What can we learn from Kevin O’Leary?

As part of our “What can we learn from…?” series, today I wanted to talk about a resident member of ABC’s Shark Tank – Kevin O’Leary.

With all of the positive and negative publicity that this guy has gotten, I am still impressed with a lot of what he says. On page 117 of my book Forever Cash, I quoted him as saying: “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.”

While much of Kevin’s TV appeal comes from being the tough guy, overall I like his philosophy on money and on making money. He has quite a few successes to back up what he says and to make me take him seriously. Kevin is currently worth an estimated $300 million.

So what are some lessons that we can learn from Kevin O’Leary?

1) It’s okay to focus on cash flow – even when investing in the stock market

Kevin has recently begun to offer money management advice and even handle investors’ investments for them. Instead of focusing on slow growing mutual funds, Kevin does what his mother taught him to do: only invest in bonds that pay interest and stocks that pay dividends. In other words – cash flow, and not just value.

 2) It’s okay to start small

Kevin’s first big deal came when he started a software company in the early 1980’s – a company that was eventually bought by Mattel. He started small – in a house with only one partner – and he got the money from his mom. But those first $10,000 were eventually leveraged into a sale to Mattel that netted Kevin over $11 million. He had no shame of starting small, keeping his eye always on the bigger picture.

3) It’s okay to fail

O’Leary once said in an interview: “I have had some great successes and great failures. I think every entrepreneur has. I try to learn from all of them.” Through a string of both successes and failures, Kevin O’Leary has become a household name. He has made some big deals, and while some worked out, others didn’t. But that didn’t stop him from trying again.

Kevin O’Leary is where a lot of us hope to be someday – independently wealthy and successful. These life lessons can help you to get there.

For more info, check out the following links:

  • Kevin’s official Twitter account: @kevinolearytv
  • In-depth article on Kevin’s professional history: http://tinyurl.com/9skrrnv
  • General information about Kevin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_O’Leary

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