Turning Ideas Into Billions
In episode two of the Committed Podcast, host JC sits down with Kevin Harrington, known as the original shark from Shark Tank. Harrington shares his inspiring journey from growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, to becoming a successful entrepreneur and investor.
Kevin Harrington is one of the smartest entrepreneurs in business today and he dropped out of college because he saw the opportunity when it came to him (back in the 80s). He is also kind, and generous, and we share the impact serving others has on the world.
Early Beginnings and Entrepreneurial Spirit
Kevin Harrington hails from a family of six kids, and his father was a bartender in Cincinnati, Ohio.
At a young age, Harrington began working in the family’s business, Harry Dunn’s Irish Pub. When he entered high school, his father told him that he would need to pay his own way through high school and later through college. This financial challenge pushed Harrington to become an entrepreneur as he started various small businesses.
First Business Ventures
At the age of 15, Harrington started a driveway sealing business in Cincinnati, sealing asphalt driveways to prevent cracks during the winter. In college, he launched a heating and air conditioning business. Harrington eventually dropped out of college to pursue a career as a business broker, helping sell businesses and gaining valuable experience in the process.
Investing and Partnerships
Harrington has been involved in over 1,000 products, but he clarifies that he didn’t invent them all. Instead, he often partners with inventors and entrepreneurs who bring him their ideas and products. He emphasizes the importance of choosing the right partnerships and focusing on products with strong market potential.
Harrington prefers to invest in businesses that can generate revenue quickly. He emphasizes the importance of smart marketing and testing products to ensure success.
Harrington looks for opportunities that align with existing brands or have strong branding potential. An example he mentions is his involvement with the show “Wicked Tuna” and associated fishing products.
One of Harrington’s biggest mistakes was not building a strong team early in his career, which led to challenges in managing rapid growth. He learned the importance of assembling a dream team and relying on experienced advisors.
Harrington is semi-retired but still active in investing and entrepreneurship. He is committed to spending more time with family and enjoying his hobbies, but his passion for deal-making continues.
Kevin Harrington’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a successful entrepreneur and investor is a testament to his resilience, commitment, and entrepreneurial spirit. His insights into partnerships, branding, and the importance of a strong team offer valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors.
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