Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Lessons from Kevin O'Leary

Unless you've been hiding under a rock
You'll know one of Canada's most popular shows, Dragon's Den

Kevin O'Leary is a polarizing force of capitalism
and has just launched a new book!

The best library system ever,
TPL had Kevin in for a sold out event tonight he was in fine form and as usual doled out some great stories and lessons

An early story about how he went into business with Don Cherry and then sold those businesses and shows for a profit was fascinating, explains some of his TV persona and how he knows the secret of TV:

WHY does a billionaire hav
e five TV shows and work non-stop?

Answer: Access!

His shows give him daily access to influencers, government and celebrities
Access he couldn't buy if he wanted to.

As he said "money is not power. Information is power"

Great story about when ABC wanted him to promote his new show on "Dancing with the Stars" he said yes and flew to LA for 10 minutes work to network with business hero Steve Wozniak. That meeting Steve gave him a stock tip that made him a lot of money...Networking!

He counts John Lenno
n as an influence but lives by his code
"the pursuit of money is the quest for freedom and happiness". Not q
uite "greed is good" but that Canadians needs to stop being ashamed of ambition.

Another great story, he believes "nepotism is a corporate disease", when his son asked him "Dad when we fly, I sit back here and you go to first class"
Yes. His son flies economy.
His response "but son, you have no money!"
He wants him to earn it, no free rides here
"I may give all my money to a cat, I haven't decided yet".

Speaking of animals...Kevin's view on investing? "There is NO place for emotion in investing. You want a friend? Buy a dog".

When he was a c
hild, his mother gave him powerful advice "never invest in any stock that doesn't pay dividends. Period". It's how he runs his investments. He fires anyone who doesn't get it.

During questions he explained the three elements that 100% of successful pitches to Dragon's Den:

1) 90 seconds or less. Period
2) Tell me why YOU are the person who can make it work

3) Be the owner, the leader, don't shy away from your passio
n, power or knowledge

Lastly, as a networking tip, I encourage a no ego rule. This Billionaire made time to sign every book - very classy.

A truly enjoyable evening, thanks Toronto Public Library!

Kevin, keep it up.

Readers - enjoy this hilarious primo promo!

Just in case you'd like a play by play the ever-awesome Toronto Public Library just posted the event on YouTube!


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Going beyond coffee - networking secret

Howard Schultz, can I call you Howard?
Talks about the "future of Starbucks 
with the change in logo's this year. 

I talk a lot about Starbucks on LinkedIn and Twitter being the the end all and be all of networking
but it's time I clear up the confusion of one key thing....
Not the taste, the presentation or price. 

I call Starbucks "my second office" because it's the environment to conduct business. 

In Canada, Tim Horton's is not so much coffee as it is a religion ( "double double? Amen" )
I used to drive 100,000km a year for work in the 90's
It's what kept me alive ( Extra large, 2 cream, 7 sugars )

And Second Cup, Timothy's and other brands are good at coffee meets comfort.But Starbucks is to coffee what Lexus is to Toyota, Range Rover to Ford.

Even in the advent of the real "second office" and the laptop gollum's who buy two cups  and stay 48 hours doling out stinkeyes at anyone who dares have a conversation in their little Lord of the Coffee Rings library/home ... but I digress...
Look at this layout, the better locations (and on LinkedIn I use a group to source the best locations for meetings )have a quiet comfortable place to meet.
So, get your coffee from wherever it tastes best to you. Snobbery aside, McCafe and the big M is quickly catching up to my beloved Tim's as the cup of choice on the runbut when it comes to networking.....

Starbucks Rules.

Ps. Want to know the best way to meet in a coffee shop?

Want to know the BEST place to sit for networking purposes?

Read one or both of these books - they have done wonders for me!

PPs. My last tip is that I give my Starbucks card to the Barista in charge when I'm meeting someone I don't want to fight over who pays. One nod when I approach the counter - and I win. Every time.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The essence of networking

When I can, I set up small high value events
for small groups in my network, 10 to 15

Like my twitter handle mission states, 

The criteria? 
- Content is of high value to you in work/life
- Made direct contact with me in virtual or reality reality (past six months)
- Used passive networks ( LinkedIn, Twitter, email ) to share goals and needs 
- You seek daily to create prosperity for your network and self

The other day I sent out a highly private invite to 15 people
with only 10 spots at the event
the instructions  were strictly no forwarding 
this was an offer to you only

But one person, sent me a note right back
"Paul, I want to come, and this would help me a lot
but I know someone who is working on this topic right now.
It could help them more, could they come in my place".

That person's name? Frankie Chow.
He's a member of the 2011 Class at Humber College's 
Like a big pizza pie. 

When cold hard value drops in your lap
and you don't take it and run but instead ask
"who in my contacts can benefit from this more than me?"

One day Frankie, you're going to get what's coming to you.
I hope to be around for that great day.
Until then, I'm in your corner rooting for you 200%.

I leave you dear network with a wonderful Toronto band
Listen to the thoughtful lyrics about 50 seconds in if you want to think
If you don't, just enjoy

Either way, happy end of summer.
Fall, that networking powerhouse of productivity approaches...
and I can't wait - see you there.