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Robert Herjavec’s Top Tips for VARs (from IMOne 2014)

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May, 14

Robert Herjavec’s Top Tips for VARs (from IMOne 2014)

I have to admit that when I first heard Robert Herjavec was one of the guest speakers at last week’s IMOne show in New Orleans it barely registered on my “enthusiasm compass.” I’ve seen a few episodes of Shark Tank, but wondered to myself: “What value can this big shot celebrity bring to the channel?” Wow, was I wrong! Being a celebrity is actually Herjavec’s “other job.” His first passion, which he made very apparent during his presentation last week, is running his “VAR business.” And, I loved that he insisted on calling his technology firm by that title. “The terms always change, but at the end of the day you’re always a VAR,” he said.

Robert Herjavec speaking at Ingram Micro One event in New Orleans, May 8, 2014

Robert Herjavec speaking at the IMOne event in New Orleans, May 8, 2014

The Twittersphere captured many of the great quotes shared by Herjavec during his one-hour presentation. Here is a highlight of my favorites:

  • “At some point you have to tell the world what you do. You have to have a brand.”
  • “In 2015, 1 million minutes of video will cross the Internet every second.”
  • “[In the near future], being online will be like electricity, it will just work and EVERYTHING will be CONNECTED.”
  •  “You have to LOVE technology to succeed.”
  • “There are three kinds of VARS in our industry: the quick, the dead, and the soon to be dead … aka the walking dead.”
  • “VALUE trumps ALL.” (Also: “Hard value trumps relationship.”)
  • “The best way to sell value is to an existing customer.”
  • “Nobody leaves good enough for potentially better.”
  • “The biggest lies you tell in life are the ones you tell yourself.”
  • “The business of America is not business – it’s consumerism.”
  • “Successful people build on failure. The path to success is littered with failure.”
  •  “Show me a small VAR, and I’ll show you an owner with that mindset.”
  • “The job of your family and friends is to love you, not give you good business advice.”
  • “The business of America is not business – it’s consumerism.”
  • Boring cannot be fixed.”

Besides owning his own VAR business, Herjavec’s background was another pleasant surprise. He was born in Croatia and emigrated with his mother and father to Canada when he was just eight. His father was incarcerated several times for speaking out against communism, and early on in the Herjavec family’s new life they were so poor that they lived in the basement apartment of a family friend’s home for 18 months. “You think running your IT business is hard — that was hard!” he said.

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