Consultant Eaten By Sharks

 Alik Levin    "If you swim with sharks, do not act like food" - I can crystal clearly remember that quote by Michio Kaku when he was giving a keynote during internal MS convention. It resonated with me a lot. As a consultant, I often find myself deep in the waters surrounded by sharks. Sometimes frightened to death. To "survive" I develop practices that distinguish me from "food" to keep me from being eaten.

I found many practical advices when I was  reading a book by Harvey Mackay Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition.

This post is a collection of a few side notes that I took while reading the book. These advices, among few others,  help me stay alive and not eaten by sharks.

Do You Believe In Luck?

I do. For me luck is being the right guy in the right place at the right time. Sitting at home, doing nothing all the time won't get you no luck. Here is nice quote Harvey Mackay used in his book:

"I am great believer in luck,"  said Stephen Leackock, the Canadian humorist, "and the harder I work, the luckier I get".

Another one that I really love is from Thomas Alva Edison:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Doing vs. Achieving

This one keeps striking me time after time. Many of us still have hard times to distinguish between doing vs. achieving. Working vs. accomplishing. End result is what really matters. Here is what Harvey Mackay has to say about it:

"One thing professional stock and commodity traders learn early is that they don't give away medals for courage in the marketplace. There is only one reward the marketplace has to offer: money. If you are not making any, bail out. Quickly."

Well, you cannot argue with it these days...

Hire The Best

I was reading the book by 45 EFFECTIVE WAYS FOR HIRING SMART: How to Predict Winners and Losers in the Incredibly Expensive People-Reading Game by Pierre Mornell where he provides a very detailed process to hire the best talent. The whole book is dedicated to interviewing... After your complete all the procedures (many of which are very useful), how do you decided - "Hire" or "No Hire"? Harvey Mackay offers very simple yet powerful advice:

"Ask yourself, How would you feel having this same person working for your competition instead of for you?"

Competitive World

Harvey Mackay writes:

"Unless you have a unique product or service, or run state-owned bakery in the Soviet Union, competition is a fact of life. You must deal with it. The best way is to gather what knowledge you can and then act."

My observations of state-owned bakeries only prove what Harvey Mackay writes (I was born in former USSR and lived there until I turned 20). My other observations resonate a lot with what he writes about gathering knowledge and acting. Focusing on high demand expertise pays off. The deeper your knowledge the harder it to push you down the food chain.

"The grabbing hands grab all they can
All for themselves - after all
It's a competitive world
Everything counts in large amounts" - Depeche Mode

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Comments (2)

  1. These are great pieces of advice, and inspiring examples — with the way the global economy is going I think everyone is going to need all the help they can get so thanks for sharing Alik!


  2. Alik Levin says:


    Great to hear it was of value for you.

    It’s been some time last time we synch’ed. Happy to hear from you, my friend ;)!

    There are some more like this in the pipe…

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