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Exclusive Interview With Kevin Harrington - Original Shark On TV Hit Show Shark Tank

Brainz Magazine Exclusive Interview

 

As an original “shark” on Shark Tank and co-founding board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, Kevin Harrington, an award-winning American entrepreneur, has pushed past all the questions and excuses to repeatedly enjoy 100X success. His legendary work behind the scenes of business ventures has produced more than $5 billion in global sales, the launch of more than 500 products, and the making of dozens of millionaires. He has worked with amazing celebrities turned entrepreneurs, including Billie Mays, Tony Little, Jack LaLanne, and George Foreman, to name a few. Kevin’s been called the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneur Answer Man, because he knows the challenges unique to start-ups and has a special passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed.

Kevin Harrington photoshoot with light backdrop and blue suit
Photo: Private

Kevin Harrington, are you addicted to success and business?


I think so, I am a very motivated individual, I go back to my early days, you allow your mood swings to go up and down, it’s not easy to be an entrepreneur, my mom used to say “ Oh no way you can’t be an entrepreneur “ You have forces against you, people don’t want to loan you money etc, it takes time to figure things out. I was in the product business, give me the right product and a great team with the right inventory and capital and you may well be successful. Once you have the formula you can have some fun.


Having winning products and projects and you get that winning feeling there is nothing better than that.


What is the main reason startups fail?


There are a lot of reasons why startups fail. Some people try to do something before it's ready, they haven’t figured out the business model, they can have an idea but it's not been planned out effectively. They haven’t asked about the return of investment or even the proof of concept. If you have done the due diligence and it is about capital it needs to be able to make the business successful. I like to invest in something thats proved itself out. That has the potential to multiply based on my investment.


What’s been the biggest difference in doing business from where you started, until now?


When I first started out, I was one of six kids, my father was an entrepreneur, he owned a restaurant and I worked for him at the age of 11. One day I asked my dad “ Dad I want to make my own money “ my dad replied, “ Great I have been waiting for you to ask me that “. I had high school businesses back in the ’70s, one day I bought my first home and had cable tv installed, I noticed on channel 30 which was at the time the discovery channel. I called my cable company and said there is nothing on channel 30, “ oh they are a new Channel and don’t have the budget to air 18 hours of live content”. This is when I had the idea of the Informercial. Filling the gaps in tv concepts, we went all over the world, everything was television, television and television. The biggest difference today is that everything is now digital, it is all streaming online, I saw something bad happen to my business, sales started to go down in my “ As seen on tv “ company. I have a saying called “ know when to hold them and know when to fold them “ I sold my company because the world was changing, we shifted into digital, we started working with influencers, social media influencers. We evolved our business and made it work.


Kevin Harrington photoshoot sitting on a chair with dark backdrop and blue suit
Photo: Private

What would you say is the three main important questions to have the answer to when preparing to pitch to an investor?

  1. I love to hear about the background of the entrepreneur. I want to know about your track record, how many businesses have you started, how much capital have you raised and have you ever had an exit strategy? I want to see a return on my investment, if you have no thought of selling the business I can’t make any money. So these concepts are really important before I would consider investing.

  2. The entrepreneur is important but he/she needs the right team, he or she needs a dream team around them. They can’t launch a successful business alone, you need to have the right team around you when looking to entice an investor.

  3. You need to have a plan to raise capital, you have to have the ability to raise capital. If you don’t it's not going to fly, so when you have the right dream team around you, they will help with raising capital etc. The inventor has to be rock solid, it’s tough in the business world, you have to have resilience and persistence.

What is most important to you, to be investable or have a business worth investing in?


Brutally honest, it's more about the product, in many cases, we utilise the strengths of the entrepreneur who’s invented the product but the product has to solve a problem. We have helped businesses transform their products by our ability to create a digital campaign to showcase their invention, we have used our expertise to bring products to the market in a big way. The product or invention has to be investable.


Do you want to see more of Kevin? Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and visit his website!

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