Guru can help you be successful. They can even show you how to fail.
It’s a sign of a great mentor, says Daymond John, “Shark Tank” star and founder of FUBU. The subject is divisive: While his onscreen collaborator Mark Cuban says he’s never personally been a “great mentor,” John tells CNBC Make It that over the years, mentors have changed his life.
John’s reflection on the value of mentors precedes his second annual Black Entrepreneur Day, a fundraising event for black-owned businesses on October 14, which he co-sponsors with several partner companies. This year’s effort includes a range of grants worth $ 25,000 for black entrepreneurs and small business owners who can apply online by September 28.
Last year, the event saw ten such grants out of a total of 5,000 applications.
The event will take place at the Apollo Theater in New York City, with a free live broadcast on John’s Facebook page. A long list of famous entrepreneurs are set to share their stories of success and failure on stage with John, including Shaquille O’Neill, Tyra Banks, Kevin Hart and Michael Strahan.
The chess discussion is important, says John. For him, choosing a mentor who only wants to talk about his victories is a big mistake. Advisors willing to share their own financial mistakes and how they survived, he says, are worth more.
“If I had seen this,” John said. “It would have helped me a long time ago in my career.”
Why you need mentors who can be personal about their mistakes
John says that at first he thought successful people didn’t want to talk to someone like him, mostly because some of them looked like him. And because he was never able to connect with them, he never learned about their failures.
“I thought someone hit them with a magic wand,” he said.
Of course, everyone comes up against obstacles. Once John realized that even the most successful people made financial mistakes, and that there was nothing wrong with them, too, his career took off. “Work with you [challenges], and there are keepers, ”says John. “We just need to know how to find them and extract that value. “
Finding them is easier said than done. Some of John’s great mentors, he says, were closer than he thought – not business icons, but the likes of his mother, stepfather, and daughters.
Teachers, city workers, small business owners or church leaders, he says, can all show you what it means to fail while succeeding.
“You might not be able to catch Daymond John or Barbara Corcoran,” John says. “But mentors are all over our community. They are just in disguise.
John used to think that there was a “special place” where successful people went for advice. Now, he says, he finds them everywhere – a concept he hopes to bring to Black Entrepreneur Day, highlighting both the people and businesses who can help black entrepreneurs get ahead.
“We need to talk more about these resources,” he says. “Because the more people are educated, the more people are empowered. “
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive rights to the off-grid cable of “Shark Tank”.
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