'Shark Tank' investor Daymond John says this daily ritual changed his life

"LIVE with Kelly and Michael": Daymond John
"LIVE with Kelly and Michael": Daymond John

When Daymond John was 14 years old, his dyslexia had yet to be diagnosed, and he only knew that he struggled with reading. But there was one book, Napoleon Hill's 1937 massive bestseller "Think and Grow Rich," that he not only happily read, but decided to re-read every year.

The main takeaway he had as a kid, the "Shark Tank" investor writes in his own book, "The Power of Broke," was to stop telling himself everything he didn't want to be, and instead focus on what he did want. He sustained this mindset through the practice of regularly writing down and reviewing his goals.

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It was simple but profound, John says, and helped give him the drive in his early 20s to turn FUBU from a project with friends into a multimillion-dollar business. "I would write something down, think about it, visualize it, and work my way toward it."

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As an adult, he added more layers to the process and made it a ritual that he does five days a week:

  • John keeps a running list of about seven goals at a time, which he writes on a piece of paper. Each goal has an expiration date and a couple lines detailing how he'll achieve the goal.

  • They will always include a health goal, family goal, business goal, relationship goal, and philanthropy goal. The other two often involve another business project or his personal finances.

  • Each goal is specific and worded in positive language. For example, John writes that he currently has a goal of getting down to 170 pounds by July 4; rather than add that he will do this by avoiding fried foods, meat, and alcohol, he adds that he will be doing this by regularly eating fish, drinking eight glasses of water each day, and exercising twice daily.

  • John reads through his list when he wakes up and before he goes to sleep so that his goals are the first and last things he thinks about.

  • He reads his goals an average of five days a week, giving himself some time to step back.

"When you've got a tangible, accessible goal, you've put it within reach," John writes.