On Business, Money & Life
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
ISBN: 978-0-385-67175-0 (0-385-67175-X)
Pub Date: September 27, 2011
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Kevin O’Leary shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.
Can you make millions just by “visualizing yourself rich” as some business prophets suggest? Don’t buy it, says Kevin O’Leary. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth, you’re going to have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perseverance, you can turn entrepreneurial vision into lucrative reality and have the personal freedom that only wealth can buy.
Kevin O’Leary would know. The much-feared and revered Dragon on the immensely popular show Dragons’ Den (and Shark Tank in the U.S.) started his company in his basement with a $10,000 loan from his financially savvy mother. A few years later, Kevin sold that company for more than four billion dollars. In this compelling, candid and, above all else, brutally honest business memoir, Kevin provides engaging, practical advice and lessons that will give anyone a distinct competitive edge.
From the Hardcover edition. Extras
"Listen, kid," said the brand manager. "Do you have a strong stomach?"
I had survived Cambodian street soup. I had washed putrid ooze from the inside of a garbage truck. I told him I was the least queasy person he knew.
"Great. Time for you to see how we make cat food." He took me to the rendering plant a few kilometers outside of Toronto. I'll never forget it. There were two cattle cars piled high with the remnants of animal carcasses already pilfered for the good stuff. Left over were the beef lips, beef sphincters, chicken giblets-stuff you wouldn't usually find on your dinner plate. Another car was piled with fish scales, fish bones, fish faces, fish tails, and fish bellies. The scraps were beyond animal. Dissected like this, they looked like alien body parts. Workers in full protective gear raked all of this flesh into two big vats of papaya juice. The unholy stew festered and boiled in room-sized witches' cauldrons. The room smelled like death and fear, with weird undertones of tropical fruit. It was nasty stuff.
After this animal detritus was reduced to two vats of beige and beiger paste, the juice was strained, leaving one vat labeled liver paste, the other Sea of Japan. Using these two pastes, I had to increase market share by creating more flavors. My job wasn't to suggest a new paste base. These two were all I had to work with. I was to add ingredients in an endless array of combinations, give them new names, maybe new labels, creating new flavors to market.
It was a revelation: two pastes, endless flavors. To the liver base, I could add some starch and bullion and call it "Chicken and Rice." Add green peppers to the Sea of Japan paste, and I could call it "Salmon Delight." Add bacon bits to the liver paste: "Meat Medley." The possibilities were endless.
I lined up my new flavors and booked a sales conference at a hotel for the buyers. After my presentation, the group seemed enthusiastic. Then a senior buyer put up his hand.
"O'Leary, you say these new flavors are delicious, but how do we know that?"
"Because I said so." I had heard the rumors that brand managers had to actually eat the dog and cat foods they pitched, but I thought they were just that - rumors.
"Well, I'll give you the order, O'Leary, but I want you to eat the cat food. I want to see you enjoy it."
I looked over at my brand manager for help. He solemnly nodded, like a doctor delivering some very bad news. So in a conference room full of buyers, I scooped up the tragic paste, smeared it onto a slice of Melba toast, paused, then ate it with complete and total enthusiasm, licking my fingers for effect.
From the Hardcover edition.
“O’Leary’s book reads exactly like he talks on Dragon’s Den. He’s a consummate marketer, so it’s no surprise he does a masterful job of telling his life story with the right mix of swagger and humility. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for his business acumen, drive and determination. And if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who’s debating whether to pursue your passion, you’ll get some invaluable advice and cold hard truth for the bargain price of just $29.95.”
“[Kevin O’Leary] is a master at relaying the cold, hard truth to people, even when it makes them cry and stomp their feet. That's why the title of his new memoir, Cold Hard Truth, cuts to the heart of his philosophy of life and money, which really boils down to one thing: focus on making cash or get out of business.”
From the Hardcover edition.
KEVIN O’LEARY is one of North America’s most successful business entrepreneurs, as well as a star on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and ABC’s Shark Tank. Kevin founded and built SoftKey (later The Learning Company), the global leader in educational kids’ software, and negotiated its sale to Mattel for $4.2 billion in 1999. Since then, he has successfully co-founded, funded, and sold numerous companies in a range of industries, including storage, entertainment, and finance. Today, Kevin is the Chairman of O’Leary Funds, a $1.7 billion mutual fund company. He is also the co-host of CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange and Discovery Channel’s Project Earth, and the host CBC’s new reality series, Kevin O'Leary’s Redemption Inc.
From the Hardcover edition.
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