The Top 3 Lessons I Learned From Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec For Growing A Multimillion-Dollar Business From Rags To Riches

Today, Robert Herjavec is known as the beloved “nice judge” on ABC’s Shark Tank, but if you ask him, he thinks the descriptor “fair” is more appropriate. Whatever you call him, make no mistake: he’s one of the most shrewd and successful businesspeople of our time. Despite humble beginnings while growing up in former Yugoslavia, Herjavec managed to leverage his endless drive and acumen into a long list of multimillion-dollar business ventures, including Herjavec Group, now a global leader in IT security services.

When someone gets officially dubbed a Shark and becomes one of the most visible faces in the business world, you might expect them to lose touch a little bit. But that’s just not the case with Robert Herjavec. At a recent conference, I had the pleasure of seeing him speak. It was clear that he wasn’t just there for a paycheck. He genuinely wanted to share his wealth of knowledge with all the attendees. Here are a few key lessons Herjavec schooled us on and how they can help your business.

  1. YOU’VE GOT TO SHOW UP.

Right as he took the stage, Herjavec delivered a simple but vital piece of encouragement to everyone in attendance. “I congratulate everyone for being here,” he said with a smile. “Because the key to success is you gotta show up.” Whether you’re making time for an event or just struggling to survive, “if you don’t show up, you can’t win.”

The fact is that it’s easy to get caught up in the minute-to-minute chaos of running a business. It’s just as easy to get tired out, start slipping or begin questioning why we’re trying at all. But, as Herjavec was so eager to point out, we need to bring ourselves fully to the task at hand if we hope to carve out our chunk of success. Sure, we’ll have bad days, but the more we can be present, prepared and hungry to implement our vision, the better off we’ll be.

  1. NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT SALES.

Herjavec will be the first to tell you that, starting out, he knew absolutely nothing about the sales world. By his account, he was a “geeky, technical guy” who thought that as long as he offered a great service, customers would show up. Luckily, when he was 23, his friend Ross Marsden – then a global VP of sales – gave him a piece of advice that would change his life. “You’re a great guy, and you really know your stuff,” he told Herjavec. [But] unless you learn sales, you will never be successful.”

In response, Herjavec began to learn more about sales and marketing, until he realized, “You can have the best accounting system, the best CRM [and] the best tools, but nothing happens until you sell something.” The difference between those Fortune 500 companies dominating the market and the little guys who barely eke out a living? Sales.

“Sales is not a foreign object that controls what you do,” he said. “Sales is an extension of what you do.”

  1. “EVERY DAY, SOMEBODY WAKES UP WITH THE SOLE INTENTION OF KICKING YOUR @SS.”

After hearing fellow Shark Mark Cuban say this during the first season of filming Shark Tank, Herjavec got it chiseled in granite above his desk. “One of the hardest things about becoming more successful is success,” he said. Because when you’re no longer that “hungry, young person looking to take on the world,” you get to a point where you’re content enough to let your life (and business) stagnate. Herjavec said, “The minute you want it to be like it is, don’t forget there’s somebody out there – like you were many years ago – who wants to take it away from you.”

The antidote to this attitude, according to Herjavec, is to keep selling, keep growing and keep pushing. “If one of your top three tasks every day isn’t ‘Sell something,’ you’re going to fail,” he said.

“It’s like a mantra in my mind: constant forward momentum.” If your company isn’t growing at least at the rate of the market, you’re losing ground. Customer service and excellent products are vital, but if you lose sight of the importance of sales, you’re bound to the path of mediocrity.

Of all the wisdom Robert Herjavec imparted to us, that was the most inspiring. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. Sell what you have, and stay hungry.

What Every Small-Business Owner Must Know About Protecting And Preserving Their Company’s Critical Data
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SHINY NEW GADGET OF THE MONTH: GE’s New Smart Microwave

As more and more household devices go toward the Internet of Things’ (IoT) direction, General Electric is following suit with its new WiFi-enabled smart countertop microwave. With the capability to sync with Amazon’s Alexa, it aims to change the microwave game.

While it can’t put the food you want to cook into the microwave by itself, it can do pretty much everything else in the process. All you need to do is scan the barcode of a specific food with a smartphone camera, and then the microwave will cook it perfectly using the exact correct time and power level. Over time, the microwave’s library of known foods will grow. Eventually, you can just tell Alexa what you’re cooking and have the dish heated to perfection.

Now, you might be wondering why we’d use smart technology to make microwaving a hot pocket even easier. But hey – it’s the wave of the future. The extra features make it worth the relatively low price alone.

Good Morale Means Profitability

Employee morale is a fickle thing, going up and down seemingly without reason, a rollercoaster ride of emotions and profitability. Of course, you can’t control people’s emotions, but with the right approach, you can steer company morale consistently in the right direction. Here are a few tips to do just that.

  1. INITIATE A DAILY HUDDLE.

The stories we tell ourselves have more impact on our emotions than perhaps anything else. But by holding standing mini-meetings of no more than 10 minutes every day, you can spark a new, authentic story in your work community. Let people share their challenges, the actions they’re taking to overcome them, and their victories.

One thing, though: if you do start doing a daily huddle, make sure you keep it consistent for the entire life of your company. Leaving huddles hanging is a surefire way to plummet morale.

  1. CHANGE UP THE WORK SCHEDULE.

When people fall into an emotional rut, they’re often in an action rut as well. Let your employees switch up their daily work schedules, and it will help jar them out of sluggishness. Letting someone start late on Monday to allow them to clear up some personal baggage can go a long way.

  1. REMIND THEM OF THE “WHY.”

People tend to get fixated on the “what” of your business, and the day-to-day grind begins to cause fatigue. To stir up passion and purpose among your team, direct everyone’s attention to the deeper meaning behind the work they do. The more compelling and fleshed out your company mission is, the easier it’ll be to stick to it and stay happy.

  1. LISTEN.

The first thing many customer service reps learn is that angry people need to vent before they are open to change. Meet with disgruntled team members individually or in small groups to learn about the problems they’re facing. However, avoid big groups — these tend to spawn soapboxers who will bring more problems forward than you can fix.

  1. LET THEM TAKE NAPS.

Seriously! Ever had a critical conversation with your significant other when you were both exhausted? I’m guessing it didn’t go too well. Well, it’s the same thing with your employees. Giving your team a “dark room” to take a 20-minute power nap shows that you genuinely care about them, not to mention boosting their productivity when they return to work.

  1. TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM.

When your people are facing a particularly nasty obstacle and morale is sinking, be the ultimate leader and shoulder the burden for them. Take on the dirty work, handle the confrontation, and show the team you’re there to serve them.

Once you’ve taken action and morale is lifting, it’s your job to keep the momentum going. With regular communication and authentic leadership, you can keep mood dips brief and keep everyone working together for a common goal. Don’t blame your team — it’s your responsibility to maintain positivity, trust, and cooperation in the office.

MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multimillion-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group. He is also a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and the instant new classic, ClockWork, his latest book. For more information, visit

 

 

5 Ways To Build A Stronger Small Business In 20 Minutes Or Less

  1. Go to a networking event. It’s all about who you know, as they say, and with sites like Eventbrite or Meetup.org, it’s easy to find communities where you can connect and learn.
  2. Take a break and learn something. Listen to a podcast or put on a quick TED Talk on a subject you’re interested in. Over time, these little nuggets of information add up and can transform the way you work.
  3. Work on your social media. Schedule some posts that will get traction.
  4. Take an online class. Whether it’s through Google’s free online academy, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning,Skillshare or Coursera, it’s easier than ever to pick a subject and learn everything you can.
  5. Find money you’re owed. Track down an overdue invoice and send a friendly reminder.

Inc.com, 10/10/2018

5 Ways To Protect Your Company From Cybercriminals

A recent survey by Vistage revealed that a full 62% of CEOs do not have an active cyber security strategy in place, while 27% have no plan at all. Frankly, this is insane. Follow these five quick steps to bolster your security right now. There’s no time like the present.

  1. Use a tool like the Cybersecurity Framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to perform a thorough assessment. You can’t fix something until you know what’s broken.
  2. Train your employees on cyber security risks. Forewarned is forearmed, and most data breaches occur as the result of employee neglect.
  3. Implement cyber security policies. Put procedures in writing, and make sure they’re followed to the letter.
  4. Get tools that work. It needs to go far beyond a simple antivirus, encompassing everything from endpoint security systems to firewalls and backup solutions and everything in between.
  5. When in doubt, consult an expert.

Inc.com, 9/25/2018