Five Books Which Spurred the Creator of FUBU on to Success.

Abu Mubarik August 11, 2022
Daymond John. Getty Images

Daymond John is a Shark Tank investor and is also widely known for his pioneering apparel and footwear brand FUBU. The serial entrepreneur grew up with his single mother in Queens, New York. Before joining Shark Tank as an investor, John had made a fortune as the founder of FUBU, which was synonymous with T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, denim and footwear.

FUBU, which stands for “For Us By Us,” was created targeting the African-American community. John and his three friends created the brand after popular brands refused to market their brands to ethnic minorities.

John and his childhood friends, Keith Perrin, J. Alexander Martin, and Carl Brown, started FUBU from his mother’s home. He later mortgaged his mother’s three-level Queens, N.Y. home for $100,000 to invest in FUBU.

With just $40, John and his team pitched camp at expos and tradeshows across the northeast. Soon, demand exceeded supply and John had to raise capital to expand production. Unfortunately, not many investors were willing to bet on him. Eventually, Samsung became a major partner in FUBU.

The brand became so popular that celebrities like Mary J. Blige, TLC, P. Diddy, LL Cool, and Beyonce all wore FUBU to multiple shows, award events, and print and television ads. FUBU reportedly made $350 million in sales through various retail outlets and eventually grossed $6 billion globally.

John attributes his success in entrepreneurship to several factors, chief amongst them being the books he reads although he is dyslexic.

“As a kid, I would read a book three and four and five times because I knew I wasn’t absorbing all of the information,” John tells CNBC Make It.

As he aged, John began to educate himself on ways to achieve success and become influential, starting with “Think and Grow Rich,” written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill. according to him, he has read the book like 20 times.

According to him, the book was instrumental in his entrepreneurial success as founder of FUBU, high-end co-working space Blueprint + Co, in addition to his role as an investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank.

1. “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey was first published in 1989. The book has inspired and empowered hundreds of people around the world, including John. The author explains how and why readers should embrace habits like “be proactive,” and “begin with the end in mind.”

“Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, continues to be a bestseller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology and focuses on timeless principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity,” according to

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is another favourite book of John. The book was first published in 1937.

“The main takeaway from this book that I learned is goal-setting. This book made me realize the importance that when you don’t set very specific goals for yourself, you can find yourself making excuses for why you’re not working as hard as you can be,” according to John.

3. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

In this book, the author shares the story of his two dads; one he calls his poor dad and the other, the father of his best friend who became his mentor and his rich dad. His dad was well educated but was an employee all his life while his mentor dad chose street smart over traditional classroom education and became one of the wealthiest men in Hawaii. The book teaches financial literacy and financial freedom through the experiences of his rich dad and poor dad.

5. “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson

Published in 1998, “Who Moved My Cheese” is a fictional story about how to embrace change, talks about two mice, and two small mice-sized people, who are scurrying around a maze looking for cheese and discovering they must leave their comfort zone to pursue it. According to the New York Times, 28 million copies of the book have been sold globally.

The key takeaway of the book is “adaptability, perseverance and a positive mental attitude are critical to success in any endeavour, especially in the cutthroat world of business,” the entrepreneur said.

“One of the most gifted or recommended books,” John says about the book.

Last Edited by:Sedem Ofori Updated: September 13, 2022


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