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As an American investor, entrepreneur, apparel developer, and motivational speaker, Daymond John has inspired millions with his story of success. His innovative business mindset has sparked economic growth across the globe while allowing him to become a leader in many industries. John is also the mastermind behind the iconic hip-hop apparel company known as FUBU, which helped him become one of the most successful and richest entrepreneurs in history. So in consideration of his many impressive accomplishments, we aim to unravel a few of his best success insights in this Daymond John Success Story special.

How can someone go from humble beginnings of selling homemade t-shirts on the streets of Queens, New York, to becoming an international superstar? Well, there’s no doubt that Daymond John’s story will leave us clues to such questions, as most success stories tend to do. So, if you’re ready to discover what his particular success story can teach, let’s dive right in.


Daymond John Story of Success

An Entrepreneurial Spirit From the Start

On February 23rd, 1969, Daymond John was born and raised in the lower middle-class neighborhood of Hollis, Queens in New York City. His parents continuously reminded him that in order to achieve success, hard work was necessary.

Unfortunately, his parents eventually opted to go their separate ways and filed for divorce while he was still young. In fact, when Daymond was just ten years old, his father abruptly left, and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

This was a big even in John’s life, as it forced him to become the man of the house and stronger emotionally; considering this event also transformed his mother into a single parent who now had to take on all of the household responsibilities, and all of the extra pressures and anxieties that came along with this new reality.[1]

In his teen years, John worked tirelessly to make ends meet, taking on the task of distributing flyers for a meager salary of $2 an hour. Additionally, he attended high school and was enrolled in a unique program that allowed him to both work full-time and study simultaneously. After graduating high school, he established his very own commuter van service while also waiting tables at a restaurant.

From an early age, Daymond John was driven and possessed a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Building FUBU

In 1992, Daymond John had a revolutionary vision of creating an apparel line specifically designed for young men, resulting in the birth of FUBU. Furthermore, his mother helped nourish his creativity by teaching him how to sew and provided a platform for John to practice crafting in her home. She too would help him to sew his initial line, showing through her actions her support and commitment to his success.

At first, he stitched together a set of nearly 90 hats and sold them to passersby in New York. To his delight, they made him $800 on the very first day. Following the success of selling hats, John and his business partner decided to branch out into printed T-shirts. They began selling on consignment as well as attending larger events in an effort to grow their brand.

Even though FUBU was off to a great start, it wasn’t enough to financially sustain Daymond John and his business partner. John took up a full-time position at a local restaurant and he and his mother took a mortgage of $100,000 out on her house to fund their operation.

Now, all that was left was to put in the sweat equity to make their brand a success. Daymond John and his business partner started knocking on each and every door, determined to make FUBU recognized by the fashion industry.

The Rise to Success

After putting forth much hard work and relentless effort, Daymond was eventually noticed by the hip-hop community. The name FUBU, which stands for “For Us By Us”, spoke to the young generation of musicians who wanted to be united through their creative pursuits, not their budgets or backgrounds.

Brand Nubian and Miss Jones from popular radio station Hot 97 were Daymond’s first supporters, and the recognition from the hip-hop industry was enough to attract the attention of the famous rapper LL Cool J.[2]

daymond john success story quote

In the Gap advertisements of the time, Daymond noticed that LL Cool J was wearing a FUBU hat. This was Daymond’s first big break, which put his brand into the spotlight. It didn’t take long before other famous celebrities such as P.Diddy and Will Smith were wearing Daymond John’s FUBU gear.

By the mid-nineties, Daymond had successfully established his business empire and earned celebrity status throughout the fashion industry. FUBU rapidly became renowned far beyond urban areas, from shopping malls in the Midwest to websites across Europe, becoming a global powerhouse.

At its zenith, FUBU was achieving $350 million in yearly sales, and since it’s inception, the . popular brand has amassed over $6 billion dollars in global revenue.[3]

Getting On Shark Tank

While Daymond John was known in fashion and musical circles, he gained even more recognition from mainstream America when he became a star of the hit TV show Shark Tank. Daymond wasn’t keen on the idea when he was first invited to join the show in 2008.

However, with time, he realized that he could use his business acumen to mentor and help others succeed while expanding his own portfolio. As such, he leaned into the opportunity.

He signed onto the budding show in 2009 at the height of the recession, and soon after, Daymond gained a reputation as an influential, decisive, and shrewd investor. Daymond has been on Shark Tank ever since, using his experience to carefully choose investments in companies that have the potential for long-term success.

How Daymond John Gives Back

After a life-changing success story, Daymond John is driven to give back to his community. As a proud member of the Board of Overseers and volunteer host or judge for NFTE events, John dedicates his time to giving back. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship is a worldwide entity with chapters in 12 countries, devoted to teaching the core principles of entrepreneurship and fundamental skillsets to scholars living in underprivileged communities.

The For Us, By Us Fund (FUBU fund), is committed to providing assistance for folks in need of financial support and mutual aid in Maine with the resources they need to lead a fulfilled and meaningful life. By empowering BIPOC-led projects, organizers, and even granting individuals in need of financial aid or mutual support, they are providing much-needed grants to those who require it most.[4]

Success In His Own Words

Daymond John’s story leaves many clues on how anyone can get on the right path towards achieving success. But, John has also generously offered up many success insights of his own in the form of advice. So, here’s a few success gems that can be found in Daymond John’s own words:

There you have it, Daymond John’s success ethos summed up in a a few short sentences.

Related: Daymond John Quotes

Lessons We Can Learn From the Daymond John Story

When someone as influential as Daymond John takes the time to share his success story, it is essential that we take note and use it as a guide as well as a source of motivation. Daymond John’s journey teaches us some valuable lessons about ambition, resilience, and determination.

Daymond never gave up on his dream or ambitions, despite numerous obstacles and failures. His community was also a critical factor in Daymond’s success. Without key figures such as his mother, his friends, his FUBU co-founder, and the burgeoning hip-hop community in New York, Daymond’s success would have been much more difficult to achieve.

So remember when you’re losing motivation, ask for a helping hand, make an offer to support someone else, and stay connected and committed to your passions and goals. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to dream big and take some risks to bring those big dreams to life.

Till you reach your aims,


Daymond John’s success story is a combination of hard work, dedication, and taking risks.

PS – If you enjoyed this Daymond John story, then chances are you’ll also enjoy the success stories of some of his fellow sharks like Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, or Robert Herjavec.

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