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The latest news on Shark Tank from Business Insider

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    daymond john

    When reality-show producer Mark Burnett called FUBU founder Daymond John in 2008 to ask him if he wanted to be an investor on his upcoming show "Shark Tank," John had previously only worked within the fashion business but saw the opportunity as the perfect way to promote his existing brands and diversify his portfolio.

    John had invested in around 10 clothing brands before joining the show, but he was hardly a seasoned angel investor. As he reveals in his new book "The Power of Broke," the growing pains of the first season cost him "about $750,000 of my own money that I've yet to get back."

    In retrospect, the experience taught him the following lessons that have allowed him to become a savvier investor and corporate adviser, whose small businesses now make millions of dollars in annual profit.

    Don't get caught up in the moment

    Because "Shark Tank" was new in 2009, the producers weren't able to book the generally high caliber of entrepreneurs that appear on the show now. This was the season where a urologist got $25,000 to build a business around his hollow golf club that lets you pee into it.

    So that meant that not only were the offerings slim, but about half of the deals made in front of the cameras didn't close because the businesses didn't pass due diligence — about 80% of the deals closed last season, according to John.

    But even if he was seeing something he normally wouldn't want to invest in, he found himself getting caught up in the excitement of a bidding war with his fellow investors. And even if he found himself in a dud deal, he would spend too much time thinking he could transform a hopeless business, since he had already made it that far.

    Throwing money at a problem doesn't solve it

    the power of brokeJohn named his book "The Power of Broke" because, as he looked back on his career, he found that the common thread in all of his failures since becoming successful was the belief that an injection of capital could save a dying business or enhance a deal.

    The scrappy attitude he had while building FUBU out of his mother's house in the 1990s helped him become the CEO of a hundred-million-dollar business because he made decisions as though every cent mattered — and it did.

    Not only did he try keeping his handful of "Shark Tank" season-one businesses alive for longer than he should have, but he unnecessarily spent $200,000 on legal fees vetting and closing deals with them.

    When he looked more closely at it, he realized that while he trusted his law firm, they weren't fit for that type of business. He began working with a venture-capital firm the next season, and cut his legal fees down to $30,000.

    Rely on your team

    To help with his season-one investments, John hired consultants for licensing, marketing, and social media.

    "All these different experts, when I was hiring them on an as-needed basis that first year, their fees were killing me," he writes.

    It was unsustainable. It's why he built a new company, Shark Branding, with a full-time staff that handled licensing, business development, legal issues, contracts, marketing, and internal management.

    "I was able to pursue similar deals away from the show, growing my business in ways I hadn't even anticipated and helping to spread those overhead costs across a number of different properties," he writes.

    It turned out that a reality show, of all things, forced John to become a better investor, manager, and entrepreneur.

    John writes:

    I lost a bunch of money because I found myself making decisions in ways I'd never made them before. I was spread thin, with all these new demands on my time, so a lot of times I would just throw money at a problem and hope that would take care of it. But of course, that's not how it works, right?

    SEE ALSO: The billionaire founder of Under Armour was once so broke he couldn't pay a $2 toll — here's what the experience taught him

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Daymond John on the advantages of being broke


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    robert herjavec

    Over seven seasons of "Shark Tank" and six seasons of its Canadian predecessor "Dragon's Den," Robert Herjavec has seen hundreds of pitches from entrepreneurs looking for funding.

    By this point, he can determine whether he can trust an entrepreneur with his money within the first few minutes of a pitch.

    The investor and cybersecurity CEO recently chatted with The Ranker Podcast host Daniel Kohn about his new book, "You Don't Have to be a Shark," and explained what he considers to be the top mistakes entrepreneurs make in a pitch.

    Here are the red flags that Herjavec looks for from his chair in the Tank. His insights are just as relevant outside of the show, whether you're looking to make a deal with a client or trying to get hired.

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Robert Herjavec reveals how deals are affected by what happens behind the scenes

    They don't dress appropriately.

    When Herjavec was a college student, he had a part-time job as a salesman in a high-end menswear store, he writes in his book. He learned that the best salesmen would pinpoint which shoppers were going to spend the most money and then spend most of their time with them. It was an imperfect science, but a reliable indicator was how the potential customer dressed: If he already had nice clothes, he could afford to buy more.

    The same dynamic takes place in a pitch room, whether on "Shark Tank" or in a Silicon Valley office, Herjavec said on The Ranker Podcast.

    Whether you like it or not, the clothing you wear instantly communicates signals to other people's subconscious. For example, Herjavec said, he likes to pester his fellow Shark Mark Cuban, a big fan of T-shirts and jeans regardless of the occasion, by telling him that he intentionally dresses like "a slob" to show that he's already an influential billionaire and doesn't need to impress anyone at this point.

    As for entrepreneurs that step into the Tank, Herjavec is looking for their clothes to look intentional, and to complement their companies. Not all entrepreneurs have to show up in formal wear for him to take them seriously, but if they step in wearing shorts and flip flops, they better be in the surfing industry.

     



    They have poor body language.

    A long time ago, a venture capitalist friend of Herjavec's told him that it takes an average of 45 seconds for an entrepreneur to walk into a room, greet everyone, sit down, and get comfortable. And by the end of that 45 seconds, the friend said, he already had a hunch about whether he was interested by the way the entrepreneur carried him- or herself.

    For a "Shark Tank" segment, an entrepreneur walks down a hallway to an "X" on the floor, where they stand silently for 30 seconds as the camera crew collects the establishing shots they need. As soon as the entrepreneurs take their first steps into the room, Herjavec assesses how they walk and how they stand, he said on the podcast.

    If you're looking to impress Herjavec, walk quickly and assuredly. "It’s pretty rare that busy, confident people walk slowly," he said.

    As for posture, he doesn't care if there are multiple entrepreneurs presenting together and the head of tech development, for example, is slightly hunched over and withdrawn. But if the head of marketing or the CEO is anything but standing up straight and opening themselves up with confidence, he's concerned.



    They don't know enough about their company or industry.

    Herjavec noted that viewers probably notice that sometimes the Sharks tear apart an entrepreneur whose pitch isn't going well and other times they let things slide.

    As he explains in his book, "We can tolerate a sales pitch that is less than exceptional if the story promises to make us money. But many of the pitches are made by people stumbling and fumbling over the facts or lacking answers to key questions, such as "What are your annual sales to this point?""How much margin do you make on your sales?" and "What do you plan to do with the money if we give it to you?"

    He said it even more succinctly on the podcast: "I'll forgive a lot of stuff, but lack of expertise is death."

    You can listen to the full podcast episode on iTunes or The Ranker Podcast's website.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    daymond john

    "Shark Tank" investor and entrepreneur Daymond John was broke with a $40 budget when he started growing FUBU.

    Today, FUBU has earned over $6 billion in global sales, and John — with an estimated net worth of $250 million— has been around his fair share of wealthy individuals and entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar companies.

    On a recent podcast, host and business coach Lewis Howes asked John what separates billionaires from the rest of the crowd.

    It boils down to three things, John said:

    1. They're as frugal as possible when launching a business.

    "When your back is up against the wall and you have no other way to advance or create relationships and you can't buy anybody — you can't buy things to help you — you start to become creative,"John tells Business Insider. "When you become creative, that's when you think outside the box — and that's utilizing the power of broke."

    John went from cash-strapped to tremendously successful, which he details in his new book, "The Power of Broke," but he refuses to abandon the "broke mindset." In fact, he says many billionaires thrive by sticking to this mentality.

    "The billionaires I've seen use the power of broke," he told Howes on "The School of Greatness" podcast. "They may spend a billion dollars on a party, because that's a party. But they are very disciplined and they won't spend that on launching a company — they'll act like they don't have anything."

    Robert Herjavec Lori Greiner Daymond John Kevin O'Leary shark tank hosts judges

    2. They write everything down.

    "We're in this day and age where people are typing into their smartphones," John told Howes. Billionaires "physically write down everything. I remember one of them said to me, 'The dullest pencil will always remember more than the sharpest mind.'"

    John isn't the only one who's picked up on this success habit. Virgin Group's billionaire founder Richard Branson, who happens to be a note-taking connoisseur, attributes some of his most successful companies to the simple act of jotting things down.

    3. They think big.

    Billionaires "think purely on a global scale," John explained. "We'll sit there and say, 'How many people can I get to walk by my service place in Manhattan?' And they'll sit there and say, 'How many cars are in the world? How much exhaust comes out of them?' They're really thinking like that. That's how they are."

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' entrepreneur Daymond John explains why being broke was key to his success

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These businesses profit off your laziness


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    pavlok shark tank

    Over the past seven seasons of "Shark Tank," Kevin O'Leary has established himself as the mean, sarcastic investor who either challenges entrepreneurs to better defend their business or else dismisses them as "cockroaches."

    But in a pitch featured in last week's Season 7 finale he dropped the shtick, and in a state of being genuinely angry and hurt, called an entrepreneur an asshole and told him to "Get the f--- out of here."

    Maneesh Sethi, the founder of consumer-electronics company Pavlok, prompted this response when he explained that he had to turn down O'Leary's offer, even after the other Sharks pulled out, not because of its terms but because of O'Leary's personality. "I would take an offer from anybody besides Mr. Wonderful," Sethi said, using O'Leary's nickname.

    We got in touch with both O'Leary and Sethi for their insight, now that the pitch has been seen by millions of viewers. O'Leary suggested he kept his emotions around the pitch within the confines of the Tank, and explained that Sethi has a big lesson to learn if he wants to be successful in business. Sethi said that the 11-minute broadcast version of his 45-minute pitch didn't accurately portray him or his company, and he explained that he doesn't regret refusing O'Leary's offer but wishes he had conducted his presentation differently.

    In late 2014, a "Shark Tank" producer reached out to Sethi to ask him if he wanted to apply to the show. The producer had noticed Sethi's successful IndieGoGo campaign for the Pavlok wristband, which through either a manual or automatic prompt shocked its wearer when performing a bad habit. Using conclusions from existing research on Pavlovian conditioning, Sethi created it with the intention of linking bad habits with an uncomfortable reaction so that the habit could cease being enjoyable.

    pavlokSethi is the brother of bestselling personal-finance writer Ramit Sethi and a friend and associate of "The 4-Hour Workweek" author Tim Ferriss, as well as the curator of his own personal-development blog, Hacking the System.

    Pavlok grew out of the viral popularity of one of Sethi's productivity experiments from 2012, in which he hired a woman on Craigslist to slap him in the face anytime he went on Facebook when he should have been working.

    When he eventually made it to the "Shark Tank" set last September, Sethi was looking for 3.14% equity in his company in exchange for $500,000, giving Pavlok a valuation of $15.9 million.

    He told the Sharks that through the sale of some prototypes and then pre-orders of the $200 final product, he had sold $800,000 worth of his wristbands, which were going to ship the next week.

    At one point, Mark Cuban asked about what clinical trials Sethi conducted to prove his wristband worked, and when Sethi referred to a pamphlet of research on Pavlovian conditioning from the past few decades, Cuban called him a con artist. The rest of the televised segment highlighted Sethi's most snarky reactions to Cuban's and other's attacks.

    "I was caught off guard by how quickly and forcefully Mark turned against us, and that really changed the tone of the pitch," Sethi told Business Insider. "The Sharks became so focused on clinical studies, I couldn't really get a word in edge wise to tell them about the thousands of success stories our real-life users have had."

    Sethi also noted that he worked on a small, eight-person pilot study with the University of Massachusetts at Boston on Pavlok's capacity to deter smoking, which he was disappointed didn't earn any mention on the final cut of the show.

    The Sharks started arguing among themselves over whether the product was viable. At one point, Sethi grabbed his face in frustration and said, "You guys are making me so ADD."

    shark tank

    After some more back and forth, Lori Greiner and Cuban pulled out for lack of what they deemed sufficient evidence. Barbara Corcoran went out because she didn't like the product, and Robert Herjavec didn't make an offer because even though he actually found the product interesting, he couldn't justify the $15.9 million valuation.

    O'Leary started his reply by telling Sethi, "You're a combination of spontaneous combustion and ADD. I'm not kidding. It's very difficult to listen to you." But then he told him that he had studied aversion therapy as an undergraduate and found Pavlok to be interesting.

    To avoid meeting Sethi's valuation, O'Leary offered the $500,000 as a loan at 7.5% interest for 24 months in exchange for 3.14% equity. Sethi looked wary.

    "This is the problem," he said. "Damn. The problem, Mr. Wonderful, is that we're not focused on the money. We're focused more on the habits ... Our biggest goal is to break bad habits around the world. Mr. Wonderful, I just can't work with you."

    Greiner asked him whether he came on the show not looking for a deal but rather a commercial for his product. Sethi said he did want a deal (and he told us that he wanted a deal with either Greiner or Cuban) and that O'Leary's deal was "actually quite good."

    "It's the person," Corcoran offered.

    "It's the person," Sethi said. "I feel like — I would take an offer from anybody besides Mr. Wonderful."

    "Maneesh?" O'Leary chimed in. "You're an asshole. Get the f--- out of here." Cuban hollered and clapped his hands.

    "Oh, well ... are you all out?" Sethi asked.

    "F--- you," O'Leary responded.

    kevin o'learyAfter Sethi walked out, O'Leary appeared more hurt than angry, and his fellow investors told him he shouldn't feel bad.

    "The second Maneesh made his refusal he was dead to me," O'Leary told us. "Regardless of his opinions about me, I have absolutely no time for anyone who lets their emotions get in the way of their money, which is exactly what Maneesh did."

    O'Leary once told Business Insider that the reason he is especially aggressive on the show is to test entrepreneurs, to see if they can handle the pressure. His focus on cash flow is genuinely part of his investing approach, but he often exaggerates this to cartoonish levels for dramatic effect.

    Interestingly, Sethi adamantly opposed partnering with O'Leary precisely because of his bully persona in the Tank.

    "Going in I knew Kevin was not a great investor fit for our company," Sethi said. "A lot of people don't realize investment partnerships are about way more than money. Business style and vision for the company need to align as well. I was concerned he would prioritize monetary returns over number of habits broken, which is our main [Key Performance Indicator]."

    Sethi said that in the nine months since his "Shark Tank" pitch, he's sold a total of 10,000 wristbands and collected more user data. He's also raised more than $275,000 on IndieGoGo for an upcoming Pavlok alarm clock. He said that Pavlok is profitable.

    We asked him if he regrets his "Shark Tank appearance. "If I could film the show again, I would have changed my presentation," he said. "But I don't regret turning down the offer."

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Robert Herjavec reveals how deals are affected by what happens behind the scenes

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A world champion public speaker gave us his top 3 presentation tips


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    Mark Cuban Amazon Exclusives

    Mark Cuban has made a number of investments through his hit reality show "Shark Tank," where he appears as an investor. He's also seen how a "Shark Tank" appearance could instantly boost the sales of the companies he invests in.

    But it looks like Cuban believes Amazon is the better platform to promote and sustain the sales of his portfolio companies. It's why he's bringing some of his "Shark Tank" companies to Amazon Exclusives, a site dedicated to products sold exclusively on Amazon.

    “Amazon is the best in the world in online transactions,” Cuban said in a statement. 

    According to Amazon, Cuban is bringing more than 100 items from about 20 of his portfolio companies, including the ones that previously appeared on "Shark Tank," such as Tower Paddle Boards and Nuts 'n More.

    The products will be showcased under a section called "The Mark Cuban Collection" on Amazon Exclusives, but will be available on Amazon's main website as well.

    Cuban's move also suggests more companies are seeing Amazon Exclusives as a viable platform for growing their businesses. Launched last year, Exclusives is a third party marketplace where sellers can sell their products exclusively on Amazon for added exposure and access to Amazon Prime's two-day shipping. Amazon takes a cut of their sales in return.

    Cuban cited the "back-end support" and logistics that Amazon offers for customers as big benefits. 

    Amazon also shared updated numbers for its Exclusives service. Since last year, it's added 20,000 items, 60 of which went on to become one of the best sellers on Amazon's main site. Sales from the Exclusives store has passed $50 million in 2015, and it's been growing 15% a month since the start of the year, Amazon added.

    SEE ALSO: This perfect SAT scorer got rejected by the Ivy Leagues, but got on 'Shark Tank' and is now backed by Mark Cuban

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How to see everything Google knows about you


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase

    screen shot 2016 06 01 at 9.43.30 amMark Cuban has made a number of investments through his hit reality show "Shark Tank," where he appears as an investor. Starting today, some of them are available on Amazon Exclusives in a new section called, what else, The Mark Cuban Collection. In total, the new collection features more than 100 products from about 20 of Cuban's portfolio companies. 

    Launched last year, Amazon Exclusives allows its sellers increased exposure and access to Amazon Prime's two-day shipping in return for the exclusivity of having their products on Amazon. Cuban's move to the third-party marketplace shows more companies are recognizing the legitimacy of Exclusives as a platform.

    Cuban's collection will feature many products that have been seen on "Shark Tank"— such as the Tower Paddle Boards and Nuts 'N More. Scroll through the collection's highlights below. 

    SEE ALSO: 9 iPhone accessories you may not need but probably still want

    READ MORE: People are so excited about this weekend bag that it’s become the biggest one in Kickstarter history

    DON'T MISS: These 9 little-known perks show why Amazon Prime is so much more than free shipping

    The Dirty Dunk

    Introduced to the public decades ago, this original Dirty Dunk has been redesigned for consumers today. While other basketball-themed laundry baskets exist now, only the Dirty Dunk can lay claim to the original design. 

    The Dirty Dunk - The Original Over-the-Door Basketball Hoop Laundry Hamper, $34.99.



    Tower Paddle Boards

    This innovative approach to paddle boards allows for your board to be rolled up for convenient carrying. 

    Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable 9'10" SUP Package, $699.



    Nuts 'N More

    If you are looking for a healthy alternative to your cookie cravings, Nuts 'N More can help. This cookie butter is packed with protein, more than double the amount of standard cookie butter, and still maintains its texture and consistency. 

    Nuts 'n More High Protein Peanut Butter Cookie Butter, $12.99.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    We spend the whole week with the same people, so it's only natural that a deeper relationship may develop. But the wisdom (and ethics) of the office romance are hotly debated.

    One of the cohosts of "Shark Tank," Barbara Corcoran, tells us to go for it — but remember the breakup could get messy.

    Produced by Sam Rega

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Shark Tank

    As the Founder and CEO of FRENDS, the jewelry-inspired designer electronic accessories brand, I believe that it is often the most difficult challenges that end up powerfully strengthening our business and enabling us to be more efficient entrepreneurs.

    I recently appeared on an episode of "Shark Tank" to pitch the latest FRENDS Audio Jewelry innovation, and the word "brutal" perfectly captures my experience.

    I completely botched the pitch, and the "Shark Tank" team reacted accordingly. Mark Cuban said that it would "come down to a million-dollar bet" on our Audio Jewelry, and he was simply "not convinced" in terms of this product.

    I not only walked away without an investment, but also with a sense of a seriously missed opportunity to convey the philosophy and passion behind FRENDS (to create the unexpected, while redefining the relationship between personal style and premium sound).

    Since the taping over a year ago, my team and I took Mark's advice and did not make a singular bet on our new product for last year's holiday season.

    Instead, we turned our attention inward to strengthen the brand with a number of creative initiatives that have actually yielded tremendous success for FRENDS over the past year.

    Here are my top three entrepreneurial lessons I learned from swimming with the sharks.

    SEE ALSO: The founder of TOMS '100% agrees' with one of the biggest criticisms of his company

    DON'T MISS: The CEO of a $25 billion tech company uses a simple system to keep his workaholism in check

    1. Four No's are still a yes ... in the making

    As the Shark Tank team told me they were not going to invest, it made me realize that I really wasn't prepared  both for their interrogation, as well as to fully represent my brand  and it showed.

    I knew we had a viable product that had been performing well in the market, and was the pioneer in the women's headphone category, but my pitch did not do it for them. It's one of the hardest things to get used to, yet eventually I believe you have to learn to love hearing "No." It's a call for refinement. It makes you pause and refocus.

    The "No's" teach us so much more than hearing "Yes." Although their probing questions were fair, my answers unfortunately exposed some real flaws that I knew deep down needed to be addressed.

    Specifically, since the show taped a year ago, we've cut our operating expenses by 65%. By implementing smarter spending, it allowed us to not only strengthen our current positioning, but also forced us to leverage technology and create processes to fill in for the lack of actual man power (we're only a team of 6).

    On the show, the brutal answer I was forced to reveal of exactly how much money we spent was a wake up to getting real with what is working and what just isn't working and to adjust accordingly. Now that we have our finances and operations more fine-tuned, we are poised to keep pitching for the final "Yes."Every"No" has prepared us for today.



    2. Don't give up just because people don't see what you see

    I believe that true innovation is seeing what everyone has already seen, yet producing something that nobody has thought of before.

    This holds true for our upcoming FRENDS Audio Jewelry collection that we alluded to on the show, which is truly going to redefine what women expect from their audio devices, while allowing them to further express their personal style.

    Since its less-than-stellar reception from the Sharks, we have created four different versions of the audio jewelry model. We ended up killing them all, and inevitably went back to the drawing board to finally create a collection that we are proud to present this coming holiday season.

    As an innovator and entrepreneur, it's up to us to strive to create the impossible for those who can't see it ... until they can.

    In my opinion, I think that it is essential to fully commit to the process of innovation, as being an innovator also means testing your own perceptions and conventions when it comes to the evolution of a product.

    Never give up, never settle, and keep charging for your dreams if you believe in it.



    3. Trust your gut

    It's amazing how your gut usually knows what's best, well before your mind will accept it.

    I truly believe that as an entrepreneur, your instincts are imperative. I love advice, yet it is our job to take the pieces that apply, and evaluate them in conjunction with our instincts. It is exponentially easier to filter advice and opportunities if you know the core values of your brand and how you want to present them.

    After my experience with the taping, I knew I needed to become a stronger CEO and run the business differently. One of the best decisions I made was to enlist the help of a business coach, who helps me identify what my strengths are while also illuminating which areas I should find great people to help with instead. And as a result, my instincts have allowed me to build an incredible team that I fully trust to do their daily best, and to be able to let go of things that do not enrich the brand.

    As with so many challenges that have come my way since starting FRENDS, the show was another brutal experience that I'm grateful for, as the lessons I learned have been pivotal. It allowed me, as a CEO, to build the greatest team centered upon the shared culture and beliefs of FRENDS, and has inspired me to seed them with ideas and support our journey of bringing beautiful ideas to life.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    FOR_STORY

    Out of all the deals we've seen on "Shark Tank" over the last seven seasons, only a fraction of them are now genuine success stories.

    Not all of the show's biggest hits are worth spending your hard-earned money on. Why pay top dollar for gluten-free cookies, which will take 2-5 business days to receive, when you can pick up equally delicious ones at the grocery store for less? But below are seven "Shark Tank" stories that provide excellent services at reasonable prices. Have a look.

    READ THIS: These 9 little-known perks show why Amazon Prime is so much more than free shipping

    SEE ALSO: People are so excited about this weekend bag that it’s become the biggest one in Kickstarter history

    DON'T MISS: Starting today, you can shop some of Mark Cuban's best 'Shark Tank' investments exclusively at Amazon

    Better Life all-purpose cleaner

    As more studies surface about the effects harmful chemicals and additives have on our bodies and daily lives, more people are looking to swap their potentially dangerous goods for healthier, eco-friendly options. 

    When Better Life founders Tim Barklage and Kevin Tibbs went on "Shark Tank" a few years ago, the brand's plant-derived cleaner piqued the interest of all the Sharks, and it's become a smart investment for everyone's homes since then. Not only has the Better Life cleaner amassed a cult-like following, it is also known to get rid of the tough stains  — like coffee spills and crayon marks — with ease. 

    Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner, $10.63, available at Amazon.



    Lollaland Lollacup

    New parents are no strangers to cleaning up their kids' spills, stains, and messes. Thanks to Lollaland's Lollacup, snack time can be a much tidier affair.

    The Lollacup has a weighted straw to keep it from tipping over. The straw is also valve-free, so tots as young as nine months can sip and slurp with ease. In 2014, Business Insider reported that Lollaland brought in close to $1 million in sales, making it the most successful children's product at the time to grace the show.

    Lollaland Lollacup, $15.95, available at Amazon. 



    Scrub Daddy sponges

    Ridding your pots and pans of grime and grit can take some serious elbow grease if you don't have access to a dishwasher. Aaron Krause's Scrub Daddy sponge is affordable, odor-resistant, and works nicely on virtually any surface.

    The secret of this success story is its FlexTexture material: The sponge becomes soft and offers a more gentle wipe when exposed to warm water, but tightens up for a firm scrub when in cold water. Lori Greiner loved this idea in season four and it turned out to be a consumer favorite. Last year, BI reported the brand brought in $75 million in revenue.

    Scrub Daddy Sponges, $10.62 for pack of three, available at Amazon.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark cuban

    Mark Cuban, the "Shark Tank" star and billionaire owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, always has his hands in a wide variety of businesses.

    Throughout his career, he's made over 120 investments, from large companies like Landmark Theatres to his Three Commas apparel line.

    For all of the businesses he's been a part of, he's developed a set of "rules that have been almost infallible," he wrote in his 2013 book, "How to Win at the Sport of Business."

    Below, Business Insider has summarized the three he's used "religiously."

    SEE ALSO: Billionaire designer Tory Burch shares the best advice she ever got

    1. Understand the difference between adding value and benefiting from a bull market

    In the same way that some stock market investors think that they're geniuses when they keep picking stocks that go up, failing to acknowledge that all stocks are doing the same thing, Cuban says, entrepreneurs can fail to recognize that a good deal of their success is because of a fad or trend.

    "There is nothing wrong with going along for the ride and making money at it, but it will catch up with you if you lie to yourself and give yourself credit for the ride," he wrote.

    Cuban said that he saw this happen with professional sports leagues in the early 2000s. He explained that many team owners became enamored with rising revenues from television-rights deals, crediting it to their own "brilliance."

    He said, however, that he and his Mavericks partners recognized that revenues were actually rising because of competition among cable and satellite providers. Cuban couldn't become complacent.

    "It's a bigger challenge to recognize that the bull market may end and our programming needs to be of sufficient value to our customers and viewers for it to maintain or continue to increase in value," he wrote.



    2. Win the battles you're in before moving on to new ones

    Cuban wrote that he had a chance to take Landmark Theatres international, but that any time spent on developing a global presence was time not spent growing its national presence, and so he decided against it.

    He wrote:

    "You do not have unlimited time and/or attention. You may work 24 hours a day, but those 24 hours spent winning your core business will pay off far more. It might cost you some longer-term upside, but it will allow you to be the best business you can be."



    3. Don't drown in opportunity

    "If you are adding new things when your core businesses are struggling rather than facing the challenge, you are either running away or giving up," Cuban wrote. "Rarely is either good for a business."

    Melissa Carbone, president of horror-attraction company Ten Thirty One Productions, told Business Insider in 2014 that after the $2 million deal she made with Cuban on "Shark Tank" went public, she was flooded with partnership and investment offers, some of which were quite attractive.

    Cuban told her to take a step back and not let emotions make her impulsive. She said that she would continually hear Cuban's voice in her head reminding her, "Don't drown in opportunity."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Some of the businesses featured on the popular ABC reality series "Shark Tank" have made some serious revenue.

    Here are five of the most successful stories of all time.

    Check out more "Shark Tank" success stories.

    Produced by Lamar Salter. Original reporting by Richard Feloni.

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    lori greiner

    Lori Greiner knows entrepreneurship.

    The "Shark Tank" investor estimates that over the course of 17 years, she's created about 500 different products, and owns 120 patents, with more pending.

    A key element of her success, and one she shares in her book, "Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!: Make Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality," is that successful entrepreneurs will do whatever it takes to succeed.

    In an interview with Daniel DiPiazza of Rich20Something, Greiner said that to this day, she's very hands-on — and she has that in common with most entrepreneurs.

    "I have a quote that I always say, that I love, which is, 'Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week,'" she told DiPiazza. "And it is true, because we like to be our own bosses. And so if you're one of those people, you want to quit your day job, you don't want to punch a clock, you want to have freedom and also be freedom of your own destiny, this book tells you how."

    And an entrepreneur doesn't leave the work to someone else. They work those 80 hours because they're in control of their own success. "You have to be committed and willing. That's one of the things I find happens with a lot of people: They want someone else to do it for them," Greiner said. "And the problem is, when you're an entrepreneur, there isn't somebody else to do it for you. You have to do it for you. But if you're willing to do that, then you're going to make it. Or you have a likelihood to make it."

    You can enlist other people to help, she explains, but it's still up to you.

    For instance, she remembers, when she first started out in 1996, there was no Google, and no way to look things up with a few keystrokes. So she headed to the library to find a list of all of the retailers in the US. No one was going to get that information for her.

    She continued:

    "I just think that it's very important, if you have dreams to make a million dollars, to run a corporation and have it be really strong, and have it be really successful, you have to have your hands on the pulse of everything and you have to be the driver of that company. So when you leave it to other people, it's not going to be your vision."

    Watch the full interview on Rich20Something »

    SEE ALSO: How this 'Shark Tank' entrepreneur negotiated hard for a $2 million deal with Kevin O'Leary and Lori Greiner

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    shark tank

    If there's one thing the stars of Shark Tank know, it's how to make money. 

    Mark Cuban opened a bar before he was of legal drinking age. The brazen college campus venture lasted six short months. A scandalous snafu with a wet T-shirt contest led to the watering hole’s "sorry end." The former bartender's later business bets -- legal ones, of the tech-related kind -- fared exponentially better, eventually landing him in the millionaire club. Then, not long after, into the three commas club, the realm of billionaires.

    Kevin O’Leary came into his first millions after spinning a $10,000 seed investment from his mother into an edtech startup. In not too long, Mattel scooped it up for $3.6 billion. Daymond John stitched a $100,000 seed investment from his mom (who mortgaged her house to give it to him) into FUBU. The fashion startup cleared hundreds of millions in sales within six years.

    Chris Sacca’s path to millions -- and later to billions -- is tied to incredibly successful startups, too, though, interestingly, none of his own. He lucked out with some very early and very wise investments in Uber, Instagram, Twitter and Kickstarter, and that’s just the short list.

    Lori Greiner spun her love of inventing solutions to everyday annoyances into a multi-million-dollar retail operation. Robert Herjavec, also a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, went from rags to astronomical riches within a few years of emigrating from Croatia to Canada in the pursuit of a better life. And, after failing at 22 jobs, former diner waitress Barbara Corcoran turned $1,000 she borrowed from a boyfriend into a $6 billion-dollar New York City real estate empire that's still going strong.

    We recently caught up with all seven Shark Tank star investors on the Culver City, Calif., set of the hit show. There, from behind the scenes of Sony Pictures' Stage 30, they shared their advice on how to become a millionaire. Here’s what they told us:

    SEE ALSO: 14 signs you have what it takes to become a millionaire

    BARBARA CORCORAN: BE COMPETITIVE AND PIGHEADED

    "If you want to be really rich, you better decide early to start a business of your own. It's only when you put yourself in charge that you have a shot at becoming rich.

    Every business is born out of an individual's intense passion and a real need to succeed, so you'll need enough passion to get started, but also enough to get through the intense 12-hour days when the chips are down and everything and everyone seems against you. But, if you're competitive and pigheaded enough to get over the failures without wasting time feeling sorry for yourself, and if you can inspire enough good people to join you, you can pretty much become as rich as you want."



    MARK CUBAN: WORK HARD AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES

    "There’s being wealthy and doing well and having your dreams come true. And there’s being in a situation where things escalate. Whether it’s me or Chris Sacca, the stock market had gone nuts. I was rich and I was happy, but I don’t know that I’d have multiple billions of dollars.

    "To become a millionaire, you’ve really got to find something that you love to do because it’s going to take so much work that you can’t just say, ‘OK, this is the one industry I can make a lot of money in.’ Or, and I get this all the time, which is crazy: ‘I want to be rich. What kind of company should I start?’ You can’t do that. It doesn’t work like that.

    "You’ve got to be good at something and not only be good at it, but you’ve got to love it, and then you’re willing to work and do whatever it takes. Then, if you’re fortunate, that turns into something that creates wealth for you.

    "I found out I loved computers and I taught myself how to program. I had no problem working 20 straight hours learning something or coding. That led to building and selling my first company. But it wasn’t like, ‘How am I going to get rich? Let me just start that company in that industry’ because there’s going to be somebody who’s going to know that business better than you do and is going to kick your ass."



    LORI GREINER: DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND DO IT WELL

    "Find something you love to do, that you are passionate about and also good at. Don't have the goal to be a millionaire. Have the goal to be successful and plan to give it all you've got. Critically important, make sure you are hands-on and the one driving things because no one will care about your business like you do. Be involved in all details and be aggressive at attaining your goals, and know how to pivot when necessary."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Robert Herjavec Lori Greiner Daymond John Kevin O'Leary shark tank hosts judges

    "Shark Tank" investor Lori Greiner estimates that over the course of 17 years, she's created about 500 different products. She owns 120 patents, with more pending.

    And, she says, she "knows no no's."

    In an interview with Daniel DiPiazza of Rich20Something, she discussed the importance of persistence and resilience in successful entrepreneurship.

    The author of "Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!: Make Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality," told DiPiazza:

    "For me, my policy is 'I know no no's.' That's really important."

    "My theory is there is no 'No, I can't do this, this won't happen, this won't work.'"

    "That doesn't exist. It's just,'How can I?' So if you hit an obstacle, go over it, go under it, go around it. Do whatever it takes to get done what you need to get done, because there is always a way."

    And doing whatever it takes might mean trying another approach. Fellow "Shark Tank" investor Mark Cuban wrote in his 2013 book, "How to Win at the Sport of Business," that while it's important for entrepreneurs to accept "no" as an answer, it doesn't mean they should turn tail and go home.

    Business Insider's Richard Feloni explained:

    "In his own entrepreneurial career, Cuban says he's made a habit of giving a standard reply to a no: He'll politely thank the person for considering his product and will then ask what their specific objections were, and why they may have instead gone with a competing product. If he thinks he has a good counter, he'll 'let fly' to see how they react. If he gets another no, he thanks them and moves on."

    "Always remember what I tell myself: 'Every no gets me closer to a yes,'" Cuban wrote in the book. "You have to move on and start communicating with someone you know might buy your product rather than wasting more time with someone you already know won't buy your product/service/idea."

    Watch the full interview on Rich20Something »

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor: 'Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 5 of the most successful 'Shark Tank' stories of all time


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    Kevin O'Leary

    "What does it cost you to be alive?" If you don't know the answer, you could be headed for a financial trainwreck. If not now, probably soon, Kevin O'Leary says.

    When it comes to his own money, the shrewd, sharp-tongued "Shark Tank" star has long managed it meticulously, even when he was a shy kid growing up in Montreal. The young "Mr. Wonderful," now a silver-haired 61, carefully scrimped and saved a percentage of every dollar he accrued, whether earned or gifted. And the multimillionaire mutual funds magnate still does.

    Recently, on the set of "Shark Tank," we asked the frugal finance whiz what he thought the worst money mistakes people make were and how to best avoid them. Here's what he said:

    SEE ALSO: I never thought about saving for retirement until I saw this chart and freaked out

    The mistake: Spending on 'crap' clothing you won't wear

    "Most people buy more crap than they use. This includes men and women alike, especially when it comes to clothes. They love the feeling of clothing shopping, but the truth is, if you actually look at your closet, you probably wear the same 20%, 80% of the time, and the rest of the stuff you bought is wasted."



    The solution: Invest in high-quality clothes and wear them out

    "If you're going to buy clothing or fashion accessories, make it something really good that's going to be timeless, that you're going to spend a lot of money on and spend a lot of time thinking about, and that you're actually going to use. Save your money and put it toward quality items and be very selective. It'll pay off in the long run. I wear the same suit every day. I have 20 of them, so I don't have to worry about my style anymore. I travel with four at a time and I burn them out then I throw them out or give them to charity."



    The mistake: Not knowing your monthly nut

    "What I find so remarkable, and this includes very wealthy people I know, is nobody knows what they're monthly nut is. Whether you're single, married, a single parent, or otherwise, most people don't know what it costs them to live every 30 days, and that's living on the edge."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    barbara corcoran

    When Barbara Corcoran set off on her own after college, moving from New Jersey to New York City to try her hand at selling real estate, she lived off money she didn't have.

    Between bouncing checks and charging purchases she knew she wouldn't be able to pay within the month, she was a terrible spender.

    "By my late 20s, I realized I couldn't afford the things I really desired," Corcoran told Business Insider at a recent event for personal finance resource Zebit.

    "And by my early 30s I realized I had to work like crazy to get what I wanted rather than spending it before I had it."

    Only then was she able to become a Manhattan real estate power player as the head of the Corcoran Group.

    The advice she wished someone had told her in her 20s, she said: Spend even a single week where you only use cash, charging nothing to a credit card.

    "When you put it on a credit card, somehow in that moment it seems like great value, but when you're putting cash out — you have limited cash, what you've earned that week — you're surprised at how quickly you realize how much money you're truly wasting," she explained.

    There's plenty of research that suggests the average person spends more when purchasing something with credit rather than cash, including a study from Dun & Bradstreet that found people spend 12%-18% more on credit.

    Business Insider reporter Kathleen Elkins tried the cash-only experiment in 2015, writing about it after two weeks and ultimately stretching it to a full six months. She found that she was able to be more conscious of her budget than ever before, because there was a more tangible feeling as she handed over her cash or saw it deducted from her checking account.

    The point of going cash-only is to build the muscle memory required to spend only what you can pay off at the end of the month, even if you're using credit cards for their flexibility and benefits.

    "And that's the lesson that I wish somebody had brought to me earlier," Corcoran said.

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Barbara Corcoran says blowing $67,000 was probably the happiest day of her life

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Barbara Corcoran uses 'manterruptions' to beat the other sharks


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    shark tank cast

    I was just reading “Tips on How to Become a Millionaire,” from each of the seven stars of Shark Tank. When you boil it down, you’ll notice four common themes, in descending order of prevalence:

    • Start your own business.
    • Do what you love and are good at.
    • Give it all you’ve got and work your butt off.
    • Don’t think about the money.

    By and large, they're all solid points, except for one. The most important one. The first one. Wait! What? You’re kidding, right? How can such remarkably successful people be wrong about the one thing they most agree on?

    This is how. First, all the Shark Tank stars are cut from the same cloth — they’re all entrepreneurs. That’s their perspective, and as perspectives go, it’s actually pretty darn narrow.

    Second, the show is about startup founders pitching their companies to investors, and its success is based on the entrepreneurship craze du jour. That’s a given and it’s their job to fuel it.

    Nevertheless, I do think the sharks believe in the gospel they preach. Entrepreneurship is their thing. But it’s not the only thing. There are lots of ways to achieve financial success, and for many-if-not-most of you, it doesn’t include running out and starting a business.

    Related: Why Shark Tank's 'Mr. Wonderful' Thinks Women Make Better CEOs

    To be fair, one or two of the seven never mentioned starting a business, so they get a pass. Of those who did, Kevin O’Leary — a brilliant guy who I generally agree with — made a strong case with great clarity:

    "First of all, you’re not going to become a millionaire working for someone else. That’s a highly unlikely outcome, unless it’s an entrepreneurial situation where you’re getting some equity in the company. If you can afford to take a risk and you’re young enough, either start your own company or be involved with one where you’re racking up equity. There’s no other path to becoming a millionaire.”

    Related: Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary Says Married Entrepreneurs Must Do This or Risk Divorce

    While there are threads of truth in what O’Leary says, there are also gaping holes in the argument. The biggest one is that nobody is going to grant you equity until you have the talent and experience to warrant it. The same conditions apply to running a successful business. While I agree that entrepreneurship and equity can bring financial independence, O'Leary sort of skips over how you get there.

    It’s called a "career path'' for a reason. It doesn’t happen all at once. Just as any business has various phases — startup, development, and growth, for example — so does an individual’s career.

    Take mine, for example. O’Leary is right about equity. In my experience, monetary compensation essentially pays the bills but equity is the windfall that launches you into the big leagues. But here’s the thing. It took many years to develop my functional expertise, business acumen, management capability and network before I could land executive positions with significant equity that would pay off. Twelve years, to be exact.

    That first IPO was followed by several senior leadership positions at publicly-traded growth companies, an acquisition by an S&P 500 company and, finally, another IPO.

    But here’s the thing: I’m convinced that none of that would have happened –—I would not have landed a single one of those lucrative gigs — if not for those first dozen years of experience. And I believe that’s true of nearly every one of the hundreds of successful executives and business leaders I’ve known.

    That second phase would last another dozen years before I quit the corporate world and started my own business, but again, without all that senior executive experience, I’d have no distinct expertise or value proposition to offer my management consulting clients. That’s why the third phase of my career has been successful.

    Don’t get hung up on the details of how many years it takes for each phase. That’s different for everyone. As the boilerplate disclaimers always say, your experience may differ, your mileage may vary, yada yada. Just remember, your career is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long, long road with lots of twists and turns along the way.

    Perhaps a better analogy is to think of your career as a rocket ship. If you start out shooting for the stars (financial success) but only have enough fuel (talent and experience) to get a few miles up, you’re just going to fall right back down to Earth. Instead, take your career in stages. First the moon. Then the planets. Then the stars.

    Related: Why Smart People Make Bad Entrepreneurs

    If you’re destined to be the next Mark Zuckerberg … or Kevin O’Leary, fine, go straight to the stars. Be my guest. But I bet the vast majority of you will have a better chance of getting there in stages.

    For more on what it takes to be successful in today's highly competitive business world, get Steve’s new book, "Real Leaders Don’t Follow: Being Extraordinary in the Age of the Entrepreneur," and check out his blog at stevetobak.com.

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' star Kevin O'Leary shares the 4 dumbest money mistakes people make

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Tower Paddle Boards CEO Stephan Aarstol

    Mark Cuban likes to call Tower Paddle Boards, a San Diego-based company that sells stand-up paddleboards, one of his best "Shark Tank" investments ever.

    The company's growth explains why. When Cuban invested $150,000 for 30% of the company in 2011, Tower Paddle Boards just had $260,000 in revenue. This year it expects to hit nearly $10 million in revenue.

    But there's another reason that makes the 11-person startup special: Tower Paddle Boards is super efficient, having achieved that growth by working only five hours a day.

    "Mark's response was positive when I first told him about the 5 hour workday," Tower Paddle Boards CEO Stephan Aarstol tells Business Insider. "He looks at it as, 'OK, it works for your company, but it’s not going to work for everybody."

    Aarstol believes that a shortened workday could motivate employees to work more efficiently. And he is proving to be right through his own company, Tower Paddle Boards, which continues to expand, even after a year of rolling out the five-hour workday. Last year, it was named the fastest-growing private company in San Diego. Aarstol even published a book titled "The Five Hour Workday" this month.

    "Our productivity just went off the charts. We're still growing, and we're still super profitable. There are no downsides," Aarstol says.

    Replacing an outdated standard

    The inspiration for a five-hour workday came from Aarstol's own experience. Having run multiple startups over the past 15 years, Aarstol always felt like eight-hour workdays were an outdated standard.

    He felt like a lot of time was being wasted at work. By forcing people to work fewer hours, he saw employees getting more creative and efficient, all the while achieving the same level of work. 

    "Having that constraint on time forces you to come up with creative solutions. Everybody gets that with money — we’re just applying that to time," he says.

    So last September, after a three-month trial period, Aarstol rolled out a five-hour workday full time to his company. All 11 employees now come in to work at 8 a.m. every day and leave by 1 p.m. And despite shorter store hours, his sales numbers haven't dipped at all, he says.

    Aarstol says the best thing about having a five-hour workday is that it's a great recruitment and retention tool. Employees love it because it allows them to spend more time pursuing other activities. It ends up boosting morale and nurturing more creativity.

    "When you talk about knowledge workers, it’s about managing energy. How much real work gets done in a day?" he argues.

    Aarstol believes his five-hour workday idea should be applied to more companies across the whole country, which is why he published a book about it. It boosts productivity, helps hire smarter people, and creates a healthier lifestyle, he says.

    "This is sort of what kind of life do you want to live question," he says. "It’s a choice. We can create a world where we’re off by 1 p.m. every day. This shift is needed."

    SEE ALSO: This perfect SAT scorer got rejected by the Ivy Leagues, but got on 'Shark Tank' and is now backed by Mark Cuban

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    NOW WATCH: 4 ways to make your workday more productive


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    barbara corcoran

    When Barbara Corcoran sold her real-estate firm for $66 million in 2001, it was Manhattan's second-largest private real-estate company and had given her the reputation as a power player.

    But in the mid- to late-1980s, Corcoran and the Corcoran Group were struggling.

    It's why, she told Business Insider at a recent event for the personal-finance resource Zebit, she felt the money she made in 1991 was burning a hole in her pocket.

    "The best money that I ever spent was my first $67,000 profit ... after I had seven or eight years of absolutely no profit, and barely living hand to mouth myself," she said. "And when I had that $67,000 profit, I did the most intelligent thing anyone could ever do: I blew it. Immediately."

    She bought herself and each of her parents a car — she remembers getting her dad a new Lincoln Continental and her mom a new Mercury Cougar convertible and sending them down to their Florida condo. "And it was probably their happiest and my happiest day in my life," she said.

    While Corcoran now tells the entrepreneurs she invests in through "Shark Tank" to keep a level head and invest their profits back into their growing business, she thinks there are instances in which you can make an exception and use a new stream of cash to "invest in yourself."

    "My advice is when you do make a killing, spend it on something you can look back at, laugh about, and smile about versus being extremely educated and spending it wisely!" she said before laughing. If you're in a position in which you and your business won't be severely hindered if you decide to make a big purchase for your own enjoyment, she said, then you should go for it.

    It's why Corcoran doesn't regret splurging on some new cars back in '91 to raise her spirits and give back to her parents.

    "Invest in the things that have meaning in life, because it's not so much about dollar value. It's more about psychic value," she said. "And believe me, that was probably the happiest money I've ever spent in my life."

    SEE ALSO: Barbara Corcoran shares the best advice she gave 'Shark Tank' entrepreneurs who made $2 million in 3 months

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Barbara Corcoran uses 'manterruptions' to beat the other sharks


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    slyde

    Angela Watts' mother saved $10,000 for her and her fiancé Steve's wedding, but instead of using it to get hitched, they put $8,000 of it into their surfing company, Slyde Handboards, ahead of their "Shark Tank" pitch last June.

    The couple has since been married, and the Watts told Business Insider that since their pitch aired in the latest episode of the show's seventh season, "We haven't been able to keep up with the orders, because they just keep coming in."

    Mark Cuban and guest Shark Ashton Kutcher split a $200,000 investment for a 22% stake in the company, and the deal closed last November.

    Angela Watts told The Orange County Register that the deal changed their lives by easing their struggle to scrape by and allowing them to move operations from their bedroom in Dana Point, California, to a proper office in San Clemente, several miles south.

    In the Tank, the Watts sought $200,000 for 15% equity for their company, which Steve founded in 2010. He grew up bodysurfing in South Africa, and he enjoyed using random flat objects, like fast-food trays, as hand planes to help him gain more control over a wave as he glided across it. It's a practice that's been around for decades, but Watts wanted to create a hand plane with the same careful design companies put into surfboards.

    The average Slyde hand board retails for about $170. Here's one of them in action:

    Watts' future wife, Angela, joined Slyde in 2013 in a role similar to co-CEO, and the two committed full-time to Slyde and invested roughly $40,000 of their own money into the company — their life savings. To get the company rolling, the couple lived off credit-card debt (which they're still paying off) and didn't pay themselves a salary.

    They applied three times to "Shark Tank," and when they finally were accepted, their total sales from 2011 to the first half of 2015 were $356,000, and they expected to end 2015 with $295,000 in annual revenue.

    The numbers were a bit low for the Sharks, but Cuban wasn't worried, because one of his best investments from the show has been Tower Paddle Boards, which is highly profitable and bringing in around $10 million in annual revenue. He considered Slyde Handboards to be a perfect complement to his surfing business.

    Kutcher, whose investments include Uber and Airbnb, said that the surfing space was way out of his element, but he could see himself using the product and saw potential for big sales.

    Kutcher said he'd be happy to join his buddy Cuban in a deal for 25% equity, which the Watts were able to negotiate down to 22% after both Kevin O'Leary and Robert Herjavec made offers. The Watts made a deal with Kutcher and Cuban after considering the value of their talents and networks.

    mark cuban ashton kutcher

    "We could not have asked for better partners," the Watts told us via email. "Both have been incredible in helping us in not only refining our message and brand but helping us focus on the right things to grow the business. Ashton and his team are social media wizards and Ashton himself has some really awesome ideas for the brand and Mark and his team have brought a level of business knowledge to our team that any Fortune 500 company would kill for."

    Since closing their deal last year, the Watts have regularly stayed in touch with Cuban and Kutcher via email, and they have monthly conference calls with Kutcher and his team to discuss strategy.

    Cuban has also hooked Slyde up with Amazon Exclusives to give them continued exposure.

    The Watts said that Kutcher's comment, "This is cool 'cause you're cool," gave them confidence that he and Cuban would respect their brand.

    "The attitude both of them displayed on the show toward keeping to our roots was a huge reason for us choosing them," they said.

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Barbara Corcoran explains why every 20-something should spend a week using only cash

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Robert Herjavec on Ashton Kutcher's ‘Shark Tank' debut


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