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Shark Tank's Daymond John: If you're a scared entrepreneur, you're dead already

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

FUBU founder and Shark Tank co-host Daymond John says now is the most exciting time to be an entrepreneur.

Regardless of political uncertainty, entrepreneurs have always had to take huge risks, John said at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit (AMS) on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re living in the best time in history because of technology. To a true entrepreneur, uncertainty doesn’t matter. We’ve always had uncertainty. Entrepreneurs wake up every single day and deal with adversity,” he said.

Pushing a “survival of the fittest” idea, John explained that dealing with hard times immediately eliminates the companies destined to fail anyway. “When faced with more problems, the weak ones fall by the wayside. If you go in scared, you’re dead already.”

Having hatched FUBU when he was just 18 years old, selling hats on New York City’s street corners, John understands the kind of resilience and fortitude it takes for an entrepreneur to survive. In addition to nurturing and mentoring budding entrepreneurs, he launched Blueprint + Co., a co-working space for executives and celebrity investors, this week in midtown Manhattan.

Echoing his own experience, John said nothing can compare to real life experiences when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

“Try to outwork the boss, out-hustle the boss. Do your research and do your homework. Fail fast and fail small,” he advised.

John has to separate the wheat from the chaff as a judge on “Shark Tank,” and is shocked that after eight seasons, entrepreneurs still don’t come prepared to answer the hard questions.

“You have, what we call, the gold diggers who come and think they can just come on and get exposure and free marketing — we’ve learned to handle them differently. Some people still haven’t done their numbers. It’s stupid at the end of the day. Some are simply not that bright,” he said.

He said he’s most proud because shows like “Shark Tank” have shown young kids that they can become the world’s next crop of entrepreneurs.

Melody Hahm is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Read more from Melody here & follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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