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Kevin O’Leary Quotes

Terence Thomas Kevin

Kevin O’Leary quotes: the savage Shark Tank investor’s brutally-honest quotes.

“Vision is nothing without a plan to execute it.”

“When I start something I bring my A-game; I assume I’m going to win.”

“Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, or to start and grow a business.  But one thing’s for certain: everyone wants to be financially successful and to make more money.”

“What are the most important qualities that make a successful entrepreneur?  The ability to communicate.  The ability to express your idea with certainty.  That’s how you become a leader – even if you are unsure, your ability to explain your vision and your direction is the attribute you need the most.  Articulate your idea in 90 seconds or less.”

“I actually think being an entrepreneur is a state of mind.  If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, my thesis is that you have to sacrifice everything for some period in your life to be successful.  You have to be myopic and completely focused and unbalanced in every way.  Once you’ve achieved success, you’re free to do whatever you like.”

“You may lose your wife, you may lose your dog, your mother may hate you.  None of those things matter.  What matters is that you achieve success and become free.  Then you can do whatever you like.”

“Business is war.  I go out there, I want to kill the competitors.  I want to make their lives miserable.  I want to steal their market share.  I want them to fear me and I want everyone on my team thinking we’re going to win.”

“The only reason to do business is to make money; that’s the only reason for doing business.”

“The definition of leadership is that you have to find great people and ask them to do extraordinary things.  I’ve been doing that my whole life.”

“I have great people working for me now.  I surround myself with smart people.”

“I have had some great successes and great failures.  I think every entrepreneur has.  I try to learn from all of them.”

“I’d rather invest in an entrepreneur who has failed before than one who assumes success from day one.”

“I never, ever, ever let emotion get in the way of an investment.”

“My partners taught me that in order to create wealth, I needed to pair up with people whose strengths compensated for my weaknesses.”

“All businesses require capital, management and labor; and business executives, wanting to grow and maintain profitable enterprises, have a strong incentive to keep costs, including labor, as low as possible.”

“The road to riches is never straight and narrow.  It can be riddled with financial land mines.”

“Downturns are the best time to start businesses because you develop discipline that’s very lean and mean in terms of how to spend money.  And those habits serve you very well in good times.”

“The ultimate truth about money: even though it doesn’t care about me or you, to make money requires us to care deeply about it.”

“Whatever you pay attention to… grows.”

“Money is my military, each dollar a soldier.  I never send my money into battle unprepared and undefended.  I send it to conquer and take currency prisoner and bring it back to me.”

“I have met many entrepreneurs who have the passion and even the work ethic to succeed – but who are so obsessed with an idea that they don’t see its obvious flaws.  Think about that.  If you can’t even acknowledge your failures, how can you cut the rope and move on?”

“The biggest mistake entrepreneurs can make is trying to do everything themselves.  They usually blow up when they try.  I did an inventory of every deal I’ve ever done and it turned out that every single deal I made money on was a partnership, and every colossal failure, where I lost millions, was something I tried to do by myself.”

“Imagine how foolish you’d look if, like one clever salesman who once pitched to me, you tried to license your product to a big industry player without knowing they just launched a competing product.  With the right background research, he could have avoided that and other landmines – and so can you.”

“Don’t let the dark clouds of greed confuse you.”

“Alcoholism is one form of addiction – spending is another.”

“Nobody forces you to work at Walmart.  Start your own business!  Sell something to Walmart!”

“A lot of people have said a lot of great things about Steve Jobs.  And for good reason: he built the world’s second-most valuable company, with billions in profits and products that have improved every aspect of our lives.  But Steve didn’t get there by being a soft, fluffy, Kumbaya-type leader.”

“Life is hard, money doesn’t care, your tears don’t add value.”

“So much of life is a negotiation – so even if you’re not in business, you have opportunities to practice all around you.”

“I see negotiations as an honest attempt to reach a deal that’s great for everyone at the table.  But sometimes, for whatever reason, that’s impossible.  You need to accept that possibility – don’t make a deal for the sake of making a deal.  If you do, chances are it will fall apart later anyway, with costs and headaches for everyone involved.  And once you walk away, don’t come back.”

“Know everything about the companies and people you are going to be negotiating with.  Insist on getting the names of everyone participating in the negotiations.  Leave no stone unturned; find out as much as you can.”

“Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.”

“Assholes get rich because they’re not afraid to ask for what they want.”

“We need physical exercise to prepare our brain for long periods of concentration.”

“I think a book is your calling card, your business card.”

“Filming The Road to Riches was surprisingly difficult for me.  I learned that going back to career successes and failures can be emotionally exhausting as you are forced to revisit the euphoric highs and painful lows in high speed.”

Here’s that video, by the way:

“I took a few thousand dollars and turned them into billion-dollar businesses.”

“When you come to Shark Tank, the only person you should listen to is me, because you know you’re getting the truth.  I’ll decide if it’s worth it, and after I’m finished, the rest of the people can look into it.”

“I could have easily gone down the wrong path and dropped out of school, but I was given a second chance.”

“When I turned 50, something clicked in my head and I said, ‘I’m not going to live to 100.  I’m half-cooked already.’  I set the family down and I said, ‘Listen everybody, we’re now entering the decade of Daddy.  We’re going to start doing things that I want to do.'”

“I’m not planning on giving my kids any of my wealth.  They know when their education is over, I’m pushing them out of the nest.  The bird you see dead under the nest is the one who didn’t think about the future.”

“I don’t want my kids to be worse off than me.  Fear motivated me, and it will motivate them.”

“The skies were blue when I was coming up.  I want my kids to have the same opportunity, if not better, than I had.”

“There are a lot of impractical things about owning a Porsche.  But they’re all offset by the driving experience.  It really is unique.  Lamborghinis and Ferraris come close.  And they are more powerful, but they don’t handle like a Porsche.”

“Money has no grey areas.  You either make it or you lose it.”

“Don’t cry about money, it never cries for you.”

“I want to go to bed richer than when I woke up.  The pursuit of wealth is a wonderful thing, but the thing is you have to be honest about it, you have to tell the truth.”

“People are aware of what I stand for through television.  Nobody gets rich on TV but you build brand.  That’s what I’m attempting to do.”

“Once in a while, I see my fellow TV investors praise a business just because they like the entrepreneur behind it.  That kind of thinking might make you feel warm and fuzzy inside – but let’s get back to reality.”

“What I’m trying to do is immerse myself.”

“I’m not trying to make friends, I’m trying to make money.”

“I’m not a tough guy.  I’m just delivering the truth and only the truth and if you can’t deal with it, too bad.”

“I gotta tell ya, never insult money.”

“Do you want to be rich or not?  Let’s get focused on that, buddy.”

“Money equals freedom.”

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