D'Arcy from Winnipeg
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Book Review–Cold Hard Truth by Kevin O’Leary

Sunday, August 5, 2012 7:35 AM

It was only a matter of time before the success of Dragon’s Den would produce a series of books penned by the Dragon’s themselves. First out of the gate was Robert Herjavec with Driven, then there was Persuasion by Arlene Dickinson. But ah, here we have it – Mr. Wonderful himself, Kevin O’Leary, putting pen to paper and sharing with the world his story and his views on business and money. While Robert and Arlene’s both had the aura of approachability and sensitivity that they show in the Den, Kevin’s promo for his book makes it clear that this will have his trademark attitude firmly in place:

Ok, so is this book worth anything? Is this just a few hundred pages of Kevin O going on and on about money this and money that? Does he actually provide any value?

Well, actually, yes.

For one thing, this book hooks you quick and before you know it you’re almost done. That’s not to say its a quick read (although at 256 its not lengthy), but that its paced well and things never really drag, whether it be stories from his childhood, his days in the billion dollar basement, at Mattel, or later in life at O’Leary Funds. It’s a well sculpted mix of personal and professional history with insight throughout.

There’s flairs of a fiction novel, with events like his mother escaping to Europe with a young Kevin and his brother to escape his birth father from taking custody of them. Or when an older Kevin gets a mysterious phone call directing him to an airport where he’s to fly to Europe and no other information is given (he does it, btw). The latter seems to fly in the face of the cautiousness Kevin exudes regarding his money, but its a fun story nonetheless.

We also see a more human side of “Mr. Wonderful”, one that includes his passion for photography and movie making (many of us may remember a little TV show he produced called Don Cherry’s Grape Vine). Also, remember that story he’s told in Dragon’s Den recaps and elsewhere about how he quit his first job at the ice cream store because the owner wanted him to scrape gum out of floor grout? When I first heard it, I assumed he was just being an elitist snobby kid that didn’t want to do what he saw as menial labour. In the book he expands on the real reason he didn’t want to do it: he got the job to see and impress girls, and he was worried if they saw him do that they’d think less of him. Yup – girls was the real reason. Also, his parents were none-to-pleased that he quit either.

Intertwined is Kevin’s love of freedom, which comes from making money – the overarching theme of the book:

Freedom is a gift I’m grateful for every day. It is the result not of being an asshole, but of a single-minded pursuit of the only thing that matters in business: money.

While there’s some very motivational passages around striving for goals, enduring, and rejecting negative mean-spirited attacks, there’s also some really bat-shit crazy talk. Take this for example:

But I don’t weigh in on the political, cultural, religious, or social aspects in counties housing my investments; money doesn’t care about those things, so why should I? It’s none of my business. Money simply goes where it can multiply, and I go after the money – and, on occasion, excellent local cuisine.

I can’t believe this to be true, and even if Kevin does I don’t think you should. Businesses do have a social and moral responsibility that goes beyond simply making money, and investors in business have a social and moral responsibility to ensure their money isn’t going to fund immoral organizations.

With those things aside though, there’s a tonne of useful and relevant insight. He shares his thoughts on everything from charity, negotiation, identifying/dealing with weakness, life’s purpose, investing, style and self image, running a business, pitching an idea, selling, having employees, and other topics.

Regardless of what you think of his thoughts and views, there’s two lines in the book that can resonate with anyone.The first is a bit of a life motto:

I don’t overindulge, I eat well, I exercise, and I take care of those I love.

The second is a formula for measuring success, he sums it up in a simple question:

Did I go to bed richer than when I woke up?

For Kevin, it seems going to bed richer is all about money (we hear scarce details about his family in the book). For others, the idea of what “richer” means is an interesting one and if you get nothing else out of this book, you’ll see how one guy worked it out for himself.

Out of all the Dragon’s Den books, this one is definitely the must read.

5/5




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# re: Book Review–Cold Hard Truth by Kevin O’Leary

"Did I go to bed richer than when I woke up?" It makes me think right now...woah' nice quote. 8/6/2012 7:16 PM | jessa of how to meditate

# re: Book Review–Cold Hard Truth by Kevin O’Leary

For Kevin, it seems going to bed richer is all about money (we hear scarce details about his family in the book). For others, the idea of what “richer” means is an interesting one and if you get nothing else out of this book, you’ll see how one guy worked it out for himself.
Out of all the Dragon’s Den books, this one is definitely the must read dc sport kodi
ppv on kodi
10/4/2017 5:39 AM | romi gupta

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