“I like to take risks. That’s how I make money. But they are calculated risks… and for that, I’m out.” This is the line I heard Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, say to a pitch one night on ABC’s Shark Tank.
No one ended up investing in this entrepreneur’s idea. I can only imagine his pain of getting selected to be on the show only to have all of the investors say no. I watch Shark Tank every now and again, and I have always wondered, “What is Kevin O’Leary worth?”
Kevin O’Leary is a Canadian entrepreneur, politician, and author, and he is also a huge television personality. O’Leary has also starred in hit shows like The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, Dragons’ Den, and Project Earth.
According to O’Leary himself, the nickname “Mr. Wonderful” is a playful reference to his reputation for being mean. The name also reflects his view that his blunt assessments are helpful to “misguided entrepreneurs.”
There is no doubt that Mr. Wonderful is wildly successful. As of September 2022, Kevin O’Leary’s net worth is $400 million dollars!
Let’s look at how he has built his empire.
Terence Thomas Kevin O’Leary was born in Montreal, Quebec. He is the child of Georgette and Terry O’Leary.
Thanks to his parents’ combined experience with entrepreneurship, investments, and sales, Mr. Wonderful observed success at a young age.
However, his parents divorced when he was a child, mainly due to his father’s alcoholism.
After his father’s eventual death, young O’Leary continually moved due to his mother’s newfound relationship with UN economist George Kanawaty.
Mr. Wonderful’s Exposure to Investing
O’Leary’s mother was a proficient investor, a trait she kept secret even after her death. After her death, O’Leary discovered her investing acumen through her will.
Through his mother’s methods, O’Leary learned the fundamentals of investing at a young age.
Ivey Business School
After high school, Kevin O’Leary attended St. Francis Xavier University.
While at St. Francis Xavier University, he studied environmental studies and psychology but later transferred to the University of Waterloo to study business administration.
At the University of Waterloo, Kevin O’Leary graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1977. He then went on to attend the Ivey Business School where he earned his MBA in 1980.
O’Leary had aspirations to become a photographer early on but attended college on the advice of his stepfather. There, he developed an interest in business and investing.
His first job was an internship at Nabisco in downtown Toronto, where he worked as an assistant brand manager for the firm’s cat food brand. O’Leary credits his eventual success to the marketing skills he gained at Nabisco.
A Love for Television
Following his stint at Nabisco, Mr. Wonderful started a venture as a television producer with a couple of his former MBA buddies, Special Event Television (SET). SET was mildly successful until one of O’Leary’s partners eventually bought him out of the company for $25K.
It was a tough break for O’Leary. However, now that he had dipped his feet in the waters of entrepreneurship, there was no turning back.
Mr. Wonderful’s Net Worth After Softkey
Mr. Wonderful’s net worth of $400 million didn’t happen by accident. Through his venture with Special Event Television, he was now able to start a business of his own.
O’Leary knew that computers and software would end up becoming a booming business. The personal computer industry was rapidly growing in the 80s, and the demand for distributors was also mostly unsaturated at the time.
So, with the funds from his share of SET, he started a software company, Softkey International, a distributor of CD-ROM-based computer software for Windows and Mac computers.
He started this company out of his Toronto Basement in 1986, similar to how Daymond John started FUBU out of his mother’s house.
However, leading up to the 90s, Softkey encountered more competition from other software companies. But they endured and developed several educational software products targeted at home users.
By the mid-90s, Softkey was a household name in the educational software industry. The company acquired multiple rivals and dominated the market thanks to its massive success.
Many recognized the firm as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies. As a widely known learning company, Softkey’s enormous success culminated in Mattel purchasing the company for over $4.2 billion in 1999.
O’Leary left the firm almost immediately after the purchase, and the deal turned out to be hugely unprofitable for Mattel.
Mr. Wonderful’s Net Worth After StorageNow
After his success with Softkey, Mr. Wonderful increased his wealth with his next venture. He became a co-investor at StorageNow Holdings, a Canadian distributor of climate-friendly storage facilities.
StorageNow became the operator of multiple storage services in Canada, prompting Storage REIT to purchase the firm for $110 million in 2007.
Mr. Wonderful sold his shares of the company for $4.5 million.
Shark Tank & Television Appearances
Mr. Wonderful’s final push into financial success came with becoming a reality TV show personality. At a young age, he had a passion for television, as evidenced by his production business, SET.
When he filled the role of an investor “shark” on ABC’s hit series, Shark Tank, he became a household name in the entrepreneurial world.
The show became an immediate hit in the United States, amassing 9 million viewers per episode in 2014-2015. Some of his most notable investments through the hit series are in Talbott Teas (purchased by Jamba Juice) and Zipz.
O’Leary Fine Wines
In 2007, Mr. Wonderful founded O’Leary Fine Wines. The company is a Canadian distributor of fine wines, and has since become one of the country’s leading wine providers.
Some of the company’s most popular products include red, white, and sparkling wines from some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world. The company is also known for its unique wine collections, which offer something for everyone’s taste.
The company has been successful in delivering quality wines at a great value, which has helped it to build an impressive customer base. In addition to its online store, O’Leary Fine Wines also has a retail location in Toronto.
O’Leary is no doubt a very successful business man, but his wine enterprise is definitely one of his crowning achievements. Thanks to his passion for wine and his business acumen, O’Leary Fine Wines has become a top player in the Canadian wine market.
Kevin O’Leary Net Worth 2022
As of November 2022, Mr. Wonderful’s net worth is estimated to be $400 million. This is a result of his many successful business ventures over the years, as well as being a TV personality on Shark Tank.
Despite some bumps along the way, O’Leary has proven himself to be a shrewd businessman and investor. His net worth is only likely to continue to grow in the years to come.
He currently resides in Western Ontario with his family.
Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money and Life
Kevin O’Leary has also authored a number of books.
In 2011, he released his first book, Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money and Life. The book is based on O’Leary’s business philosophies and provides readers with insight into his thinking.
Hailed as a must-read for entrepreneurs, the book quickly became a bestseller. It has since been translated into multiple languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.
How Much Is Mr. Wonderful’s Salary?
Mr. Wonderful’s salary on Shark Tank is $50,000 per episode. This works out to be $1 million per season, as the show typically runs for 20 episodes each season.
In addition to his salary from the show, O’Leary also earns money from his many other business ventures. These include his investments and speaking engagements.
Mr. Wonderful’s Net Worth Exploded With A Few Simple Steps
As of September 2022, Mr. Wonderful’s Net Worth is $400 Million. As the Canadian businessman looks back on his financial success, he’s passed along his top tips for small business owners like us to use in our entrepreneurial journeys.
1. Experience Failure
Technically, O’Leary’s first-ever job was as a “scooper” at an ice cream store in his local mall. His boss fired him after he refused to scrape gum off of the restaurant floors.
He credits that as an eye-opening but significant experience for him.
Mr. Wonderful cites failure as one of the most important things a young entrepreneur should experience.
2. Focus on Sales
Mr. Wonderful has often been quoted emphasizing the importance of sales and driving revenue for your startup.
He’s even gone as far as to say that sales are what the first two years of a startup company should be about.
3. Know When It’s Time To Cut Your Losses
O’Leary’s been quoted many times talking about knowing when to pull the plug on your startup. According to the Shark Tank star, if after three years your business is unable to make a profit, it’s time to pull the plug.
Now, this advice might be a bit uncommon. After all, the cliche advice we’re used to hearing recommends the opposite. “Never give up on your dreams!” “Keep pushing!” In the eyes of a straight shooter like Kevin O’Leary, this approach is naive and misguided.
He believes in being realistic about your goals and having a game plan around achieving them.
So, never give up on your dreams.
But if you reach 36 months without making progress, it may be time to revisit this article and cut your losses.