The Top 3 Lessons I Learned From Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec For Growing A Multimillion-Dollar Business From Rags To Riches

Today, Robert Herjavec is known as the beloved “nice judge” on ABC’s Shark Tank, but if you ask him, he thinks the descriptor “fair” is more appropriate. Whatever you call him, make no mistake: he’s one of the most shrewd and successful businesspeople of our time. Despite humble beginnings while growing up in former Yugoslavia, Herjavec managed to leverage his endless drive and acumen into a long list of multimillion-dollar business ventures, including Herjavec Group, now a global leader in IT security services.

When someone gets officially dubbed a Shark and becomes one of the most visible faces in the business world, you might expect them to lose touch a little bit. But that’s just not the case with Robert Herjavec. At a recent conference, I had the pleasure of seeing him speak. It was clear that he wasn’t just there for a paycheck. He genuinely wanted to share his wealth of knowledge with all the attendees. Here are a few key lessons Herjavec schooled us on and how they can help your business.

1. You’ve got to show up.

Right as he took the stage, Herjavec delivered a simple but vital piece of encouragement to everyone in attendance. “I congratulate everyone for being here,” he said with a smile. “Because the key to success is you gotta show up.” Whether you’re making time for an event or just struggling to survive, “if you don’t show up, you can’t win.”

The fact is that it’s easy to get caught up in the minute-to-minute chaos of running a business. It’s just as easy to get tired out, start sipping or begin questioning why we’re trying at all. But, as Herjavec was so eager to point out, we need to bring ourselves fully to the task at hand if we hope to carve out our chunk of success. Sure, we’ll have bad days, but the more we can be present, prepared and hungry to implement our vision, the better off we’ll be.

2. Nothing happens without sales.

Herjavec will be the first to tell you that, starting out, he knew absolutely nothing about the sales world. By his account, he was a “geeky, technical guy” who thought that as long as he offered a great service, customers would show up. Luckily, when he was 23, his friend Ross Marsden – then a global VP of sales – gave him a piece of advice that would change his life. “You’re a great guy, and you really know your stuff,” he told Herjavec. “[But] unless you learn sales, you will never be successful.”

In response, Herjavec began to learn more about sales and marketing, until he realized, “You can have the best accounting system, the best CRM [and] the best tools, but nothing happens until you sell something.” The difference between those Fortune 500 companies dominating the market and the little guys who barely eke out a living? Sales.

“Sales is not a foreign object that controls what you do,” he said. “Sales is an extension of what you do.”

3. “Every day, somebody wakes up with the sole intention of kicking your @ss.”

After hearing fellow Shark Mark Cuban say this during the first season of filming Shark Tank, Herjavec got it chiseled in granite above his desk. “One of the hardest things about becoming more successful is success,” he said. Because when you’re no longer that “hungry, young person looking to take on the world,” you get to a point where you’re content enough to let your life (and business) stagnate. Herjavec said, “The minute you want it to be like it is, don’t forget there’s somebody out there – like you were many years ago – who wants to take it away from you.”

The antidote to this attitude, according to Herjavec, is to keep selling, keep growing and keep pushing. “If one of your top three tasks every day isn’t ‘Sell something,’ you’re going to fail,” he said.

“It’s like a mantra in my mind: constant forward momentum.” If your company isn’t growing at least at the rate of the market, you’re losing ground. Customer service and excellent products are vital, but if you lose sight of the importance of sales, you’re bound to the path of mediocrity.

Of all the wisdom Robert Herjavec imparted to us, that was the most inspiring. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. Sell what you have, and stay hungry.

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Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
GE’s New Smart Microwave

As more and more household devices go toward the Internet of Things’ (IoT) direction, General Electric is following suit with its new WiFi-enabled smart countertop microwave. With the capability to sync with Amazon’s Alexa, it aims to change the microwave game.

While it can’t put the food you want to cook into the microwave by itself, it can do pretty much everything else in the process. All you need to do is scan the barcode of a specific food with a smartphone camera, and then the microwave will cook it perfectly using the exact correct time and power level. Over time, the microwave’s library of known foods will grow. Eventually, you can just tell Alexa what you’re cooking and have the dish heated to perfection.

Now, you might be wondering why we’d use smart technology to make microwaving a hot pocket even easier. But hey – it’s the wave of the future. The extra features make it worth the relatively low price alone.

Good Morale Means Profitability

Employee morale is a fickle thing, going up and down seemingly without reason, a rollercoaster ride of emotions and profitability. Of course, you can’t control people’s emotions, but with the right approach, you can steer company morale consistently in the right direction. Here are a few tips to do just that.

1. Initiate a daily huddle.
The stories we tell ourselves have more impact on our emotions than perhaps anything else. But by holding standing mini-meetings of no more than 10 minutes every day, you can spark a new, authentic story in your work community. Let people share their challenges, the actions they’re taking to overcome them, and their victories.

One thing, though: if you do start doing a daily huddle, make sure you keep it consistent for the entire life of your company. Leaving huddles hanging is a surefire way to plummet morale.

2. Change up the work schedule.
When people fall into an emotional rut, they’re often in an action rut as well. Let your employees switch up their daily work schedules, and it will help jar them out of sluggishness. Letting someone start late on Monday to allow them to clear up some personal baggage can go a long way.

3. Remind them of the “why.”
People tend to get fixated on the “what” of your business, and the day-to-day grind begins to cause fatigue. To stir up passion and purpose among your team, direct everyone’s attention to the deeper meaning behind the work they do. The more compelling and fleshed out your company mission is, the easier it’ll be to stick to it and stay happy.

4. Listen.
The first thing many customer service reps learn is that angry people need to vent before they are open to change. Meet with disgruntled team members individually or in small groups to learn about the problems they’re facing. However, avoid big groups — these tend to spawn soapboxers who will bring more problems forward than you can fix.

5. Let them take naps.
Seriously! Ever had a critical conversation with your significant other when you were both exhausted? I’m guessing it didn’t go too well. Well, it’s the same thing with your employees. Giving your team a “dark room” to take a 20-minute power nap shows that you genuinely care about them, not to mention boosting their productivity when they return to work.

6. Take one for the team.
When your people are facing a particularly nasty obstacle and morale is sinking, be the ultimate leader and shoulder the burden for them. Take on the dirty work, handle the confrontation, and show the team you’re there to serve them.

Once you’ve taken action and morale is lifting, it’s your job to keep the momentum going. With regular communication and authentic leadership, you can keep mood dips brief and keep everyone working together for a common goal. Don’t blame your team — it’s your responsibility to maintain positivity, trust, and cooperation in the office.

MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multimillion-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group. He is also a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and the instant new classic, ClockWork, his latest book. For more information, visit

I filmed a video last month to help educate other IT business owners on the importance of offering Advanced Security Services to their clients.

“Are You A Target?”

Short answer: Yes, you are.

Longer answer: If you are breathing and have a social security number, you are a target for hackers. Heck, even the dead can’t escape cybercrime (ever hear of criminals getting credit cards in the names of dead?)

Cybercriminals are CRIMINALS. That means that they flow to where the money is. The more money or opportunity, the bigger of a target you are.

Now, we all don’t really like the idea of having LESS money to be LESS of a target, so focusing on lowering the opportunity hackers have to compromise your accounts and business is the better strategy.

We know that there is no more “eyes wide shut.” You can’t turn on the tv or browse the internet without hearing the new and exciting ways businesses are getting hacked.

But did you know there are new and exciting ways to STOP them?

From Dark Web Monitoring (alerting when your usernames and passwords are stolen by hackers), to Next-Generation Antivirus (that STOPS ransomware), to new ways to turn your people into IT Security Jedi (oh yes, we can!), to password managers (so you don’t have to remember 2,526 passwords by heart) there is so many new and exciting ways to protect yourself and your company.

I am constantly vetting and adding new services so we can keep our clients secure. They count on InTech to implement the right tech and strategies to protect their biggest asset: their company.

Stay Secure Out There!

To your continued success,