- “Shark Tank”/ABC
- Daymond John has regularly read Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich” since he was 14.
- It inspired him to start setting goals as specifically as possible and tracking his progress.
- He has a ritual where he writes his goals down with expiration dates, often holding seven goals at a time.
When Daymond John was 14 years old, his dyslexia had yet to be diagnosed, and he only knew that he struggled with reading. But there was one book, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 inspirational classic “Think and Grow Rich,” that he not only happily read, but decided to re-read every year.
The main takeaway he had as a kid, the “Shark Tank” investor wrote in his book, “The Power of Broke,” was to stop telling himself everything he didn’t want to be, and instead focus on what he did want. He sustained this mindset through the practice of regularly writing down and reviewing his goals.
It was simple but profound, John says, and helped give him the drive in his early 20s to turn FUBU from a project with friends into a multimillion-dollar business. “I would write something down, think about it, visualize it, and work my way toward it.”
In a recent interview for Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” we asked John about his habit and he said, “I don’t want to paint this picture of, ‘Set a goal and all of a sudden you’re going to get this magic-carpet ride.'”
You can listen to the full episode here:
He explained that as a teenager, he would envision himself in a board room of powerful people – he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, but he wanted to have wealth and influence. In his early 20s, he said he hit a dark period where he was unhealthy and aimless, working odd jobs just to get by. But because he kept reminding himself of his goal to make a name for himself, he was able to overcome this block, and that’s when he decided to work nonstop on his clothing brand, FUBU.
After years of working relentlessly on it, FUBU was bringing in $350 million in annual sales and it was time to set a new goal.
John explained his goal-setting ritual in detail in “The power of Broke.” He does it five days a week:
- John keeps a running list of about seven goals at a time, which he writes on a piece of paper. Each goal has an expiration date and a couple lines detailing how he’ll achieve the goal.
- They will always include a health goal, family goal, business goal, relationship goal, and philanthropy goal. The other two often involve another business project or his personal finances.
- Each goal is specific and worded in positive language. For example, John writes that he currently has a goal of getting down to 170 pounds by July 4; rather than add that he will do this by avoiding fried foods, meat, and alcohol, he adds that he will be doing this by regularly eating fish, drinking eight glasses of water each day, and exercising twice daily.
- John reads through his list when he wakes up and before he goes to sleep so that his goals are the first and last things he thinks about.
- He reads his goals an average of five days a week, giving himself some time to step back.
“When you’ve got a tangible, accessible goal, you’ve put it within reach,” John wrote.
This is an updated version of a story that originally ran on Feb. 1, 2016.