By Ryan Velez
Daymond John has built the FUBU brand into a $6 billion business, but in the company’s humble beginnings, he was living off of tips as a waiter at Red Lobster, reports CNBC.com. In an appearance at the iConic conference in New York City, John shared how “I was working at Red Lobster for five years as a waiter as I was running this business.” In the beginning, it was “40 hours at Red Lobster and six hours at FUBU. Then it was 30 hours at Red Lobster and 20 hours at FUBU because money started to come in.” However, even as money started coming in, he kept his day job and advises other entrepreneurs to do the same.
“Let’s say I was making an average of $40,000 a year,” he continued. “After five years, that’s $200,000 of salary. I would have had to sell $1 million more worth of FUBU product to bring home the $200,000, but I didn’t have to do that. I just had to sacrifice time.” In addition, there was the very possible reality of FUBU flopping, in which case his day job made for proper job security. “If it would have failed, I still wouldn’t have been owing everybody; I wouldn’t have had this huge deficit; my credit wouldn’t have been ruined for seven years,” John explains
He plainly says that the two tenets that being a successful entrepreneur by quitting your day job or needing money to make money are “garbage.” Instead, the secret to success goes to one core idea:
“Work. Bust your butt. Get up before everybody, go to sleep after everybody, and bust your butt. That’s it.” This is a simple statement, but many other entrepreneurs will point you in a similar direction, especially if you are not starting from a position of means. However, while the hustle is indeed important, you only reach that level of success if you hit a proper balance of planning. Too much hustle, not enough plan means you burn off valuable time and energy on things that don’t necessarily help you. Sometimes, this can be turned into a lesson, sometimes, it can be damaging. By the same token, too much planning, not enough hustle means that you never get things off the ground because you are too busy trying to put together the perfect idea. Also, there are always going to be things that you can’t plan for in business.