Here’s What It Means to Be “The People’s Shark”

Daymond here.

Throughout my years as an angel investor, I’ve received the affectionate title of “The People’s Shark.” It’s a nickname that sums up my entire mission and everything I’ve worked for throughout my career.

You see, I’ve spent my life committed to building up the next generation of passionate entrepreneurs from all walks of life, because I believe that everyone deserves a shot at success.

I get it. I wasn’t born into the lap of luxury.

To get to where I am today, I had to work hard, focus on my vision, and count on many people who believed in me back then the same way I believe in my portfolio founders today.

When I first launched FUBU, for example, I started it with just a $40 budget, a sewing machine, and the drive to make it big. We started out of my single mom’s house, located in Hollis, Queens – a lower middle-class part of New York City.

I loved it in Queens, and I have plenty of incredible memories from my childhood and young adulthood there. And despite not being born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I still had the drive and the support to achieve my biggest dream.

I have my mom to thank for that. She always taught me that working hard was the way to get what I wanted, and she always pushed me to do more. But I’m not the only person out there who’s had to work hard to make a dream come true. I know countless people with the drive to achieve success to some degree.

Truthfully, I’ve never seen wealth as something that determines how successful a person is. If a person is working hard, happy with their lives, and creating some kind of difference or reward… that, to me, is success.

That’s why I’m The People’s Shark. I believe that treating everyone with respect, no matter who they are or where they come from is the key to being truly successful. To prove you care, you need to listen to everyone and give everyone the same time of day as anyone else.

I’ve taken that with me into my career as both an entrepreneur and an angel investor. Sure, not every idea I hear is going to be successful… but I’m always willing to listen. Success can come from anywhere and anyone, and anyone who’s not willing to listen is doing the startup world – and themselves – a massive disservice.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with my secret to incredible deal flow. Keep an eye on your inboxes, and I’ll be in touch shortly.

We’ll talk soon,

Daymond John