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Kevin O’Leary shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.   Can you make millions just by “visualizing yourself rich” as some business prophets suggest? Don’t buy it, says Kevin O’Leary. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth, you’re going to have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perse Kevin O’Leary shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.   Can you make millions just by “visualizing yourself rich” as some business prophets suggest? Don’t buy it, says Kevin O’Leary. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth, you’re going to have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perseverance, you can turn entrepreneurial vision into lucrative reality and have the personal freedom that only wealth can buy.   Kevin O’Leary would know. The much-feared and revered Dragon on the immensely popular show Dragons’ Den (and Shark Tank in the U.S.) started his company in his basement with a $10,000 loan from his financially savvy mother. A few years later, Kevin sold that company for more than four billion dollars. In this compelling, candid and, above all else, brutally honest business memoir, Kevin provides engaging, practical advice and lessons that will give anyone a distinct competitive edge.


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Kevin O’Leary shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.   Can you make millions just by “visualizing yourself rich” as some business prophets suggest? Don’t buy it, says Kevin O’Leary. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth, you’re going to have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perse Kevin O’Leary shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.   Can you make millions just by “visualizing yourself rich” as some business prophets suggest? Don’t buy it, says Kevin O’Leary. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth, you’re going to have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perseverance, you can turn entrepreneurial vision into lucrative reality and have the personal freedom that only wealth can buy.   Kevin O’Leary would know. The much-feared and revered Dragon on the immensely popular show Dragons’ Den (and Shark Tank in the U.S.) started his company in his basement with a $10,000 loan from his financially savvy mother. A few years later, Kevin sold that company for more than four billion dollars. In this compelling, candid and, above all else, brutally honest business memoir, Kevin provides engaging, practical advice and lessons that will give anyone a distinct competitive edge.

30 review for Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money & Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

    I’ve never watched Dragon’s Den,but I have heard Kevin O’Leary on John Tory’s talk show from time to time — and you know what? I can’t help but respect a guy who tells it as it is when it comes to business. In his book, Cold Hard Truth, he writes about how, one of the hallmarks of being a great boss is to never consider your employees your friends — it just makes it tough to reprimand them or fire them. I know I continually harp about this, but over the course of my career so far — and we’re wrapp I’ve never watched Dragon’s Den,but I have heard Kevin O’Leary on John Tory’s talk show from time to time — and you know what? I can’t help but respect a guy who tells it as it is when it comes to business. In his book, Cold Hard Truth, he writes about how, one of the hallmarks of being a great boss is to never consider your employees your friends — it just makes it tough to reprimand them or fire them. I know I continually harp about this, but over the course of my career so far — and we’re wrapping up a decade now in the work force — the one thing I’ve come to hate the most is cronyism and nepotism. It just completely flies in the face of what we were taught in school and by our parents — that notion that, as long as you work hard, you’ll succeed. But you know what? Time and time again, I’ve seen people hired because they’re friends of someone in a position of power; and I’m sorry, but I think that’s an abuse of power and shouldn’t be allowed to happen…but it does and I’m old enough and smart enough to know by now that only losers crave equality. Another thing that O’Leary points out in his book? Everybody is replaceable. Only delusional people like to think that they’re not — but almost anybody can be replaced. I love reading books like this and often wish that more executives would read them, too — because I think someone as successful as Kevin O’Leary definitely knows a thing or two about how to run a company. His secret to success? It’s really very simple: you work for it. You know, I’d really love to meet the man — though, I have no idea what to say to him. The CEO that I used to work for — he just retired this past month — actually had the opportunity to appear on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange on CBC (though, I don’t think that Kevin O’Leary was actually on that episode) and I think it would have been amazing to have been on the set of that. (Though, O’Leary advises against having an entourage accompanying you wherever you go.) In this book, O’Leary talks about how he’s often perceived as “the mean one” on both Dragon’s Den and the American version, Shark Tank — but I think that people who don’t mince words and who call a spade a spade are often labelled as “mean” simply because people don’t like hearing the truth. Some takeaways: In the real world, interpersonal skills often trump academic achievements. (This is so true. I’ve known a couple of people who’ve had Masters degrees who acted like they were above doing certain tasks — despite the fact that this was what they signed up for when the accepted the job offer. Having a Masters degree means squat if you can’t even make a simple photocopy right.) If you make mistakes, own up to it — and show that you’ve learned from them and that you won’t let them happen again. Don’t fear change — the only constant in life is change; so accept it and move on. Tears don’t add value — life’s hard. Get over it. Execution is everything.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Sylvester

    It didn't have a lot of substance but it was okay. Initially, I expected O'Leary to come from poverty and be entirely self-made which isn't the case. Although, it was interesting to trace through his entreprenurial tale. It evoked the business side of my youth, and marks the beginning of my own journey back from a stray into public service and academia. Plus, it gave some personal insight into a controversial Canadian figure I knew little about. It gave him a soft spot, which was cool and intrig It didn't have a lot of substance but it was okay. Initially, I expected O'Leary to come from poverty and be entirely self-made which isn't the case. Although, it was interesting to trace through his entreprenurial tale. It evoked the business side of my youth, and marks the beginning of my own journey back from a stray into public service and academia. Plus, it gave some personal insight into a controversial Canadian figure I knew little about. It gave him a soft spot, which was cool and intrigued me to learn more about his investment strategy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John Magdaraog

    Most of the given information on this book was based on making financial wise decision. My main concern is it doesn't help you acquired assets. Instead, the book tells you to do is SAVE.SAVE & SAVE and live in a frugal lifestyle. All in all, it is simple to understand. Most of the given information on this book was based on making financial wise decision. My main concern is it doesn't help you acquired assets. Instead, the book tells you to do is SAVE.SAVE & SAVE and live in a frugal lifestyle. All in all, it is simple to understand.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Picking up this book is all the evidence I need that I enjoy Shark Tank more than I should. I’ve never read an investing or money-themed book before (sorry, Martin Amis), because I’m just not the target demographic (I imagine people who know about stocks and bonds and...whatever else people invest in don’t buy as much ramen as I do). I’m not really sure how much any book like this can offer - like any diet book, which has to spin “diet and exercise” into two hundred plus pages, most of the point Picking up this book is all the evidence I need that I enjoy Shark Tank more than I should. I’ve never read an investing or money-themed book before (sorry, Martin Amis), because I’m just not the target demographic (I imagine people who know about stocks and bonds and...whatever else people invest in don’t buy as much ramen as I do). I’m not really sure how much any book like this can offer - like any diet book, which has to spin “diet and exercise” into two hundred plus pages, most of the points here are as simple as “spend less and save more,” which isn’t terribly insightful. There were a few interesting points, like focusing on paying off debt over investing, and that renting can be better than buying a home, but most of these tips weren’t particularly applicable to me. After all, it’s a bit late for a prenup, and thanks to student loans, I won’t be worrying about a mortgage or home remodeling until there are flying cars and (hopefully wisecracking) robot manservants. Still, this book has a good amount of possibly semi-intentional comedic value. It’s amusing to read the self-anointed Mr. Wonderful’s shameless self-promotion (there are two full-page ads for his companies at the end of the book, because 250 pages of his brilliance and tales of how he earned his money aren’t enough), his comically cold, robotic fixation on money (the book begins, “This book is the story of my money, and the personal journey I went on to make it”; he recommends that all couples sign a prenup or cohabitation agreement, because “[c]ontract talks are a fantastic vetting process”; he calls pets “an expensive story, with an expensive ending”), his failed attempts at humor (calling his imaginary wedding planning company “Love Don’t Cost a Dime, Inc.”), his strange reminiscences (“Going to the mall wasn’t a twice-weekly trip. It was saved for special occasions. Times are different now.”) and ridiculous phrases (“cars are here to stay”). There’s also a strange blend of cheapness and complete Rich Guy out-of-touchness that’s pretty hilarious. In one section, O’Leary sets up several compound interest charts while decrying any expenditures us suckers make on off-the-rack magazines, alcohol or coffee, pointing out that a $6 per week coffee habit over 10 years costs $3,120, and instead, if that amount were invested with a 3% return, you could have $3,920 - an extra $800! That’s a lot of charts and hypotheticals to tell us that when you buy things, you longer have that money. Also, $3,000 for ten years of coffee sounds like a pretty amazing deal, though I appreciate that some billionaire is recommending I “[i]nvest in a thermos, a vinyl lunch bag, and a good coffee maker,” because the idea of a billionaire taking the time to pack his own lunch in one of his many homes before taking his private jet to work is great. In other sections, O’Leary shows that, despite his familiarity with the concept of a “thermos,” he hasn’t interacted with an actual human being in decades, like when he demands that all couples get a prenup that will cost “anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000,” and he adds, “don’t forget vacation property, timeshares, and lake houses.” Remember, Kevin, we’re the people from a few chapters ago who apparently can’t afford our $6 per week coffee habit, much less our $10 per week magazine habit. Even though we’re now saving that cool $6k over the next decade thanks to your hot tip of not buying those things, we’re not exactly in the lake house market, unless it’s a copy of The Lake House on DVD, because everyone’s emotionally wealthy if they give two hours of their lives to a movie where Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves somehow interact through a mailbox that sends love letters through time. Since Mr. O’Leary spends a bunch of time bragging about “only” spending $10,000 on your wedding and honeymoon, where does he get off advising people to spend up to two and a half times that on the prenup? What partner is going to be excited about marrying someone who places an equal or greater value on the financial fallout from the end of a marriage that hasn’t happened yet than on the ceremony that is the beginning of that marriage? The possibly semi-intentional comedy (chastising people who gave a friend of his their used baby stuff because it was high quality and they “might have made a buck on the resale,” complaining about the expense of his lake house and Porsche - though they’re okay because those are “indulgences,” not “investments”) made this more fun than I would have thought, but still not something I’d recommend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tosin Omotoyinbo

    Mr. Wonderful is such an interesting character. His simple no-BS approach to business and ultimately making money in general is so interesting, coupled with his sense of humor and wit, fully expressed in the book, you could almost hear him affirming the cold hard truth of business wisdom into your ears, with the aim of preventing you from disrespecting money, this the best time investment I've made in any book this year. Mr. Wonderful is such an interesting character. His simple no-BS approach to business and ultimately making money in general is so interesting, coupled with his sense of humor and wit, fully expressed in the book, you could almost hear him affirming the cold hard truth of business wisdom into your ears, with the aim of preventing you from disrespecting money, this the best time investment I've made in any book this year.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Kevin O’Leary "Cold Hard Truth" shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.It is not easy to review this book and do it the kind of justice it deserves.This is the story of the memoire of Kevin O'Leary's journey, the path that he followed, the lessons that he learned, the discipline that he adhered to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth.He told us that you have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perseverance, you can tu Kevin O’Leary "Cold Hard Truth" shares invaluable secrets on entrepreneurship, business, money and life.It is not easy to review this book and do it the kind of justice it deserves.This is the story of the memoire of Kevin O'Leary's journey, the path that he followed, the lessons that he learned, the discipline that he adhered to be a successful entrepreneur and amass wealth.He told us that you have to work for it. But the good news is: with the right guidance, focus and perseverance, you can turn entrepreneurial vision into reality and have the personal freedom that only wealth can buy. Kevin O’Leary would know. The much-feared and revered Dragon on the immensely popular show Dragons’ Den (and Shark Tank in the U.S.) started his company in his basement with a $10,000 loan from his financially savvy mother. A few years later, Kevin sold that company for more than four billion dollars. In this compelling, and honest business memoir, Kevin provides practical advice and lessons that will give anyone a distinct competitive edge.He composed a Bible of skills, lessons learned, and lessons to follow for the entrepreneur to succeed in being financially truly free. I live in Toronto, work from home and really enjoyed reading this novel and the insight it gave.Very thought provoking.But most of all he stuck to the simple rule of Keep it simple.A definate 5 star rating.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Elliott

    What a jerk!!! Ha, just kidding. For anyone who's watched Dragon's Den or Shark Tank has seen "Mr. Wonderful" be a jerk to people pitching their ideas. After watching Shark Tank now for a couple of seasons I've got to say that Kevin O'Leary does start to grow on you, particularly when even I can see the that someone has brought in a dog of an idea. So after reading his book I now understand why he comes off as an asshole to some. Simple put, he tells it like it is. Actually, I don't think he's a What a jerk!!! Ha, just kidding. For anyone who's watched Dragon's Den or Shark Tank has seen "Mr. Wonderful" be a jerk to people pitching their ideas. After watching Shark Tank now for a couple of seasons I've got to say that Kevin O'Leary does start to grow on you, particularly when even I can see the that someone has brought in a dog of an idea. So after reading his book I now understand why he comes off as an asshole to some. Simple put, he tells it like it is. Actually, I don't think he's a jerk, he simply doesn't sugar coat the truth. If someone has a bad idea he tells them so. People who come up with an idea for something will treat that something as their baby and will take it personally if someone tells them that their baby is stupid. Yea, of course they would get pissed. Some ideas and products are simply bad ideas. Mr. O'Leary has certainly had his own failures but learned from them to the point of correction to still come out on top. He describes his journey from building a small business out of his house into a large corporation, and into TV history telling people that some of their ideas suck and some ideas are fantastic. If you are a fan of business, a fan of Dragon's Den or Shark Tank, then you will enjoy this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karolina

    I picked this book up because, at the time, I was really into Dragon's Den, I actually like Kevin, and because someone in the family bought it. For a book with such a bold title, it really didn't say much. It read very much like a dictated autobiography clearly ghost-written by someone else and lightly edited. It's very vague when it comes to talking about what exactly Kevin did while building his first business, and attributes much of it to his character. That is fair, however that makes the bo I picked this book up because, at the time, I was really into Dragon's Den, I actually like Kevin, and because someone in the family bought it. For a book with such a bold title, it really didn't say much. It read very much like a dictated autobiography clearly ghost-written by someone else and lightly edited. It's very vague when it comes to talking about what exactly Kevin did while building his first business, and attributes much of it to his character. That is fair, however that makes the book title and summary pretty misleading. I'd be happier reading this without such grandiose pretentiousness. You can't call a book Cold Hard Truth, and not offer the cold hard truth. Most of what this book has to offer in terms of information can be found on Wikipedia, as it is not even nearly intimate enough to qualify as a true biography. It's pretty clearly ghost-written and printed to profit off the success of the show at the time. If you really want to give it a try, at least it's easy to read and follow.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Richard Podsada

    I was interested in reading Kevin's book simply because he's such an interesting character. His seemingly single-minded focus on money seems so far removed from what most normal people experience. It's interesting to dive into his head and see how he thinks. But like most people, Kevin's an onion with many layers. You can see he is quite artistic and even has a soft side (which he seldom reveals in his public appearances.) This is a great book to learn about Kevin's life story and pick up a few I was interested in reading Kevin's book simply because he's such an interesting character. His seemingly single-minded focus on money seems so far removed from what most normal people experience. It's interesting to dive into his head and see how he thinks. But like most people, Kevin's an onion with many layers. You can see he is quite artistic and even has a soft side (which he seldom reveals in his public appearances.) This is a great book to learn about Kevin's life story and pick up a few general lessons about money and business along the way. Of course, not everybody will agree with his strict management style or all of his philosophies, but it seems to work for him. If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to financial freedom, this probably isn't the best book to buy. He rarely dives into instruction and tactics and mostly focuses on anecdotes from his life story. 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' or 'Increase Your Financial IQ' by Robert Kiyosaki would be a better read if you are looking for something more instructional.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    I went into this book with a different idea of what it was going to be, I liked it. Not mean I didn't want to read the book or I didn't think it would have good information but the life part was very interesting and told in a way that was witty and a little funny. Most Interesting was to find that the seeming cold hearted dragon had to over come disabilities and family separations in a few very hard ways that help him separate the feelings from business. Thought out the book at the end of each c I went into this book with a different idea of what it was going to be, I liked it. Not mean I didn't want to read the book or I didn't think it would have good information but the life part was very interesting and told in a way that was witty and a little funny. Most Interesting was to find that the seeming cold hearted dragon had to over come disabilities and family separations in a few very hard ways that help him separate the feelings from business. Thought out the book at the end of each chapter there are summaries of the main points made and what you should have taken from it. So if your really lazy I'm sure you could get the point by read each one of these, but I would recommend the read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Kevin is actually a pretty cool guy, he seems so harsh and cold on tv but reading his words changed my opinion of him. He's so driven and ambitious it's infectious. It was interesting to see where he's come from and his background. He has a lot of set values that I admire and he inspires me. Notes: - what every you focus on grows - even though money does't care about me or you, to make money requires us to care deeply about it - spend the interest - never the principal - assholes get rich because th Kevin is actually a pretty cool guy, he seems so harsh and cold on tv but reading his words changed my opinion of him. He's so driven and ambitious it's infectious. It was interesting to see where he's come from and his background. He has a lot of set values that I admire and he inspires me. Notes: - what every you focus on grows - even though money does't care about me or you, to make money requires us to care deeply about it - spend the interest - never the principal - assholes get rich because they're not afraid to ask what they want

  12. 4 out of 5

    Willi Braun

    What a great book. Learned so much from it and couldn't stop reading until I finished. I can recommend that book to everyone who is open to learn about business from people who actually made it. Kevon O'Leary is one of them. I enjoyed the Shark Tank a lot and now, thanks to this book, I can understand his devisions on that show even more. What a great book. Learned so much from it and couldn't stop reading until I finished. I can recommend that book to everyone who is open to learn about business from people who actually made it. Kevon O'Leary is one of them. I enjoyed the Shark Tank a lot and now, thanks to this book, I can understand his devisions on that show even more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    FAIZAN KHAN

    This Book Isn't For The Timid, Contains A Lots of Facts That Might Be Difficult For Some To Swallow. I'd Rather Suggest, A Fictional Noval... But If You Can handle The Truth, Honestly & Appreciate Mr. Wonderful's Thought Process You'd Really Enjoy This One. Must Read! No, Dont Read... Study It! 100 % Worth Your time, This Book Isn't For The Timid, Contains A Lots of Facts That Might Be Difficult For Some To Swallow. I'd Rather Suggest, A Fictional Noval... But If You Can handle The Truth, Honestly & Appreciate Mr. Wonderful's Thought Process You'd Really Enjoy This One. Must Read! No, Dont Read... Study It! 100 % Worth Your time,

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kendra Kleiner

    Five Reasons I Love Kevin O'Leary 1) He doesn't have a ghost writer. 2) He gives very sound advice. 3) He's proud of his accomplishments and failures. 4) He's "mean" for kind reasons. 5) He's never boring. Five Reasons I Love Kevin O'Leary 1) He doesn't have a ghost writer. 2) He gives very sound advice. 3) He's proud of his accomplishments and failures. 4) He's "mean" for kind reasons. 5) He's never boring.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pulak Mehta

    Any shark tan fan would love this book.(Shark tank is an American business reality TV show) The books details his key turning moments that made him successfully. Written in a blunt fashion, any shark tank fan can relate with the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    He is a great storyteller that doesn't hold anything back. What I mean by that is it feels like he is sitting in front of you telling his life story. As he is retelling his life, he talks about the lessons he learned at every moment in his life and how it helped him later on. Although he lets you in on some cool tricks, such as investing in things that pay yields, his book is more for entertainment than practical advice He is a great storyteller that doesn't hold anything back. What I mean by that is it feels like he is sitting in front of you telling his life story. As he is retelling his life, he talks about the lessons he learned at every moment in his life and how it helped him later on. Although he lets you in on some cool tricks, such as investing in things that pay yields, his book is more for entertainment than practical advice

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Solid. As an entrepreneur and investor, I really appreciate every page. I really think this was well written and well done. I appreciate his no-nonsense talk. And his solid money management rules. It's also a delightful story because much of his success in money management and investing comes from his mother. Which is endearing and also beautiful. I'm really glad I got this and read it. Insightful and inspiring Solid. As an entrepreneur and investor, I really appreciate every page. I really think this was well written and well done. I appreciate his no-nonsense talk. And his solid money management rules. It's also a delightful story because much of his success in money management and investing comes from his mother. Which is endearing and also beautiful. I'm really glad I got this and read it. Insightful and inspiring

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark Donovan

    An interesting life story with many life lessons. I know he worked hard and made some great deals, but I'm left wondering how much of his success was luck. Meaning there are lots of other talented hard working business geniuses who never make it by happenstance. Lots of great insights, but some of the axioms need to be taken with a grain of salt. An interesting life story with many life lessons. I know he worked hard and made some great deals, but I'm left wondering how much of his success was luck. Meaning there are lots of other talented hard working business geniuses who never make it by happenstance. Lots of great insights, but some of the axioms need to be taken with a grain of salt.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Loveteiab

    This book allowed me to understand why Kevin act like a jerk on Shark Tank. I respect him a little more although still not the behavior but it’s good for tv ratings. It was motivating to read however. Recommended if you’re into biography style tip books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keith Gandy

    Mainly his biography and storyline of steps in reaching Fame on Shark Tank. Quite a shrewd investor. Mildly entertaining.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chanel

    It was real, funny, practical & honest! It was really enjoyable:)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sikandar Khan

    The best thing I learnt from this book is that do what you're good at as that is the only choice you have in order to succeed. The best thing I learnt from this book is that do what you're good at as that is the only choice you have in order to succeed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bill Zawrotny

    By far my favorite shark on Shark Tank and, as expected, had a good story to tell and a lot of interesting insights...but the writing just didn't grab me. By far my favorite shark on Shark Tank and, as expected, had a good story to tell and a lot of interesting insights...but the writing just didn't grab me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Raitis

    bit hard to get into it, but later chapters are pure gold

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jose Arturo

    Directly to the brain ! First non-BS book about real world advises

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shahrukh Maniyar

    Filled with typical O'Leary humor and million dollar tips about business investment partnership life etc...do not take it as a financial literacy book it is much more than that Filled with typical O'Leary humor and million dollar tips about business investment partnership life etc...do not take it as a financial literacy book it is much more than that

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Sims

    Telling it like it is even in his bio. Enjoyed learning about where he came from.

  28. 5 out of 5

    مساعد الشطي

    I don't just love to read Mr.Wonderful's books—I also love to reread them I don't just love to read Mr.Wonderful's books—I also love to reread them

  29. 5 out of 5

    Al Kruzins

    Easy read Nice to have photos Interesting life

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Roy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. best business book ever

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