Robert Herjavec, Success, and WordPress

Several months ago, I stumbled across this video featuring Robert Herjavec (most notably from Shark Tank these days), and there were a number of things he said in the video that resonated with me.

I wanted to share it because not only do I think it’s worth a watch, but because I also think there are a number things that’ll resonate with many of you, as well:

Whenever I watch videos like this, one of the hardest things to do is to distill some of my favorite quotes into a single post, but in an effort to do just that, I thought I’d share some of the ones I like and how they relate to what I – and many of you – do for a living (or for a hobby), and then just list the rest as ones that I also enjoyed.

Robert Herjavec and WordPress

Obviously, there’s nothing Robert said in the course of the video that has anything to do with WordPress – but it did have to do with business – and there are obviously businesses built around WordPress, so the points that he made transcend whatever field you’re in. In just so happens that I – along with many of you – are into WordPress

With that said, here are some of my favorite quotes.

Create Customers

The purpose of business is to create a customer.

This is actually a quote by Warren Avis whom Herjavec used to work, but this particular quote is a good reminder.

Right now, I think that we’re in a period of a sort of WordPress Gold Rush where people are more concerned with playing the volume game – that is, churning out half-baked products for the sake of generating as much money as possible in a short amount of time rather than creating sustainable businesses and ways to make a living.

This isn’t a universal truth, of course, but an observation. There also plenty of companies who are out there for creating value – via high-quality products or services – for others.

Do Not Be a Jerk

No one likes to do business with someone who isn’t nice.

This is something that I believe the majority of us know, and have an innate belief that this is true, but this doesn’t stop us from losing our patience with some of the customers that we have.

I’m not defending rude customers. In fact, I think you can fire customers just as much as you can fire and employee – relationships are two ways streets – but when you’re running a business and someone else is interfacing with you, be it a customer, a contractor, or an employee, then it never hurts to be nice, does it?

Be Good at What You Do

Success is about finding out the stuff that you should be participating in. … Be great at one thing. The world will reward your knowledge of a very narrow field … Be world-class at that one thing. Forget your weaknesses because someone is going to eat your lunch at the stuff you’re not good at.

This is probably my favorite quote of the entire interview because I think that we can all go further, faster not only if we’re teamed with the right people, but if we’re playing to our strengths.

Furthermore, this is also why I think that it’s much more important to go deep rather than wide in your field of work. Rather than trying to be a generalist – or someone who can do a little bit with everything – specialize. Go deep rather than wide and because exceptionally good at one thing.

Other Good Quotes

Granted, I could go on with other quotes, but here’s some of the other things that I really enjoyed in the interview:

I’m not in business for emotional gratification, …, when you’re angry or you hate, you make stupid decisions.

It’s not about listening for empathy, it’s not about listening to be a nice person, it’s not just about listening – and not just the audio cues – but the physical cues about what people are really saying. It’s about trying to get to the truth of every comment and every word and you’ve got to understand what the mood is.

The minute you think you’ve made it is the beginning of the end.

Sure, I – and you – could elaborate on each of these quotes just as much as those that came before, and many will agree just as much as others disagree.

But all of that’s fine, just so long as we aren’t jerks about it, right?

The Big Takeaway

Although many of these ideas are oriented around business and success, they can be directly related to the work that many of us are doing with and around WordPress since we’re obviously working on building products, services, and business arounds WordPress.

Ultimately, the point is the same that comes from listening to any successful entrepreneur or those from whom we find inspiration: Take the lessons that they’ve learned and apply them to what we’re doing so that we can shortcut some of the mistakes that they’ve made in an attempt to be more successful in what we do.

6 Replies to “Robert Herjavec, Success, and WordPress”

  1. My favorite take away is his concept of listening.

    This is something that takes time and practice to hone. It’s not listening for the features and tasks — it’s about what the other person is really saying. Being able to digest what they mean on an emotional level and deeper level. To the point that you’re hearing and discovering something that they might be afraid to express.

    Listening is very much a discovery process for me.

    1. I agree with Matt. Listening is an art. I am guilty of listening with the intent of replying, I so want to jump in! :-) Listening for what they are saying and sometimes NOT saying is so key. Our emotions drive our thinking which drives our decisions, etc, etc

      1. I agree with Matt. Listening is an art. I am guilty of listening with the intent of replying, I so want to jump in! :-) Listening for what they are saying and sometimes NOT saying is so key.

        Absolutely agree. We have to temper our natural inclinations for the sake of being a better listener, responder, and even a better business person.

    2. My favorite take away is his concept of listening.

      Agreed. This is something that’s missed far too much in our society because I feel like we get a bit trigger happy in trying to get to our next point without actually caring (or hearing) what the other person is saying.

      In addition, I also think that sometimes we’re more pre-disposed to actually trying to provide a rebuttal for their points without actually considering them.

      Listening is very much a discovery process for me.

      I’m sure! Especially with the work that you’re doing with Matt Report.

  2. While I recognize Mr. Herjavec’s success, to me he comes across as a typical saccharine, self indulgent, self evangelist without any tangible substantive value to add, beyond the usual shibboleth’s that you can find so easily from the online self brander marketing hoard online.
    Checking back on your recent posts I appreciate the value that you consistently add to the WP
    developer community.
    I just can’t fathom why you got bitten by this shark.

    1. While I recognize Mr. Herjavec’s success, to me he comes across as a typical saccharine, self indulgent, self evangelist without any tangible substantive value to add, beyond the usual shibboleth’s that you can find so easily from the online self brander marketing hoard online.

      I can appreciate and respect your viewpoint even if I don’t fully agree (but that’s always okay, right? It makes blogging and comments fun).

      To me, the different in, say, Herjavec versus was you see in many online marketers is that he’s the real deal. We’ve got a lot of online marketers and the like who spout a lot of the same stuff, but what do they have to show for it?

      He actually has plenty so show for it – and has for decades. I mean, he even shared his beginnings as working for Avis (and even before that, he was burned by the door-to-door vacuum sales).

      Checking back on your recent posts I appreciate the value that you consistently add to the WP developer community.

      Thanks! I try, but there’s just as much good stuff shared in the comments and on other posts, as well. I’m happy just to be a part of it.

      I just can’t fathom why you got bitten by this shark.

      These are somewhat strong (and clichéd) words. Granted, I see your opinion – I happily acknowledge that – but I wouldn’t say I was “bitten by a shark.” Herjavec has been an interesting investor and business man to watch both online and offline who has made a lot of compelling points in different arenas.

      I’m not being bitten any more than anyone else who follows a high-profile figure who takes cues from those who are successful.

      True statements and good advice transcend who says them. For example, if the average joe was to share the same things Herjavec shared, would make a difference in the truth of the statements?

      Perhaps the most striking response was his point due to listening. That’s something that people just don’t do anymore, you know?

      At least not many.

      And it’s something we should improve on. I’m always willing to admit that I may read something (or someone wrong), but in this case, I can’t help but acknowledge that the points he made are true – I’m not totally sure how they’re “saccharine, self-indulgent, and self-evangelist” when he’s providing information for the rest of us to utilize in our day to day (the very opposite of selfishness) to help shortcut mistakes and how to do better and what we’re doing.

      In other words, when the value that he provides is directly stated in his advice to those who are looking to run a business – it’s not just about him. It’s about his opinion, perspective, and approaches that he’s taken that have helped him become successful.

      I’m not saying I want to make millions of dollars, but I want to run a good business, serve the people I work with well, I want to someone who cares about my customers, and the products and the services that I provide.

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