The Power of Broke is a book about how being broke, on a tight budget, and hungry for success can be motivating, exhilarating, and a catalyst for great success. The Power of Broke is a story book profiling a number of successful entrepreneurs who didn’t have large amounts of funding starting off.
I was drawn to reading The Power of Broke because I’ve seen Daymond John on the popular TV Show Shark Tank and wanted to learn more about his story. In addition, I’m constantly looking to surround myself with the ideas of successful business owners and entrepreneurs. There is no better way than to read about them in books!
When your back is up against the wall, your bank account is empty, and creativity and passion are the only resources you can afford, success is your only option.
Summary of The Power of Broke
Daymond John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he was a teenager in Queens. With a $40 budget, Daymond started selling t-shirts to his friends out of the back of his van. Desperation breeds innovation – Daymond put his creative ways to work, growing his company over the years into the billion dollar brand FUBU. Each and every day, Daymond John wakes up and says to himself, “Rise and Grind!”
The SHARK Points of Business
Daymond John wrote The Power of Broke to tell the world it doesn’t require million dollar funding to build a brand and be successful in business. Essentially, to be successful as an entrepreneur, you must apply the SHARK Points of business:
- Set a Goal
- Where are you headed? What’s on tap for the next year? Think about what’s possible. Think about what’s in reach. Write it down.
- Homework, Do Yours
- You have to know your stuff in the market you are. You have to identify what the customers want and need to be successful.
- Adore What You Do
- It comes down to passion. You have to love what you are doing. If you don’t, then it’s empty.
- Remember, You are The Brand
- It all starts with how you carry yourself, what you put out into the world, the way you interact with your audience, your customers, the marketplace. It’s on you. Just you.
- Keep Swimming
- Don’t give up, don’t give in.
When you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.
The Power of Broke Confirmed
The Power of Broke discusses the stories of a number of entrepreneurs who came up from nothing and applied the SHARK Points. The people profiled are from many different industries – music, social media, fashion, food, internet marketing, extreme sports, and consulting:
- Steve Aoki – Musician, DJ, Record Producer, Music Executive
- Maxed out 10 different credit cards totaling $90,000 to fund a record.
- Rob Dyrdek – Skateboarder, Producer, Reality Show Star
- When he was 11, he didn’t have the money to enter a skateboarding contest, so cut a deal: if he recruited 10 others to enter, he would get in for free. He did it and continued to turn heads with his brand.
- Gigi Butler – Entrepreneur, Cupcake Boss
- Started a cupcake business with just $33 to her name and grew it to a company with $35 Million in annual sales.
- Jay Abraham – Executive, Consultant, Public Speaker, Direct-Marketing Guru
- In the 1970’s, Jay Abraham started by delivering 8-track tapes to various stores in a $500 beat-up van. Soon after, he bought a small company out of bankruptcy, applied some silly sales techniques (deals which resulted in negative 45 cents for the initial sale) and built it into a $60 million dollar company.
- Tim Ferriss – Author, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor
- Many of you know Tim Ferriss from his books (The 4-Hour Workweek), but many of you don’t know he was working for a non-profit and driving his mom’s hand-me-down minivan before finally landing his book deal!
- Ryan Deiss – Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer, Consultant
- Created many online businesses in college and nearly got wiped out when he lost track of his products. He overdraft $250,000 and had to figure out how to pay his debt. He paid off his debt, but then owed another $250,000 in taxes to the Government! In 3 days, he utilized the power of broke and got it done!
- Mark Burnett – Television Producer, Bestselling Author
- Mark Burnett came to the United States from the U.K. and working at an insurance company and selling t-shirts in his spare time in L.A. As his t-shirt business grew, so did his dream to adventure. He set up races and contests for extreme people and this set the stage for the show, Survivor. Now, after almost 20 years, he is the producer of many top action and contest TV shows.
I loved reading about all of these people’s stories. It was truly eye opening and inspiring.
“The meaning of life is the process. The meaning of life is in the conversations we’re having right now, and you can have the same conversation with a waiter or a janitor or an executive at a top company. It’s all in the process, and in my case it’s in my commitment to add value anytime I interact with anybody. If you can get that in alignment, find a way to help someone else while you help yourself, then everything else flows.” – Jay Abraham
My Takeaways and Action Steps
With all books, I look to have a couple takeaways and action steps to apply in my life.
In Jay Abraham’s passage above, he talks about finding a way to help someone while you can help yourself. I completely understand his point and want to be able to provide value to many people. I’ve already started this by creating this blog and sharing my personal experiences. I’m also very happy that over 20 people have downloaded our free debt destruction tool in the past week!
Reading The Power of Broke pushed me this the weekend to think outside the box and look to expand my horizons. I’ve been watching the real estate market for some time now and have a goal in 2017 to buy another property. I did it over the weekend! Property #2!!
I had my offer accepted on a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom place. The house needs some cosmetic upgrades to the bedrooms and living room. This will be a large undertaking over the next 3 months. I’m going to look to rent out my current house which will bring the following tasks: finding renters, applying for rental license, and cleaning and fixing up the house and yard to get it ready. Then once I close on the other house, I’m going to paint, clean, and redo the floors of the new house! I’m excited and ready for the high stress period coming up.
UPDATE: I ended up not going through with the house due to foundation issues.
Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
If you are looking to start a business and are looking for ideas, pick up a copy of The Power of Broke. You don’t need capital to start a business – Daymond John proves that by featuring numerous successful people who started with less than $1,000 in the bank. Get after it! Apply the SHARK principles: set a goal, homework (do yours), adore what you do, remember you are a brand, and keep swimming, and you will be on your way to success.
I’m very glad I read The Power of Broke. Even if you aren’t interested in business or entrepreneurship, reading about the stories of various people we read about is always interesting. For example, I didn’t know much about Tim Ferriss before reading The Power of Broke. I am glad I now know a little more of his story to success. All the stories energized me to get to work! RISE AND GRIND!!
Innovation happens from the bottom up, not the top down.
If you have been broke, did your motivation and results soar? Is frugality a psychological trick which forces us to save? Would you purposely stress yourself out to become success?