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Head-On #5: Operating Without a Safety Net |  March 16, 2017 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY--So maybe the needed 2017 mindset is about understanding that we are all operating without a safety net, and preparing to get into battle mode to reach the next level of success.

At the Centurion show this year, I walked out of our annual Exhibitors Meeting and into the last few moments of what looked to be a captivating presentation by Shark Tank's Daymond John. While I was unable to absorb the session, a short time later I decided to read his new book, The Power of Broke.

I'm really glad I did and highly recommend that you do, too. You can click here or on the book cover to order it from Amazon if you wish. The book takes you through how he started with very little money, and was able to parlay what most businesses could go through in a day or two into a multibillion-dollar fashion Enterprise called Fubu (For Us By Us).

 What Daymond John reminds you about throughout the book is that there is no better mindset than to understand that you have absolutely no choice but to succeed. As he tells it, the very fact that your resources are slim and your back is to the wall is extremely empowering.












I noted that he refers many times to having grown up in Hollis, Queens. Since I was a Bronx kid until the age of 21, I could relate, and this added some extra interest for me in reading the book.

From the time he was a kid, Daymond John always had an entrepreneurial mind. He would try to get snow shoveling jobs, but thought if he could get an exclusive contract to do the driveways and the walkways, he would give people a free spring cleanup. He "scaled"  this business model that getting other kids to help him with the  shoveling, as long as they agree to help him with the spring cleanups.

He learned more about hospitality and customer service at places like Red Lobster and Church's Fried Chicken, and soon started a share-a-ride business to help people get home and back from Queens subway and bus stations. In building Fubu, Daymond John worked many black Expos up and down the East Coast, where he learned a lot about what sells, what doesn't, and how to manage his inventory. He reminds us that in today's Internet-driven society, the consumer is indeed in charge and that keeping it real is key to being successful. Aand also that having too much funding can lead to big mistakes and failure (as happens to lots of dot-com startups), whereas limited resources force you to make better decisions.

His section about Gigi Butler of Gigi's Cupcakes, what has now grown to a national chain doing more than $35 million in sales, and how she  focused, refocused, and bet everything to make her business happen, is really wonderful reading.

Between the references to his motto, Rise & Grind,  which is a great make it happen thought for starting your day, and images like Rocky Balboa and his eye-of-the-tiger attitude, and how he lost it and regained it, he keeps you thinking that "your back to the wall" is a great place to be to ensure you have no choice but to succeed.

I'm sure it occurred to everyone in the audience on the morning of Daymond John's presentation at Centurion that the attitude he espouses works amazingly well in the jewelry market of 2017. Most people in the industry would agree that the safety nets are being removed, the strong will survive and that we must innovate our way through the trough we are experiencing.

Forget "Woe Is Me" and let's harness Rise & Grind!

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