Thursday, October 14, 2010

Driven: How to Succeed in Business and In Life by Robert Herjavec

Driven: How to Succeed in Business and In Life by Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec, star of CBC's Dragon's Den, came to Canada with his parents whom only had $20 in their pockets. His story is a true rags-to-riches story. What's unique is that Herjavec isn't an American living the "American Dream", but a Canadian. After selling one business for over $100 million to AT&T, Herjavec started The Herjavec Group, a successful internet security company. This book isn't truely about him though, but rather lessons he has learned over his business life and pointers on how to be successful.

Each lesson is accompanied by an anecdote that either relates back to Herjavec's past, or his time in Dragon's Den. As a Dragon's Den fan, I really enjoyed the inside stories and what you pick up about his relationship with the other dragons, specifically Kevin O'Leary (whom he actually seems to like). Herjavec recognizes that it takes a certain type of person to become an entrepreneur and yet doesn't alienate the reader if they aren't that kind of person.

As a young manager in a small company, I found his pointers on when to say no and his dos and donts of firing an employee (something I thankfully haven't had to do yet) helpful. I laughed to myself about his analysis of MBAs. I completely agreed with it, even though I'm an MBA myself.

For the most part, this felt like common sense. I didn't really have any "a-ha!" moments while reading this, because nothing Herjavec was saying was revolutionary. Herjavec is obviously a charismatic person and this comes across not only in his television appearances but also in his book. Without his charisma, this book would not be nearly as interesting a read.

Browse Inside

First Line: "The $200,000 cheque was on the table and we were ready to sign the deal."


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