Home Articles / Poems A review of Daymond John’s book, Rise and Grind, by Olumide Holloway

A review of Daymond John’s book, Rise and Grind, by Olumide Holloway


“Rise and Grind” is the first of Daymond John’s books that I have read, and I was pleasantly impressed.

If you are wondering, who is Daymond John? Well, he is the CEO and Founder of FUBU, a respected entrepreneur and one of the stars on the ABC series Shark Tank.

Rise and Grind is a great, gritty and genuine read on how to grind out results. The fact that there were stories of other entrepreneurs (and not all about Daymond) provided a deeper level of perspective on the habits needed to win in life.

I particularly love the following stories:

Kristina Guerrero (an ex-military officer): who came up with a PowerBar/ Meal bar (aka Snack) for dogs which the dog owner can carry around with him/ her while on the road. She was not looking to start a business – she just wanted a convenient way to feed her dog when they were out on the trail (i.e. hiking).  And when she did not find any, she decided to scratch her itch. This led to she and her boyfriend/ soon to be husband (who is a food scientist) experimenting and coming up with a meal bar for dogs. It took almost two years to get the “perfect recipe” which her dogs finally agreed to eat.

Al and Brittani Baker (father and daughter entrepreneurs): are the owners of a barbecue joint and co-owner of boneless ribs. Al started the business unknowingly, when his (American football) teammate asked to taste his lunch and Al ended up selling the lunch (pork chop sandwich dripping with coleslaw) to the teammate for USD10. Soon, he was making and selling sandwiches to his teammates and coaches. Al was once invited to appear before a disciplinary committee, because a coach complained about the ever present smell of the sandwiches anytime the team was traveling on the bus or in a plane. But the trouble died down quietly, because most people in the organization were already customers of his informal catering service. After quitting American Football, Al dabbled into other businesses to learn the ropes about full time entrepreneurship (especially as regards payroll, tax, personnel management etc). Then he settled to make a business out of what he loved to do (i.e. cooking) and his daughter joined him to help out with sales and marketing.

Carlos Santana (the legendary Guitarist): this was basically about his reinvention. It shows the importance of continually learning, growing, adapting and accepting change in order to stay relevant. The key takeaway here is: “trust your talent – yes, practice makes perfect and all that, but sometimes you get to a place where there is nothing left to practice and you know your gifts will be there waiting for you.”

Kyle Maynard: an athlete, speaker and author, who was born with a rare condition called congenital amputation. This means, he came into this world with no arms and legs. Despite the odds stacked against him, he still made something great out of his life.

The minute by minute account of the daily activities of Daymond John further validates the saying, “success is in the routine.” Daymond also kept it real and interesting when he stated (in his own words) that: “my grind doesn’t always follow the clock, doesn’t always follow the sun, and doesn’t always follow a set schedule. That’s why I still make time to hit the (night) clubs – when I’m home in New York, or when I travel. Whatever it is I’m doing, whatever it is I’m selling, my time in the clubs gives me a leg up, because that’s where my market lives and breathes. If I want my finger on the pulse, that’s where I tend to find it.” In other words, go to where your market is.

My key takeaways from the book are:

  • Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams, even if they’re a little crazy and out there, and everybody you know is telling you, you’re out of your mind.
  • If you can’t get your ass to work, get your assets to work.
  • Get your hands dirty. Meet your customers where they live. Step outside your comfort zone, break from your routines, and take the temperature of the market you hope to serve. Put yourself out there.
  • Know and understand that strength leads to strength – meaning, if you attack your days with relentless passion, if you attack your goals with relentless precision, you’re bound to get a strong result.
  • The opportunities come when you least expect them, and you have to be moving in order to benefit from that opportunity.  Sometimes, you can rise and grind, and rise and grind, and rise and grind, and just grind, grind, grind and nothing happens. And then you have a breakthrough. But if you don’t grind, I can assure you, nothing’s going to go your way.

So my people: Rise and Grind, so you can Rise and Shine.

Written by Olumide Holloway (King Olulu)

Twitter @olulu4ever, Instagram @olulutheking, olulu4ever@gmail.com, +2348025070892

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