The Power of Broke: How empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage, by Daymond John (with Daniel Paisner).
Paperback, Penguin/Random House, New York, published April 18, 2017. First edition – 288 pages.
$11.59 – Amazon.com
If you’ve been holding off starting a business because you don’t think you have enough money to get started, you’re gonna have to rethink your reasoning.
In his third book, Daymond John offers entrepreneurs eight powerful principles to guide one through the process of starting a business. In The Power of Broke, Daymond John introduces (or reintroduces) us to fourteen individuals that have come from a position of disadvantage to establish a leading business organization. And that disadvantage is not necessarily money.
Daymond John is the founder and CEO of FUBU (https://fubu.com/), a global lifestyle brand with over $6 billion in sales. He has also written Display of Power (2007) and The Brand Within (2010). Both are available at Amazon. Daymond John bio.
The writing style comes across in a conversational tone, as if you’re sitting down across from Daymond John, chewing the fat. He dispenses his advice to you in a straight-up manner, because he knows from whence he speaks.
“ ‘Broke’ is a great equalizer. It levels the playing field, gives the edge to hustle and heart over money and market forces. Best of all, it forces you to dig deep, to invest in yourself and trust in yourself – and maybe to kick yourself in the butt enough times that the full force of your personality has a chance to shine through.” (Page 53). When you come from a place of having nothing handed to you, you’re forced to rely on yourself to succeed. Your passion, your drive and commitment, and your vision are the things that can carry you to bring your dream to a reality. You don’t expect anyone to give you anything. More importantly, you don’t wait for someone to hand you an easier path – you make your own way.
FUBU was started on less than a shoestring budget, and Daymond John was hustling on the street long before he started selling clothing. He tells the story of buying a 15-passenger van to start a ride service for people in his neighborhood, while his friends were buying themselves cars to “look good to mean something” (Page 34). He charged less than the city bus, and he would drop people where ever they wanted along the route. These are the types of innovations that Daymond relies upon to start/grow a business. He was able to add value to a service, and offer it a little cheaper. He was making life a little easier for his riders.
There are similar stories like this throughout the book, providing inspiration and motivation for anyone willing to work hard to bring their idea to life. “The Power of Broke” shows how different people used one or more of Daymond’s Power of Broke Principles to get their business going. Among them, an 11 year old young man named Moziah Bridges (and his mother Tramica Morris). Their story is told beginning on page 142. As the story suggests, Mo is very fashion conscious, and he makes his own bow ties, because he couldn’t find anything that appealed to him in the stores, so why not make his own? You can check out his website here: https://www.mosbowsmemphis.com/.
Quoting Josh Peck (actor, comedian, and social influencer), Daymond offers this excellent suggestion regarding your passion: “You have to become a student of the game. Study what you’re passionate about. See what other people are doing. Learn what works, learn what doesn’t work, and then figure out how you can improve on that, do things slightly differently, make it true to your own voice.” (Page 175).
For me the message is loud and clear: Be Yourself! Take your passion, tweak it a little and make it your own. Be genuine.
Daymond offers more examples of applying his eight Power of Broke Principles, from both well-known names, and some not so well known. All the stories are interesting and inspiring. There’s no sugar-coating here. He is up-front that starting and growing a business is hard work, and it won’t happen overnight. But the book offers hope and proof that you can make a success of the endeavor. And you don’t have to have a boatload of money to get started.
Your passion, your ideas, your attitude, your belief in yourself are more important than money in some cases. Your sheer determination can get you farther along your entrepreneurial journey.
As Daymond says on page 249: “…the bottom line message…is that broke only breaks you if you let it. But broke can make you too…if you let it.” This tells me that attitude is more important quality one must possess. The attitude that nothing and no one will hold you back. The attitude that no setback is going to keep you down forever.
The Power of Broke is a good read for anyone wanting to start a business, but might be suffering some doubts about the prospects.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.