Kevin Harrington breaks into a big smile when asked why he is offering the opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to be a part of his new book “Put a Shark in Your Tank.”
“It wasn’t too long ago that I was in their shoes,” the world-renowned entrepreneur says. Harrington is widely known as the “inventor of the infomercial” and was one of the original “sharks” on the hit ABC television show Shark Tank. “I know how hard it can be to navigate those entrepreneurial waters all by yourself. And that is what inspired me to write this book and include stories from other entrepreneurs out there pounding the pavement looking for their breakthrough moment. I want to share my knowledge by helping them see their challenges – and opportunities – in a new light.”
Harrington launched his book on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo at the Young Entrepreneur Convention in Des Moines, Iowa over the weekend. He is offering a number of options for entrepreneurs to tell their stories, share their challenges and get his constructive feedback in the actual book. Those who pledge at a high enough level will even get a copy of the book that has them on the cover with Harrington.
“There are literally thousands of books out there for entrepreneurs,” Harrington says. “But this approach is different. Not only am I sharing my advice, but I’m giving entrepreneurs a glimpse at what others out there are doing; how they are grinding to make it and what steps I see they can take to get ahead. There’s nothing else like this out there.”
The campaign runs through May 21 and a variety of pledge levels exist – including the opportunity for one entrepreneur to make the largest crowdfunding pledge in Indiegogo history: $1,000,000. This exclusive pledge includes a one-on-one retreat with Harrington to hammer out business strategy, along with his ongoing services as a business advisor.
“Readers will learn how to create a perfect pitch, start and grow their business, and gain valuable information from entrepreneurs who are in the book,” he says. “Our contributors to the book, will have the chance to work with a shark, promote their company, and receive constructive feedback on how to grow their business more efficiently.”
A full rundown of pledge levels and benefits is available at: http://www.putasharkinyourtank.com.
Harrington rose to prominence in infomercial sales nearly four decades ago. After running the trade show circuit for years with modest success, he hit it big with the introduction of the now ubiquitous infomercial.
Since then, he has had a hand in building more than 20 businesses to over $100 million in sales each, has been involved in more than a dozen public companies, and has launched over 500 products generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide with iconic brands and celebrities such as Jack Lalanne, Tony Little, George Foreman, and the new I-Grow hair restoration product on QVC. He additionally has extensive experience in business all over the world, opening distribution outlets in over 100 countries worldwide.
With all that success under his belt, why is he giving advice away in the form of a book? “That’s simple,” he says.
“None of us make it on our own,” Harrington says. “We all need someone in our corner pushing us to keep moving forward. If I can impart my knowledge on others to help them make better decisions in business, I want to.”
When asked what “putting a shark in your tank” is a metaphor for, he is quick with an answer.
“I once had a mentor share the story of a group of Japanese fishermen who always took a shark on their expeditions,” Harrington says. “They put these sharks in with their haul and used the sharks to keep the fish they had caught active and alert. Sure, a few of the haul were eaten by the shark, but the rest had retained their vibrancy over the course of a few days, allowing the fishermen to deliver their clients the freshest seafood available anywhere.
“Today, my role is to be the shark in the tank of entrepreneurs ready to take the next step,” he continues. “I want to keep them motivated to keep going, alert to opportunities that pop up, and with a fresh perspective that keeps them enthused and ready to overcome any challenges in their way.”