Kevin, America, good to see you. Always good to be with you. America knows you as kind of a tough guy, right?
Entrepreneur guy who's made a lot of money. I'm fortunate enough to be your friend, and I know you have a good heart. That's why you've really helped out a lot of entrepreneurs. Why have you made such a mission in your life to help other people? You know, I was taught years ago by my mother that if you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said. And her her thesis was that, you know, sometimes the truth is really hard.
And when it comes to entrepreneurship and business and particularly the heat I get for being the mean shark, I know that. But I'm the only one that tells the truth because I think it's very disingenuous to tell somebody who's burning up their family's wealth on a bad idea to keep going, even though you have no intention of finding them, which is what the other sharks do. They just don't want to feel bad for themselves or for that person. And you tell them to go out behind the barn and shoot it because it's a bad idea.
And entrepreneurship is not a destination. It's a journey. And you're going to have a bunch of failures in your life. You know this well. Yes. And I think you learn from those mistakes. So I'm not afraid to say, look, this idea has no merit. It's a really bad idea or here's how I would change it if I was to invest in it. And you may not like these ideas, but business is very binary. It's very black and white.
How do you make money or you lose it? And I think being honest about that is important. And that's why I do it. And I think the honesty is I feel OK about it. I've had people crying, you know, when I tell them how bad it is because they've been doing it for three years, I'm OK with it because it's the truth. Yes. And it stops them from to your point, having to spend more money, waste more resources and get, frankly, in a worse position.
Yeah, that's depressing. So let me ask you this. In terms of charity, what do you do personally in terms of charity and where do you see the future of charity going? So in charity, I've had this big dilemma over the last 20 years now. And another fact that I think is true in life is there's this idea of karma you have to give back. I mean, you can't you know, why are you here? There comes a point where you've made enough money and you've you know, you've solved problems.
You've been an entrepreneur. The right thing to do is to give some back and choose the things that means something to you and your family and my family. Thyroid is an issue. My brother and I have thyroid issues, so I give to that research. My wife is heavily involved in the arts and dance we give to that initiative. There are hospital educational institutions. But Bill, what I've learned is if I'm going to have an impact scattering, it's very difficult.
I've chosen what I call it, five and five. I pick five charities to five years and then I focus on those and I try and make a difference. And I concern myself with something very basic. I don't want the expense ratios in these charities to get significantly higher than seven percent. And that's the beauty of a team giving. Yeah, and when I saw what you were doing, I thought, first of all, the first time I saw it, I thought, what the hell is Phil doing?
Like when I saw the first tweet because I follow you. And I said, what is that? Yeah, that's crazy. Yeah. And then I start to see the momentum on it. And I thought, well, this is brilliant because it's a form of of of micro giving, but with it, with a management element to it. Yeah. So I have to admit I'm going to help support you on this one because first of all, I've never seen it done before.
You started something here that no one's ever even tried. Thank you. And just out of interest, if I can turn the interview around, please. How did you come up with this? You know, I I thought for the longest time that I was a young person who had money. And I said, why aren't we using Twitter to transact money? You know, and I know they have advertisements in these kind of things, but why don't people with resources get to people who have immediate needs right then and there?
You know, if you have cancer, if you don't have teeth, you can just put up a photo, put up a video. And you're right. You're right, Kevin. Initially, people were saying, you know, why are you asking these people to submit videos? You know, why are you asking people to do videos? That's intrusive. I said, look, the biggest thing to having help is to communicate to people what your problem is.
And if you don't communicate it, in this case, Twitter, you're not going to get it funded. Right. People come to you for Shark Tank and they're looking for funding and expertise. Right. We need to have almost a shark tank. I mean, I'm almost thinking about the fact that free commercial, when I saw the first couple, I thought, well, bills account's been hacked. Like, this is too crazy. Yeah. Yeah.
How would you be able to micromanage just the onslaught of people that would want you to give them a thousand bucks saying it's insane. So let's talk about that. I mean, you almost need a therapist full time to basically deal with the fact that you're curating the requests.
Are people saying, look, I need those teeth and I think that's a huge merit. You can change a person's life by just giving them back their ability to eat food, I guess, or even not even eat food, smile so they can have confidence to go out. We gave a guy who's a. Veteran and apparently he lost his teeth when he was in the service and he was getting isolated and afraid to go out in public. We got him brand new teeth just by putting out tweets.
So the idea is that if enough people see it and it hits them in their heart and they micro donate 10, 15, 20 bucks, if enough of them do it, you've impacted someone's life. That's the basic premise of this. And they're not having to go to a big charity dinner with you and me and wear black tie and all this kind of fancy stuff. We don't have any of that. Also, it's a form of crowd funding, specifically focused on charity, on immediate needs, taking care of people, not waiting for the government.
I think the idea of, you know, allowing people who don't necessarily think about giving but can afford it, like Millennial's 15 bucks, that's doable. And that's the whole idea of karma feeling like you did something good for somebody else, even though you don't have a lot of money, a micro donation collectively over thousands of people. I get it. I get why you're doing it. So, look, I'm here to help you blow it up.
I love what you're doing on it. I didn't believe it in the beginning. I thought it was too crazy. Now I kind of get it. And I think it's different. Like, I don't think anybody's done it. Nobody's done anything like this. There's a few people have used the YouTube platform for some of this stuff. But in terms of Twitter and you know this, there's so much hate, so much vitriol on Twitter, right. Politics.
Everybody wants to fight. We are the corner of the Twitter universe where people wake up in the morning and they go they run to Twitter philanthropy because it changes their life. Kevin, I've had people tell me they haven't committed suicide because they found Twitter philanthropy. It's an amazing thing. Look, I get it now and now I understand it. I think the work you have to do now is getting the word out. A lot of people didn't know exactly what it was.
And I think now that's changing. You're getting a fair amount of press on it. I understand. And I'm happy to help you promote it. I think most of us in America want to give back because it makes us feel better about ourselves. Most people don't know how to do it. There's so many different causes. There's just thousands of places people are pursuing capital for. But this micro idea, that's what that's what's interesting. So it passes the Kevin O'Leary Mr.
Wonderful Shark Test. Yeah, it does, because I haven't seen it before and I've seen everything that's good. So that's what I'm impressed about. It's different.
Yeah. So I know you're a family man. What have you taught your kids? What can people teach about their kids in terms of giving the importance of giving? So in my family, again, this comes from sort of a directive my mother imposed on me. She told me that after I finished college, she would cut me off and not give me any more money that her that she felt she was responsible to help me get an education. I didn't believe her.
And she I should have because she basically came to my graduation, of course, and said, that's it, my work is done. Good luck to you. And I had a couple of tough years. And later in life, I understood what happened there and my interpretation and long after she passed away. And what I communicate to my own kids is what she was trying to do is say that entitlement in a family can be a curse if you don't have to go do something on your own.
If you're completely depressed and believe me, you're going to have to face this with your own kids and everybody has a different way of how they're deal with it. But her message to me was the reason I put you through that hardship is that you could go find your own way. And and I get it. And so, you know, what I've taught my kids is, look, you know, I will pay right till you finish whatever your education is going to be.
And I remember telling my son when he was in grade ten, my mother set up home to me that day and graduate. She said the dead bird under the nest never learned how to fly. And I thought, Mom, what the hell does that mean? She said, I'm cutting you off. I'm pushing out of the nest. That's the idea. You don't fly, you'll be dead. Got it. Didn't love it. But I said the same thing to my son when he was ten, saying Trevor said to me, Dad, tell me about the trust you set up for Savannah and I and I said, it works this way.
If I go get run over by a bus tonight, you don't have to worry about finishing high school because the trust going to take care of you. But it doesn't look like you have to worry about college because your grades are terrible. And I don't know. And then you see what happens after that. I said to him, the dead bird under the nest never learns how to fly. And I said, get nothing. And he didn't like that.
But he had enough time to go saw for himself in that message about doing your own thing. I've always said to them, you've got to find the charities that you're going to give back to and make it part of your life. Give five percent of what you make. You know, of what I've always loved about the Mormon faith is the tithe. It's a self directed giving that is is brought into the family at a very early age. And a lot of people understand it.
I understand it makes sense to me that you would say, I'm going to take three percent, I'm going to take five. And I'm just going to allocate that my whole life could you can afford it to buy some piece of crap, you don't need to give it to somebody. And that's good karma for you. Why do you think so? You've seen a lot of deals on Shark Tank, right? I have a lot of deals on Shark Tank.
You've had the probably the most interesting characters in the entire world come in some great and some that you've given honest advice to. Why hasn't somebody use social media really for transformative good? I'll tell you why. Even though everybody's heard of Twitter and social media, very few people know how to use it. It's a skill set that a young person like you who's grown up with it would understand its power and how to actually create infrastructure with it. There's a whole generation of people that have never understood it, that are extremely wealthy Americans that have gone into retirement, that don't understand the power of social media.
Yes, you understand it because of your age. Now how to use it as a tool. First of all, you have to be someone of your means to do that. Yeah. And so, like, when I had the idea, Kevin, I was out on my back patio and I said, you know what, I'm just going to give ten thousand dollars away on Twitter like I had I had a first one. I said, somebody hacked your account.
I said, yes. Why would somebody do that? Why would somebody do that? Exactly. But clearly I had the 10k to give. There's a there's a method to your madness on this one. And the more people hear about it and see it, the buzz is starting because other people have taken. And have you heard about this thing that he's doing? And I see it. Let's let's go back. I have a question for you in terms of how, you know, you're a young guy, you've got a young family, another child on the way.
You're a man of means, a family of means. What are you going to tell your kids about how they're going to have to conduct their lives? Are you going to just dress them completely? Because I think you curse them. If you did that, I wouldn't do that. One of the things I love about you is you're the same. You are on Shark Tank as you are as a father, and I want to be that same person.
Recently, I've gotten known for giving away money on Twitter. I really don't want my kids to know that because I don't know if you would say it this way. You had a better analogy, but I almost want to in a certain way deprive them of what I was deprived of, which is knowing that we're wealthy or knowing that we have money. I mean, I never knew that my family was really as wealthy as they were. And that's what I want to pass on to my kids, is basically to not do that.
Now, unfortunately, you know, if you Google my name now, I'm the guy who gives away money on Twitter. But I think there's ways to do that, right? Because you're the guy on Shark Tank and you have kids, right? Yeah, of course.
I my you found a really interesting cause here to get involved in in a new way. Everybody has this responsibility of giving back. And you found a very interesting way to do it and draw a whole new generation into it. At the same time, they're basically matching what you're doing. You're throwing dollars at it. They're throwing dollars behind you. You have an infrastructure. The first question I have about something like this is team manager who's managing well. Thank God we got a team giving dotcom.
By the way, these are all organic people. This whole thing went viral. I mean, Josh, you know who's running team giving guy a direct messages on Twitter chat?
Great people, because they see the vision for growing. They do. And there are a lot of them are young to your point and to me to get behind it and endorse that. I want to know if somebody asked me what's the story on this thing is that have a huge expense ratio. And if the answer's no to all that kind of stuff, people say, look, I like it, too. I mean, I've got a team that's managing the inbound requests from me and trying to reduce, you know, people that don't deserve to get it, because I imagine you're going to get solicited by people that may not have a need, but seeing free money coming at them.
Well, my understand is this. My understanding is this charity's going to have most of its overhead, if not all of its overhead covered by private donors. And then basically any money that goes to the individual people that have credit card fees and stuff like that will go to the end of it. That's perfect. And that's perfect because there's no more gala's no more of this thing. You have to go to all these dinners and you don't know who the hell you're helping.
Right? Right. Evolve into those. Right. You buy a table for ten grand. That's the most refreshing part I hear about this, is that no one has that much time that they can hit every charity. But I give some money to you on this platform. You find people that really need it. Yes. And it's not even me. It's them. But, you know, you're started it. So I think that's what's really attractive about now that I understand.
I think the biggest challenge you've got is to get the message out. Yeah, that's what we're doing. And that's why it's great to have you happy to be part of it.
I think at the end of the day, though, you know, the original question is why is no one ever done? This is one of those classic situations. Why didn't I think of that, that these are the great ideas on Shark Tank? These are the great ideas for entrepreneurship, or when you want to be giving to charity, it's a great idea. I mean, no one thought of it.
Nobody has got to go do it right and be brave. I mean, like to your point, because I've got friends like you and they say, you know, what is he doing? You know what I mean? And we had to break through those norms. We've broken through those norms and now people will. People are giving money all over Twitter, and I know I know it's coming from a good place in your heart, but for your own kids to show them you build this thing up, you make it happen, and it's a sustainable foundation of some kind.
Families struggle a lot to form something like this and have it stick and have it work. And you've gone beyond just saying, look, we'll throw a bunch of our own money into it. We'll set up an infrastructure where others can also find their path to together and you're supporting them. Look, I see nothing wrong with it. I think it's going to work. Yeah, I think it's going to be huge and I think it will be huge.
So I love the fact that it can be micro donations for people that can only afford micro amounts, but they still matter. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Five dollars, ten dollars, 20 dollars. I mean, one dollar is a lot to a lot of people. Come to think of it, it worked in the last election. Why didn't somebody try it in charity? Well, now they did. You think about all these donations for politicians at two dollars and five dollars?
Yeah, I in some ways I'd rather give it to a charity than a politician. Yeah, I think about exactly. And you see all these people saying, oh, why are they giving money on social media or why are you giving to people over needs? Why don't you just give it to a charity. My question is why not.
Yeah, I agree with you. You can support a lot of different things. You can do everything. You know, it's funny you talk about your mom and basically saying, hey, look, I'm not going to I'm not going to help you. You have to go do it. One of the things in my family is very intentional about and I sure as heck I'm going to make sure now that I'm giving away money on Twitter is that I tell my kids, look, you know, there's no money coming your way, right?
Because they just you think differently when that happens. And when I was in high school, my dad, he would just make me work on a job site after a job site after job site, and I'd see him drive up in a nice car. But as far as I was concerned, I wasn't getting any money. And that's why I went out and started my own businesses and sold these businesses and made money. And frankly, if he hadn't been so hard on me in terms of doing manual labor and working, you know, on job sites, I probably wouldn't have had the idea or, you know, the hard work.
I'd probably be on some beach in Bermuda or something drinking something.
Well, that's the whole idea of parenting. They know the responsibility, as you're going to have to deal with in how you actually deal with family wealth and how you instill in your own children, you know, the same morals that you have about how it should be used and how it shouldn't be used. I think it's horrible to see really rich, screwed up kids that don't have any idea that they've got to go make it on their own. I think that's bad.
But isn't it like an abundance, an overabundance of things? When you have an overabundance of things, you just all of a sudden you start conditioning yourself. Oh, that drinks too cold. Oh, it's warm in here. But that's that's that's the challenge of parenting from five years on, five years old, talking about where money comes from, how it should be used, how you have to give back the idea of karma giving all that stuff which was just burned into my head from my mother.
And same here. Yeah. It just it to me that my grandfather, who was a billionaire, he would take us to McDonald's and he would buy the small Coke, you know, because he would say not only could he get that for a cheap price, I forget what the price was, but he could get refills. And he was so excited. I mean, this is guy on the cover of Forbes and all this other kind of stuff.
And he he said that and that. And that to me was what taught me as a kid. I got to watch every penny, every nickel.
It's great. I mean, I think stories like that are meaningful. But as you get into a new generation, you have to remember the lessons of old. Yeah. And apply them to the generation. Great advice. So I look good luck with that because it's not an easy job. Thank you. Let me ask you this. A lot of people are going to be watching this and saying, OK, you guys are two rich guys have a lot of money.
What do I do if I'm dead broke and I got nowhere to go? I'm either at a dead end job that I hate or I'm out of a job or I'm sick. What advice do you have to that person? Well, I've been there, you know, I know what that's like. America is the land of opportunity, which is why everybody, including me, I mean, I'm half Lebanese, half Irish. The reason I'm here is there's no other place on Earth like the United States of America in terms of if you want to work hard, you can get ahead.
And it pains me to watch people say that that system is broken, that capitalism as we know it is dead. That is such bullshit and it is so wrong. And I'm in this next election cycle, I'm going to try and have the loudest voice I can to keep us on track. We don't need democracy or Capitalism 2.0. Version 1.0 is working just fine. It has volatility to it. But the reason money comes to America, the reason people come to America, the reason people immigrate from Ireland, in Lebanon and everywhere else is we don't discriminate against opportunity.
There is no monopoly on good ideas in this country. Men and women, even in the most forlorn situations, come up with the brightest ideas. And that's the encouragement I give. Somebody that's feeling really down is if you just solve a problem. For somebody, you have a good idea, you will have an opportunity in America. It was that way one hundred years ago. It's going to be that way one hundred years from now. And the difference now is you can solve global problems from America.
You can play in every market in the world. That's what's changed in our generation here. And I think that makes the opportunity even bigger. My concern is that we would screw it up by changing the basic core fundamentals of our economy with crazy ideas that don't fit what's already worked. Yes, America is at full employment.
The economy's booming. People are just fully employed in towns like Amarillo, Texas, Fargo, Champagne Urbana. I go there all week long. These are my companies are and I'm just so happy with where we're at right now. So I'm a staunch defender that the American dream is alive and it solves for problems for people that want to solve their own problems. It's there for them. You can't do the same thing in France. You can't do the same thing in Germany.
You can't do it in, you know, in countries that don't give the same opportunity. So there's a reason that there's no Facebook in France or there's no innovation in technology in Europe. They're regulated themselves out of the game. We don't have that problem in America. Let's make sure it stays that way.
Very good. What's one thing you do every day that you think helps you in a big way?
Very simple on this one, Bill, I learned it from one of my women CEOs about eight years ago. She takes three sticky notes. No technology here. Yeah. She just takes three sticky notes and puts them on her mirror the night before she gets up. Three things she's going to do before she gets involved in watching television, getting involved in social media, reading all her emails. She does not get distracted until the three tasks are done. It's so simple an idea.
Yes. It's so powerful an idea. You have these things you know you have to do. They could be personal, they could be business related, whatever. They just write them down. That's the first step. Right. So I'm looking at them while I'm shaving. They're there every morning. I have not stopped doing this. So the pad travels with me in my, you know, my bag with toothpaste and stuff. And I just write them down, stick them on the mirror in the hotel and say that that time.
That's amazing. You know, it's pretty freaky about that. My I when I asked my grandfather what was the number one thing that you did throughout your whole career, every day that made you successful? He said exactly that. I write things down. He you know, he had newspapers every morning and he said next to the newspaper would be a pad and he'd have everything down that you wanted. And then you have in the order that he was going to do that now, you know, but so it hasn't.
And you know what? Maybe it's going to work a thousand years and will work. It focuses you on and you don't let people distract you. So, no, I can't answer that. No, I'm not going to make that call back. Not until I get these three things done. Yeah, I usually get my stuff done by 10:00 in the morning and then I'm rippin the next day with me. That's it. That I can because I get up pretty early, I get up about five o'clock, I work out for an hour, you know, I'm doing my stuff, I'm reading all the research and everything and I get my three things done before ten.
What do you love about Shark Tank. I love entrepreneurs.
I love helping men and women that have the guts, the absolute balls to get in front of me on that carpet and take the heat. Yeah, because not everybody can do it, Bill, you know. Yes, I know. And it's not easy, but but to to get to a hundred thousand applications and be one of those two hundred and twenty plus that get on that carpet and say, look, give me a million dollars. I have a fantastic idea.
This is going to be a great business and then take the onslaught. Yes. And be able to endure that. Explain why the idea has merit in the first place, why you're the right person to execute on it. And I always say those three things expressed your idea. Ninety seconds or less. So I understand it because if you can't do that, you're not going to dunk it. No. To explain why you've taken this great idea and why you can execute on it, that you can make it happen while you're the right man or woman to do it.
What you know about the market, why you're the right person when you show me a great idea with executional skills, now I have a path of least resistance to success. One last thing, and this is where it fails most often. You've got to know your numbers. If you get through the first two and you don't know your numbers, you deserve to burn in hell. And I will put you there myself. But if you get those three, I'm writing the check.
Yeah, they're dead to you. Well, I try and make them understand. You need all three. Get prepared. Be ready. You watch Shark Tank for eleven years. You know what you're doing. Don't come out here and screw up. Exactly. What's the connection between entrepreneurship and charity?
Entrepreneurship is a desire not for money. Entrepreneurship is a dire desire to be personally free. In other words, you work really hard. To be an entrepreneur, and sometimes it takes decades to be successful, but the reason you're doing it is to one day be able to pursue the things that matter to you. And the only way in America you get there is you have to be successful at something. You get financial freedom. I don't need more money.
I need more time. Once you've achieved financial freedom and personal freedom so you can pursue the things in life that are important to you. One of those things should be giving back. And I never criticize people in terms of what they focus on. It could be a dog's. It could be. It could be. It could be the arts. It could be medicine. It could be saving the environment. It could be whatever it is. But just give you have to give you its very bad karma.
Not to give something really bad will happen to you. If you don't do this, you don't deserve what you've achieved unless you're willing to give on to pass it forward. But I never say, oh, it has to be this cause or it has to be that cause it's whatever you want. And I always ask people that have become successful that I, you know, have dinner with whatever. What's your cause? And everybody says, well, here's what I like.
Here's what I do. I don't talk about it, but this is what I find or it's research and something. Then I know that they they understand the concept of karma. If you just tell me or I'm just greedy about making more money, all I want to do is make more money. And you've already got more than you can possibly use. Yeah. Bad things will happen to you. You write to my mother knew that and I know what to.
And I tell my kids karma is a bitch. Yeah. A lot of people know you as the tough guy on Shark Tank. But as we've talked about and I think people are getting a sense where you have a great heart, you're a good family man. As I learned in my wedding, you jumped up on stage and started playing the guitar out of hell. I want to be a rock star when I grow up. I'm still working on it.
Everybody's like Mr. Wonderfalls on stage. Like, how did this guy learn how to play the guitar? Then your wife Linda's there and we're all there. And it was a good time. But one of the things that I learned at my wedding, too, and was happy to have. Are your wives do we have his wines here?
Yeah, this is a the genesis of this. I loved it. It was sort of my dad taught me about blending wine at a very early age. He's my step dad, Swiss. And when I was seven years old, he started teaching me how wines are made. And I have a five cellar's around the world now. I buy a lot of wine futures is an investment, but I also make wines and I blend them myself. My wife blends the whites, I do the reds.
We compete with each other. We're doing about one hundred and fifty thousand cases a year now. Wow. And well, it's good. Thank you very much. This is my cab of the twenty fifteen. It was just the summer was so amazing. This has already won five awards. Wow. So including some in California which is very hard to win because it's so competitive. Yeah. It's such a competitive business. Yeah. How, how have you been so good.
Just people know you and they. Well I think it's, it's a trust thing.
Plus here in the US, our laws changed three years ago. I'm allowed to shift to forty one states, including Oklahoma, just came on board the last couple of months. So what I do is I use social media, I use television, I work with partners like QVC and I have become a wine curator for people that want me to ship direct to their homes the case every month or every couple of months. And I make sure that their quality is just if I put my name on it, my family has to be perfectly perfect.
So, you know, I'm very involved in what we do here. I really enjoy doing it. And wine brings people together.
Yes. Right now we're talking about it. It's a conversation piece. I say there's certain things in life. Wine and watches. They both start with the same words. They always create conversations. And we've always talked about both. So, again, this is not an ad. I just love this wine. Kevin's here not paid at all. I just wanted to help him out. Well, I think he's a good friend and even a better person.
Well, go to QVC dot com and I'll pay for the shipping QVC dot com. They'll pay for the shipping. And thank you all.