People that play the long game lead successful enterprises. Even when there is no immediate return, they expand their influence, establish their reputations, and cultivate connections. These long-term investments will pay off when the time comes.
This is the powershift principle: the capacity to take command of events and effect genuine change since you’ve previously laid the foundation.
In these chapters, we’ll look at how one of America’s most well-known entrepreneurs, Daymond John, the founder of the renowned hip-hop apparel company FUBU, uses the powershift.
We’ll decompose the insights John gained in the apparel industry and condense them into practical tips that can help you make powershifts in your own industry along the road.
You’ll also learn a lot in these chapters.
- What happens when a bouncer is given a free T-shirt;
- What do the Shark Tank investors think of the competitor pitches in real life; and
- How examining the timeline of a Twitter foe may help you improve your bargaining abilities.
Chapter 1 – The most successful businesses offer lives rather than items.
Here’s a simple fact: not every sweater is the same. On the one hand, there’s the ubiquitous sweater that can be found almost anyplace. It’s simple, inexpensive, and practical. It’s the type of item you buy when you forget to bring a sweater on vacation. It doesn’t really matter who made it.
And then there is the sweatshirt you purchase because you’re looking for a specific model from a specific brand. It isn’t just that these sweaters are more expensive, though they typically are; there’s a lot more to them than simply the cloth. They represent something. They correspond to your self-perception and express something about who you are.
Daymond is the author of this book. John originally established a reputation for himself in the fashion business by designing clothes that allowed people to do just that. But first, let’s take a closer look at the many types of clothes that are available.
That generic sweater represents the first kind. This is a moderate, non-branded category. Consider the simple T-shirts and jeans that can be found in most big supermarkets across the world.
A second category is also available at such supermarkets. These clothing are a little more expensive and are branded, although with the house label’s simple emblem. Consider the Kirkland brand at Costco. Although you don’t buy pants or socks because of this label, it is present nonetheless, distinguishing them from their less expensive equivalents.
You’re buying items from the third category if you usually buy one brand of shoe because it has greater grip or cushioning. Selections in this market sector are influenced by trust. You exactly what you’re getting when you buy from a single brand.
This is where Under Armour, an American sportswear company, got its start. It began by making sports T-shirts that wick away sweat better than competitors’ shirts, and then eventually moved into leisurewear. Under Armour was selling more than just goods at this point. Wearing the label’s clothing was more than simply a means to an end – it was a way of life.
What is the key to making this transition? Under Armour, on the other hand, put what it preached into reality. They made the greatest sports shirts on the market, which gave it credibility. People might eventually utilize the athletic image of the brand to create a tale about who they were and what they stood for. This insight isn’t only about selling clothing, as we’ll see in the following blink – it’s also important for personal branding.
Chapter 2 – The most successful personal brands are readily identifiable and represent a certain value.
Robert Craig Knievel was simply a regular man who enjoyed doing stunts on his motorbike. But he had a knack for spotting marketing. His daredevil antics, which included a leap over a cage of rattlesnakes, drew a lot of attention. He was quickly given a moniker: he was “that man.”
People began to recall his name as word spread. But it wasn’t a fantastic name, so when a constable handed him a citation for reckless driving and jokingly referred to him as “Evel Knievel,” he took it seriously. It was ideal for posters since it told people what to anticipate at his rodeos.
This has evolved into a lifestyle brand. Knievel became linked with excitement and daredevilry because he was always clad in the same flashy red, white, and blue motocross outfits. Parents warned their children not to be Evel Knievels by jumping off roofs. In other words, his name meant something.
One thing that all successful individuals have in common is that their names are linked to certain characteristics, ideals, and accomplishments. Consider a few historical instances. Muhammad Ali flitted like a butterfly and stung like a bee, while Aretha Franklin was known as the “Queen of Soul.”
A strong personal brand communicates who you are and what others may expect from you to the rest of the world. And that can help you gain traction when trying to persuade others. So, how do you go about establishing that winning reputation? As we saw in the last chapters, you must practice what you teach.
However, the first step is to define your message and verbalize it. What kind of person do you want to be? To narrow it down, come up with five or six adjectives and try them on for size. How do you conduct yourself in a way that shows compassion if you’re all about it? However, simply walking the walk isn’t enough; you must actively promote your brand.
If your business has a charity goal, for example, you must publicize it. You’ll need to discover the appropriate channels to accomplish this. Back in 2005, Myspace was a wonderful tool for this, but it’s unlikely to help you spread the word in 2020. Lastly, you’ll want to make a memorable impression. Consider the case of Eve Knievel. Of course, you won’t have to jump over rattlesnake-infested cages, but the concept is the same: turn heads to develop your brand.
Chapter 3 – Winning over the big names isn’t necessary to open doors.
The acronym FUBU translates for “For Us, By Us,” which is the name of John’s record company. It had a single aim when it was founded in the early 1990s: to place the garments worn by New York’s hip-hop musicians and fans on the fashion map.
It wasn’t simple to get the word out back then — after all, this was before the internet. There was some news coverage, to be sure. They were a new firm managed by black entrepreneurs who were deeply anchored in the hip-hop hotbeds. A few interviews here and there, however, were insufficient.
Influencers were another option for getting a trademark out there. Of course, this was before Instagram, but influencers played a similar role in the fashion industry back then as they do now. Instead of shooting themselves in giveaways, they wore them to the hottest nightclubs in New York. It was a tested strategy, but FUBU saw an opportunity to do things differently.
The typical influencer was thin, youthful, and accustomed to being the center of attention. They were pampered with complimentary clothing and had their pick of the city’s most fashionable labels. Even if you were successful in convincing them to wear your clothes, they rarely did so more than once.
John observed something unusual just as he was starting to consider recruiting influencers. Customers who purchased larger sizes, such as 4X, 5X, and 6X, tended to wear them out quickly. The problem was that it was difficult to locate shirts in these sizes that were as popular as the ones FUBU was producing.
Now, who were all these 300-pound, six-foot-tall customers? Many of them were the type of security guards that worked outside nightclubs. John figured out how to put two and two altogether.
Although these security staffs were already a part of the city’s fashion culture, producers tended to treat them like furniture. Why not express your gratitude by giving them the freebies? It was a brilliant move. The security people loved the attention, and FUBU’s XXL-sized emblem was now displayed prominently outside every upscale New York nightclub.
Other doors were also opened as a result of the relocation. One of the part-time bouncers John worked with, Beast, was also the director of security for Ralph McDaniels, a well-known hip-hop producer in the city. Beast was instrumental in setting up a meeting between John and McDaniels, who agreed to showcase FUBU on Video Music Box, a show that is watched by nearly everyone in FUBU’s target market!
Chapter 4 – Doing your homework can help you succeed.
You review if you wish to pass a test. You start asking questions, get the lay of the land, and figure out which topics to avoid if you want your first meeting with a partner’s parents to go well.
In business, it’s the same. If you want to impress an investor, close a transaction, or obtain a job, you must first learn about the individuals on the opposite side of the table. To put it another way, preparation is what brings the bacon home. Isn’t it self-evident?
Sure, but it’s the type of obvious-sounding concept that quickly fades from memory. According to a recent CareerBuilder poll, just 64% of job applicants bother to research a firm before applying for a position. Then there’s the author’s personal investment experience.
Many people like watching Shark Tank, an American reality television show in which entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a team of five experienced investors. Isn’t that one of the primary draws? It’s fascinating to watch these investors pick apart a shoddy company proposal.
These parts are amusing, but they aren’t the focus of the show. Entrepreneurs like John, who has been a “shark” for eleven seasons, would like to hear about groundbreaking new ideas and get in early. Solid pitches, on the other hand, are uncommon. Most participants just wing it, whether it’s due to laziness or hubris.
Randy Goldberg and David Heath stood out because of this. They started Bombas, a sock company with a philanthropic bent, together. Bombas donates another pair of socks to needy shelters for every pair sold. John was immediately enamored with the concept, but he needed to know if it worked first.
Randy and David were ready to prove it to him. They sought out an old industry insider after forming Bombas. They’d learned almost all there is to know about knitting socks from him. They watched every episode of Shark Tank before going on the program and prepared responses to every question posed by a shark during the show’s history.
That piqued John’s interest, and he proposed a $200,000 investment in exchange for a 5% ownership in Bombas. The firm is now prospering, and John’s decision proved to be a wise one. So, what is the takeaway here? It’s simple: the effort you put in will always be repaid.
Chapter 5 – To succeed, you must collaborate with others.
You’ve heard the clichés. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and good men always come in last. Whatever you’re doing, hold your head down and watch out for yourself otherwise no one will. Correct?
This has a grain of truth to it. It’s a difficult business, and you’re surrounded by individuals seeking to shift their own power. But there’s a lot more to it.
Consider driving. Texting while driving is dangerous since it causes you to lose sight of what’s going on around you. It’s the same when you’re trying to advance in your career. When you’re exclusively focused on yourself, you’re more likely to miss potential risks.
Companies like FUBU usually distribute their clothing to stores in cartons with many sizes of each item. However, not every store is the same.
A major store with tens of thousands of consumers may sell a popular clothing brand in all sizes. A small mom-and-pop shop with only a few dozen clients, on the other hand, will find it difficult to reproduce. The bigger sizes may sell well while the smaller sizes continue to stay on the shelf, or vice versa, depending on the population they serve.
When this happens, retailers request that labels such as FUBU shatter the box. This entails removing the in-demand sizes from their standardized packaging and delivering them to the business. Brands, on the other hand, despise it. It’s a logistical nightmare, and they’ll have to figure out how to sell whatever is left in the opened boxes.
When FUBU was confronted with this issue, it was in an excellent position. It was making millions, and John reasoned that they could avoid the bother. People may always go to a larger shop to get FUBU’s clothing. What he hadn’t considered was how these businesses would react to FUBU’s move.
They started advertising fire deals on FUBU goods because they had the stock they couldn’t move. That’s not good news for a popular brand. People wonder why your product is on the clearance rack as soon as they see it. Soon, your hard-won reputation will be jeopardized, and consumers will turn to competitors.
It was a priceless lesson. What is John’s conclusion? Make a solid deal, but don’t grow so arrogant that you put others at a disadvantage — it might come back to haunt you.
Chapter 6 – It’s not only your tongue that communicates; your entire body does as well.
Each episode of Shark Tank begins in the same manner. Before starting her presentation, a competitor approaches the set and walks over to the shareholders.
On the broadcast, she appears to start speaking right away. That’s a little different in the studio, though. Before adjusting their equipment for the pitch, the camera team films the stroll. This generally only takes a few minutes. Both the investors and the candidate are expected to keep silent throughout this period. This is a pivotal point in the show for the sharks. What is the reason behind this? During this time, they have the opportunity to assess the individual in front of them.
While waiting, some contestants fidget a lot, emphasizing their lack of confidence. Others assume a powerful posture and stare the sharks down, a technique meant to convey confidence but really reveals arrogance. A sardonic smile, on the other hand, recognizes the discomfort and helps to diffuse the situation.
These first impressions are really important. Take it from UCLA psychologist Albert Mehrabian, who is a renowned specialist in nonverbal communication. Words account for only 7% of what we convey, according to his research. Tone, on the other hand, accounts for 38%, while facial emotions and body language account for 55%. Meanwhile, Inc. magazine studied 2,000 business discussions and found that not a single transaction was struck following meetings in which one or both parties were present.
The good news is that your body language is under your control. Take a few suggestions from John’s experience to help you better yours.
First and foremost, make eye contact. You know you should look at the person you’re speaking to, but what about when you’re speaking to a group? Many people make the mistake of instinctively locking eyes with the most important person in the room, alienating everyone else in the room. What is the solution? While speaking, make sure to glance around at everyone in the room.
Then there’s the matter of facial expressions. Self-awareness is the key here. Recording yourself reading from two Twitter feed accounts is one method to get a grasp on what your face is saying. Select an account from someone who irritates you and a timeline from someone you respect. Examine each tape for subtle and not-so-subtle variations, and see if you can conceal your actual sentiments the second time around.
And now you have it — a few pointers to help you gain influence and move your power.
Powershift: How to Master the Three Prongs of Influence to Close Any Deal and Achieve Any Outcome by Daymond John Book Review
The most successful brands sell lifestyles rather than just a variety of items. You’re communicating a narrative about yourself and what you stand for when you buy what they create. In the same manner, personal branding works. People notice you when you stand up for something, and that gives you power. That’s where your powershift will begin. It’s all about doing your homework, working with rather than against others, even people who are often missed, and watching your body language from here on out.
Examine the results of your excellent acts.
Karma is a genuine thing. That’s the lesson John learned when his refusal to assist tiny stores selling FUBU’s clothing came back to bite him. The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to give as much as you take. Are you still not convinced? So, give this a go.
Consider all the times you’ve let down your guard, done someone a favor, or met a negotiation partner halfway. Did such decisions benefit or hurt you in the long run? They probably brought their own rewards, whether they solidified your reputation or provided you with a beneficial link. That’s an excellent point to keep in mind the next time you’re at a meeting or dealing with a new partner.