Robert Herjavec dishes on the moment he knew he made it -- and helping kids achieve their dreams


For some, finding success means better schools for your kids, a beautiful new home or that big shiny purchase you've been eyeing at the store. For "Shark Tank" star Robert Herjavec, selling his company meant giving back to his dad.

"For years, my dad loved cars and for him, the ultimate car was the Cadillac, right? In Eastern Europe, he had dreams of a Cadillac he saw on TV in the 50s. so one day, when I made a little bit of money, I took him to a car dealership and arranged it ahead of time so there was one car only -- and it's a Cadillac DeVille ... And I said, 'What do you think?' And he said, 'One day.' And I said, 'Well, today's the day.' And I give him the keys and he starts crying, I start crying," Herjavec told AOL Finance.

Herjavec immigrated to Canada with his parents when he was a young child and grew up in a humble home -- his father swept floors in a factory and his mother was a receptionist. The TV star says that even to this day, his parents' sacrifice is his greatest motivator.

"[Being an immigrant] just makes you believe that you need to give back. For me, it was always if I didn't do something with my life, it was disrespectful to my mom and dad. Somebody sacrificed something for me to be sitting here talking to you, and if you're not going to do it for yourself, do it for them. So I've always had this attitude about life, this incredible journey -- and you've gotta have a dream, you've gotta have a vision and you've gotta go for it," he said.

Herjavec's "dream big" mentality is reflected today in a recent partnership with Frito-Lay Variety Pack's "Dreamvention" contest, which encourages kids aged 7 and older to "Dream-vent" a fun and simple invention for the chance to have their creation brought to life in a prototype and be awarded a $250,000 grand prize. Entrepreneurial youngsters just have to upload a simple drawing and short explanation onto from now through April 24th.

"It's very inspiring, but it's also a little humbling," Herjavec said about the program. "You know, when I was 8 or 10 I didn't have any ideas for creating a product -- I just knew I didn't want to be poor -- so this was such a great program for me to be involved with because we're giving kids and their families the opportunity to really dream."

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