Powershift by Daymond John Book Summary – Review (Audiobook)

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
* 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 the
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
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
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
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
The good news is that your body language is
under your control. Take a few suggestions
from John’s experience to help you better
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.

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