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Daymond John: Why I would have been turned away on 'Shark Tank'

If you're an entrepreneur who wants to attract an investor's attention, you need to ask yourself three questions.

1. Is your energy infectious?

2. Will your pitch resonate with investors so they can see what's in it for them?

3. Can you quickly pitch your idea in a way that makes the investor understand its value?

These questions came from Daymond John, founder of the FUBU clothing line and one of the investors on "Shark Tank." But even if you can check these three boxes, there's one further requirement that's just as important.

"They just really have to like you," he said. "They have to want to fight with you and feel like you're a partner, and potentially a partner for the rest of your life."

Daymond John, entrepreneur and Shark on "Shark Tank."
Liza Hughes | CNBC
Daymond John, entrepreneur and Shark on "Shark Tank."

This is easier said than done, as demonstrated by the many sharp-minded people in the business world who have no interpersonal skills whatsoever. In fact, John conceded that if he had pitched FUBU to his fellow sharks, he probably would have been turned away.

"My whole pitch was, 'I have some nice clothes, I have a lot of rappers wearing it, I want to be rich,'" he said. "And at the end of the day, 'I's' aren't what make a successful investment attractive to investors. And maybe that's why FUBU took about 12 years to get off the ground!"

He had sage advice for entrepreneurs who are about to enter the tank—make the investment look valuable to the shark by finding out what his or her interests are.

"Some sharks want to change the world," he said. "Some sharks want more time with their families, some sharks want more money." By finding out what you're dealing with, you're more likely to get a bite. But even if you walk out with no deal, you're not leaving empty-handed.

"Just being on 'Shark Tank' can change your life," he said. "You see, the sharks, we're up there to judge people only on if it works for us. It doesn't mean it's not a good business. Because who knows when the next Snuggie or Pet Rock is going to walk through door?"

By Liza Hughes, special to CNBC.com. Follow her @Liza_Hughes.

Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.


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