"We keep hearing about hard work, hard work, hard work," John told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer in an interview on Monday. "But that's like [saying], 'You want to be a basketball player like Michael Jordan? Go and practice.' That's great, but I want to know: what is his method of operation? What does he do every single minute to make himself stronger, jump higher?"
Aside from being an investor on CNBC's "Shark Tank," John is the president, CEO and founder of a billion-dollar apparel company, FUBU, and the father of two.
His new book, "Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life," explores how successful, high-profile people "maximize" their days, he said.
"They're selfish," John said. "They're selfish in a way that they got up in the morning [and] they didn't answer any emails."
John found that rather than responding to everybody else's problems, most successful people start their day taking care of their health and serving their own needs first.
"We've given up our power to everybody," he told Cramer. "We wake up in the morning, answer a million emails with everybody's problems, look on social media; everybody's doing better than us. Get and talk to the kids for a second, 'I'll talk to you later,' and you never see your kids because you didn't schedule them on a list to be with your family, you scheduled to be in meetings."
The "Shark Tank" star told Cramer that he began research on the book because his endless responsibilities started to encroach on his health.
"I realized I wasn't taking care of mine and as soon as I started doing that, I found out I had Stage 2 cancer in my thyroid and I got it taken out," John said. "And that's why I'm healthy and I'm here, because of the discipline like that and taking care of my health."
But when John is on the "offense" — his code for surrounding himself with like-minded people and diving into his work — he's eyeing the hottest trends in the market.
"It's whatever is a subscription model that is going direct to the customer and cutting out all advertisers and other competitors," the CEO said. "It is Netflix. It's when you hit that button on your washing machine and get the delivery of the detergent right to you."
Invoking the likes of Amazon without saying the name, John said companies that don't depend on advertisers and usher their customers into relying on them will likely be long-term winners:
"You're selling full margin and you know who your customer is and you don't have to depend on everybody else."