Most of us have seen the TV show “Shark Tank”, where aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners pitch their ideas to a group of “Sharks”, well-known entrepreneurs who’s had major success in their respective fields.
These entrepreneurs are known for their individual expertise that attributed to their success. People like Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary are just a few of the regular Sharks that appear on the show.
Their resume speaks for themselves. As mentioned in the The Top 3 Rules For Success Article, Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur that worked tirelessly to build his empire. Some of us may know Daymond John as the founder of FUBU. Kevin O’Leary is most famous for selling his company The Learning Company to Mattel, a multinational toy manufacturing company for over $4 billion.
Recently, these entrepreneurs participated in a short interview and were asked what they feel is the most important ingredient in success.
Of course, they draw from personal experience and explains what has worked for them. But they also share what they’ve learned from others along their way to success .
Although it may seem their advice is only applicable to entrepreneurs and the like, you’d be surprised at how much we all can learn from them, regardless of our profession and goals.
Whether your pursuit is maintaining healthy relationships with your friends and family, getting in the best shape of your life, becoming well-known in your field of expertise, etc., their advice will not only provide insight, but also dispel and confirm some common beliefs that many of us may have.
So without further ado, here are the highlights of the interviews from each of the Sharks, followed by how we can apply their advice in different areas of our lives.
“I can attribute the success I’ve had to having a series of really hard, crappy jobs along the way… working with real people, busting my ass, all those things build… empathy and those life skills… are indispensable when trying to build a business.”
With over a billion dollar in net worth, Sacca is a venture investor in early stage techs like Twitter, Uber, Instagram and other notable start-up companies.
In this interview, Sacca credits his success to having worked with people in the trenches so to speak. He understood what it
meant to do the mundane, rubber stamping type of work. This allowed him to relate to others that does the same type of work for a living.
In addition to the empathy he talked about, he mentioned the life skills obtained from these “hard, crappy jobs” that he took on. These qualities, in Sacca’s opinion, are absolutely critical to starting a business.
We can see how this advice applies to other areas of our lives.
Whatever goals we may have, whether it’s in athletics, fitness, wealth, relationships, building empathy with people that’s going to be involved in your journey goes a long way in contributing to your success.
Even if we feel those people may not have a direct impact on our success, busting our asses as Sacca puts it, with those people gives us exposure, which can bring all kinds of unexpected benefits.
Maybe an assistant coach on the team you want to make is secretly watching how you interact with different players, and not just your skills in the sport.
Or one of your direct reports at your work has a a personal contact that can help you further your own project that you’ve been working on outside of work. And he’s be glad to share that info with you if would open up to him.
No matter what it is you want to achieve, work hard with those involved in your journey in anyway, and you won’t go wrong.
“… It’s good to have a dream, it’s better to have a plan… a purpose, and a goal, a desire to get ahead.”
I’ve written about Herjavec before in the article on motivation. Go ahead and check out that article to learn about his humble beginnings and how far he has come.
Herjavec stresses the importance to have a plan of action in addition to the goals that we’ve set for ourselves.
It’s true that most of us have goals, accomplishments, dreams, and other things that we want to achieve within our life time. But not everyone has a plan of how to get there.
It’s easy to get lost in just the end result of what we want and enjoying those pretend feelings we get when we daydream about it.
But have we took the time out to devise a plan on actually achieving those goals and realizing our dreams? Do we know the how’s and when’s and where’s to getting what we want?
As elementary as this may seem, it’s one of the basic things a lot of people miss because it is so basic. Sometimes, it’s the fundamental things that people miss.
The second part emphasized by Herjavec is the desire to get ahead.
Without the drive, passion, and pure hunger for reaching our goals, no amount of planning or wanting will get us there. Again, this is something that seems basic, but it’s another thing that gets overlooked.
A classic example of this comes in the form of distractions and temptation. Maybe we want to win the next competition, or cut down overhead cost by 20% for the next year, or talk to that girl or guy that we’ve been interested in.
The distractions and temptations could be to party instead of getting restful sleep, or spending money on attractive toys and gadgets, or taking the easy way out of not talking to that guy or girl because it makes us uncomfortable.
If that sounds familiar, then maybe we don’t have the right amount of drive or passion for getting what we want.
Or simply put, we don’t want it bad enough.
But if we do have the drive, passion, and we do want it bad enough, there’s nothing that can stop us from executing the plan that we’ve set out.
“The key… you gotta understand that’s a platform of sacrifice. That you’re gonna spend 110% of your time focusing… go through all the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs… I tell everybody that comes in here… Are you ready to sacrifice? Are you ready to do what it takes? Because if you don’t want to do it, there’s somebody else that’s ready to kick your hiney and do it for you and run you right over.”
O’Leary could be regarded as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. As mentioned at the beginning, O’Leary has made a name for himself with the billion dollar deal he made with Mattel, in addition to his other business ventures.
While O’Leary was strictly talking about entrepreneurship and business with the advice he gave here (just like the other Sharks are), the main points of what he said describes the journey that ALL successful people have to take to get there.
The focus of O’Leary’s message here is sacrifice. He’s putting so much emphasis on sacrifice because that’s what it took him to achieve the success that he’s had.
It’s also a requirement (hint: not optional) if we truly want to obtain the success we desire. After all, who want to be just a little successful, or kind of made it?
That sacrifice means going through the hardships like O’Leary described. The ups and downs that we ALL experience are products of our sacrifice. We then have to make more sacrifices to overcome the downs and continuing riding on the ups.
And the last part of O’Leary’s message hits home for those of us involved in competitive endeavors like business, sports, job positions within a company, etc. There are always more people out there willing to put in just as much if not more work and sacrifice than we do.
If we just coast or drift about with paying attention to our progress, then whatever success we’ve achieved could slip through our fingers.
Now if our goals are more personal and doesn’t rely on competition or other external factors, we may not feel the urgency and importance of O’Leary’s message as much as those with goals of competitive nature.
At that point however, we’ve become our own worst enemy. We’ve allowed ourselves to take a backseat. This can easily give way to laziness, and a loss of our passion and drive, which was just mentioned as a vital component to success by Robert Herjavec.
So we’d do well to ask ourselves the same questions that O’Leary asks the business owners on the show: Are we ready to sacrifice? Are we ready to do what it takes?
“The first thing you have to know is it’s a 24/7 job… it’s an every minute, all the time thing, you don’t walk away. You have to be willing to be extremely driven and do whatever it takes. You have to be… somebody who is not afraid to take risks… People are afraid to take risks… they never step out of their comfort zone… Things go wrong… have to not crush under them… Every bad thing that happens is truly just a building block to making you smarter and stronger and more prepared.”
Greiner, an inventor and entrepreneur that helped launch over 400 products, also known as the “Queen Of QVC”, made a lot of good points in her message to entrepreneurs looking to succeed.
Not all of us have goals and dreams that require our attention 24/7, but it’s the attitude of that we have about those goals that’s important.
If we are truly passionate about our mission, if we really care to accomplish what we planned to do, it’d naturally be on our minds all the time.
Again, just like Herjavec and O’Leary, Greiner emphasized the importance of drive and being willing to do whatever it takes. She also added in that taking risks is a vital part to success.
Steeping out of our comfort zone is a necessity if we want to grow in any way. If we wish to change or improve from our current situation, we need to do something that’s “uncomfortable” to make that change happen.
A lot of times, those uncomfortable things can include taking risks, and throughout our journey, they can go wrong in major ways.
Greiner finishes her part with one of the most important pieces of this article. Do not accept defeat in the face of opposition. Learn from the mistakes, do the prep work now so they don’t get repeated, and continuing climbing your mountain.
“The first step for any of us is to jump off the board and go for a swim. You won’t know what you’re made out of until you get into the waters, and the great majority of people have a lot of passion, and they think that’s going to see them through, it’s not. The passion is just a starting point… you have to be able to get back up after people slam you on the head… and that’s the determining factor if you’re going to succeed or not.”
Corcoran, most notably known for her real estate business The Corcoran Group, which she and her boyfriend started with a $1,000 loan and later sold for $66 million, talks about the trait that we all need beyond just passion.
By going into the waters and testing out what we’re made of, we’re taking risks. We’ll most likely be out of our comfort zone.
And just like Greiner’s advice, bad things will happen along the way.
We will all get “slammed on the head” so to speak. Roadblocks will be there, obstacles will present themselves, no shortage of “worst timing ever’s” in our never-ending journey.
But learning from those times when we are down, getting back up and keeping that same passion we had at the beginning of our journey, is the key to success.
“I work my ass off. To me, knowledge is key. I read hours everyday just trying to learn about all the different industries that I’m involved in… what’s around the corner so I can anticipate… to me business is the ultimate sport and I want to stay ahead of everybody else.”
Cuban may be the most well-known entrepreneur mentioned in this article. He was mentioned in a previous article on the rules for success.
Cuban starts off with the most essential element, work ethic.
Part of his work is staying current and up to date with the industries that he has a part in. Like he said, anticipating what’s likely to happen is a big factor in his success.
What really sets Cuban’s advice apart from the rest is his attitude on what he does. He views it as the ultimate sport and his desire is to stay ahead of everybody else.
I’m not implying that we all need to have that exact attitude in order to succeed. But it’s obvious that treating our goals and passions with a similar respect can only help.
As far as staying ahead of everyone else, it goes back to the advice that we’ve went over earlier. Are we willing to sacrifice our time, energy, resources, opportunities for other things, etc. to get and stay ahead? Are we ready to take risks and step out of our comfort zone with the realization that we may fall flat on our face?
At the end of the day, advice is only as good as those that give it. And these people have shown with their accomplishments that success is not obtained easily.
But now it’s up to you.
What are you going to do with advice from these individuals? Will you use them as just inspiration and maybe forget about them later? Will you just forget about everything said here? Or maybe you’ll keep these in the back of your mind for years to come as you get closer and closer to your summit.
If all of this seems a but overwhelming, don’t worry.
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