Entrepreneur Wisdoms: Kevin O’Leary

Here are some excepts from Kevin O’leary’s book: Cold hard truth on Business, Money and Life.

I was not built to be an employee but that does not mean I am better than the people I employ

…As long as my employees interests align with mine, we’ll be fine. The minute they don’t, they’re gone, whether I like them or not

What are you willing to do, in order to be?

What level of rejection, fruitless meetings, disheartening developments and failed phone calls are you willing to make in order to get the 1 or 2 clients that will start or continue to grow your business.

You need to be ruthless and have heart and commitment to your ideas.

If you can’t monetise a skill, it’s a hobby

The key to growing wealth is not only having the skill but owning the place where that skill / skills are applied

The was no doubt in my mind that I would never be happy being an employee. But my goal at the time wasn’t happiness – it was experience. En route to working for myself, I was fully aware I was going to have to work for other people from time to time.

There will come a time where you will need to leave the nest and make money on your own terms

Use your time working for others to figure out what team you need

How to Spot Winners

  • They have proof of money making and a plan to secure new ways of generating money
  • Money requires face time
  • Don’t candy-coat screw-ups, demonstrate the lessons learned.
  • Winners lack defensiveness and have a relaxed humility

You need to solve a problem first

Distribution channels are key. Don’t let great ideas die because you are too scared to face rejection. Pick up the phone. You will be rejected, Plenty of times. That is how entrepreneurial calluses are formed. The only people that mattered are those that accept the deal. If they don’t, they are dead to you.


Don’t do mundane shit, that other companies are experts at.  If they have perfected that part let them do that work and you focus on what you are good at.

To grow a company you have to live, breathe and sleep your business

Have multiple clients and investors, don’t rely on one. It gives you options and leverage and ensures you are not on the short side of the equation.

Everyone is replaceable

I’m not making friends, I’m making money

Perfect Team

  • Have a business partner that compliments skills you don’t have
  • A numbers expert

Code writers were a dime a dozen. It was like a game of Whack-a-Programmer

Rules for sucesssful Partnerships

  • Find someone whose strength are your weaknesses
  • Leave your ego at the door
  • Establish a common goal
  • Never undermine your partners in public, even when you think they’re wrong
  • It’s always about the company

Focus on the Best, Dump the Rest

If you want to buy a company don’t talk to the president of CEO. He or she is often just an employee. Go straight to the shareholders.

People are infinitely greedier than they are competitive

Adapt or Die

Money is the motivator, plain and simple.

How to be a Star Employee

  • Pace Yourself
  • Take stock if offered – It is impossible to get rich without owning stock
  • Think more than your company, think what competitors are doing
  • Don’t brown nose the boss




Adding Composer Autoload to Yii Framework 1 and using PHPMarkdown

Using the database to manage blog content sucks, let’s use markdown to create a blog on yii framework 1.

Setting Up Composer Autoload

I’m assuming composer is already setup as per yii’s installation. You need to get the PHPMarkdown package with:

composer require michelf/php-markdown

The to make sure the classes from composer are autoloaded, add the following to yii’s index.php entry point.

// Add composer packages
$loader = require(__DIR__ . '/../vendor/autoload.php');
Yii::$classMap = $loader->getClassMap();

Now creating the simple blog post.

Creating a simple blog post with PHP Markdown in Yii Framework 1

So we will need to read the contents of a markdown file sitting on the server, preferably in a non public location like <root>/protected/data/blog/my-blog.md.

So let us add that file:

## Yay

This is my first blog post

Now in the action of the BlogController that you will need to create, we need to read the file contents and then convert that to html with PHPMarkdown and then send that html to the view file.

$markdown=file_get_contents(dirname(__FILE__) . "/../data/blog/my-blog.md",'r');
$html = Markdown::defaultTransform($markdown);

$this->render('index', array('article' => $html));

The final step is showing the htmlified contents of the blog post in the view file index.php:


Source: Adding composer to yii stackoverflow

The Real Inflation rate for Consumers in South Africa

The biggest expenditure one makes in their lifetime is a house/property, a car and school fees. Why then are these huge expenditures left out of the regular CPI inflation calculations? I will be clarifying what the real Inflation rate for South Africa is for 2016-2017.

Along with day-to-day expenses things like medical aid increases, house price increase, car price increases, the cost of servicing vehicles, cost of insurance increases and school fees increases should be taken into account.

I intend to calculate a more realistic inflation figure.

The basket of Goods and Services with Real Inflation

Remember these are just estimates based on article found on the net.

Now we have this figure called the Average CPI Inflation for South Africa for 2016 was 6.56%.  From the figures above you can see that this figure is clearly way off the mark.

bad-indicator-of-inflation-south-africa-get-the-real-inflation-rate(CPI inflation chart source)

Now there are some costs that went down for example Milk went down due to a price decrease at one of the major stores (all other stores had to drop to compete) and I am assuming that internet and communication costs will go down (ie. their price will remain constant 0%).

There is also looking from a rental perspective that is likely to remain in the 6-7% band. So we will use that with our house price benchmark. As whether you have a bond or are renting it is a similar expense long term.

Real Inflation Calculation

Now to calculate what the Real Inflation rate for South Africa 2016 – 2017 was we need to look at what we will most likely be spending our salaries on, the percentage and also what we are saving / servicing debt for those massive purchases in our lifetime.

First off about half of our salaries go into the home and living expenses. So that is Food, electricity, rates, taxes and sanitation.

A lot of that is spent food and groceries and the other half would be the cost of the home, so that is 30%. So household insurance 1%, 1% electricity and the 5% is rates, taxes, sanitation refuse and water. That comes to 37%.

The other 68% are those big once-off or maintenance purchases. The biggest(most expensive) asset you will probably buy in your lifetime is a house. So we’ll mark that at 25%, as most likely 25% of your entire life’s income up until you buy it will go to paying for a house. School fees at 8% and Car at 7%. Medical aid at 4%, computer at 1% and data at 2% (remember it will not inflate). Gym fees (0.5%), car servicing (1%), car insurance get (1%)  and car licensing get 0.5%. Nb. Transport costs take up much more of the lower income groups salary usage.

So the final calculation:

Real Inflation = 30%(Food inflation) + 1%(Household Insurance) + 1%(Electricity) +5%(Rates, taxes, sanitation, refuse and water) + 27%(house price increase) + 13%(School fees) + 7%(Car) + 9%(Medical Aid) + 1% (Computer) + 2% (Data) + 0.5% (Gym / Other Hobbie) + 2% (Car service) + 1%(car insurance) + 0.5% (Car licensing)

Lets work this out: The Real Inflation value for South Africa 2016

Real Inflation = 30%(10.4) + 1%(9.9) + 1%(7.2) +5%(9.775) + 27%(6.2) + 13%(8.15) + 7%(10.5) + 9%(10.2) + 1% (19.59) + 2% (0) + 0.5% (14.9) + 2% (14.4) + 1%(7) + 0.5% (6)

Real Inflation = 3.12 + 0.099 + 0.072 +0.48875 + 1.674 + 1.0595 + 0.714 + 0.918 + 0.1959 + 0 + 0.0745 + 0.288 + 0.03

Real Inflation = 8.73365%

So not too far off from real CPI. But what does this mean for you…

Let us bring it back home and understand what the true real inflation rate means for you

Say you earn R15000 a month and you got a R1000 increase for the year and a 13th cheque (bonus).

In 2016 you earned: R180000 + a 13th cheqaue, so R195000, in theory or the fantasy world.

In reality you earned: (R 13276 * 11) + R24152 = R170188

Now let us ask what you will be making in 2017.

That is R192000 + 13th cheque = R 208000.

In reality that is: (14069 * 11) + R25532 = R180291

You can use taxtim to help with your personal income calculations

So by how much has your income increased? It has increased by 5.94%

But to just keep your same lifestyle, even though you have another 1 year of experience at your job and all the skill and expertise that comes with that, you will have needed to earn Your old salary + The real inflation rate of 8.73365%

Meaning just to stay constant your increase should total: R185 051. So to hit this figure bang on you need an increase of R1500 and you need to argue the case with your boss. That means your salary is just staying constant, so it is not an increase.

Now I have also accounted for the increase in the house price as an average of house prices and have not accounted for the primate prime lending rate which is currently at 10.5%. You could use this value as a substitute for the house price increase for a possibly even more accurate value.