Robert Herjavec on Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis

"It's not who you know, it's what you know" - Robert Herjavec opens up about his childhood, fleeing communism, making it in the tech world, and his advice to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
17:50 | 06/02/16

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Transcript for Robert Herjavec on Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis
You look at the five sharks. Very few of us went to a fancy school half of us never finished university. And here we are. This has been a big year for use seven season. Shark tank Dancing With The Stars you're in. We are you came from eight years old your family escaped communism and moved to Canada tell me about that experience pilots and you know we're it's in York stock exchange this morning I'm standing there looking at everything. And it's really incredible when you think about it we came to Canada because America wouldn't let us in. And now I spent a lot time here obviously. It's incredible this is still the land of opportunity. Your family I read came to Canada with twenty dollars. Twenty dollars ones now days we got off the boat and the boat was called Christopher Colombo within a word ago my mom remembered she knew somebody in Tron now we had enough money take the train to trial. And we lived in their basement for two years. What did you learn from that experience that has helped us for more well the first England's it's not fun being poor but also learned pours a state of mind. I didn't know we report and so we came to camp as a group and a little village where everybody lives like counts second thing I learned is you have to make a certain amount of money. In North America. To take care of the people that you love so you've got a glut in the real world and you've got to make this program on and the last thing I learned is. Anybody can do. If if you want to work hardening fine opportunity. You can get Latin America for sure. Long before shark tank came along and report dragons down in. That that the Canadian version stars thank you started out in technology top how you got into that field in the first place. Yeah you know when I was in my late teens or early twenties a London. Start a business and my dad swept floors in the factory and my mom was receptionist. And solicit to my dad. Introduced in December so it brings this guy and guys sitting at the kitchen table and ask them questions are realized. He knows nothing about business when he leaves us into my dad. Why is he the most successful person I'm talking to my dad says because it is more seniority in the union denied do. So if there's a layoff. He won't lose his job. That was the measure's success and so I went around and ask people for advice and people say two things to me it's not who you know it's what you know. And then the other big piece of advice was you need money in order to make money. And we have no money so assemble one in my can do so I started in me I got involved with tack because the beauty of technology is. Nobody cares who your father's. Nobody cares so much money you have it's all of vote value. It's all about getting in and providing that you and I love that. To this day what made you catch the business but in the first place. Well I actually don't wanna go into business Howard University to study business and I hated it and so six months and I dropped out of university. Why did you hate it. I thought it really boring if on a very drive parity in a lot of numbers and the madam math guy I failed math and I just couldn't keep up and so I went home sitting on the couch my dad comes home and and says. What you do. And I say god or drop by universe and then get a job and he becomes really close to Meehan says. I love you but you go back to school or I kill you buried body in backyard. I was the first person in my generation. In my entire family. Than ever got a post secondary education. So went back and I got a degree in class score English literature. But very difficult get a job with that kind of a degree and I just got a job in. Credit collections and work my way out. Let's think today we see so many key it's that are spending. Incredible amounts of money. And families to get a better education. I'm always like forget the better education. Get an education and get some experience. That's what really matters. This is the time of year where a lot of high school kids. Are deciding what how close to go to jail trust or have a daughter right now who's applying and she didn't get into her first choice and we're like and we feel this pressure. Which is incredible you know you look at the five sharks. Very few of us went to a fancy school half of us never finished university. And here we are ten years after you get a job does anybody Rask. We're to go to school so what is your advice care oh the kid that just got the rejection letter from their dream school. Take the rejection letter. You frame and he put an apartment while. And you let that fuel your passion. In order to become successful. Because it doesn't matter how many times people saying who do you it's what you do with it and still going to massive debt to get a better education. That is. It's a bad strategy. I completely. I think for me when I graduated from college. One of my very first objectives was to pay off the debts that I couldn't four with my life searcher of what was the moment that you currently Q and made it. I've never felt like it. When I sold my first business for. Thirty million dollars. In cash. That was one of those moments because that was more money than accurate match and so I sell my business and to give me three checks for thirty million dollars go back to my office and sitting at my desk I'm looking at them and I can't. Comprehend that kinda money. Then I realized oh my gosh I'm losing interest. While that checks are senators like planet that our right across the street to the bank are finally get the front that's like to make a deposit. And the lady says you flowed deposits. Some sort of forgot yours I'll do for you this time. A giver the checks it looks that initial interview shows I'm gonna need to get the manager that was the bout was cool first thing you but went back and money. He wanted to pick out my parents house. And so a pair of their house would telling. And three months later my mom's apartment or. And she gives me checked. And she says. Don't ever do that again it's your money you work force were so proud view we donating. It is correct there. That it was so cool it was so cool and then years after that actually bought my dad a car. And he kept that because it was a cap. And when your east European. You know you've made driving Cadillac they would be so proud of you that it what you're doing it now my mom never got the scene me. Write a book. And as much as she. Appreciate the success in the money being published author. Would have been really cool for. Your August 3 but you don't have to Shaq you don't have to be a shark. Attack. People are petrified to sell stop and because they think it's the used car salesman united got to be. In your face and so I wrote a book the basically teaches people how to sell. It's a sales book for the non salesperson. And you don't have to be a sharp you don't have to future it's not about becoming. You know meaner it's about becoming tougher. Life doesn't get any easier aegis get stronger so tell people be EU. Just get stronger Tola the world ticket manager but if you can't sell Rebecca. You'll never be successful in business and heal the heart timer relationships you know that your toes sell yourself. To sell. But doing it wrong. What did you do. I did everything rock I didn't understand. That it's a lot of subconscious stuff I don't know and stop talking most common mistake sells people make. They talk past the order and talk cancels out. I didn't know how to address. I didn't know anything worrying in old suit was re showing up professional arena showing up not a fashion in a bloody. Coaching it's what you and I talked about if you don't know the language of business and our language businesses how to dress who's gonna teach you so when I want to my first sales call. Customer took the signs that you seem like a nice kid. But you look at this law. Go by prices. And I know where it again nice suit there's a menswear store called Harry Rosen. In Canada so Watkins who was 500 dollars then I didn't have 500 dollars salesman says to me. You know if you work here. You get to buy a suit a 50% now every six months so I got a part time job. Selling men's clothing just so it could afford to suit. And that's where I learned a lot of the basic. Skills. In order read people and see. What they're about their religion. Your hustler from that began house to house there while. Mark Cuban was a hustler because he knew he was a hustler. He always says when he was twelve years old. He knew he wanted to be rich when I was twelve or just a one B port. Big difference when you think about the future and the future of entrepreneurship. In this country we see that heading. Today is the best time in history start a business you've axis of the same type of computing. As big companies because of cloud computing. You have shows like shark tank the make it kinda cool. To be in business I mean entrepreneurship is alive and well in America. Lack of no other time in history. You know on that one the things I'm working with a company called the locks and we had this movement called the small business revolution. And we had people nominate towns from every state. And we're donating half a million dollars to these little towns. In order revitalize. The main street and some of the businesses but if you think about that. Is now in America. Small businesses. And starting from nothing and today you don't have to leave where you came from. To make it in the week city what are the smartest things about working you've learned that your. The one thing I've learned from working with the Lexus I used to think it was good about it when he realizes I'm not great. Use companies like that to help you because. If you're going the real world gonna compete. You're gonna get your butt handed to you publisher crate had so don't focus on your weaknesses. Flying great partners to take off the plate. I'm great at sales what I always tell my company is if I'm not in front of a customer. I'm not paying my way. So everything else that we do can we outsource is can we are somebody better than me to do. When you think about shark tank now at seven seas are you surprised that it became so popular. I'm shocked this thing you know it's like I'll never forget. The first season somebody came two pitch something I said. Religion for a 100000 for 10% of my business and assets of them. Well your valuations craze and here in the back of the room cut. And it's Mark Burnett comes running ounces although mr. fancy pants which are big business words. And we're like what business which is a valuation we weren't allowed to use the word valuation. Seven years later. Look at what we taught America about business and I'm really proud of that. If you don't understand the language of business you can't be successful. And and that's why I think we've released rod a lot of Americans. Often talked to people who have created their own small businesses and they say they want shark tank as their guide book when they were learning business initially. They were watching oh. It's true shark tank usual glimpse into how people. Make decisions. With the real money. It's not that fluffy Feely kind of stuff it can be cold they can be brutally can be nice it can be empathetic. But it's reality. 300000 for 35%. I think you more cash you know Robert there's an excuse me guys but it should turn around and just actually for a couple on this have to discuss something with. The problem here could tell you something. We don't want into the whereabouts could reach. Are you very threatening. What's the first thing you think about as that entrepreneur or walks on the sat what are you looking for. You. How often they can impression it is not my responsibility. To listen to you each your responsibility. To be hurt. That's worth it. We're saying. Go baby while me. And it's in that first thirty seconds. What you say how you look hi you sit do you look Koppen do you look arrogant. All those things before regional amount. And that's Hoosier begin talking. You've been awhile which shark tank and asked have you laugh the most. Money. I don't remember that one it doesn't exist in my mind. Which doesn't mean it. We have a couple of tips CL sweaters probably. Relatively small investment I think it was 200000 dollars and. We'll do seventeen million issue we have Barbara Corcoran and are we to abstain me. You're not only Robert I have to I have to let you respond because I sent was the most I mean it's Shaq. Robbers. Robert. She. Shark tanks and it. With one. Robert brings fifty. Barbara I'd like to be prepared. Don't hate me because you're on the own two dresses in the world. How other people as groups do so nailed girl asks what is number one thing most people men lacked when writing their business plan or submitting a proposal. OK so the first thing is why are you writing a business. I've never written business. I've never in the business plan we had an argument about this shark attack on time the six of us. And we said how many TV here however and business plan I think Damon broke on one time. A business plan is a lot of theory but Alicia and her specific reason like a bank loan don't waste your time with it and just do it. Today the timeframe for business plan is quarterly. To ratify your vessels are. Now an easy asks. Do the sharks talk about failed business pages among themselves after the shell. The sharks are very arrogant and full of ourselves so we really don't think of failure we let back go pretty quickly but all joking aside. That's the hardest thing to learn in business is that mental fortitude. To let failure. Just go. You know it's human nature. To look at the things we do badly and dwell on them. It's like you're on Twitter and you get a thousand people the saying nice things about you and one person says use sock. What's the one your member of one person's that you side so it's the same way we we've learned to let failure go. You do you have to as difficult as that option what what helped you. Atlantic out especially when you became a public figure in those early stages and friends of Tony Robbins who has a beef ban and so rose's house. About a month ago. At this exact discussion. I said how do you do that Tony how do you let. Failure go. He said. I still feel like crap some days I still feel like the world's against me. I still feel like I'm failures some days the biggest differences today I give myself three minutes. I dwell on it for three minutes and then. Snap myself out of it say. Nobody cares. Stop complaining. Move net cool poll asks besides lot of what you do what keeps you motivated. Fear. I don't want to be a failure. I feel. That it's. A a lot of people worked really hard to give me this opportunity in life my dad had a horrific life. And entered. Incredible pain that I will never. You know knock on wood have to go through. In order geek you need this opportunity. If I don't make something of myself if I don't make something. Of my life I'm living and it's fear that that honestly every day I wake up and I think. MI a little bit better than it was yesterday. And I'm always afraid to look over my shoulder because I know the pack is catching. The bigger you are the bigger the bullseye on your back so Regis you gotta go really fast.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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