Herjavec gives numerous examples of how mastering the art of selling can come in handy, from asking your boss for a raise to convincing your professor that you deserve a better grade.
"Everything in life is about sales," Herjavec says. "You have to master sales."
Herjavec had to rely on his own skills in his 20s, when he was hired by a startup called Logiquest to sell IBM products. (Herjavec has even said he had try hard to sell himself just to get that job, considering he didn't have much experience working with computers at the time). In 1990, he started an internet security business called BRAK Systems that he would later sell for over $30 million CAD (or, about $20 million US at that time) to AT&T Canada a decade later.
Now, as a star of "Shark Tank," Herjavec says he and his fellow investors on the show will often decide whether to invest in a business based on how impressive the entrepreneurs are at pitching their product, rather than whether or not they like the actual product.
"A great entrepreneur can take a so-so product and make a great business out of it. A bad entrepreneur can take a great product and run it into the ground," he says. "Bet on the jockey, not on the horse."
Additional reporting by Sarah Berger
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to ABC's "Shark Tank."
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