You live and you learn, and along the way you pray that you don't accidentally blow millions of dollars.

Daymond John, founder of clothing company Fubu and cast member of ABC's reality show Shark Tank, wasn't so lucky during the early days of his business. 

"I decided that if we could sell clothes, then we could sell music--easily," John recalls in a video from an Inc. GrowCo conference. So he hired a few of his friends, and they started a record label together. It turned out to be the first major mistake of his career.

"I blew $6 million," John says. "Because I did not hire or strategically align myself with anybody who knew anything about records."

And it wasn't just the lack of industry knowledge, John adds. Fubu's customer base wasn't keen on the idea of the clothing brand expanding to music.

"If you go out and try to just stamp your name and exploit other areas for revenue, your core customer that loves you will not buy you any longer," John explains. "So, you would have to be very careful. Does it make sense?"

The question has guided John ever since.

"If you lose, as they all say, don't lose a lesson," he says. 

For more on building a smart branding strategy, check out the video below.