Cyber security entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor Robert Herjavec is an avid runner. For the past six years, he’s jogged five miles a day for six days of the week, topped off with an 8- to 10-mile run on the weekend, he tells Runner’s World.
There was a moment when a failed attempt to recruit a friend to his habit gave him an critical business insight, he explains in the latest episode of “Shark Tank.”
In the segment, Forus Athletics founder Arsene Millogo and his VP of sales and marketing, Joel Vinocur, are seeking $US200,000 for 15% equity of their lightweight running shoe company. The investors agree that the shoes are high quality and that Millogo and Vinocur are exceptionally driven individuals, but all except Herjavec decline to make a deal after concluding they can’t help Forus break into a crowded market.
The Sharks are also sceptical of the company’s ability to focus. They point out that Forus has a large number of shoe varieties for a young company; has a seemingly off-brand, pending deal with NASCAR; and also has a connection to Millogo’s side company, email plugin Attlo.
“Man, you are fighting so many battles,” Herjavec says. He then tells the story of the elite sprinter he wanted to run with:
Look, a guy that used to work for me, he was actually at one point the 11th fastest man in the world. I run five miles a day, so I used to say, “Hey, let’s go running.” And he would say to me, “I can’t run five miles.”
I said, “Come on, man. You’re in great shape. You can run five miles.”
[He said:] “I don’t run five miles! I run 100 meters as fast as I can. That’s my job.”
“I’m not sure what your job is,” Herjavec tells the entrepreneurs. “If you want to win, just run the 100 meters. Focus.”
The Forus duo leaves the Tank without a deal but with the encouragement of the Sharks.
Herjavec’s story illustrates a similar point that fellow Shark Mark Cuban explores in his book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business.”
“You do not have unlimited time and/or attention,” Cuban writes. “You may work 24 hours a day, but those 24 hours spent winning your core business will pay off far more. It might cost you some longer-term upside, but it will allow you to be the best business you can be.”
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