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Daymond John Shares His Tactics for Overcoming Any Business Obstacle The People's Shark and serial entrepreneur weighs in on facing challenges big and small.
A lot has changed in the business world since I launched my first company FUBU back in 1992, but one thing has remained the same: being an entrepreneur is hard work. Whether you are new to this life or have been at it for a while, we entrepreneurs face adversity and obstacles on a daily basis. Some problems you see coming and some hit you out of nowhere. I have been able to overcome many of the setbacks I've faced through a combination of a stubborn refusal to give up, a little bit of luck, and not being afraid to ask for help when I need it.
FUBU went on to gross $350 million in annual sales — but I didn't do it alone. I found help when I needed it, built an amazing team, and took advantage of every opportunity that could help me achieve my goals.
Since launching FUBU straight out of my mother's house in Queens, I found success well beyond my expectations, and these days I love mentoring entrepreneurs who are at all stages of their journeys and helping them find the support they need. I want to share some strategies and resources that I found useful to help get me to where I am today. I hope you will use them to overcome your own hurdles, and ultimately better yourself and your business.
Motivate your team (and yourself)
It begins with a mission. Can you describe your business in two to five words? If you don't understand what your business stands for, people will interpret it for you. You need a defined vision. Get your employees involved in finding those words. Knowing and understanding the "why" of your business is a powerful unifier and motivator.
Set clear daily, weekly, and quarterly goals that support your business mission. And this is crucial: be sure you communicate these goals clearly. This keeps everyone on target without you having to look over their shoulders. You can't be everywhere at once, and your employees are often running the day-to-day business. Let them in on the big picture and encourage them to get creative in finding solutions.
Don't just communicate goals, share both positive and negative outcomes regularly with your team. Make them part of any decision-making when you need to pivot and make sure you celebrate your wins, big and small.
Pay attention to the 97% that love your business
Don't let negative comments on social media or other channels throw you off your game. It's easy to let them dominate your perspective, but remember, negative comments are usually coming from just three percent of customers. Don't let a tiny fraction of unhappy people sway the way you run your business.
Pro tip: Pay attention to the people who are giving you love! If three percent are disgruntled, 97 percent are happy. Don't take your biggest fans for granted. Make them feel seen and let that positivity fuel you. This is hard work and we only have 24 hours in a day — spend that time focusing on the positive, your mental health will thank you.
Don't be afraid of negative feedback
That's not to say you should ignore negative comments. Just don't obsess over them — learn from them. Entrepreneurs hear the word "no"….a lot. I've heard it more times than I can count. When that happens, I ask myself, "Did I articulate it in the right way? Was I prepared for this meeting?" And then I look externally, "Is this a good idea that just doesn't fit into their wants or needs? Do I understand who the right customer is for this product or service?"
Failures and obstacles will always be there, no matter what your previous achievements are. I have a pretty good track record but I don't have a rubber stamp to greenlight every idea in my head. Don't let rejection get you down. Use every meeting as a learning experience and you will grow as an entrepreneur.
Find a supportive network
You might have had the vision for your business, and you might be the driving force behind it, but no one can do this alone. Every entrepreneur faces adversity and unpredictable problems and you need a supportive network of mentors, business groups, and trusted partners to help you navigate it all.
As part of my partnership with Spectrum Reach, I served as a mentor for their inaugural Pay it Forward program, which offers select multicultural businesses the full power of its local advertising expertise, products, and services. During the program, I had the opportunity to advise local business owners across the U.S. in special mentoring webinars. I've seen firsthand how the local Spectrum Reach teams help guide businesses toward the right marketing decisions. Effective marketing is not plug-and-play. In order to reach the customers you want, you need an advertising partner that understands your audience, your needs, your brand, and the complexity of bringing it all together. The people at Spectrum Reach will help you find the channels (digital, social media, TV, streaming TV) that are going to be most effective for your brand.
You can learn more about the five types of business partners you need to develop your growth strategies here.
Look, entrepreneurship isn't easy. But you're not on this path because you want to clock in and out and just make a paycheck. You want to make a mark, you want to make a difference. So, keep pushing! It might take several tries to overcome the obstacle in front of you right now, but if you are communicating your goals, focusing on the customers who love you, facing failure head-on, and finding the right partners, your business will find the path to success.
Ready to take your advertising to the next level? Visit SpectrumReach.com to connect with a local advertising expert today.