Before he founded the popular clothing company FUBU and became an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank," Daymond John believed that being successful meant having a million dollars in the bank.
John recently visited Business Insider to talk about his latest project, Gillette Shave Club, and shared the insight that came with making his first million.
John grew up in Hollis, Queens, and his father was a computer programmer "back when that wasn't popular, and computers were the size of the room," he told Business Insider.
But at 10, his parents divorced.
"We went from middle class to poor," he says. "I became the man of the house and started working at that age."
Shark Tank, Daymond John
'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John explains why making his first million was a disappointment
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' speaks onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary and Executive Producer Clay Newbill of 'Shark Tank' speak onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' speak onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Businessmen/'Shark Tank' cast members Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O'Leary speak onstage at the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 20: Daymond John attends NATPE Reality: Case Study: SHARK TANK at NATPE 2015 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on January 20, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images)
Daymond John, chief executive officer & founder of FUBU, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York, U.S., February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
20/20 - David Muir and Elizabeth Vargas interview the cast of ABC's 'Shark Tank,' airing on a special edition of '20/20,' Friday, February 24, 2017 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images)
MARK CUBAN, DAYMOND JOHN, KEVIN O'LEARY, BARBARA CORCORAN, ROBERT HERJAVEC
THE VIEW - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) is the guest, Monday, May 8, 2017 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network.
(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, BARBARA CORCORAN, DAYMOND JOHN, SARA HAINES
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Daymond John attends Mogul: Celebrating The Life Of Chris Lighty at Marquee on May 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: CEO of FUBU Daymond John arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' at the Pantages Theatre on December 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) J. Alexander Martin and Daymond John attend Fabolous' A Night In FABU DHABI Birthday Celebration on November 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)
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Growing up in the same neighborhood where Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, A Tribe Called Quest, and Run-D.M.C. lived before rising to fame, John had role models who had come from a similar background and became rich and famous. But his definition of success was different.
"I never wanted to be a celebrity," he says. "I wanted to be someone who was notable, who could go into a room, and the important people would know them, but not everybody would. Because those artists had no privacy in their lives. I figured that success was to have a million dollars in the bank and be that individual."