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Month: June 2012

Business Lessons from TV’s “Shark Tank”

I just discovered the TV show “Shark Tank” a few weeks ago and have been eagerly devouring each episode. Sure, I’d heard about the show a few years ago, but ignored it because I don’t like watching TV and find most reality TV shows to be a total waste of time. But I should have checked out Shark Tank much sooner—it’s really exceptional. I don’t really watch the show for entertainment value, but for the business lessons. Hopefully, what people realize is that when they’re watching this show, they’re getting golden nuggets of wisdom from insanely effective businesspeople for FREE! Boy, I wish colleges would teach this kind of information. In case you’re not familiar with the show, it’s really simple: entrepreneurs come into a room full of investors, make a pitch for funding, and then either get a deal, or don’t… usually all in the span of 3-5 minutes. That’s basically it. Aside from what I think is a fairly awkward format that has contestants walking into the room and introducing themselves by saying “Hello, Sharks,” (facepalm) and ignoring the fact that the show has no host which makes it lack flow and direction, it’s one of the few shows worth watching on TV these days. Here are a few of the biggest lessons I’ve seen demonstrated on the show, and these, I think, are lessons most of...

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Communication: The Pinnacle of Human Achievement

I’m a huge fan of writing. I love to see the written word on a page. Whether it’s a printed page or an electronic page doesn’t much matter to me; I love it all. I’d even like to read something on a papyrus scroll someday. In my humble opinion, the pinnacle of all human achievement throughout our history has been the ability to communicate effectively. There are not many who can do this. Sure, there are lots of people who try, and there are lots of people who “technically” communicate, but very few people can communicate effectively. That is truly a special gift – one you’re either born with as some are, or (as I suspect is far more common) one you earn by working your ass of day in and day out for years and years. It’s something you fight for with your time, your passion, your energy, your heart, soul, and mind. In my mind, there are a few very special people in the whole wide world who stand out as the greatest communicators I’ve ever heard of. They are, in no particular order, and in no particular genre, as follows: Winston Churchill Christopher Hitchens Roger Ebert Stephen King While their genres vary wildly, these are absolutely the most eloquent men I have ever discovered. And yet, they do indeed have one common element: they’re all writers....

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