story, Daymond John provided a packed house of ASI New York attendees with a roadmap for entrepreneurial success during his keynote this morning. “You can’t be successful without being decisive,” said John, who is the founder of the $350 million apparel brand FUBU and a judge on the hit ABC show Shark Tank. “You can’t question yourself and your goals. Know what you want and go get it.”

A New Yorker who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, John detailed how he built his company from nothing into a well-known and highly-sought-after apparel brand. The key, he said, is that he knew exactly what he wanted. “You have to set goals,” said John. “You can’t know what success looks like if you don’t know what you want. I wanted to be in the hip-hop world, but I couldn’t rap or dance or sing. So, I needed another way to get in. I was solely focused on that goal, and I worked every second to make it happen.”

John also stressed the importance of preparation and homework in business today. Making the point that successful businesses intimately know the needs and wants of their customers, John said that companies have to do their research to realize strong sales growth these days. “You have to identify trends and spots of opportunity in your market,” John said. “You’re most likely not creating anything new and filing for patents. So, what you need to do is find new people who want what you have or new ways to deliver it. But you can only do that with preparation and homework.”

A branding expert who’s the author of the business books Display of Power and The Brand Within, John left attendees with an important lesson about building their brands and connecting with customers. “Always remember, you are your company’s brand,” he said. “Put yourself and your brand into two-to-five words, and use that positioning every day in everything you do. If you don’t, then customers and prospects will fill in the holes and determine your brand positioning in their own minds without you having an effect on it. Don’t let that happen. Go home today and write down the few words that define you and your brand.”