Ep 106: From Mentors to Millions with Kevin Harrington and Mark Timm

While you may be a brilliant entrepreneur, everyone can benefit from having a mentor whose experience can unlock greater success. Today we speak with serial entrepreneurs Kevin Harrington and Mark Timm whose new book, Mentors to Millions, shows the power behind finding the right mentor. Reflecting this episode’s theme of impactful mentorship, Mark and Kevin chat about having both been mentored by legendary salesman Zig Ziglar. Despite having passed on, their connection caused Kevin and Mark to meet and form a strong partnership.

We then talk about how mentors have enriched their lives before diving into what you should look for in a mentor. As their shared mentor, Zig Ziglar once said, “No one drowns from falling into the water. They drown from staying in the water.”

Following this point, Kevin and Mark emphasize the value of being mentored by someone who has experienced failure and has learned from it. We touch on the ties between personal branding and mentorship and how mentors can help you stay on the cutting-edge. With the temptation to have your business creep into your personal life, Mike unpacks the myth of ‘work-life balance’ and shares how he now views his family as his most important business — with its own logo, mission statement, and shareholder meetings.

Near the end of the episode, they provide listeners with some final advice on collaboration and pushing your brand through content. Tune in to hear more about what a mentor can do for you.




  • Introducing Kevin Harrington and Mark Timm, mentors to millions.
  • How Kevin and Mark met through their connection to legendary mentor Zig Ziglar.
  • Hear about how Kevin’s mentors helped pave his path to success.
  • Not being afraid to have mentors who are younger than you.
  • What to look for in a mentor; wisdom and experience in an area that you need.
  • The importance of choosing a mentor who has experienced failure.
  • Why being a good listener is the hallmark of an excellent mentor.
  • Challenges around securing your exit strategy and monetizing your investments.
  • How mentorship ties with personal branding and helps you stay on the cutting-edge.
  • Scaling your life, alongside your business, and avoiding household resentment.
  • Why there’s no such thing as ‘work-life’
  • Kevin shares some final key advice on collaboration and creating content.


“When picking a mentor, their age doesn’t matter. What matters is their wisdom and experience in an area that you need.” — @themarktimm [0:08:45]

You need mentors that know and have failed because you’re going to fail. And you need to know that you can lean on them to pick you up and help you learn.” — @themarktimm [0:09:17] 

“One of the questions for personal brands is; where is the best place to spend your time? That’s why I try to keep myself on the cutting-edge of what’s happening in the world.” — @HarringtonKevin [0:13:08]

“I was searching for this perfect work-life balance and then I figured out it was a myth. You’re never in complete balance but you can integrate.” — @themarktimm [0:15:23]

About Kevin Harrington

As an original “shark” on the hit TV show Shark Tank, the creator of the infomercial, pioneer of the As Seen on TV industry, and co-founding board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), founded in 1987, Kevin Harrington has pushed past all the questions and excuses to repeatedly enjoy 100X success. His legendary work behind the scenes of business ventures has produced more than $5 billion in global sales, the launch of more than 500 products, and the making of dozens of millionaires. He has worked with amazing celebrities turned entrepreneurs including Billie Mays, Tony Little, Jack LaLanne, Kim Kardashian, Kathy Hilton, 50 Cent, and George Foreman to name a few. Kevin’s been called the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneur Answer Man, because he knows the challenges unique to start-ups and has a special passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed. Kevin is an investor who advises dozens of companies, both public and private, and is a world-renowned and sought-after speaker. He teaches entrepreneurship on a daily basis.  

About Mark Timm

Mark Timm has been a serial entrepreneur and exponential-thinking practitioner for almost three decades. He has started more than a dozen companies, several of which have multiplied and been sold. He has spoken professionally for more than 25 years, giving thousands of speeches to over a millions of people around the globe. Mark’s greatest value comes from being a master collaborator who brings people together to accomplish far more than anyone imagined. His strategic vision enables him to see future possibilities and strategically position assets and systems to take full advantage of what’s next. Today, Mark believes his most important role is CEO of the most valuable business in the world: his family of six young adults with his wife, Ann. His own experience of dealing with entrepreneurial challenges fueled his passion for helping people balance the demands of family life and business. 



Kevin Harrington — https://kevinharrington.tv/
Kevin Harrington on Twitter — https://twitter.com/HarringtonKevin
Mark Timm — https://marktimm.com/
Mark Timm on Twitter — https://twitter.com/themarktimm
Mentor to Millions: Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond — https://amzn.to/3mESzO9
30-Day Free Mentorship — http://kevinmentor.com
Shark Tank — https://abc.com/shows/shark-tank
Kim Kardashian — https://kkwbeauty.com/
Jack LaLanne — http://jacklalanne.com/
50 Cent — https://50cent.com/
George Foreman — https://www.georgeforeman.com/
Zig Ziglar — https://www.ziglar.com/
Tom Ziglar — https://www.ziglar.com/tom-ziglar/
Russell Brunson — https://www.russellbrunson.com/
Richard Branson — https://www.forbes.com/profile/richard-branson/
Roland Frasier — https://www.rolandfrasier.com/
Joe Polish — https://joepolish.com/
Mike Calhoun — https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikecalhoun/
Brand Builders Group Consultation Call — freecall.brandbuildersgroup.com
Take The Stairs — https://amzn.to/2ZAJNUS

Speaker 1: (00:04) [Inaudible] RV: (00:07) Hey, brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview, we are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that, Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming from anything that we do with this is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do that at brand builders, group.com/summit. Call brand builders, group.com/summit. Call, hope to talk to you soon on with the show. RV: (01:03) So honored and excited to bring back to you to have people that I would consider mentors and to friends, to people that we have worked with. Kevin Harrington, most of you probably know because we had him on, when we originally did our influential personal brand summit, he was the original shark on the show shark tank. He is a co founding board member of EO entrepreneurs organization, and really the inventor of the infomercial, which has led to him selling over $5 billion in global sales. You know, these are products like Billy Mays and Jacqueline, Elaine, and Kim Kardashians and 50 cent and George Foreman. And he’s just amazing. And then my other friend, Mark, Tim, who you’ll, you’ll hear his story right now, we’ve Mark is someone that we met through the Ziglar family, and I know that’s how him and Kevin met and he is a serial entrepreneur himself. RV: (02:01) He has started more than a dozen companies. Several of them have grown and been sold. He has spoken professionally for more than 25 years. And I consider Mark a personal mentor because of the way that he runs his family life and the way that him and his wife and just, you know treat their family like a business. And that’s probably the biggest thing that I have taken from Mark over the years. So the two of them have teamed up to write a book here that is called mentor to millions, which has we already know has pre-sold thousands and thousands of copies. It’s a fantastic book from two amazing people. So guys, welcome to the show. Hey Rory, thanks for having us. It’s great to be here. Thanks buddy. So let’s talk about how y’all met because obviously, you know, this book is really interesting. You write it from you know, about the power of having a mentor. And I think in this relationship, Mark plays like the mentee, Kevin plays the mentor. But how did you guys meet? Because the three of us all share sort of a, an unusual, Cool and unique bond MT: (03:07) Yeah. So I’ll jump in and do that because we actually met through our mutual mentor. So I had Zig Ziglar as a mentor when I was a young man and Kevin had Zig Ziglar as a mentor, as a young man in guests who else had [inaudible] better than you Roy. So so this is the, the book wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for zigs mentorship. So we, we, we owe a lot to him and Tom Ziglar wrote the forward, but that’s the why we had to write this book because the, the, the book’s title is mentor to millions. That’s not millions of dollars. That’s millions of people impacted. So I didn’t know, I didn’t know Kevin. Okay. I didn’t know you, but because of our mentorship of Zig Ziglar, even after his passing from the earth, we all knew the children Zig Ziglar. MT: (04:00) And it was the children of Zig Ziglar that introduced me to Kevin, that introduced me to you. They introduced Kevin to you. And so you see impact of zigs legacy is now rippling on, you know, way past his passing on the earth. So that is how impact, that’s the kind of impact that we’re talking about, the exponential impact of mentorship. And that’s why we had to write this book because that’s the secret that crazy awesome successful people have is they had mentors in their lives. And would you say that, so, so Kevin for you who were RV: (04:34) Of your other mentors. So like, I know Zig you talk about cause secrets of closing the sale and you, you know, you guys have done a lot with that, you know, who are some of your other mentors in addition to Zig? And did you have a lot of mentors growing up? I know you’ve been a mentor to so many. KH: (04:50) Yeah, good question. And I think I go all the way back. I kind of joke a little bit, but it’s it’s for real, that I had my first mentor when I was 11 years old happened to be my father Charlie, because my, my father was, was a bartender. I’m one of six kids and there wasn’t a lot of money and, and great surplus as I was growing up. And, but my dad said, Hey, I’ve saved up enough money. I’m opening up my own restaurant. Harrington’s Irish pub. So I was in there at 11 years old, not just washing dishes and serving trays of food. I was in the back with him counting the money at the end of the day and looking at the suppliers. And it was pretty amazing how he brought me shoulder to shoulder with him. We’d go out and pick up supplies. And, and, and of course I was going to school also, but grade school at the time, but make a long story short. My dad was, he mentored me to start my own businesses when I was young. So I started a business when I was in high school and then another one in college and, and et cetera. But so as I KH: (05:58) Got out of, out of getting into the, the TV business and sold some of the businesses I started during high school, one of the first big mentors for me was, was somebody that I needed desperately. Cause I built a business in this SMTP space. I had a lot of orders that were sitting, but I couldn’t fulfill them because I didn’t have the inventory. So I needed capital to have inventories. And I went to bank after bank people say, Oh, go to the bank and get lines of credit, get financing. Right. Well, there was no assets for them to lend against. I was a young entrepreneur. This is 35 years ago, but I got a former bank president who was retired that came in and said, let me tell you the deal I’m going to do. You got five banks that turned you down. KH: (06:48) I’ll get you financing probably from one of those banks that turned you down. I’m going to get you a $3 million line of credit, which is what you need. And then after that’s all done, there’s no cost. That’s straight mentoring me, helping you because you deserve it. You need it. I want to help you. And then at that point, if you want to do some business with me, we can sit down and talk about it, but I’m going to have brought you an amazing gift in the process. 90 days later, 3 million bucks in my account, we took that and grew the business. I mean, we went 10 fold from there and it was just unbelievable because I was a great marketing guy, but I needed cash. I needed capital and inventory. So this, this was an amazing step for me. And of course, beyond that, people don’t know that before Russell Brunson ever started ClickFunnels, I was in this as seen a TV business. KH: (07:41) And I said, I’m losing all my viewers TV viewership is dropping. So I reached out to Russell and Russell gave me some great tips on digital marketing. And I, I actually came out of that meeting with Russell and sold a bunch of my at semen TV assets. Cause I realized the handwriting is on the wall. This is a business I’m on TV today. But now I say today, that was 10 years ago today. It’s digital, it’s Facebook, it’s Instagram, LinkedIn it’s you know, so I’ve had some great transitions from Russell Brunson to Zig Ziglar to my father, to the banker that was retired to even getting a, a couple of days with Richard Branson down at the famous Necker Island. He gave me some really powerful advice. So mentors have been near and dear to me. And to this day I still have quite a few in my life. So RV: (08:35) Let me ask you about this, Kevin, cause this is interesting. You mentioned Russell Brunson you know, and he’s younger than you and he’s much younger than you and you also came to Veda years, I think that’s right. Well, you and your son and your team and Mark came to Vaden Villa for a day of strategy stuff with us and you know, amazed me was, which is, and it amazes me to hear you say it now that you’ve not been afraid to have mentors younger than you. So, you know, how do you pick a good mentor? Cause I know this is part of the book, the book, again, mentor to millions. What are some of the things that you guys use to, to pick mentors? Cause age obviously is not necessarily the key criteria. And I’d love to hear from both of you on that. KH: (09:24) Mark, go ahead and I’ll give you my thoughts from, from my perspective, MT: (09:28) you know, when, when I looked at Kevin, he, it doesn’t matter. The age matters. Do they have wisdom and experience in an area that you need? And, and more than anything, Kevin can speak a lot on the mentor side, I can speak a lot on the mentee side as well, because you know, Kevin is my mentor and that’s the journey we take in the book. But one of the things that you should be looking for in a mentor is number one, have they failed? You know, because it’s hard to learn from somebody that hasn’t had some failure in their life. Wow. And that’s big. We talk a lot in the book about failure and how you respond to failure and you need mentors that know and have failed because you’re going to fail, but you need to know you can lean on them and they’ll pick you up and they’ll help you learn from that process. MT: (10:13) It’s not about failure. It’s about how you respond to that failure. You know, our mutual mentor Zig said, nobody drowns from falling in water. They only drown. If they stay in the water, you know, he knew you’re going to fall down, stay there. And so you need mentors to pull you up. So you’re looking for someone that isn’t a one hit wonder that doesn’t just have one way. And the other thing you look for in a mentor is do they listen because you need them to hear you out. What are you trying to accomplish in this world? What’s your unique gift to the world and let them listen long enough to then know how to really pour into you. And so when that happens, again, it doesn’t matter if they’re younger than you or older than you. I have to tell you right now, I’ve got younger mentors that are mentoring me in technology. MT: (10:56) I mean, I, you know, I just, I can out myself right now and say, I didn’t have a cell phone at 25 years old. I was in my late twenties. I got a cell phone. So the things that are happening in technology are just intuitive auto Metronic for these young people. And so I have young people that are mentoring me to be able to use technology in a much more robust way to get the message out there. So it’s really do they know something. And one of the other things that people look for in mentors are getting a lot of phone calls right now from folks that are building up a little business. They’re getting some sales on Amazon and some places, and now they’re like, Oh, okay, we need capital. Or maybe we should exit. So finding a mentor, that’s been through a few exits because too many people would come on shark tank and they just want a lot of money for this teeny little percentage of their company. Right now I own equity and a private may never KH: (11:54) Be able to get my money back. Right. So finding an exit or a way to, you know, to monetize your investment is an important thing in today’s world. So and there’s a lot of roll-up companies that are buying up the Amazon type entities and things like this. So there’s a lot of good folks out there that, I mean, I, I know a neighbor bought a house and came in and found out, Oh, he’s a lawyer and he’s 35 years old. And he, and he used to work for major league baseball, but he’s selling, he’s starting Amazon businesses, buying Amazon businesses and crushing it. So he’s in his fifth or sixth acquisition right now. So there’s a very smart, young mentor that could help a lot of companies that are out there in the marketplace of, of monetizing an exit strategy. Well, and so most of them RV: (12:48) People listening here are our entrepreneurs in some sense, right. It might be their side hustle or something, but do you think mentorship applies directly to like personal brands and people specifically that are like in this space? Cause a lot of, I think a lot of personal brands are like both of you in that they achieved something and now they’re kind of moving into more of like a teaching role. So do you, do you think that this message still applies directly to them? Or, or how, or is it, is it different from how you would mentor someone in a corporate environment or just in a classic kind of entrepreneur entrepreneurial setting at all? KH: (13:30) Well, you know, I think certainly personal brands, it is a personal brand is still it’s a business. It has, it needs customer acquisition you know, metrics. So you’re building funnels, you’re acquiring followers customers. Yes. So and, and again, you, you mentioned my age, so, you know, it, it Russell Brunson’s way younger than me, but here a lot of the, the younger generation has tuned into the world of digital and much more powerful way. So, so yeah, I do believe that even on the branding, I mean there, there are, what are the outlets that personal brand should go after me now there’s something new with LinkedIn, LinkedIn live and there’s obviously Facebook live came and was very powerful for, for quite a bit and still is so you know, so one of the questions for personal brands is where is the best place to spend your time focus your energies? And if you do have some dollars to invest to invest. So you know, it, I try to keep myself on the cutting edge of what’s happening out there in the world. And I, you know, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality type things, I’m already KH: (14:52) Starting to explore ventures like this that will you know, maybe be a little bit pioneering where you get your legs, blood running down your ankles kind of thing from, from being too early in the market. But I like experimenting with things like this and I think sometimes mentors can help steer you in certain directions. RV: (15:15) Yeah. Yeah. And so Mark for you specifically, you know, in terms of mentoring, personal brands, like it’s interesting cause being a personal brand, it often happens like in the cracks of time, in your day, like in between meetings, you’re checking social media or you’re like, you know, you don’t often have like blocks of just days at a time unless you’re writing a book. But outside of that I find that there’s this real temptation to have it creep into taking over your whole personal life. And one of the things that both of you have done is not just scale businesses, but you know, like I know Mark specifically for you, you study this a lot about scaling your, your, your life and running your household like a business. Can you just share with us, that’s been a one way, I think that you’ve mentored me directly. Can you share a few thoughts on that? And you know, if it’s specific to personal brands or not, but just that we have this temptation to always be like on social media, doing DMS, doing comments, doing posts during dinner, you know, and after hours and in bed and like, how do you, how do you deal with some of that? MT: (16:26) Yeah, it’s a challenge. And so, and I gotta tell ya, just to be candid with everybody listening, I got it wrong longer than I got it. Right. I can only share what it feels like to get it right, because I know what it feels like to get it wrong. And I was there building the brand of company, a personal brand, 24, seven, always on my family saw me and you know what they did, they resented what I did. The book starts out with me at the end of my driveway, having one of the most pivotal moments of my life, a driveway moment where I realized I had everything upside down, that I was giving my family and my last and my lease instead of my first and my best. And I didn’t know what to do about it. I just knew it was wrong. And I was always searching like all these entrepreneurs and brands for this perfect work life balance. MT: (17:10) And then I figured out it’s a myth. There’s no such thing as work life balance. You’re never in complete balance of work and life, but you can integrate. And that’s what we talk about in the book. What if your family becomes your most valuable business? What if the business you’re going home to is the most valuable business you’ll ever own ever operate everything and be a part of what is the most valuable brand is your family. Okay. Then versus the one you’re going to. And by the way, I took it to the next level. That day in that driveway, I came home, I incorporated my family. I actually created a brand out of my family. We have a logo, we have a mission statement. We had meetings on Sunday nights. And what I did was I started taking everything I knew to do in business and started applying it at home. MT: (17:56) So if you’ve got a great personal brand, create a family brand, one of the coolest things we ever did was do a family logo cost is $99 on 99 designs. And we had 185 designers submit designs for our little family logo. It was Epic. And we were sending surveys out to aunts and uncles and cousins and friends, and they were voting on it. And the family was so proud when it was done and we had this common ground. And so the bottom line is if you’re building a family brand and it’s all consuming, integrate your family, involve them in that family brand involve them in your personal brand, tell them what they’re doing, what you’re doing, integrate what’s happening. Let them be a part of it, be transparent with it. And they’ll not resent. It they’ll want to dive in and help you do it. And that’s a huge difference. And that’s where we want to be as moms and dads, husbands, fathers, wives. We want our family to embrace us as a business and brand not resent it. Wow. RV: (18:59) I love that. And I mean, being at the book is about being a mentor. You’re actually mentoring your family first. Like by the, by the, by the work of doing that is, here’s a real, this is funny. So a few nights ago, AJ and I are putting Jasper down for bed, you know, Jasper has now so Jasper’s three, like three and a half. He was baby last, basically the last time when you guys got to meet him. And he said you know, basically he was like, what are we doing tomorrow is tomorrow family day. And we said, no, tomorrow is Workday. And he said, Oh, okay. I go to work. And AJ said, do you think you want to work with MT: (19:39) Best in the business one day Jasper? RV: (19:41) And he says, yeah, but I’m going to need a cell phone for that. RV: (19:48) So he’s negotiating his package already, which I love. Kevin, last, last little question just for you. What are some RV: (19:59) Things that you, you know, advice that you would give to personal brands? I mean, you’ve been on TV, you, you like, you’ve played this, you know, such a big role in the world, 30 last kind of parting thoughts that you’d have for anyone that kind of aspires to have the kind of worldwide impact and reach that you’ve been able to have. KH: (20:16) Yeah. So let me get this pandemic has shown a lot of interesting developments and what happened at the very beginning, I started getting a lot of phone calls, people wanting to collaborate and, and because time to challenge you hunker down, but reach out, talk to your mentors, talk to folks. And I, I believe that collaboration is good, venturing together, doing things together. So I’ve been, we’ve been doing Mark and I outside of the book. We we’ve been doing KH: (20:48) A lot of things together, but I’m also with other organizations with Roland Frasier war room with Joe Polish’s genius network and Mike Calhoun at board of advisers, you know, these collaborative efforts and even writing books. I mean, Zig Ziglar created amazing content, you know 30 some books and dozens of languages. I collaborated with the family to relaunch some of those books in, in partnership. So so in fact, with, with this one, Rory, but this was a book that was rereleased secrets sale with Kevin Harrington shell. And by the way, Zig has 4.7 or 4.9 million followers on Facebook. So you know, when you collaborate, you tie in to the network of the followers of the collaborator that you’re collaborating with. So if I just, I believe in, in creating lots of content, putting it out there, joining groups, LinkedIn groups writing books, writing lead magnets, and, and just continuing to push and build the brand. But this is a great opportunity to be able to reach and collaborate into some really powerful networks followers with other folks. I love it. RV: (22:09) A mentor to millions is the name of the book. Where do you guys want people to go? You have some amazing bonuses and stuff. MT: (22:16) Yeah. We have a lot of amazing bonuses and stuff that they can do as well. But the biggest thing we want to share, if they go to Kevin mentor.com, Kevin, and I want everybody to develop the habit of mentorship. So we’re giving away 30 days of mentorship and that’s above and beyond. The other bonus is just something Kevin and I came up with and said after 30 days of seeing what it’s like to have mentorship, and some of that will be library. And so, you know, so we’re 30 different areas of mentorship in their life. We know after those 30 days, they’re going to want to raise their hand and say, I need a mentor in my life always. And so Kevin mentor.com go there. That’s where your mentorship journey. RV: (22:56) Well, I love it. Collaboration, mentorship. I’ll never forget Kevin. One time told me that the secret to negotiating is to make sure it’s a win for everybody. That’s how you know, it’s going to be a healthy partnership. And we appreciate you guys so much. We’ll put links to all that. The book has mentor to millions. Y’all go get it. Let us know on social. What you thought about these guys, guys. We wish you the best. KH: (23:19) Thanks, Rory. Always a pleasure

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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