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Shark Tank’s Daymond John on Working to Make It Big as an Entrepreneur: “Don’t Quit Your Day Job"

For those of you who are bent on achieving entrepreneurial success, but cannot bring yourselves to quit your day job and throw everything you have into your dream effort, side hustle, or whatever you want to call it…Shark Tank’s Daymond John understands, and has your back.


As a matter of fact, he thinks it’s a bad idea for anyone building a business on the side to leave behind the source of income that’s paying the bills right now.

According to John, the notion that one must quit a reliable, “regular” job to ultimately become successful as an entrepreneur “is garbage,” according to the mega-successful founder of the FUBU clothing line.

And he speaks from personal experience.

During an appearance last week at CNBC’s iConic conference in New York City, John said, “I was working at Red Lobster for five years as a waiter as I was running this business.” From there, he recalled that “it was 40 hours at Red Lobster and six hours at FUBU. Then it was 30 hours at Red Lobster and 20 hours at FUBU, because money started to come in.”

Importantly, John said that even as his business started to gain traction, he kept his restaurant job.


“If it would have failed, I still wouldn’t have been owing everybody; I wouldn’t have had this huge deficit; my credit wouldn't have been ruined for seven years.”

In other words, John says to keep your day job until it is positively clear that you don’t need it any longer.

So how do you stay the course in burning the candle at both ends? The old-fashioned way, says John.

“Work. Bust your butt. Get up before everybody, go to sleep after everybody, and bust your butt. That's it.”

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large