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Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money & Life [Hardcover]

Kevin O'Leary
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 27 2011
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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 “O’Leary’s book reads exactly like he talks on Dragon’s Den. He’s a consummate marketer, so it’s no surprise he does a masterful job of telling his life story with the right mix of swagger and humility. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for his business acumen, drive and determination. And if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who’s debating whether to pursue your passion, you’ll get some invaluable advice and cold hard truth for the bargain price of just $29.95.”
Hamilton Spectator

“[Kevin O’Leary] is a master at relaying the cold, hard truth to people, even when it makes them cry and stomp their feet. That's why the title of his new memoir, Cold Hard Truth, cuts to the heart of his philosophy of life and money, which really boils down to one thing: focus on making cash or get out of business.”

About the Author

KEVIN O’LEARY is one of North America’s most successful business entrepreneurs, as well as a star on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and ABC’s Shark Tank. Kevin founded and built SoftKey (later The Learning Company), the global leader in educational kids’ software, and negotiated its sale to Mattel for $4.2 billion in 1999. Since then, he has successfully co-founded, funded, and sold numerous companies in a range of industries, including storage, entertainment, and finance. Today, Kevin is the Chairman of O’Leary Funds, a $1.7 billion mutual fund company. He is also the co-host of CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange and Discovery Channel’s Project Earth, and the host CBC’s new reality series, Kevin O'Leary’s Redemption Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Motivating, Factual, but Unbalanced Oct. 13 2011
By Rocky Mountain Entrepreneur TOP 500 REVIEWER
I was debating whether to buy this book or not when a friend of mine lent me one. I would actually rate this book 3.75 stars. There is a lot of good information in it, it is easy to read, and can be widely useful for many people.

The book begins with his life as a child which had a profound effect on his future life. He then talks about building up Softkey which ended up buying The Learning Company. The book then explains how TLC failed under Mattel management. Clearly from other case studies outside this book, Mattel really failed in its management. O'Leary discusses how blame was laid on him and his management staff by Mattel when Mattel was actually at fault.

The book then goes into his life on television including the Dragon's Den, The Shark Tank, and several other stints. The information in this section is useful for entrepreneurs who are somewhat myopic or are thinking of applying to the show. In fact, there are several chapters that will help with this.

Finally he discusses how he feels free by having the wealth he has and provides information about his funds.

The positive points are as follows:

1. The author illustrates, throughout, that money is a tool that can be used to grow more. He places a high emphasis on cash and that it should be carefully managed as a scarce resource. His illustration of dollars being soldiers that are risk adverse and must be employed efficiently was very well done and was a great teaching point. His style of management and investment reflect the underlying concept of market efficiency
2. The main lessons from each chapter are summarized as a review in the back of the chapters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am working my way through the 's books the Canadian Dragons have written. Kevin's business experience comes closer than all the others to my own. Yes he is brusque, some say nasty but he is a real truth teller on Dragon's Den and Shark Tank. He also makes the best arguments for investing in stocks/bonds than have a dividend/yield. It works and I confirm it. After reading this book I would have much more time to listen to O'Leary (and Amanda Lang). All these successful people have a story to tell and lessons you can learn from. O'Leary my be seen as cruel - but he is being kind to let people know immediately where they stand or their idea is foolish. Worth a read - I could not put it down as it flows well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid effort Dec 11 2012
Very enjoyable read. Lots of good advice and content. The book exceeded my expectations and is quite well written.
He focuses a lot on marketing and being very aggressive once a path is chosen. Good job, good effort!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every page of it! Feb. 8 2012
Lots of useful advice on money, investing and making a successful business.
If you know nothing or very little about financial stuff, this book is definitely a good starting point. It will not teach you any particular skills, but rather will show you a correct mindset you should have in order to become a successful entrepreneur.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold truth is hot Nov. 4 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is easy reading and like a good novel is hard to put down once you start going through it. This is due to the successful blending of family history and upbringing with business accomplishments. Nothing theoritical or boring, anecdotes and stories from the real business world are distlled at the end of each chapter with lessons to be learnt and guidlines for aspiring entrepreneurs.The underlying theme is that if you put your mind to it, you can accumulate wealth and reap the freedom that comes with it.Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money & Life
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cold hard truth Oct. 13 2011
As entertaining as the Kevin O'Leary we know. For someone who came from a broken home, Kevin has not let that stop him learning, and doing very well in this world. Using his ability to judge people and evaluate what they can do, is one secret of his success. The other is to listen and learn from others, especially his parents. Enjoyed the book tremendously. Wish it was longer.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
When this book was announced it did not make it to the list of books I must buy before I die. But alas, I did buy it for $15. It is a quick read and does give interesting insights into this loud often over powering Canadian figure. Who'd have thought he was dyslexic? There is some good sound advice. Don't bother with the tests.They are pathetic and detract from the content.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The truth about this book April 8 2014
By Jizzler
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's easy to become rich when you come from a wealthy family! It's easy to become rich when you can have great support and advisor's at age 8-9 to teach you about business and economics. Put anyone in these circumstance's and there's a good chance they'll be rich. Not so impressive.

For the book it self, it could have 5 pages of good tips. The rest his filling pages of personal non relevant crap that as nothing to do with how to make money. I don't care that you lived in a villa surrounded by pomegranates when you where a little boy. It's more about his personal history than the truth about money

That's the truth!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars easy to read and somewhat entertaining
Very interesting approach on his relation with money; easy to read and somewhat entertaining.
Published 2 months ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Even though I'm still leery of O'Leary, I must admit this book...

"In these pages, I'm sharing with you life-changing moments and powerful lessons that have shaped my business philosophy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stephen Pletko
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius Book Reviews - Novel Review
Format: Paperback

Rating: 9.5

Review: Wow. This book truly surprised me. Of all the business books that I have read and reviewed so far, this one was by far... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Matt Hageman
5.0 out of 5 stars Every business owner should read this.
Well as the title explains and we all know this man is definately the Cold Hard Truth. But after reading this book I even respect and look up to the man more. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jody Holtz
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT
Best book that teaches you how to become a somebody, even if you think you are a nobody. BEST book I've read in a long time.
Published 17 months ago by Joseph Preni
5.0 out of 5 stars Distribution is key
Here is what surprised me: to find so much valuable information, as a young entrepreneur.

I hadn't given much thought to distribution and my own business model until I... Read more
Published 18 months ago by André T.
1.0 out of 5 stars Only for billionaires, totally cut off from middle class and reality
Hey Guys,

Nothing "cold hard" about this book that we don't know. Basically, what he is saying is to be mean with money and relationship. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Canadian
4.0 out of 5 stars Kevin tells it like it is.
Using his own life's story Kevin tells it like it is -- he recognizes the true role of money as a tool for living, not living itself. Read more
Published 20 months ago by MOONFIRE
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it!
Bought as a gift for my husband and he thoroughly enjoyed the book. Just wish we were able to invest in his company.
Published 21 months ago by Barbara Spargo
5.0 out of 5 stars THE STORY OF MONEY
I love the book. Reads like a novel and at the same time gives good
tips regarding business and money. I like Kevin O'Leary because he
tells it the way it is. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Minze
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