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The latest news on Shark Tank from Business Insider

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    At this water slide at Siam Park in Tenerife, Spain, you come face-face with sharks.

    It starts off along the Lazy River and then speeds up all the way to a tunnel where you can see sharks swimming around you.

    Produced by Claudia Romeo. Video courtesy of AmusementForce.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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

    EDITEDmainThink you have the next big idea? It's probably crossed your mind to try your luck on "Shark Tank."

    Over the past eight seasons, hundreds of entrepreneurial hopefuls have used the show to launch their unique product, and many "Shark Tank" success stories have already made millions. 

    But what happens if your big idea is rejected by Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, or Kevin O'Leary? If you're lucky, you could end up making $10 million.

    That's what happened to Jake Epstein and Joe LeMay, founders of the Rocketbook. After forgetting to pack the correct notebook for an important meeting, Lemay wanted a way to access his notes anytime, anywhere. He teamed with Epstein to create a notebook that not only sends all your notes to the cloud, but erases itself when you throw it in the microwave.

    At first glance, Rocketbook looks like any other notebook. It has a tight spiral binding and 80 thin pages to jot and draw on. But when you take pictures of each page through Rocketbook's app, it'll scan, enhance, and send your pages to your intended digital destination. With seven icons pre-printed on the footer of each page, you can choose where your notes are sent, whether it's Dropbox, Google Drive, or your inbox.

    Anyone who takes notes by hand knows those stacks of used journals can get expensive. Instead of spending a small fortune on disposable notebooks, pick up Rocketbook's Wave journal and a batch of Pilot's Frixion Pens. Combined with Rocketbook's fine-grain pages, this ink becomes clear when exposed to heat, so you can use your notebook several times without losing your notes.

    FS_amazon

    Though "Shark Tank's" investors passed on the company's big idea earlier this month, Rocketbook seems to be doing just fine on its own. Not only did the company's first model, the Wave, make over $1.2 million on Indiegogo, it was Amazon's best-selling notebook in November 2016.

    The Everlast, which uses water to erase your notes, made over $4 million dollars through its Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns — and that's before it's even hit the market. According to the company, Rocketbook has shipped over 50,000 journals and made $10 million in revenue.

    With over 300 5-star ratings on Amazon, it seems to be worth the hype:

    "I use this product on a daily basis and it's already made my life easier," one user said. "I work with five other engineers in my office and now we are all using them. If you rely on note taking in your daily life I highly recommend this revolutionary notebook."

    "This is an amazing solution to my problem of keeping track of my notes from meetings, etc.," another said. "With this notebook and the Rocket System, I can instantly digitize and organize my notes online. I can then access them from anywhere. Simple and effective. Brilliant!"

    Admittedly, there are some kinks that still need to be worked out. For example, one reviewer said some ink colors don't show up when you scan the pages. But if you want to find an easy way to organize your notes without ditching the pen and paper, Rocketbook might be the solution.

    Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook, $27

    SEE ALSO: 20 perfect gifts for new college graduates

    DON'T MISS: There’s a reason this sponge is the most successful 'Shark Tank' product to date

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    kevin oleary shark tank

    Editor's note: We asked noted entrepreneurs to reflect on what they wish they'd known starting out. Kevin O'Leary is most well-known as an entrepreneur and celebrity investor on Shark Tank.

    O'Leary launched SoftKey Software Products from his basement in 1983. When sales took off, he started to buy out his competitors, including Mindscape and the Learning Company. In 1999, he sold SoftKey to Mattel Toy Company for $3.7 billion. It was one of the largest deals ever in the consumer software industry.

    Shortly after, he started O'Leary Funds, a mutual fund company, and has since launched O'Leary Fine Wines and the O'Leary Financial Group. While he's got plenty of projects to stay busy, O'Leary is still an active shark on Shark Tank, the ABC hit show that earned him the nickname "Mr. Wonderful."

    Here, O'Leary reflects on his failures and triumphs — and what he wishes he knew if he could start it all over again.

    What's the most important lesson you've learned about being an entrepreneur?

    You have to listen to that inner intuition. My biggest mistakes were ones where my gut said "no" but I just said, "screw it, I'm going to do it"— and I lost millions. But every time I've listened to my intuition, it's been right. And when I've ignored it, it's been very painful.

    [Intuition] is a gift entrepreneurs have, and they have to listen to it. You can get advice from mentors, but at the end of the day, it's your call. You have to listen, and if you don't hear it, your compass is off and you have to find that mojo again.

    You go through many hardships as an entrepreneur. Which ones were the hardest, and taught you the most?

    There are also interpersonal lessons in life. I was an operator at many of the companies I worked in — particularly ones I started with college friends. As those companies grew, I had to make changes and break up long-term friendships for the sake of efficiency.

    The business always comes first, and I've had to make tough calls. I've breached some very long-term relationships, but that's just the way it is. I've fired friends — you will do that in your life if you're an entrepreneur. That day will come, and if you can't do it, you're not fit to be a leader.

    What was the best advice you received in your early years?

    I had a mentor who once said that in life you're going to face some incredibly tough days with really difficult challenges. And when those days hit, he said, you must stay focused on the original objective of the business. So even if something horrific just happened, it's just noise. Don't listen to that noise.

    I've always, always remembered that. There's a tremendous amount of noise in today's world — constantly barraging you — and great entrepreneurs can filter all that out of the equation. And you have to be able to focus and find a way to achieve your objectives for that day, that week, that quarter, even as noise comes piling into the equation. You have to learn to live with that ebb and flow, good and bad news as it cycles through.

    What hurts entrepreneurs the most?

    Here's the one I find that really hurts entrepreneurs a lot: They don't know their numbers, which is the language of business. If you don't know your numbers, you better have somebody with you who does. You're going to have to know the answers to questions like what are your gross margins, how many competitors do you have, how fast is the market growing, is there an international market? People want to know that you understand the business you're in, and the market you're competing in.

    How should young entrepreneurs educate themselves?

    The best thing you can do is go work for somebody else for 24 months in a field you really enjoy. Go see how it works. I worked for the network shooting sports television all across the East Coast for three years before I got into the software business, but I was definitely learning working for some giant companies.

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' guest judge Chris Sacca has retired from startup investing — here's the investment approach he used to become a billionaire

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Marine Corps is testing a machine gun-wielding robot controlled with just a tablet and a joystick


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    DB4jTiqWsAA14uZ

    Apple's first original TV show, "Planet of Apps,"premiered its first episode this week.

    The show is essentially "Shark Tank" for app developers. They pitch their ideas to a roster of celebrity judges with the end goal of raising money from VC firm Lightspeed Ventures.

    Reviews of the first episode have been far from flattering, and now the show is in hot water for running a promotion on Friday featuring one of its contestants, Andrew Kemendo, that says he barely sees his kids because of his app development.

    "For the ultimate reward, he'll put everything on the line," the official "Planet of the Apps" Twitter account wrote on Friday. The "reward" that's referenced is a potential investment of a few million dollars by Lightspeed Ventures, the first investor in Snapchat.

    The founder and CEO of work chat tool Basecamp, Jason Fried, screenshotted the tweet before it was deleted from the "Planet of the Apps" account:

    Others joined in criticizing the ad:

    We've reached out to Apple for comment to confirm that the ad has been pulled.

    SEE ALSO: Apple's first foray into making a TV show is an unintentionally comical train wreck

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here are all the major changes coming to your iPhone


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    Barbara Corcoran Entrepreneurs  7

    Barbara Corcoran has turned the founders of her favorite "Shark Tank" investments into a family of entrepreneurs.

    For the past four years, Corcoran has assembled a group of her most profitable entrepreneurs, along with the most promising founders from the most recent season of the show, for a three-day retreat at one of her homes. The group changes each year.

    During this time, they all share best practices, give updates on successes and failures of the past year, and get to know each other better.

    This June, she brought the founders of five companies to New York City, ending the retreat at a New York Yankees game. The founders, with custom "Barbara's All-Stars" Yankees shirts, got to enjoy the game from a box suite overlooking home plate.

    We met up with them to discuss the best business lessons they've learned from Corcoran.

    SEE ALSO: The 'small business owners of the year' share their best advice for entrepreneurs

    Daisy Cakes founder Kim Nelson learned that there's no time to feel sorry for yourself when things go wrong.

    Kim Nelson is the veteran of Corcoran's all-stars, having made a deal with her in Season 2, back in 2010. Corcoran invested $50,000 for 25% equity in Daisy Cakes, and the South Carolina-based online cake company grew rapidly. Last year it brought in $5.2 million in revenue, at a profit.

    Nelson said that Corcoran taught her the importance of knowing when to keep her emotions from impacting her decisions and, in turn, hurting the business.

    In 2013, Corcoran secured an update segment for Daisy Cakes on an episode of "Shark Tank"— the investors compete for the update spots because each appearance drives sales. After the Daisy Cakes update aired, one of Nelson's employees was unavailable to take orders, and it had a significant negative impact on the segment's potential success. It was also just one of many mistakes this employee had been making.

    Corcoran was furious and told Nelson she needed to fire this employee immediately. Nelson began crying, because even though this employee had failed her, she considered her a friend.

    "It's OK to cry," Corcoran told Nelson. "You've got five minutes. Step outside, get your cry, get it over with, and get back inside and get your ass back to work."

    Nelson said she's carried the lesson with her: "If something doesn't go right or how you wanted it to, get back up, dust yourself off, and go back after something else. Don't sit around having a pity party, feeling sorry for yourself."



    Grace and Lace founders Rick and Melissa Hinnant learned how to expand their team.

    The husband-and-wife team of Rick and Melissa Hinnant gave 10% of Grace and Lace to Corcoran in exchange for a $175,000 investment in Season 5, in late 2013. The women's apparel company has made $25 million in total sales since its appearance on "Shark Tank," and the Hinnants expect sales to be over $10 million this year, at a profit.

    Melissa is the visionary behind Grace and Lace, and during the summer of 2015 she was overwhelmed with the growth of business, to the point of "almost having a breakdown." Corcoran told her and Rick that the problem was that the company was too big for Melissa to be individually designing every product, micromanaging operations.

    Melissa said that she had been unwilling to share some of her responsibilities sooner because she believed it would be handing over her business, which would inevitably transform the company for the worse.

    Corcoran reframed the idea of hiring a team to share some of Melissa's burden as "empowering" and helping to grow her vision rather than "handing it over."

    Rick added that Corcoran told them that when they went to build this design team, they needed to focus less on résumés and more on who Melissa connected with. "Just get good people around Melissa and it'll take care of itself," Rick said Corcoran told them. "And it's totally done that."



    Pipsnacks founders Jeff and Jen Martin learned the importance of timing.

    Sibling entrepreneurs Jeff and Jen Martin made a $200,000 deal with Corcoran in Season 6, in 2014, for 10% of their New York-based Pipsnacks. Since then, they've landed a deal with Whole Foods that got their line of gourmet popcorn into every Whole Foods location in the US, and they're expecting sales this year to be around $5 million, at a profit.

    Jen said that Corcoran taught them the importance on staying focused on where they excel, and told them to "figure out how you can dig deeper in that" rather than expanding beyond their strengths. Jeff added that Corcoran has stressed that there's a right time for everything, and that they need to be disciplined about how they grow the company.

    For example, the Martins said, they added three new flavors of Pipcorn this year because they felt they had sufficiently used their core offering to build brand awareness, and Whole Foods was ready to increase the product's presence in its stores. Jen and Jeff said they have plenty of ideas always ready to implement, but that releasing a product at the wrong time could be a disaster.

    Jeff said Corcoran helped them realize that growth is "cyclical," and that when they finally feel comfortable with the scope of the business, it's time to readjust, that, "it's always coming back to square one where you can see what's happening everywhere and adjust, and then find out when you should grow again."



    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 get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    FS

    Fishing out loose change, your phone, or whatever else that's small enough to fall between car seats is annoying and, if you're driving, could lead to an accident. 

    The Drop Shop is a simple product that could solve this problem once and for all.

    Made from a neoprene material that can be squished or stretched to fit virtually any vehicle, the Drop Stop fills the gap between your car's center console and seat, catching things before they reach the floor. 

    The Drop Shop has openings to fit over your seat belt catch, which makes it easy to get into place. Once installed, you won't have to fuss with it again.

    In 2013, "Shark Tank" judge Lori Greiner offered the company $300,000 for 20% of the company on the show. Since then, it's made over $1 million in gross sales, and it's considered one of the biggest "Shark Tank" success stories to date. It has over 2,600 five-star ratings on Amazon, too.

    "I have to admit, my expectations weren't very high," one reviewer said. "Little did I realize it would be one of my most favorite gadgets ever! I don't know if I realized just how many things went missing in my seat gap. It has really saved a lot of things from disappearing into that black hole. It was easy enough to fit into my car, and it's soft. It's just like an extension of my seat, except it fits every curve of my seat. There really isn't another product that compares to this."

    A product that will make your time spent driving easier, safer, and more comfortable? If you spend a lot of time in the car, it's kind of a no-brainer.

    Drop Stop, $19.99

    DON'T MISS: This simple piece of tech can drastically improve your driving experience

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Entrepreneur, Barbara Corcoran Shark Tank

    Barbara Corcoran got straight D's in high school and college, and held 20 jobs before the age of 23. In 1973, she borrowed $1,000 from her then-boyfriend to start a real-estate empire.

    She kept her business alive through the stock market crash of 1987 by mortgaging her country home, selling her one-bedroom co-op, and teaching real estate courses at New York University.

    Corcoran eventually sold her company to the real estate behemoth NRT for $66 million in September 2001 — two days before the terrorist attacks. In 2009, she first appeared on ABC's Shark Tank, where she continues to make deals with entrepreneurs.

    Here, the real-estate mogul and celebrity investor reflects on the skills and lessons she wishes she knew as a young entrepreneur.

    On the importance of staying the course...

    "Staying in the game no matter what crap is hitting you against the head. I learned that if you hang around after your worst failures, there's always a prize for you. A lot of people — and I've invested in a lot of entrepreneurs — make the mistake of thinking, 'this is just terrible.' But something good always comes if you're just there to catch it.

    "When you think you're failing, you feel like people are watching you. I learned to be very free of that concern early on because I found that nobody is watching, nobody gives a damn, and all they care about is themselves. That's the truth in business. Once you're free of that, it's a great opportunity to let that go and keep doing what you're doing."

    On discovering what you do well — and truly sticking to it...

    "I would always give someone advice along the lines of play up what you do well versus a criticism of what you're not doing well. If you focus too much on what you think your strengths are and do more of that, it always works because people always do well at what they naturally do well versus trying to be everything to everybody.

    "Nobody is Superman or Superwoman. Everybody has a certain skill set that they excel at and it usually matches their personality. So I think figuring out your personality and what you do well and sticking with that is really important."

    On looking fear in the face and taking the leap...

    "The hardest lesson you always learn, I think, is that you're more capable then you think you are. It's when you shy away from stuff because you think you can't do it, or that the results are going to be likely bad. If you've got that dream in your head, you better go for it before you have the wife, three kids and a mortgage. Or the husband, who's finding himself and even without kids, life gets in the way. So the rush to go and do it when you're young is very important. Because you have the great advantage of being young of having no fear."

    On the dangers of negative self-talk...

    "Try not to listen to the negative self-talk inside your head. You're going to get that from the outside, your competitors are going to beat you up and spit you out. That's the real poison I battled with it early. My negative self-talk was saying things like, "you shouldn't have done that," or "they're making fun of you," or "you don't belong here."

    "That kind of stuff is like a leak in your gas tank. I've learned to replace it with a new thing, my little tape goes like, 'Screw you, I'm going to be rich, I have just as much right to be here as the old boys sitting here. I could be your competitor and beat you too. I start when I feel myself being like Alice in Wonderland sliding down that little rabbit hole with the self-talk."

    On the one piece of advice that would have inspired her early on...

    "It would have been helpful for me to see that there were a lot of people successful in life that couldn't read, couldn't write... and yet, many of them were billionaires. I had to discover that little by little as I built my own world successfully. It would have been useful to see that you don't define someone's intelligence as we do in a school system. It's a cruel thing that sadly makes so many kids feel like they'll never be successful."

    SEE ALSO: 5 key financial steps to take in the first 6 months after graduation

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran shares her keys to making a good first impression


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    barbara corcoran cousins maine lobster

    When Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac appeared on the fourth season of "Shark Tank" in 2012, they had been in business for two months.

    Their Cousins Maine Lobster food truck, which brought a taste of Maine to California, had a promising start, but was still largely unproven.

    The cousins, however, had prepared so well and had such a solid business plan that Barbara Corcoran invested $55,000 for 15% of the company. Today it's one of the most successful "Shark Tank" companies. Cousins Maine Lobster now has 26 food trucks in 13 states, a restaurant in West Hollywood with up to 10 more on the way, and an online business. Tselikis said they are expecting revenues of just under $20 million in 2017, at a profit.

    Because Corcoran took a decent chunk of the company when it was barely off the ground — the only prior funding was Tselikis and Lomac's personal $20,000 each — she became a business partner along for the whole ride.

    Business Insider recently spoke with Corcoran and Tselikis on the last day of Corcoran's annual retreat with a selection of her favorite "Shark Tank" entrepreneurs, at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Tselikis told Business Insider that Corcoran is constantly giving them great advice, but that perhaps the best she's given came during their first year in business: "Everything that comes your way isn't a good opportunity."

    The episode where they appeared aired in October 2012 and they received an onslaught of offers.

    "When you come out of 'Shark Tank,' or you have some notoriety or exposure, there's a million things that come your way, from people that want to save you on shipping or insurance, or they want to build your trucks, or they want to do your logo and branding, or marketing, or website," Tselikis said. "But you start taking those things on and you forget the focus of your business."

    Corcoran was there to temper their excitement and remind them why she invested them in the first place: She trusted their competency, not that of outsiders, and she thought they had a food truck concept.

    Tselikis said he and Lomac internalized that advice, and it's still relevant.

    "Establish yourself for what you do," Tselikis said he learned. "Do it well and do it really well until no one else can do it better."

    SEE ALSO: Barbara Corcoran's favorite 'Shark Tank' entrepreneurs share the best advice she's given them

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran shares her keys to making a good first impression


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    Barbara Corcoran Entrepreneurs  8

    Getting a deal with a "Shark Tank" investor can be an opportunity of a lifetime, but the flood of attention that comes after an episode premieres serves as a test for whether entrepreneurs can perform under pressure.

    Through eight seasons of the series, Barbara Corcoran has assembled a portfolio of small businesses, and she's made the founders of her highest-performing into a kind of family.

    For the past four years, Corcoran has assembled a group of her most profitable entrepreneurs, along with the most promising founders from the most recent season of the show, for a three-day retreat at one of her homes. The group changes each year.

    During this time, they all share best practices, give updates on successes and failures of the past year, and get to know each other better.

    She brought the founders of five companies to New York City this June, ending the retreat at a New York Yankees game. The founders, with custom "Barbara's All-Stars" Yankees shirts, got to enjoy the game from a box suite overlooking home plate.

    We met up with them and asked them to share their best advice to fellow entrepreneurs.

    SEE ALSO: Barbara Corcoran's favorite 'Shark Tank' entrepreneurs share the best advice she's given them

    Sometimes you need to take a breath and slow down.

    The husband-and-wife team of Rick and Melissa Hinnant gave 10% of Grace and Lace to Corcoran in exchange for a $175,000 investment in Season 5, in late 2013. The women's apparel company has made $25 million in total sales since its appearance on "Shark Tank," and the Hinnants expect sales to be over $10 million this year, at a profit.

    Melissa is the visionary behind Grace and Lace, and while it's her first business, Rick is a serial entrepreneur and has been able to lend his experience.

    He said that the advice he most often gives is to remember building a company is a "process," and that success doesn't happen in an instant.

    "I think so many people can get in and try to hurry the process and try to not make mistakes, and that is an enormous mistake," he said. Trying to be a perfectionist, or doing too many things at once, "stifles the business."

    He said that trying to do too much too soon often leads to taking unnecessarily large risks that can sink the whole business. "Take the little baby steps, learn along the way, and you'll be good to go," he said.



    You can't beat yourself up.

    Sisters Shelly Hyde and Kara Haught made a deal with Corcoran last year, in Season 8. Corcoran gave them $100,000 to become an equal business partner, with a full 50% equity in their women's swimwear business Raising Wild. They've sold $400,000 of products since their segment aired last October.

    As the rookies of Corcoran's all-stars, they're fairly new entrepreneurs themselves. But they said that they've realized they need to remain confident and not be hard on themselves.

    "Even coming here is so intimidating," Hyde said, referring to the retreat with more seasoned founders, but adding that she and Haught don't let themselves get crippled by fear.

    "As an early stage entrepreneur you've got to stay confident and really define what you're doing this for," Haught said.

    "It's remembering that there's a purpose behind it. And not forgetting that you had a problem and you're trying to solve it. So you just have to keep on going."



    It's important to maintain an open mind in order to grow.

    Kim Nelson is the veteran of Corcoran's all-stars, having made a deal with her in Season 2, back in 2010. Corcoran invested $50,000 for 25% equity in Daisy Cakes, and the South Carolina-based online cake company grew rapidly. Last year it brought in $5.2 million in revenue, at a profit.

    Nelson said her best advice is to keep an open mind. Corcoran warns her entrepreneurs of, as her fellow Shark Mark Cuban puts it, "drowning in opportunity," so that they do not lose focus of what their company's strengths are — but Nelson said it's important to balance that with careful risk taking or even personal growth.

    She recently jumped on an opportunity to take public speaking lessons, for example, and said "the list is a mile long" of similar decisions that opened doors to more opportunities.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Barbara Corcoran Entrepreneurs  3

    Barbara Corcoran has built a large portfolio of startups over eight seasons of "Shark Tank," but she's very selective about those with whom she spends most of her time.

    Shortly after closing a $200,000 deal for 10% equity with sibling entrepreneurs Jeff and Jen Martin, founders of Pipsnacks, Corcoran decided they were going to be worth her energy.

    Since then, they've landed a deal with Whole Foods that got their line of gourmet popcorn into every Whole Foods location in the US, and they're expecting sales this year to be around $5 million, at a profit.

    We met the Martins on the final day of Corcoran's recent "all-star retreat," where she invited five of her favorite "Shark Tank" companies to New York to share ideas and get to know each other.

    They each shared their best advice to entrepreneurs.

    Know your business.

    Jeff's advice to new entrepreneurs is to use the nascent stage of their business to learn how everything works. "Roll up your sleeves, and like for us, pop the popcorn for a little bit," he said. "Work on the line boxing and shipping, receiving, pull up the financials and look at it."

    Micromanaging can be a disaster for a mature company, and Jeff recognizes that. But he said he's found that a deep knowledge of how your young company operates is what can get you to the point where your business is growing enough that you can start building your team.

    "We've had some friends that have outsourced everything from day one, and it's always a challenge because when stuff hits the fan, it's like, 'I have no idea how that even works,'" he said.

    Know yourself.

    Jen's advice happened to be about advice itself: Seek out insights from entrepreneurs who have already faced the trials you're currently going through, but ultimately answer to yourself. Be open to advice, but don't rely on it.

    "Ask questions, see what people say," she said. "But I think that you also should very much have to believe it yourself and know where your passion is."

    Advice can help guide you on your journey, but when things get difficult, you're only going to survive if you trust in your own abilities and vision.

    SEE ALSO: Barbara Corcoran's favorite 'Shark Tank' entrepreneurs share their best business advice

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran shares her keys to making a good first impression


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    Chris Sacca Twitter

    A judge from ABC's 'Shark Tank' published a cryptic apology hours before an explosive New York Times article reported he had inappropriately touched a female entrepreneur.

    Chris Sacca—who retired from startup investing as well as his role on "Shark Tank" in April— wrote Thursday that he "personally contributed" to making the tech industry "inhospitable for women."

    Sacca posted the apology note after he was contacted by the Times about female entrepreneur Susan Wu's accusation that he had touched her face without her permission at a tech event in 2009, the paper reported.

    Sacca and ABC, which broadcasts "Shark Tank," did not respond to requests from Business Insider for comment. 

    Wu, who is also an investor, told The Times that when Sacca touched her face, it made her feel uncomfortable. She also said she was propositioned in 2010 by Justin Caldbeck, the founder of Binary Capital, who has been accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment. 

    "There is such a massive imbalance of power that women in the industry often end up in distressing situations,” Wu told the Times, in response to her experiences.

    Sacca did not dispute Wu's account of his behavior, according to the Times. He also didn't specifically discuss it in his apology.

    He did, however, tell the Times in a statement that he was “grateful to Susan and the other brave women sharing their stories. I’m confident the result of their courage will be long-overdue, lasting change.”

    And in his post, Sacca apologized in a general fashion for behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable: 

    "Particularly when reflecting upon my early years in Silicon Valley, there is no doubt I said and did things that made some women feel awkward, unwelcome, insecure, and/or discouraged. In social settings, under the guise of joking, being collegial, flirting, or having a good time, I undoubtedly caused some women to question themselves, retreat, feel alone, and worry they can’t be their authentic selves. By stupidly perpetuating a culture rife with busting chops, teasing, and peer pressure to go out drinking, I made some women feel self-conscious, anxious, and fear they might not be taken seriously."

     

    Sacca was just one of several tech investors named by the Times in its article for behaving inappropriately toward women in the industry. In the wake of the article, 500 Startups announced that Dave McClure, its co-founder who was also named in the story, has stepped down from running the firm's day-to-day operations. 

    The Times piece comes amid heightened attention to gender inequality and sexual harassment in the tech industry. Earlier in June, Travis Kalanick resigned as position as Uber's CEO after an investigation into the company's culture revealed multiple cases of sexual harassment at the company.

    SEE ALSO: The head of one of San Francisco's most famous startup farms is no longer running his firm after being accused of sexual harassment

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how Google Maps knows when there is traffic


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    kevin oleary pinblock shark tank abc

    "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary likes to invest in companies run by women.

    Over nearly a decade of putting his money behind small companies through Shark Tank "not some of my returns, all of my returns, have come from the ones run by women or owned by women,"he told CNBC.

    This isn't new for O'Leary. In 2015, when he was invested in 27 companies, he told Business Insider, "I don't have a single company run by a man right now that's outperformed the ones run by women."

    In a video published by Inc, O'Leary told the crowd at Inc's GrowCo conference about why he thinks this is.

    "I have a theory about this," he said. This theory has two parts:

    1. Women are better at time management. 

    Here's O'Leary:

    "If you look at the transition of a company from a startup to $5 million, then $10 million, then $25 million, then $50 million, there's different skill sets required there. But I believe the reason that women are more successful in many outcomes is that their time-management skills are better than men. There's an old adage: 'If you want something done, give it to a busy woman.' There's a lot of truth to that in a private, small company, because they're allocating their and their employees' time."

    2. Women set more attainable goals.

    Here's O'Leary again:

    "Guys tend to set goals that are very hard to achieve, outlier goals, and when they're achieved it's a huge success, they feel great, but they don't mind getting 50% of the way there. But what they don't realize is happening within a small business is that when you don't achieve your goals consistently, morale starts to slump and you get higher employee turnover.

    "Women set goals that are achievable —they get achieved 80%, 90%, 95% of the time, company morale goes up, and there's a really sticky culture developing. So employee turnover is less. These are really interesting attributes, and when you have less turnover of employees, productivity goes up and basically, your use of capital, your return on assets, goes higher, and the outcomes are better."

    O'Leary is adamant that he's not out to start "gender warfare"— "I would give money to a goat if I get a good return," he's said repeatedly — but his conclusion is, he told the audience at GrowCo, "the outcomes have been very, very good on these women-run businesses because they know what they're doing with time, and goal-setting, and these things matter in micro-communities where culture is a big deal."

    Watch the full video on Inc »

    SEE ALSO: Deloitte has decided diversity groups for minority employees are a relic of the past

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran shares her keys to making a good first impression


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    mo's bows mo bridges

    When asked how his deal with the NBA came about, Mo's Bows' 15-year-old founder and CEO Moziah Bridges told Business Insider that the league learned about him and "they decided I was a cool guy who makes cool ties."

    Bridges, who runs his Memphis-based tie company with his mom Tramica Morris, inked a seven-figure, one-year licensing deal with the NBA in May to produce bow ties for all 30 professional basketball teams.

    It marks a new chapter for Bridges and Morris, who were introduced to millions of viewers when they appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2013. Bridges told the story of how he decided that he wanted to start making his own bow ties. He'd had a dapper sense of style and love of fashion for as long as he could remember, and his grandmother, a retired seamstress, taught him how to cut and sew fabric. Soon, his mom helped him build a business around his creations.

    Kevin O'Leary made an offer, but Daymond John, who had declined to make an offer, said he would agree to be Bridges' mentor for free as long as he didn't take O'Leary's deal. John explained that he identified with Bridges, as a fellow son of a single mom who worked with her to build a clothing business, FUBU, out of their house. He told Bridges it was in his and Morris' best interest to avoid giving up an ownership stake in their business at its size.

    Bridges took up John on his deal, and John made good on his promise. Any time Bridges and Morris come to New York City, John invites them to his office or get lunch with them.

    "He gives me great advice," Bridges said. "Just to always stay humble and always stay true to my brand. And always, most importantly, take care of my mom."

    From the business' launch, Bridges has been the visionary and lead designer of Mo's Bows, He was nine when he started the company, so his mom handled the numbers and operations. But as Bridges has grown, Morriss has incorporated him into her decision-making.

    It's both a crash course in business as much as it is a lesson in growing up.

    "I brought him more into the process, so that means when I sit down and do the books, I show him everything that's coming in and what's going out," Morris said. "He's able to understand at that point why he can't get a $300 pair of shoes. We'll budget."

    mos bowsBridges primarily sketches designs and works with an in-house graphic designer to refine them.

    Since 2011, Mo's Bows has brought in $600,000 in sales, a three-fold increase since the last "Shark Tank" update in early 2015. The company now has seven full-time employees in addition to Bridges and Morris, and the company's ties are hand-made in Memphis.

    Morris said that at this point she and Bridges are working on acquiring more licensing deals on the scale of its collaboration with the NBA, as well as developing Bridges as a business leader.

    Bridges gave his first speech back in 2011, but in the past year has gone on a full-blown public speaking circuit, focusing on inspiring other kids to become entrepreneurs. He's given speeches around the US and gave his first speech abroad last year, in Germany. He has one in Spain coming up in September.

    And, inspired by what John taught him about giving back, he's developed a philanthropic side to Mo's Bows. Each year he creates a bow tie where all proceeds go toward a charity, and he and Morris recently finalized a deal with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    Bridges is planning on having a complete fashion line by the time he's 20 years old, and wants to attend the Parsons School of Design in New York City. He's already begun adding new clothing and apparel to Mo's Bows, including neck ties, pocket squares, T-shirts, and hats.

    His goal is to follow the path of his mentor Daymond John. Bridges said that he keeps in mind John's advice to be humble, but he also has a healthy level of confidence that he'll be able to make his vision a reality. "I just want to be powerful in the fashion industry, and I want to create clothes that aren't typical," he said.

    SEE ALSO: The 3 exercises '4-hour Workweek' author Tim Ferriss used to prepare for his viral TED Talk work for everything from a presentation to a test

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what Daymond John has learned from 8 years of investing on 'Shark Tank'


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    LinkedIn Influencer Robert Herjavec published this post originally on LinkedIn.

    Most people don't realize how important selling is — unless your paycheck depends on it!

    Every time I mention selling, I always hear, "It's not for me", "You have to have knack for sales", or ;"I just can't do sales" — but this can't be farther from the truth.

    Salespeople aren't the only ones selling something. In my latest book, "You Don't Have to Be a Shark," the premise is simple: Great salespeople are made, not born, and no one achieves success in life without knowing how to sell.

    Think of the last time you convinced your kids to finish their vegetables or convinced your parents to let you borrow the car for the weekend — believe or not, you're selling something! On Shark Tank, entrepreneurs have to sell themselves just as much as their business because we invest in them

    Regardless of what you're selling, it's easier than most people think. Just keep the following 5 tips in mind…

    1. The first thing you're selling is yourself.

    Forget about the product or service. If whoever you're selling to doesn't like you, they're not going to listen to you. Make sure you know the product and present yourself well.

    Be the salesperson you'd buy something from. 

    2. Listen more than you talk.

    Bad salespeople can't get over how amazing their product is — they go on and on about it! But good salespeople listen to what their clients are saying. They pay attention to the clients' needs from the start and present accordingly. 

    3. Know who to sell to.

    If you're selling a widget that costs $50K, don't try to sell it to the guy whose widget budget is $2k. A common mistake salespeople make is trying to sell to anyone and everyone. Make sure whatever you're selling fulfills your potential client's needs and is realistic for them. You're much likely to get that sale! 

    4. Understand what motivates the other side.

    Why should people care about what you're selling? How is your product or service providing value to them? Pay attention to what's driving your potential client to take your meeting in the first place and address that in your pitch. 

    5. Keep it simple.

    Don't overcomplicate your pitch just because you want to sound more knowledgeable. The mark of true knowledge in anything is how well you can explain to the average person. Keep your pitch simple and under 30 seconds — practice your elevator pitch! 

    The key to selling successfully is to think about the person you're selling to. Make your approach about their needs and think about how they'll feel after the pitch/meeting. There is no such thing as a "natural-born salesperson." Take it from me — anyone can learn to be good at sales, including you!

    To your success,
    RH

    "You Don't Have to Be a Shark" is filled with personal anecdotes and life lessons you might have learned in business school (or at least you think you might have). By drawing from my own life experiences, I will teach you how to use pure sales techniques to be more successful in every aspect of your life. My philosophy is simple: Great salespeople are made, not born, and no one achieves success in life without knowing how to sell. You Don't Have to Be a Shark will teach you all that and more. Available now! Order your copy today

    SEE ALSO: 9 entrepreneurs on how to stay positive when everything seems to be going wrong

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran shares her keys to making a good first impression


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    red jacket

    Rohan Oza was dubbed Hollywood's "brandfather" by The Hollywood Reporter in 2015, but his high-profile marketing deals with celebrities have only escalated since then. 

    After cutting his teeth scaling up brands like Sprite and Powerade for Coca-Cola in the early 2000s, Oza made a name for himself when he left the company and matched rapper 50 Cent with Vitamin Water for an endorsement deal. The drink saw a prodigious spike in sales as a result, and in 2007, Oza's former employer, Coca-Cola, acquired Vitamin Water from Glacéau for $4.2 billion.

    Oza found similar success in 2016 when he brought on Justin Timberlake as an investor and partner in the sparkling, antioxidant drink Bai. Dr Pepper Snapple Group subsequently purchased Bai Brands for $1.7 billion.

    Now, Oza is bringing his brand innovation and knowledge to the stage of ABC's "Shark Tank." He stars as a guest "shark" in the season premiere of the investment reality show, which airs Sunday at 8pm EST. 

    Business Insider talked to Oza about his celebrity deals, the shifting necessity of business school, and his desire to "help create the first billion dollar brand" on "Shark Tank." 

    John Lynch: Walk me through your experience on "Shark Tank." With your specific expertise, what were you able to bring to the table, or dais, as it were?

    rohan oza shark tank abcRohan Oza: Look, I love "Shark Tank." The experience was amazing. I feel that America is one of the greatest countries in the world to be an entrepreneur, and what "Shark Tank" does is it taps into and fuels that entrepreneurial spirit. So, I loved the energy that came from funding people's dreams and building iconic brands. The difference that I could bring was that my expertise in food and beverage doesn't exist currently on the panel. And that's a trillion dollar industry that's getting disrupted because most of the things on the shelves today are bad for you, and millennials are all looking for products that are better for you. So the opportunity to disrupt the aisles, both in stores and online, in food and beverage is huge, and I want to help create the first billion dollar brand on "Shark Tank."

    Lynch: Your most recent success was the billion-dollar sale of Bai. How did you get Justin Timberlake involved in that drink, and how crucial was he in the sale of it?

    Oza: My business partner Ben and I were huge fans of Justin. When we met with him, he completely understood the vision of the brand, the mission, and actually became an owner in the company. He wasn't an endorser. He was an owner. He fought like an owner. He provided ideas and creativity like an owner, and because he believed in the mission of the company, he became a partner in the company. And that to me is the key: partnering with smart celebrities who want to be an owner in unique and differentiated companies.

    Lynch:You set the blueprint for this, in a way, by bringing 50 Cent to Vitamin Water. What made that the right connection at that time?

    50 centOza: At the time, Vitamin Water was a great product. It had real levels of vitamins, half the sugar of sodas and juices, cool packaging. But it was very medicinal. And people were like, "Woah, vitamins and water. That can't taste that great." So we needed to create some disruption. 50 was one of the most iconic musicians at the time, and he was very health-conscious and fitness-centric. I had a candid conversation where I said, "I don't have the money to pay you," and he said, "Don't worry. I'll take it in equity because I believe in the brand, and I believe in myself." And that became the construct of the equity model that everybody wants to do today.

    Lynch: To what extent did your experience working at Coke fuel your interest in these healthier alternative beverages?

    Oza: My experience at Coca-Cola was great, in that it helped me learn how to build brands. But a lot of the brands that I was on at Coca-Cola were already established, so I was growing established brands. I learned that Coca-Cola can take brands that are really good and scale them, but they have a tough time creating brands from scratch. So I basically carved out a living working with founders to build the brands of tomorrow, that ultimately, the Cokes, and the Pepsi's, and the General Mills of the world end up buying, because it's very difficult for them to create it internally. 

    Lynch: Generally speaking, how do you decide which celebrities to pursue for the brands you're involved with?

    Oza: A lot of the time, I brainstorm with my team which celebrities have the best DNA fit to your brand. And then, we make sure the celebrities are big fans of the brand. So with Jennifer Aniston [for her endorsement deal with Smartwater], it actually happened during March Madness. I brought all of the women in the office together because they are generally more insightful than the guys, and we did a top 16 women in entertainment, and we did like a March Madness bracketology. Jennifer Aniston ending up winning it because Jennifer had the best DNA fit from a purity, from an aesthetic, from a fitness angle — all the elements that Smartwater matched. Oh, and by the way, she was a huge fan of the brand. And that deal has now been going on for close to 13 years, and she looks pretty much the same today in the ads as she did 13 years ago. She clearly is not aging. It must be the water.

    Lynch: On "Shark Tank," what does it take to convince you to invest in one of these up-and-coming products?

    Oza: The interesting thing about "Shark Tank" is that out of the tank, we're all friends. All of the sharks are good friends, very supportive. They gave me great coaching. But the minute we're in the seats, or in the tank, the gloves or, in this case, the mouth guards come off, and the teeth come out. It's to each their own, and I realized that you have to fight hard to win the brands that you believe in. And I was looking for founders who had unique, differentiated ideas, and passion and conviction to go win with their ideas, because I'm giving them my hard-earned money. 

    Lynch: As a fellow University of Michigan alum, I have to ask about your experience going to business school there. Do you still see business school as a necessary path for the prospective students of your field?

    Oza: I'm glad that I went to Michigan because Michigan's network is unbelievable. Someone told me the other day, "You guys from Michigan are like a cult." And it is kind of like that. There's no other university that could call someone a "Michigan Man." An "Ohio State Man" doesn't even roll off the tongue. So the network that I built and the opportunities I got from Michigan were amazing. I think that people should go to business school if it's the right fit for them. I.e., I want a change of career. I want to expand my network. I want to better understand some of the fundamentals as it relates to building and managing businesses. I think business school is very valuable for those elements, and if that is what you need to do, then you should go to business school. I don't think it's a pre-requisite these days the way it was when I went, to necessarily get into companies, but it can definitely be a value-added tool to help you be stronger when you do get into companies. 

    Lynch: Since you were in business school, what has shifted in the world that makes it less necessary, in a way?

    Oza: I think the ability to create startups, whether it's in tech or food and beverage or CPG, and people are doing it at a younger age, is more prominent now than ever before. And so smart, talented people who have never had MBAs have created companies, and I've partnered with many of those founders. So I think that you don't necessarily have to have that MBA, but business schools are starting to adapt. When Stephen Ross gave Michigan $100 million [to further fund the Ross Business School named after him], they've used that to significantly improve their facilities and their teaching approach. So I think that business schools will adapt to the tools that you need today to build brands in the modern era.

    Lynch: What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs who are following in your footsteps specifically?

    Oza: Well, a few of them. One is, "be your brand." So don't market it — live your brand. The second is, "have an original idea," because original ideas always rise to the top. And the third would be, "bring passion and energy to all those around you," because that's infectious, and that's what helps create an amazing culture in a company. 

    Lynch: What are the next steps for you at this point? Are there any brands you're eyeing that you can tell me about?

    Oza: Yeah, I have a few that I'm very excited about. At CAVU, the fund that I co-created, we've made 16 investments in the last two years. It's kind of crazy, but we believe in all our brands because they're all disrupting the environment, in terms of "better-for-you" products. The ones that I'm very excited about: One Bar, it's a protein bar that's 20 grams of protein and one gram of sugar, and it almost tastes too good to be true; WTRMLN WTR, which has twice the electrolytes of Gatorade, but it's all-natural and tastes amazing; and Chef's Cut, it's the fastest growing beef jerky in the country, it's 30 grams of protein in a bag, and it literally tastes like steak in a bag.

    Lynch: Between your experience on "Shark Tank" and in your recent investments, where do you see this generation's brand mindset shifting toward? 

    Oza: I believe that the millennial audience is, now more than ever, looking for "better-for-you" products for their generation and are rejecting the products of the past. The high sugar, high carb, high fructose corn syrup, highly processed, low-nutrient-value products are being rejected in favor of the brands of tomorrow. And that's what I think makes the entrepreneurial angle in food and beverage very exciting, and it's why on "Shark Tank," I love bidding on some of these really innovative ideas in the food and beverage space, because these entrepreneurs are truly disruptive. And this year, more seven-figure deals were done this year than in any other season prior, because the scale of the brands and the scale of the founders is getting bigger and bigger on "Shark Tank," and making it really exciting. 

    SEE ALSO: The best advice 'Shark Tank' investors have given entrepreneurs

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Dungeons & Dragons master shows us how to play the classic game featured in 'Stranger Things'


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    Since its inception in 2009, "Shark Tank" has seen a menagerie of business ideas ranging from absolutely brilliant to totally bizarre. Over the past eight seasons, judges on the hit ABC reality series — known as "sharks"— have made many aspiring entrepreneurs' light bulb moments a reality by providing the start-up capital and attaching their name to the business. Of course, they've also shattered many dreams and triggered waterworks from contestants along the way.

    We've extensively covered the food ideas that have prospered and failed in the past, but a few of the household pitches have caught our attention, too. In honor of the show's ninth season premiere on Oct 1, we've rounded up our favorite "Shark Tank" home inventions — ranging from wow to WTF. Hint: Ideas that have to do with the bathroom were very well-received.

    Squatty Potty

    Let's face it: You can hardly beat a sales pitch that promises you the "best poop of your life". Since its appearance on Season 6 of the show, "Squatty Potty" has become somewhat of a unicorn of success. In fact, the company furthered its fame by releasing a unicorn and rainbow poop-themed short video in 2015, which raked in over 32 million views on Youtube.

    Sales for the ergonomic stool, designed for more comfortable bowel movements, completely took off since then. Stools made from a variety of premium materials, such as bamboo and teak wood, are also available for purchase. The company was projected to make $30 million in sales in 2016. Who knew making pooping comfortable is such a gold mine?

    Cost: Classic Ecco, $24.99



    Lumio

    This invention has become the design commodity du jour, and we aren't exactly surprised: It's received an overwhelming amount of interest from the sharks from the get-go. The smart reading light — which fans out beautifully like a book — is now retailed in Asia, Europe, and Australia. The product has been so well-received internationally that Max Gunawan, the founder, got recognized on the streets in Indonesia.

    Cost: Classic Lumio, $200



    Zipit Bedding

    This product is a godsend for those of us who dread tidying up our beds. Essentially a sleeping bag in the shape of a mattress cover, you'd be able to zip yourself in and be done with it. We can see this Season 5 pitch becoming really popular at dorms, but we have to ask: Is it really comfortable to sleep in a flat cocoon?

    Cost: "Extreme Sports" Twin Bedding Set, $24.98



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Successful entrepreneurs and business gurus like to talk about the importance of taking risks.

    And the millionaire judges on Shark Tank are no exception.

    "I like to take risks. That's how I make money," Kevin O'Leary says.

    It's true that to start your own business, you must make the borderline insane decision to risk all your time, finances and mental, emotional, and physical well-being to pursue a dream that may ultimately end up as a nightmare. 

    It's also true that taking risks and growing your business are synonymous. As the old adage goes: "If you don't take risks, you will always work for someone who does."

    But the cynic in all of us may still look at all those super-rich sharks, sitting atop their gilded thrones telling struggling entrepreneurs to take risks, as a bit, well, callous. After all, it's a lot easier to be a risk taker when you have hundreds of millions or billions of dollars of other people's money to fall back on.

    So we asked a few Sharks — the new season premieres this Sunday on ABC — to put some teeth where their bite is. Here they share what they had to risk to get so much back in return.

    SEE ALSO: How to spend the first 30 minutes of your morning so you can be more productive all day

    1. Kevin O'Leary

    "In the early part of your career you take huge bets. You’re trying to get the one thing to be a hit, because entrepreneurs have a lot of failures, and I certainly had a lot of failures," O'Leary says.

    In fact, Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business once ranked O’Leary’s deals among the 10 worst U.S. acquisitions from 1994 to 1996.

    "But you only need one to work. I’ve invested in a wide, diverse range of companies and people," he says. "I’ve got over 44 of them now, and every once in a while — like recently, when Albertsons bought Plated for $300 million — that’s a huge hit for me. It’s the biggest exit in Shark Tank history. It’s the Plateds that make up for the losers."



    2. Bethenny Frankel

    "I started Skinnygirl Margarita with equity vs. licensing, so I didn't make any money until I did my big deal," Frankel says. "We kept putting money back into the business. I pitched it to everyone, and nobody wanted to do it. People wouldn't even show up at the meetings. People just didn't get it. I didn't realize how risky the liquor business is and how many people fail. I would've never gotten into this business if I knew this was so crazy and crowded.

    "But ignorance is bliss. I didn't know what I didn't know, so everything was a risk."



    3. Daymond John

    "The biggest risk in my career was not going to college, because I felt that it wasn't for me, and that I could hopefully maximize myself other places," John says. "I mortgaged my home and left my job because I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I think the bigger risk would've been never trying."



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

    download 1Whether you're the most stylish person ever or the type who absolutely hates stepping foot in a store, there are certain articles of clothing all men must buy — like underwear. 

    For most guys, shopping for clothes is a task that is best kept short and sweet, so items like boxers, socks, and T-shirts are often bought only when its absolutely necessary.

    Chances are your sock and underwear drawer is filled with pieces that could use replacing.

    A seemingly simple trip to the store for new pieces could result in a long, drawn-out process of comparing brands, styles, and prices. Luckily, there's a one-stop solution to shopping for underwear, and you won't ever have to leave home again. 

    Founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Laura and Michael Dweck, Basic Outfitters is a brand that looks to simplify underwear shopping with its Create-a-Drawer bundle. The Basic Outfitters Create-a-Drawer bundle comprises socks, underwear, undershirts, and one "wild card" item (either sweatpants or more socks and underwear). Simply choose your favorite styles/colors in each category and you'll receive a package that will fully freshen up your underwear drawer. 

    Aside from the convenience the Create-a-Drawer bundle provides, the value is amazing. At just $60, you get all the items you need without the hassle of going to the store. The startup's founders recently presented the bundle on "Shark Tank," and it was well received by the show's entrepreneurs, too. 

    If you never want to deal with the headache of buying all new undershirts, socks, and underwear separately at a high cost, Basic Outfitters is the solution.

    I recently got to give the brand a try and was extremely pleased with the quality and convenience it offered. Check out how easy it is and my favorite picks, below: 

    Freshen up your essentials with the Basic Outfitters Create-A-Drawer now for $60.

    SEE ALSO: 12 essentials under $100 every guy needs in his closet for fall

    Pick out your socks.

    First, you get to pick out socks. Whether you're looking for a toned-down pack of dress socks with stripes and polka dots, fun patterned no shows, or simple gym socks, you'll find it here. There's even a "Shark Tank" pack to celebrate the brand's success on the show. 

    I went with the 10-pack of low-cut athletic socks because you can never have too many gym socks. It comes with 5 pairs of black and 5 pairs of grey. Made out of a polyester and spandex blend, the socks are super soft and feature reinforced cushioning on the heels and toes. I've worn and wash them multiple times and they've maintained their shape.

    Make your own Basic Outfitters Create-a-Drawer now, $60



    Pick out your underwear.

    Next, you get to pick out your underwear. Basic Outfitters offers boxer briefs, boxers, and briefs in a wide variety; you can get ones that are geared toward performance, super soft comfort, fun designs, or basic colors. 

    To keep it simple, I went with the black boxer brief 3-pack. What I like most about these boxer brief is that they fit well, never ride up, and provide all-day comfort. They're made out cotton and spandex, and feature a reinforced pouch and a stay put waistband.

    Make your own Basic Outfitters Create-a-Drawer now, $60



    Pick out your undershirts.

    The third step is to pick undershirts. While the selection of undershirts is small, you'll be able to find exactly what you need to fill your drawer. They offer crewneck and V-neck T-shirts in white or multicolor packs, as well as tank tops.

    I went with the tank tops and they definitely fit better than any tank top undershirt I've bought at the store. They're soft, form fitting, but not restrictive. Overall, they serve they purpose extremely well. 

    Make your own Basic Outfitters Create-a-Drawer now, $60



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    Nearly a year ago, none of Carson Kropfl's skateboards would fit in his locker or backpack, so the 12-year-old entrepreneur and inventor decided to solve the problem himself.

    That's when he came up with Locker Board, a startup that manufactures smaller skateboards made from recycled materials.

    Now, his business, which has sold 310 skateboards to date and made more than $18,000 in revenues, has a partnership with business magnate and serial entrepreneur Richard Branson.

    In the season nine premiere of ABC's "Shark Tank," which featured Branson as a guest judge, Kropfl pitched his startup — he practiced before bed for two months — and received offers from Branson, Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjavec. Ultimately, Kropfl accepted Branson's offer of $65,000 for 20% of his company.

    "He had the higher offer and he also said that [I] reminded [him] of himself when he was younger," Kropfl tells Entrepreneur. "I want this to become an international company that creates cool products and inspires people to shred hard, dream hard and work hard."

    An entrepreneur at heart, Locker Board wasn't Kropfl's first business venture. At age 7, Kropfl, with help from his mother Carrie, created Street Tube, a skateboard accessory that gives riders the experience of surfing. It was both Street Tube and Carson's belief in always "seizing the moment" that led him to the stage of "Shark Tank."

    During a family vacation, shortly after Carson had developed Street Tube, he and his family ran into a man wearing a "Shark Tank" emblem on his shirt in the hotel elevator. Carson and his mother immediately pitched Street Tube to the man, who turned out to be Max Swedlow, an executive producer of the show. Getting Swedlow's business card and keeping in contact, years later the producer reached out to Carson to apply for the show.

    "If we hadn't seized the moment and had the nerve to strike up a conversation with him, I don't know that we'd be here today," Carrie Kropfl says.

    To Carson, being a young entrepreneur has its advantages. "I think the advantages are getting help from a lot of people and having the opportunity to just be mentored to do better," says the young entrepreneur, whose mentors include Nike sustainability leader Noah Reinhertz and Wahoo Fish Taco co-founder Wing Lam.

    On top of seizing every moment, Carson says the other best advice he's ever received is, "To always keep on dreaming and never give up."

    SEE ALSO: Richard Branson discusses space travel, AI, and his friendship with Obama

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    You can have everything in your favor as an entrepreneur: a great idea, solid opportunities, tenacity, good luck. Yet, you can easily fall flat on your face if you have the wrong romantic partner in your corner.

    How do you know you have the wrong partner?

    In short, it's a man or woman who doesn't support your dreams, and doesn't understand and respect what's truly important to you.

    As Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary is fond of saying, having the wrong romantic partner can easily be fatal—especially for entrepreneurs.

    O'Leary, a/k/a "Mr. Wonderful," has made a career playing a blunt-talking investor-slash-personality on Shark Tank (and its predecessor show, Dragon's Den, in Canada). Besides tearing into aspiring entrepreneurs whose businesses he finds insufficiently thought-out or unlikely to be successful, O'Leary also seems to have made it a mission to weed out those he doesn't think are cut out for the entrepreneurial life.

    "The personal sacrifice is huge. There is no soccer game on Saturday, there's no Sunday dinner with the family. You're working," he told Inc.com recently. "It's not for everybody. Don't do it if you don't have the stamina to get kicked around and driven into the ground and get up and do it up again."

    You've heard that message before, I'm sure. The fun part is when O'Leary takes it a step further.

    Okay, what's the answer?

    "It's a hard truth, but it's better to face it early," O'Leary says, talking about bad relationships. "Better to face it before say, getting married and having a couple of kids, and spending years of your life with the wrong person."

    And to drive it home, O'Leary uses a story from a business class he taught, in which a student had started a legitimate multimillion dollar business from his dorm room. But on the other hand, as O'Leary recalls the student saying in front of the class, things were falling apart in his personal life.

    "I have no time, and I never see my fiancee. She wants me to come be with the family on Sundays, just once. But I'm doing my compliance downloads on Sunday because I have to be back in class at 8 in the morning on Monday.

    Now the class is looking at me: 'Okay big guy, what's the answer?'"

    To which O'Leary replied: "Let's be pragmatic. Which is easier to replace, your business or your fiancee?"

    Besides simply making sense on a gut level, there are some studies that back this worldview up, suggesting people who marry the right partner are more likely to be successful in their jobs: doing better at work, taking in more money, and simply feeling happier about their professional lives.

    So, is there a Mrs. Wonderful?

    Given all this, you might reasonably wonder: Is O'Leary married? Does he have someone in his life?

    In fact, yes. He's been married to his wife Linda for 27 years and have two grown children—although they were separated for two years before reconciling. However, he also has explained in that past that he and his wife separated for two years earlier this decade.

    "We were at the point of dividing the assets. But as we neared it, we decided not to do it. We have reunited and kept the family together. I'm glad we did that," O'Leary told a newspaper in 2014.

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