Robert Herjavec, a millionaire entrepreneur and one of the cut-throat investors on the television show “Shark Tank,” rose from poverty to wealth by becoming a technology expert. Often considered one of the more low-key sharks, he utters frequently to his TV guests: “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.”
Herjavec, a Croatian immigrant whose family fled to Canada when he was young, founded his first company in 1990, working out of the basement of his home. He grew the business into one of Canada’s biggest internet security software providers before selling it for $32 million to AT&T Canada.
He later founded the Herjavec Group in 2003, which has become one of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies and the country’s largest IT security provider. He is the CEO. Herjavec grew the annual sales revenue from $400,000 to $150 million.
He is also the author of two best-selling books: “Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life” and “The Will to Win.” Herjavec’s net worth is estimated to be at $100 million.
If you’re interested in following Herjavec’s path to wealth, consider these tips for investing like the entrepreneur.
Become an Expert
Knowledge is power — and potentially money-making. Herjavec told Business News Daily that he always tells his kids “to become an expert at something and become such an expert at it that you can walk into a room and people will pay you for your knowledge.”
Investors, do your homework. Understand your growth strategy and your exit strategy. Talk with company executives and industry experts. Have a passion for the product or service and be adaptable to change.
If a business or product seems too good to be true, it probably is. So before you consider investing in a company that promises unusually high returns or that has a product or provider that isn’t regulated, beware. Ask to see documents such as financial statements audited by a certified public accountant. Do your research to avoid potential fraud.
Seek a Solid Product and Passionate Entrepreneur
Herjavec looks for both when would-be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and products to him and the others on “Shark Tank.” The hope is that the entrepreneurs would persuade one of the sharks to invest in their products or businesses.
“If the people looking for our money are apathetic, or appear to be treating the process as a joke, they’re probably not going to work as hard as possible to make their ideas successes,” he said.
Herjavec invested in nuts ‘n more, a product that was pitched on “Shark Tank.” The product delivered something different, a peanut butter spread with double the amount of protein and no added sugar — and had a passionate entrepreneur. That product has grown from $100,000 in sales to over $6 million in two years.
Invest in Startups
One thing that Herjavec has in common with other billionaires like Richard Branson is that he invests in startups. Herjavec’s start-up investments include: Happy Feet, Revo Light and Ruck Pack.
For investors, a good place to start researching start-ups is AngelList, a site that has more than 31,000 listed.
Talk Less, Listen More
You have two ears and one mouth. Listen well. Keep your eyes on your goal. When you do speak, choose your words wisely, Herjavec has said.
Investors can implement this strategy by following a company’s quarterly results and by listening to earnings conference calls. You’ll get information on topics such as the overall financial health of the company, future strategies and role changes — all necessary information when considering an investment.