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Jackson D. Price, MBA Candidate

Stationed between Mark Cuban and Mr. Wonderful on the hit show Shark Tank is Daymond John. Focused and calculated, John embodies the archetype of a seasoned business magnate. Carefully fielding each pitch from contestants, John maintains a laser-like focus as he vets each proposition with skill acquired from years of experience.

Book Cover: Rise and Grind The 49-year-old from Brooklyn is well known across the clothing industry. He started the clothing brand FUBU from a modest $40 collection of hats on which he had hand sewn logos. He has since grown FUBU into a clothing empire, recording $6 billion in sales.

In his latest book, Rise and Grind, Daymond John looks at how grit and determination have helped him become the business titan he is today. While discussing these lessons learned, John interviews individuals who have excelled in their fields and analyzes their personal routines and work habits.


In Daymond John’s first book, The Power of Broke, he summarized the main themes of the book with the easy-to-remember acronym SHARK.  In a similar fashion, John uses the acronym GRIND to demonstrate the key takeaways of this book.

G is for “Get on it.” This rule emphasizes the importance of the first step, telling readers, “You can’t start moving toward your goals until and unless you take that all-important first step.”

R is for “Repeat.” This rule explains the importance of being systematic with your routines. John reminds the reader that humans are creatures, and it is important to structure your day in order to benefit from your habits.

I is for “Insist.” Insist on your very best and the best efforts of your team. John states that if you demand excellence in your deliverables, excellence is what you will get in return. He also states that life isn’t what you accept, its what you negotiate.

N is for “Navigate.” John ties this rule back to the relentlessness of a shark. He shares that sharks never stop swimming, even while they sleep, and he connects this fact to the adage to keep moving.

D is for “Desire, Drive, Determination.” John deems this the most important rule and assigns it three virtues. He talks about first starting out at FUBU, and how he had trouble getting a loan to fill orders because no one believed that the company would succeed. He states that while you shouldn’t ignore the naysayers, let it drive you and be determined to blow past the low expectations set for you.

THINK POINT #2: Get Your Hands Dirty

Meet your customers where they live. Step outside your comfort zone, break from your routines, and take the temperature of the market you hope to serve. John talks about the different members of the Shark Tank panel and how they keep in touch with their market. Robert Herjavec, for example, spends a majority of his time around the racing circuit where he meets potential clients for his cybersecurity firm. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, sits courtside at every single Mavs game, not just because he’s a huge basketball fan, but to stay in touch with his target demographic. These sharks have gotten to the top of their respective businesses by staying in touch with the customers who got them there in the first place.

THINK POINT #3: Step Back

Toward the end of the book, John touches on the need to have discretion in one’s work-life balance. John explains that he has to take his foot off the gas every once in a while and step back to avoid having the grind actually grind him down. John tells a story about Shark Tank guest panelist Chris Sacca and how he decided to step back from his venture capital firm after it started to dominate his life. Sacca explained,  

“Startup investing is one of my things, but it is not my everything. The only way I know to be awesome at startups is to be obsessively focused and pegged to the floor of the deep-end grasping for air. I succeeded at venture capital because for years, I rarely thought about or spent time on anything else”.

Business is a large part of our lives, but it is not everything. John acknowledges the importance of stepping back and asking yourself what you are really chasing.


Through John’s many years at FUBU and his experience as a venture capitalist on Shark Tank, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge when it comes to developing a company. Much of that knowledge is included in his book Rise and Grind and is applicable to the real estate industry. When considering think point #2, think about how you interact with your community. Are you an active member in your community or just a passive bystander? Consider looking for a local real estate organization or meet and greets that have local professionals gathering and spreading ideas. Researcher Robyn Driskell recently addressed this issue in the Keller Center Research Report in “Why People Like Where They Live” and made suggestions on how real estate professionals can improve the communities in which they sell.  

The real estate market is a cyclical business and has many ups and downs throughout months and years. When considering your work life balance, know your limits. When the market is at its peak and you find yourself consistently slipping and not meeting your clients’ needs, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate your strategy.

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Recommended Reading

John, Daymond (2018), Rise and Grind, Crown Publishing Group: New York City, NY.

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Driskell, Robyn, Larry Lyon and Brittany M. Fitz (2018), “Why People Like Where the Live,” Keller Center Research Report, 11(3), 7–11.

John, Daymond (2016), The Power of Broke, Made for Success Publishing: Issaquah, WA.

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About the Author

Jackson D. Price, MBA Candidate
Baylor University
Jackson Price is a graduate student from Colleyville, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration from The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business. Jackson is currently seeking an MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration and plans to pursue a career in the healthcare industry.

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