When watching “Shark Tank,” it’s easy to fall into a trap of looking at the “sharks” on TV and believe each one reached their riches without struggles. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Daymond John has built his business and fortunes from the ground up. He’s not only the man behind successful clothing line FUBU, but also has branched out as an author, coach, and speaker around the world. It’s pretty amazing for a man who has dealt with dyslexia all of his life.
John never actually found out the name for what hindered his reading skills as a youth until becoming an adult.
“I see the world in a different way than most people and for me that’s been a positive thing,” John said in an interview with Dyslexic Advantage. “It was like a lightbulb went off. I finally understood why I struggled the way I did.”
John, Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O’Leary – two other “sharks” on the show – share the common bond of dyslexia.
Here are three ways John didn’t let dyslexia slow him down:
1. He Developed His Own Learning Style. “I would read something – I had to read it three times – then I’d have to go and try to do anything in there that I read because I don’t know if I grasped the information correctly,” he said. “So it always made me take action.”
That type of action was reflective of John using just 10 shirts for FUBU and getting hip-hop and rap stars to wear them on videos. He’d then take those shirts back, wash them and reuse them again for other people. In addition, John found another way to learn – analytical and visual thinking.
2. He Received A Helping Hand From Mom. John remembered his mother making him read The New York Times and Wall Street Journal out loud to her on Sundays, thinking it was a way to help her get a jump on her work week. It helped him with reading comprehension and understanding the power of words.
This was in spite of his own father thinking his son was slacking at school.
3. He Turned His Defects Into Assets. Tapping into his own visual thinking style, John used it to his advantage when launching FUBU. He understood that people love a particular “look,” especially those in the music world. Through developing his own brand, hard work, and hustle, John didn’t let a learning disability or anything deter him from his goals in business and life.
There are golden nuggets of inspiration and success all throughout John’s story and life. He continues to stand out as a businessman and investor. What Daymond John also gives a lot of people, though, is hope. People can look at where he came from, what he went through, and where he is today and find something – even one thing – and connect their lives to his path.
It’s the hallmark of a successful story.