Summary: Mentor to Millions: Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond by Kevin Harrington, Mark Timm
Summary: Mentor to Millions: Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond by Kevin Harrington, Mark Timm

Summary: Mentor to Millions: Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond by Kevin Harrington, Mark Timm

In Mentor to Milllions, Kevin Harrington, one of the original “sharks” of the TV hit Shark Tank, and serial entrepreneur Mark Timm take you on a journey that radically redefines what it means to truly succeed–at work, at home, and in every area of life.


Don’t try to do it alone.

It can be lonely as an entrepreneur. We get misinformed somehow that to be the ‘one’, we have to do this alone. This doesn’t tell the whole story. To be successful, you have to count on yourself, but when you surround yourself with mentors and advocates, you greatly increase your odds of success. That’s a huge mindset change but one that’s absolutely critical for you to make.


Kevin Harrington doesn’t do it alone, either.

He has numerous mentors and knows that should give you permission to bring even more mentors into your life whom you can turn to when you need help. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can receive. If there’s one thing you should take away from this book, it’s that mentorship is not only readily available (perhaps more than you realize) and that it’s one of the biggest parts of Kevin’s formula for success.


Help people fix problems in their own way.

As a leader of the organization, it’s not your priority to ‘do the work’. Many leaders make the mistake of doing the work and solving the problems for their teams. It’s a mindset they’re all entrenched in. If someone in their team has a problem, they fix it without asking questions, while being curious and asking questions help their team learn how to solve their own problems.

If you have to solve a problem every time, your team is learning your way of fixing things. When they solve them on their own, they’re doing it in ways intuitive to them.

It’s like the old adage “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat today. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.” If you don’t know whether your team has the capacity and capability to solve their own problems, perhaps you should start being curious and asking questions.


Kevin’s nine building blocks before launching any business

  1. Who are your key partners? What are their motivations behind the partnership?
  2. What are the key activities of the business idea?
  3. What are you going to deliver to your customers?
  4. What problems are you solving for them?
  5. What is your relationship with the customer? How do you establish and maintain relationships?
  6. What customer segment are you targeting?
  7. What key resources does this business require?
  8. What distribution channels does this business require for it to get to the market?
  9. What is your main revenue stream?


Success or confidence, which comes first?

So many people believe that you have to be confident to successfully take the action. But is action the chicken or the egg?

Kevin says it’s the egg. It’s the action that creates confidence, not the other way around. It’s also true with motivation. People believe you have to be motivated to take the first step. It’s not true. Kevin believes taking action fuels your motivation to then take the next step. As Zig Ziglar once said,

“If you’re standing there, listening to me, trying to figure out how big a step you can take, it’s probably too big, and you’re not going to take it. So here’s the deal. I don’t care how big of a step you take. Take whatever size step you can. But do it right now.”


Fail fast.. but not on purpose.

Kevin often fails, but he fails fast and cheap. He doesn’t spend a lot of money when he fails. He wants to learn from the failure, adjust and pivot. Although he doesn’t fail purposefully, he accepts the fact that failure is largely inevitable for any business or entrepreneurship. In his own words,

“I tend to get frustrated with entrepreneurs when I’ve invested in their company, or even when I’m just helping them out. When instead of measuring twice to cut once, they’re measuring ten, fifteen and twenty times. And they never cut.” 

Too many entrepreneurs mistakenly assume that they’re a failure just because their idea is a failure. For them, that’s a hard pill to swallow but if they’re going to be successful, they have to change this mindset.

Entrepreneurs have to think of themselves as a phoenix. The idea is to rise from a failure stronger than you were before you failed. The phoenix is a mythical bird that repeatedly rises from the ashes of the burning of its past self. In entrepreneurial terms, the ashes of your predecessor is the failure of your business.


Don’t hire for where you’re right now. Hire for where you’re going.

You’ll never scale to your potential if your hiring decisions are based on where you are at the moment. What ends up happening once you’ve realized is that you see you’ve spent a great deal on the wrong people. Once you understand that they can’t take you to 10 million or a 100, you know you have to change those out and that becomes another expensive proposition. You get the idea. Before you know it, the business has lost its momentum and become stagnant.


Work smart. Multiply your efforts.

Kevin doesn’t only want to multiply his efforts, he wants to multiply his relationships and time. He always looks for ways to 100x opportunities because 10x can be achieved linearly. 100x results would take a lifetime to achieve if you only thought in terms of addition. To reinforce this idea, Kevin said:

“I was introducing people to franchise opportunities. If people choose to become involved with that franchise, I was then paid a commission. It was great, but it was a linear model, because this was all done one person at a time. I had to make my thinking exponential.

I said to myself. Wait a minute. I’m spending goal of this time making a pitch, and then the franchise turns around and does the same thing one I connect the prospect to them. What if we can just do this really well once, and then tap into some kind of national network that exponentially distributed it? “

It was from that question that the infomercial was born. It arose out of Kevin’s desire to go from linear to exponential growths.


Exponential. Not linear. Scale. Not growth.

Scaling is exponential. Scale doesn’t happen at a linear scale. Growth is linear. Growth happens at an increase of 10 percent, 20 percent or may be 50 percent.

Scale is a hockey stick. You’ve got growth along the length of the hockey stick, moving upward at a slow but consistent pace. Then all of a sudden the stick curves up drastically, almost vertically. That’s scale. That’s selling 10,000 units a day.

Consider a mom-and-pop restaurant that’s profitable. After a few years, they’re able to open a second outlet. Those two outlets end up doing well and they’re able to open a third one after three years. A few more successful years and they open a fourth. You get the idea. They might take 30 to 40 years to have a hundred outlets. But let’s say they take their proven concept to franchise. Now they can get to three hundred outlets in the next five years if they want it. That’s scale. That’s the end of the hockey stick.


But wait… there’s more!

And you did wait….

Remember the time you pull that credit card out of your wallet. Even though you’re ready to order, you still have a little hesitation. You keep asking yourself if this is the right decision. Then they hit you with the clincher – the added bonus that closes the deal.

We refer to this as value stacking. Think of the concept like this. Transactional selling is like a scale. Price sits on one side of the scale while features and benefits sit on the other. A consumer will only buy if the scale tips in their favor (when they’re getting more benefits than they’re paying).

Oftentimes in the infomercial world, the seller creates a scenario where the consumer could see the benefits in their purchase, but the scales are practically even. They’re on the fence of buying but they still need a reason to buy. “But wait… there’s more!” is what pushes them over the edge and makes them say “I’m in.” In fact, this practice became so successful and ubiquitous that the phrase has come to be a part of our cultural lexicon. 


The bottom line of a family is not measured in dollars. The growth of a family is not measured in the number of sales.

“Four of my six children now left the house. If I’ve equipped them – if I’ve prepared them for that next chapter of their life, then each of them represents a whole new entity, if you will. Scaling a family means answering whether or not the values and principles and things that matter most can transcend generations. Are your children able to have their own family and multiply what they’ve learned with you and integrate it into their children, and so on?

Having more children is growth, not scaling. Having an exponential multiplier within a family can only happen when they start to move on and of their own things. What matters to your family and your business is your reputation.

“We have to ask ourselves if we passed on the core values that they’ll multiply not only within their own future families, but within other people in general.”

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