Harvey Mackay is perhaps best known as the author of five business bestsellers, including Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive), Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, and Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty. He is a nationally syndicated columnist, and one of America's most popular business speakers. He is also founder, Chairman and CEO of Mackay Envelope Corporation, whose story he tells in anecdotes sprinkled throughout his books.
Mackay didn't start completely from scratch. At age 26, he purchased a failing small envelope company, which 40 years later has grown to an $85 million business employing over 500 people. Mackay's philosophy is engrained in the company, beginning with its motto: "Do what you love... love what you do... and deliver more than you promise." Outstanding customer service is the cornerstone of Mackay's business, and was the basis for his first book, Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive).
Swim With the Sharks:
Central to Mackay's business, and to his books, is the ability to stay competitive in the often cutthroat world of business, to "swim with the sharks", without sacrificing one's personal integrity or doing it at the expense of other people. He does this by focusing on building strong relationships with both customers and employees, giving Mackay envelope a reputation for being a great place to work, as well as a great place to do business with. Key to this is the effective use of information.
The Mackay 66:
The Mackay 66 is a tool he uses and recommends for gathering information about customers: personal information, business background, special interests, lifestyle, their business needs, and the nature of your relationship with them. His approach to using this information is both practical and ethical: it is not used to deceive customers into thinking we care about them more than we do, but rather to allow us to treat them like we would want to, if only our brains could handle the information.
Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty:
Mackay is a master of networking. He believes that most people make the mistake of only turning to their network when they need it, for example, when they're looking for a new job. Mackay says that networking is a lifelong practice that provides you with new knowledge and experiences, job security, expanded financial reach, and the strength of the group. The secret to maintaining a great network is, above all, knowing the value of the personal touch.
Mackay's easy and entertaining style, combined with practical insights, have struck a chord with business readers all over the world. He is one of the best-selling business authors of all time. Swim With the Sharks[, topped the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year! Understandably, his second book, Beware the Naked Man..., earned him the largest advance in publishing history, and was a #1 seller within two weeks of publication. He has written five best-sellers, and #6 is on the way.
Mackay is well known for giving back to his community, in a variety of ways. Swim With the Sharks tells the story of how his exceptional efforts kept the Twins in Minnesota. He is also a great supporter of the arts, serving as a director on Robert Redford's Sundance Institute and the Minnesota Orchestral Association, and of entrepreneurial education, serving on the board of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and speaking frequently at business schools around the country.
In spite of his hectic schedule (Mackay speaks on average once a week to corporations and organizations), he still finds plenty of time for family and fun. He is an avid golfer (11.4 handicap) and recently won the Super Senior Men's championship at his home club in Scottsdale. He and his wife, Carol Ann, have been married over 40 years, and enjoy spending time with their nine grandchildren. They are avid travelers, taking an annual trip to Italy, and planning upcoming tours of China and Africa.