Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kevin O'Leary: 3 Money Mistakes You Must Fix to Get Rich

In a previous post, I shared a list of my top five Influencers on LinkedIn. It took some time, but LinkedIn finally extended the Influencer title to all of the Sharks, at least to those who have an active presence on LinkedIn. Here is an article written by Kevin O'Leary just a couple of days ago which I thought was worth sharing here on Blog Shark Tank. I think the topic is critical especially for millennials and the younger generation, and is blunt and to the point, just like everything that comes out of Mr. Wonderful's mouth. So here it is:

3 Money Mistakes You Must Fix to Get Rich 

By: Kevin O'Leary


I get a lot of questions about how to get rich, and I always give the same answer.

Don’t spend too much. Mostly save. Always invest.

Seems simple enough, right? Yet so many people do the exact opposite—invest poorly, spend way too much, save almost nothing, and remain willfully ignorant about their finances.


Why? Because they don’t understand their relationship to money.

The first step in changing money habits is taking a cold hard look at your financial input and output. Here’s what you need to do: boil your money matters down to one simple number by adding up all your earnings and subtracting all your expenditures over three months. I call this your 90-day number.

Once you write that 90-day number down you’ll be faced with one of two truths.

Your number is positive. Congratulations, you’re one of the few people taking in more money than you spend!

Your number is in the negatives, and like the majority of men and women, you spend more than you make.

The good news is that no matter what your 90-day number teaches you about your relationship with money, there’s always room to improve. I’m going to help you do exactly that by pointing out 3 money mistakes everybody makes at some point in their lives, and teaching you how to fix them.

Money Mistake #1: You’re drowning in credit debt.

The Fix: READ THE FINE PRINT

Spending too much is a disease, and credit card debt is a cancer. The first time you get a credit card bill and don’t pay off the full balance, you’ve let the first financial cancer cell into your life.

Next time you get a credit card bill in the mail, put your glasses on and take a good, hard look at the fine print.

Credit card companies are required by law to tell you how many years it will take you to pay off your balance if you pay the minimum each month. In most instances, this number is a monstrous thing to behold.

With typical compound interest rates averaging around 16%, this black hole of debt keeps growing, and growing, and growing.

Once you take a look at the fine print, you MUST start dedicating every spare penny you have to paying off your credit. If you want to get rich, you need to eliminate your debt first.

Money Mistake #2: Spending makes you happy

The Fix: GET A HANDLE ON EMOTIONAL SPENDING

Most men and women who spend too much do so because it feels good, temporarily. But as I always say, mixing money with emotions is a toxic combination.

Don’t go shopping to change your mood. It might make you feel better in the short term, but I promise: the long-term fulfillment of saving and growing your money far outweighs the temporary satisfaction of retail therapy.

Recognize when you’re about to spend with your emotions, and go for a walk, cook, or read instead. Do anything; just don’t head for the mall!

Money Mistake #3: Frugality isn’t fun

The Fix: CREATE A “FUN MONEY” FUND

Many people who commit themselves 100% to eliminating debt and saving money find that a certain joylessness creeps in after a while. The same thing happens to dieters who deprive themselves of all their favorite foods for months, and then cave to late-night binges.

That’s not a way to live, and that’s not what I advocate. Austerity, yes; deprivation, no.

The key is to include spending on fun things in your budget. Set aside a manageable percentage every week in a fund that will let you splurge with cash. Go out for lunch, get your hair done, or use your fun money to go on a vacation—do whatever you want, as long as you pay for it outright. This way you can enjoy your splurges without feeling guilty!

You can read the original article here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

@ Hammer & Nails: The Numbers Rule

HomeBy: Pete Troshak
Twitter: @Shak74
Website: www.Shak74.com


Michael Elliot overcame a lot of adversity in his life, spending much of his youth in shelters and on the streets of Philadelphia. But Elliot didn’t allow his difficult beginnings to keep him from achieving everything he set his sights on. At a young age, he founded the first hip-hip magazine, Krush, and later became a journalist for the hugely successful magazine The Source. He was also a successful DJ. Elliot later decided to be a screenwriter, and after reading a book on screenwriting, he produced his first script and sold it to 20th Century Fox. He has since written other screenplays and his movies have earned over $100 million combined!


But Elliot has a new mission now, and he came to the Shark Tank to try to get an investment in his new dream from the Sharks. He created a men’s salon called Hammer & Nails which he hopes will one day be “The Starbucks of men’s nail shops.” The idea came to him when he went to a salon one day to get a pedicure and felt out of place. He realized that the vast majority of salons are geared towards women and it became his goal to create a male-friendly salon where men could get there manicures and pedicures in a more manly setting (cue the Tim Allen grunting sound effects) decorated with manly things like hammers in shadowboxes on the wall.


Hammer-and-Nail-88His salon features posh leather chairs each with their own individual sound systems and 32-inch TVs. Seven months in, Elliot has decided he wants to expand his business. He came into the tank asking for $200,000 for 20% of his company, with an eye towards using the money to begin franchising his stores, helping to spread his vision of style mixed with “man-cave nirvana” around the globe.


Elliot’s track record of making whatever venture he has tried a success would seem to make him a great candidate for the Sharks to invest in, but the Tank is a cold and unsentimental place. Any good business person knows that no matter how great a person’s past successes have been, there is no a guarantee of future success, and there are some serious flaws in Elliot’s vision that make a deal with the Sharks seem unlikely.


First off, history shows that they rarely invest in businesses whose goal is to franchise immediately. Franchising has a lot of risks, as you can very easily dilute your brand, and quality control is tough because the one person (the entrepreneur) whose vision has created the product or service can’t clone themselves and ensure that the other locations will live up to the entrepreneur’s standards, thus limiting the odds that the company as a whole will be successful. Mark was therefore particularly critical of Elliot for trying to go the franchise route so quickly, telling Elliot that he is putting “the cart before the horse” before dropping out.


The second main issue is that there is nothing proprietary about Hammer & Nails. It is admittedly a unique service that he is offering, but as Daymond pointed out, anyone could create a similar company, and Elliot is missing out by not offering more services (a bar, fashion sales, advice, etc) to create opportunities to upsell the clients and earn more money from each visitor.


But ultimately it was Kevin who really terminated Elliot’s dream of getting a deal with any of the Sharks. Kevin used three small but devastating words - “The numbers rule” - to deliver a killing blow to Elliot’s Shark-funded dreams. Kevin pointed out that Elliot just breaking even after only seven months in business does not suggest that his business will ever be a huge success, and that such a small sample size of sales doesn’t not justify a nearly quarter of a million dollar investment.

Elliot undoubtedly has a great track record of success and a life that could inspire an oscar-winning film, but in the cold briny deep of the Shark Tank, the first rule is and will forever be, that the numbers rule.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Welcome to Season 6

Welcome back to brand new season of Shark Tank, the number one business reality show on TV!

The Sharks in Season 6 are Kevin O'Leary, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner.

After 5 seasons of Shark Tank, you can be certain that the pitches will get better and better and that there will be more record-shattering deals made in the Tank than ever before! Shark Tank continues to prove that the American Dream is alive and well, and that there are no limits to what you can achieve if you work hard to succeed.

At Blog Shark Tank, our goal is to critique the entrepreneurs that enter the Shark Tank, and evaluate their performance in terms of pitch, product, and overall performance. It is not easy to stand up and face the Sharks, let alone to walk out with a deal, and we applaud every entrepreneur that lives to tell the story of how they made it out alive!

So join Blog Shark Tank this season and read our critiques on the brave (and sometimes crazy) entrepreneurs. Participate in our discussions on social media, and share your thoughts with us and Shark Tank fans all over the world on all of our channels!

Let the deals begin!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shark Bait: HelmePet (Episode 5)

We live in what many refer to as the Information Age. An era in which technology advances by the minute, and information becomes more and more available with the mere swipe of a finger. In this day and age, so many entrepreneurs and startups are focused on revolutionizing every appliance and gadget that fill our homes, from our phones to our doorbells to our refrigerators. Well this week in Shark Bait, an entrepreneur by the name of Dave Barker walks into the Shark Tank with the hopes of revolutionizing the way we communicate. Not with our peers, but with our pets. We listen to our dogs bark, cats meow, and hamsters squeal all day long, but many of us have a difficult time interpreting their cacophony. Not anymore!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shark Bait: Stick Figure Family (Episode 4)

This week's episode of Shark Bait features the famous and unfortunate Stick Figure Family with a new product to help solve some of their major-league issues. Find out what the Sharks had to say right here!



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spy Escape and Evasion: Flashback and Flash Forward

spy escape and evasion shark tank"The name's Hanson. Jason Hanson".

Just a few episodes ago Shark Tank fans all around the country watched as former CIA officer, Jason Hanson, covertly stood and mouthed these words in front of the Sharks before pitching his extremely unique business. Spy Escape and Evasion is a seminar for everyday civilians to go to learn safety and survival secrets from a man who has needed to use them to survive his career.

Flashback:

Jason asked the Sharks for $100,000 for a 15% stake in his company, which as of then had gross sales of $306,000 and profit of $128,000. As part of his presentation, Jason called upon a couple of volunteers from the Shark audience to try out some of his tactics. First, Barbara went up and tied Jason's hands tight with duct-tape, only to see him break out of it a few seconds later - without breaking a sweat. Next, Robert went up to serve as the victim, as Jason tied his hands together with a strong zip-tie. But Robert was also able to break out of this with the parachute-cord shoelace Jason was wearing.

herjavec spy escape and evasion
While all the Sharks watched with amazement, Kevin's mind seemed to be thinking of ways to destroy this entire business. He asked Jason how he was allowed to be sharing these secrets with regular civilians. But to his surprise, Jason answered that he already spoke with the agency and got clearance. Roger that Kevin?!

With an investment from the Sharks, Jason was planning on opening a huge training facility in Utah where people will come in for a two day course. Day 1 would be learning the skills (getting out of ducktape, picking locks, detecting surveilance, etc,), and Day 2 would be actual missions with enemies and obstacles. The Sharks though didn't like this plan. They argued that people would not take the time to fly over to Utah to learn these skills. Instead, they proposed that Jason continue with his current business model (which seemed to be working) of flying to heavily-populated cities and giving the seminars there. Jason made it clear that he was definitely open to changing his business model, and with that, the Sharks were quite interested in partnering with him. Well, at least Robert, Daymond, and Mark were.

Robert was the first to make an offer, offering $100,000 for 50% of the company. He felt that this was a reasonable deal because the business model had to still be perfected, which would require more of his time and effort. Daymond insulted this offer calling Robert a greedy savage, and then made a competing offer of $150,000 for 45%. Because Mark was still on the fence and the other Sharks were out, Jason accepted Daymond's time-sensitive offer and walked out of the Shank Tank, mission accomplished.

Flash Forward:

spy escape shark tankAfter making a deal with Daymond, Spy Escape and Evasion has been unstoppable. In the first week after airing on Shark Tank, the company did $200,000 in sales, which previously took over 8 months to do. Since then, Spy Escape and Evasion has done a $1.2 million royalty deal with a survival company, been featured on the Rachael Ray Show, and is in the process of publishing a book and creating a TV show. Talk about the Shark Tank Effect! Daymond has clearly been instrumental in helping grow this business and is in touch with Hanson and his team on a weekly business. The company has also improved its online presence with their brand new website, http://www.spyescape.us.

Jason Hanson will be flying to many different cities to give his seminar and teach regular civilians the secrets he was taught as a CIA officer. It is the chance of a lifetime to learn from a true master in espionage, so be sure to sign up!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

@ Cinnaholic: The Sharks just Changed your Business Model

cinnaholic shark tank abc
By: Pete Troshak
Twitter: @Shak74
Website: www.Shak74.com

Florian and Shannon Radke are the owners of Cinnaholic, a cinnamon bun company that offers a unique boutique retail experience featuring delicious cinnamon buns (judging by the reactions of the Sharks) with over 30 frosting and 30 topping choices for customers to customize their cinnamon buns. Their buns are safe for people with food allergies; they contain no dairy or egg products and are cholesterol free. This makes their product safe for the over 50 million Americans with an intolerance for dairy, and 5 million people with severe food allergies. Cinnaholic’s buns are also 100% vegan, which is a popular buzzword in food today and a consistently growing market. The have one retail location and did $260,000 in sales last year, and were asking $200,000 for 20% of the company to open up another retail location. They have a minor online sales presence but seemed to have their hearts set on expanding through more physical locations, and not cyberspace.