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Entrepreneurs should be passionate, not pushy: Herjavec

Robert Herjavec is one of the top cybersecurity experts in the world, but he's most famous for being one of the business-devouring investors on "Shark Tank." After five seasons of hearing pitches, he knows exactly which two qualities an entrepreneur needs to get the deal.

"No. 1 is passion," he said. "I want somebody who loves what they do. And two is somebody who has—I call it—a 'humble arrogance.' I look for somebody who isn't a wallflower but isn't so arrogant that they're going to piss me off."

Robert Herjavec
Liza Hughes | CNBC
Robert Herjavec

Two other qualities make Herjavec automatically lose interest.

"They come out and they think they have a great business, and ... they're pushy and they don't engage us," he said. "Or, they come out with a sob story with no substance. … We film 12 hours a day, seven days in a row, and it's brutal. So you've got to get our attention, first minute."

When asked what people get wrong about "Shark Tank," Herjavec didn't hesitate.

"The biggest misconception is that you have to have money to make money," he said. "We don't invest in things where the money isn't going to help a good business. Throwing money at a bad business is just throwing money away. Money should be like kerosene onto a fire: When you throw it on there, the fire should burn brighter and be warmer."


By Liza Hughes, Special to CNBC.com. Follow Liza @Liza_Hughes

Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank," on CNBC every Tuesday at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.


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