You may be familiar with the author’s name, Kevin O’leary from one of my favorite TV shows- ABC’s Shark Tank and CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Kevin founded a software company called Softkey from his basement apartment which became The Learning Company, one of the key market leaders in kids education software, that uses the mascot Reader Rabbit. The Learning Company was sold to Mattel(the company that sells Barbie dolls) at $4.2 billion. He founded O’Leary Funds, a mutual fund company and became a finance celebrity across US and Canada.
The book is one of my favorites. His extreme honest and his brutal, harsh and cold truth keeps reminding me that he is an asshole but I can trust this guy with my money than other financial professionals and managers that sugar coats their promises. The book was never boring, except the beginning while he was growing up, and provides many of his life lessons in very amusing and exciting ways. I finished the book within 3 days while commuting from/to work and made me always keep an eye on potential opportunities.
Key lessons I learned from the book are
1. Nothing is free and you need to work really hard to be successful.
2. When you run into a crisis you can always think of ways to turn it into an opportunity.
3. Great partnership is everything. Know your strengths and weaknesses and partner with people that can cover your weakness.
4. Be nimble and fast when your company is growing. Have less politics and be accessible to employees.
5. It’s always about the company. Every move, every decision, every disagreement must be about the company.
The third one is absolutely my favorite. I cannot describe how important it is to work with right people for your success. You should look at the mirror and determine what your strengths and weaknesses are and find someone whose strengths are precisely your weaknesses. Have very little overlap. When you look into your workplace you can see that some are lazy, some are extremely social and bright, some are good with numbers and techniques, some are diligent, respectful and polite etc.. The key of being a great boss or having a great partnership is to understand their strengths and put them in positions where they can create synergy with your skills.
This is from excerpt from the book that emphasize the importance of finding the right people. “Michael Perik was my CEO. He was in charge of our operations. Without him, our company would have been dead in the water. Scott Murray was the CFO. He was in charge of our finances. Without him, we would never have been able to acquire the companies we acquired, and we would never have eventually sold our company, The Learning Company (TLC), for billions. I was in charge of sales and marketing, and of getting our product in front of as many consumers as possible. Among the three of us, there were simply no gaps in the armor. We rarely made mistakes. Sales, marketing, finance, operations—we had it covered. As a team, we were brilliant and envied, and at our peak, I would go so far as to say we were loathed. But we buoyed each other, and we thrived in that environment.”
No matter what your goal is, this book will teach you a lot of great life lessons that will lead you to a successful life. What do you think of the author? And What is your favorite lesson from the book?
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