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Kevin O'Leary's Advice To Young Entrepreneurs: Work For A Competitor

Kevin O'Leary's Advice To Young Entrepreneurs: Work For A Competitor

“Experience” is the chicken-or-egg qualification that thwarts many a Millennial looking to break into professional work. But "Shark Tank’s" Kevin O’Leary said it’s a critical first step for young entrepreneurs.

“If you’ve found a sector you love and you have an idea of the sector you love, go and work for a competitor for 24 months,” O’Leary said. “That actually becomes extremely useful when it comes time to raise capital, because investors love the fact that you paid your dues and understand the infrastructure of the industry you’re in.”

The experience, he said, lends young entrepreneurs credibility among funders, but also gives practical insight to improve business models.

“You also learn a lot about how to fine-tune your idea when you’re watching it be tried somewhere else,” the seasoned businessman said. “Some of the best ideas come from people who actually worked for a competitor then modified their business model.”

O’Leary also urged aspiring entrepreneurs to anticipate challenges on the journey. From the various businesses he has stakes in, he said he gets three or four calls each day heralding “sheer disaster” — but an equal number boasting of triumph.

“I think people at start-up companies should realize it’s at least a 10-year journey and the first three are real shit,” he said. “It’s a big ballet of pain, misery and joy.”

Hear his advice in the clip below. 

Image Credit: Screenshot from embedded YouTube video.

Posted-In: Kevin O'Leary Shark TankEducation Entrepreneurship Top Stories Success Stories General Best of Benzinga


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