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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Driven: A Book Review

So a little while ago I reviewed Kevin O'Leary's Book... then a little while after that I reviewed Arlene Dickinson's book... I'm taking on each of the Dragon's one-by-one.

Last week I finished Robert Herjavec's book Driven  - and here I am with another fine review for your reading pleasure!

Like the previous 2 books, Driven sheds alot of light on the personal (and business and education) background of the author.

It wasn't too far into the book that I realized Robert is not just that 'kind' dragon with the bright blue eyes - I think he would be a total hard-ass to work for and that the title of the book was actually very appropriate.

Pardon the pun - but I think most of us would mis-judge the book by that cover.

My favourite example was about when people show up late for work and blame traffic - his response was something to the tune of "Well there was no traffic at 5:30!"

I've heard of plenty of successfull people that get up earlier than the rest of us - not because they are insomniacs, but because they can't wait to see their business keep moving forward.

A bit of an HR lesson in there - if you empower employees a little more think of the motivation it could lead too?

In one section, Robert references another book that I'll have to read: The Hypomaniac Edge: The Link Between (a little) Craziness and (a lot of) Success in America.

In the book, the author - John Gartner, a Psychiatry Professor at John Hopkins University - suggests that successful entrepreneurs suffer from hypomania (what is described as  having high energy and boundless self-confidence, just short of bipolar disease).

I think most people have heard bits and pieces of his personal story through Dragon's Den before, but also Robert talked about the struggles his family had when they came over from Croatia - a classic immigrant story.

Robert credits his upbringing and not choosing to be a victim of circumstance, but a pursuer of opportunity... In fact, one chapter is called 'Learn from Failure, Profit from Change'.

Like the other 2 books I have read so far, there is some discussion about the other panelists on Dragon's Den; a favourite was Robert's comparison of his to Kevin's.

Apparently they were both staying at a Miami-area hotel for a few weeks during the taping of Shark Tank.  Robert lost his room key and asked the front desk for a replacement - which they were happy to do after he got some ID from his wife.

Kevin also lost his key during their time there, and was asked for ID - only rather than look for his ID, he told off the staff saying something along the lines of "You know who I am, I have been staying here for weeks" - and a couple expletives in there.

So some different personalities - but both successful individuals...

Overall, I think it was a great read and would encourage anyone that is considering going into business for themselves to check it out.

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