Meet Harvey MacKay, one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers. Toastmasters International once named him one of the top five best speakers in the world.

Mackay is perhaps best known as the author of three business bestsellers, Including “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty”, “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”, “Beware Of The Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt”.

The New York Times lists his books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time. Harvey’s books have sold a total of more than 10 million copies worldwide. And they have been translated wholly or in part into some 37 languages and are selling in 80 countries around the world.

Harvey Mackay is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose articles appear in more than 50 national dailies. At the moment, he sits on the board of the Minnesota Orchestra, and he is a former director of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, as well as the University Of Minnesota Carlson School Of Management.

He has lectured in some of the nation’s most prestigious universities and business schools, including Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, Cornell, Wharton and Penn State universities.

Harvey Mackay had a very humble beginning. He was born in Saint Paul Minnesota in 1932 to Jack and Myrtle Mackay. The family lived in a modest apartment, and one of their most cherished dreams was to own a house of their own one day. Family income was meager, so little Harvey had to bring in the little he could earn at the tender age of eight.

But he did go to college, finishing from the University of Minnesota with bachelors as well as from Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program. Harvey is a sports enthusiast and was at one time ranked the #1 tennis player in the state of Minnesota.

He ventured into business early in life. In fact at 26 he successfully purchased and resuscitated a failing envelope company. The company, now known as MacKay Mitchell Envelope Company is currently one of America’s major envelope manufacturers, producing nearly 25 million envelopes a day, employing over 600 staff, and doing in excess of $100 million per annum in sales.

One thing very central to Harvey’s business, which every reader of his books will easily notice, is his ability to stay competitive in the modern cut-throat world of business. And as borne out by the title of one of his best sellers, Harvey has also mastered the art of ‘swimming with the sharks without being eaten alive’ that is, without sacrificing personal integrity or hurting others in the process.

He teaches that long term success in business hinges on cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with both customers and employees. And in all his business dealings, he focuses on building strong relationships with these two groups.

Oh, and did I mention that Harvey Mackay is also a master of networking? He says that networking should be a lifelong activity, one that should continually provide us with new ideas, new resources, expanded financial opportunities, as well as the strength of a group.

That’s why he believes it’s a mistake to turn to networking only at the time we need it. Remember the title of one of his books: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.

Could that be the secret of his remarkable success? Well, Harvey advises everyone to maintain a great network, stating that the gains are hard to quantify. Considering his pedigree, I think we should trust him on this!

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