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How Important is Help to the Self-made Entrepreneur?


How are shows like Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank helping the struggling entrepreneur in their journey from self-made to self-made millionaire?

By Hyder Owainati, Staff Writer

Being a self-made millionaire is a goal for some, a fantasy for others, and a reality for the select few. While we are constantly reminded that money doesn’t equate to happiness, achieving wealth and success through hard work, perseverance and good business savvy would surely warrant a genuine smile on anyone’s face.

The notion of starting from nothing and attaining millions through one’s own volition is highly sought after. So much so that there are countless books, articles and top-ten lists promising to reveal the hidden secrets to millionaire success. Now even television shows, such as Dragons’ Den, have gained mainstream popularity by providing the average TV viewer an insight into the world of aspiring entrepreneurs. Apart from their obvious entertainment value, these shows represent a platform to success for many struggling business people searching for financial support and solid advice. So how important is such help to the making of self-made millionaires? And can they help you in your journey?

The “Helpless” self-made Millionaire

The self-made millionaire is perhaps most admired for their independence. Remaining diligent through struggles and tribulations to unprecedented triumphs, credited to no one but themselves. Yet no one’s success is absolutely self-determining – as help, advice and support remain crucial components in the arsenal for business success. Even for the self- made millionaire.

Paul LeJoy, revered real estate investor and top business expert, put it best, by saying, “Do not forget your humble beginnings and all those who helped you to get to the top of the hill.” Even going as far as stating, “ There is no such a thing as a self-made millionaire. People get there because others helped them get there.”

While not trying to take away anything from the self-made millionaire, Lejoy does an effective job of highlighting that help to the self-made millionaire is important.

Help exists in various forms. Even inspiration serves as a form of help, whereby the successes of others can serve to motivate you to achieve what you may have previously thought impossible. More palpable forms of help, such as financial assistance and increased investor support, are also out there.

That’s where shows like Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank come in.

Dragons’ Den originated in Japan. Its popularity spawned duplicates around the world, such as the Canadian, British, and Australian versions. The show even sparked the US counterpart “Shark Tank”.

These reality television programs have a premise that we’ve all come to know and love. Every episode, a handful of entrepreneurs approach a panel of potential investors with one goal in mind. Selling their pitch. Hoping that in turn, these high-end clientele will provide the necessary help that could launch them to self-made millionaire status.

The panels are composed of the ultra successful. From those who made billions for the tech industry, such as Mark Cuban of Shark Tank, to Canadian tycoon, Jim Treliving – owner of the Boston Pizza and Mr. Lube franchises.

Bearing the appellation “Dragons” or “Sharks” respectively, these venture capitalists have become infamous for being brutally honest, and in many times ruthless. Shutting down questionable business ideas and annihilating the hopes of many aspiring self made millionaires.

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