- December 20, 2013
- Posted by: Topher Morrison
- Category: Blog, Business Tips, Life as a Professional Speaker
This week I’ve had the pleasure of showing one of our UK clients around my fine city of Tampa Bay, and I was sharing with her how proud I am to have Kevin Harrington, celebrity Shark Investor from the TV Show Shark Tank as my business partner. After looking him up on google and watching his video she asked me what I thought it was about him that made him so successful. While Kevin might have a completely different response, my impression of him was the following:
1. High Tolerance for Risk
2. Willing to Have Difficult Conversations
3. Willing to Ask for the Absurd
As a professional speaker, you must first be an entrepreneur, and these 3 characteristics will be major factors in how big of a game you get to play. Here’s my spin on these three characteristics:
High Tolerance for Risk
All too often, entrepreneurs interpret this as the person being a big thinker. There is no question that Kevin thinks bigger than I do. But he also assesses bigger risks, and some of the risks he has to assess would stress me out like crazy! Your ability to tolerate risk is like a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger it gets. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs just develop big-thinking, pie-in-the-sky mentality and they think that makes them tolerant of risk. It doesn’t. It makes them oblivious to the potential risk and all too often, this leads to their detriment. If you want to think big you better be willing to spend some time thinking about the dangers of big thinking and big action. If you are okay with those consequences? Party on.
Willing to Have Difficult Conversations
At a basic level for most entrepreneurs, the most difficult conversation they can have is a sales conversation. It freaks them out… at least the ones who are struggling and not generating many sales. All too often, entrepreneurs spend their day doing anything in their power to avoid having a direct sales conversation. They spend thousands of dollars on ad copy hoping people will magically click ‘buy now’ without ever speaking with a sales rep. Hire other people to do the selling for them, and justify spending hours on Facebook “establishing relationships”. If you just date someone, and never get around to asking the all important question, “Will you marry me?” eventually, most people will go searching for someone who isn’t scared of that question. Likewise, if you just build relationships, and never ask the all important question, “would you like to buy?” eventually, most people will go searching for someone who has the courage to ask that question.
Difficult conversation go way beyond selling though… but that’s where you cut your teeth. Then there are the tough questions in interviews and having to call candidates and say, “I’m sorry I’ve selected someone else.” They include calling your vendors and saying, “I’m not happy with these rates.” Or sitting down with your business partners and saying, “This isn’t working, how can we solve this?”
Willing to Ask for the Absurd
I’ve had the good fortune of being around people whose net worth out ranks me by several multiples… and the one thing i’ve noticed with every single one of them. They have no problem asking for things. That could be calling up and asking for help. It could be asking for a supplier to sell them something at half the original price. (I’m always reminded of the price Richard Branson paid for Necker Island.. his offer was clearly absurd… and he got it. Read the story HERE) Or it could be asking their staff to work for free until the company turns back into profit. You would be surprised what you can get people to do, if you just simply ask.
Want to learn more about Kevin? Here’s his video:
Want to meet Kevin? Here’s how… Become a Key Person of Influence