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The latest news on Shark Tank from Business Insider

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    • Five judges from the television show 'Shark Tank" share the best thing they've purchased for little money that reaped a big return.
    • Kevin O'Leary says one of his wisest investments was a stack of Post-It Notes.
    • Rohan Oza says the car service he bought to close a deal with 50 Cent on Vitaminwater.


    Kevin O'Leary, the opinionated and ruthless Shark Tank judge, may jet around the world in gulf streams and throw millions of dollars at risky startups (Toygaroo, anyone?), but he says one of the wisest investments he's ever made was a stack of Post-It Notes and a pencil.

    "I use them at night, before I go to sleep, to write down the three goals I need to get accomplished before I take my first call in the morning," he tells Entrepreneur.

    While his fellow sharks may disagree with him on many things, they call can proudly list similar products they've spent little on that have reaped great rewards in return. 

    Bettheny Frankel

    "The best thing I ever bought was a cellphone cover with an extra battery. Because my battery dies all the time, and my phone is my business."

    Daymond John

    "A pen. Someone wise once said: 'The dullest pencil will always remember more than the sharpest mind.' Stop thinking you know it all, stop just listening to things. Especially today where people don't even write things down because they have these phones. A pen will change your life. I write everything down."

    Rohan Oza

    "The car service to go meet 50 Cent to close the Vitaminwater deal."

    That deal, which made 50 Cent the face of the company, ultimately resulted in a $4.1 billion buyout by Coca Cola.

    Barbara Corcoran

    "A copy of 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' by Dale Carnegie. The biggest misnomer in business is that it's about money, and I don't know shit about money. I still don't read a financial sheet, and I haven't signed a check in my business for almost 25 years. I let other people sign them. I don't know about money, but what I know a lot about is people. That book puts the finger right on how you develop people talents. I think it's the best book in the field."

    SEE ALSO: When Microsoft's CEO joined the company 3 years ago, he had an epiphany that has guided his role ever since

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment


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    Success How I Did It podcast

    barbara corcoran

    • Before taking a $1,000 loan at age 23 to go into real estate, Barbara Corcoran was working at a diner in New Jersey - one of over 20 jobs she had while growing up.
    • With that initial $1,000, she built The Corcoran Group, a real-estate behemoth she sold in 2001 for $66 million.
    • From there she fought for a role as one of the hosts of "Shark Tank," now in its ninth season.


    Before finding fame on "Shark Tank" and before building her New York real-estate empire, Barbara Corcoran was one of 10 kids in a working-class New Jersey family.

    “We watched my father get fired and hired and fired and hired — he must have interviewed well,” Corcoran said on Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It.”“He would always come home and tell the story as to why he was fired, and it always came down to the same bottom line: He would tell Mr. Stein where to take that job and shove it up where the sun don't shine, and we'd go, 'Yay, Dad!'”

    If nothing else, she learned how to take a risk. She started with a $1,000 loan from her then boyfriend to go into the real-estate business.

    They broke up, then the company broke up, and she built her half into the Corcoran Group, a real-estate behemoth that she sold for 66 million dollars in 2001. From there, she landed a spot co-hosting the hit reality-TV show “Shark Tank.”

    Corcoran discusses all this and more in the episode, including how she stands out in a competitive field. Her advice was pretty controversial:

    “I wore bright-colored suits, short skirts, I had great legs — that was my best asset. I flaunted them, no doubt about it.”

    You can listen to the podcast below:

    Subscribe to "Success! How I Did It" on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, or your favorite app. Check out previous episodes with:

    Following is a transcript, which has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

    Barbara Corcoran with Alyson Shontell

    Alyson Shontell: Thank you so much for coming, Barbara. Really excited to have you. I understand you are from New Jersey, from Edgewater, right across the river?

    Barbara Corcoran: A stone's throw away.

    Shontell: Exactly. And from what I understand, 10 kids all fit in a two-bedroom house with one bathroom?

    Corcoran: Yeah, but you have to remember, my mom was super organized. She organized us — it was run like a boot camp. She had a place for everything, and we made a mess like every other kid in town. But when my mother cracked the whip, boy we knew where to put things. We knew how to do it fast she's very organized.

    Shontell: And you were the second oldest, right?

    Corcoran: Second oldest, but I'd like to say I'm the smartest. Not really. I'm the second oldest and the shortest in the family, and that always made me try harder.

    Shontell: And nine out of 10 of you are entrepreneurs?

    Corcoran: Nine out of 10 are entrepreneurs. Yes. We all kind of grew up thinking we don't want to work for somebody. I had 20 jobs before I started my real-estate brokerage firm when I was 23.

    Shontell: What were some of those jobs?

    Corcoran: I was a playground supervisor. I was an assistant lifeguard at the kiddie pool. I was a dispatcher for the Bergen Evening Record delivering papers at night. And you know we dropped the bundles at night you drive the truck. That was fun.

    And the most important thing that I learned the most from was waitressing. I had so many waitressing jobs. You had to keep everybody happy. It was a commission-based business. If you smile, you made people happy, you got a bigger tip, you had to do five things at once. You had to stay organized. I learned a lot through waitressing.

    Shontell: And it seems like your mother was a particularly big influence on you. She was really organized she ran that house of 10 kids. Like it was nothing.

    Corcoran: She was a drill sergeant.

    Shontell: And so what kind of lessons did you learn from her that you think have helped you in your career?

    Corcoran: Well, I really did a mimic of my mother in building my brokerage firm. I ran the firm exactly how my mother ran the house. We were super organized. We had a place for everything. And I can tell you the minute you have more than one or two people working for you, efficiency has a lot to do with building a big company.

    On top of that, and probably the more important gift I got from my mom, was my mother was very inspirational. She would decide what your gift was, as a child. She would name one thing. For me, she said I had a wonderful imagination. And then she would cast you in that role in the family unit, which was like a small town.

    And I am great at spotting the gift, and people I could interview — someone who's trying for a bookkeeping job and totally convince them they'd be a star salesman. Which doesn't fit into their résumé, but it sure fit into them. So I think those two things help me build my business more than anything else.

    Shontell: And one thing that I think you've talked about some on "Shark Tank" is that you aren't drawn to the rich kids.

    Corcoran: I'm a little biased — it's terrible because I have two rich kids now! Let me tell you, if you don't have anything, you have a huge advantage over the rich kid. I feel bad — I shouldn't say this but — I think a poor kid has a better shot than a rich kid. So my bias toward the poor person coming up is they're usually hungrier. They're more injured. They have more to prove. They haven't been given a lot of privilege in their life to make their landing softer. So they've had a few bumpy endings and they're used to failure, and, my God, what's more important in building a business than failing?

    It’s not that I don't like rich kids. I love my children, and they’re rich kids now. But I think they, with their good education and the coddling that even I've given them and their father is giving them, makes kids a little softer in the belly.

    Shontell: So how do you think about that as you're raising them into great adults?

    Corcoran: It's a tough one. The values I learned in my family was my mother and father loved us to death and would do anything for us. I'm that kind of a parent of course for my children. But what we also saw without even trying is what struggle was all about and what team-menship was all about, and what ignoring the negatives and focusing on the positives is all about.

    With my children, I try to go out of my way to teach good values, and I think they're not spoiled kids — I hope to God you know, and all I know is I am doing the best I can — but where did they really learn those values? They stepped into my life, older in my life, when I had a lot of money. I had my first child at 46 and my second at 56 - they stepped into an affluent lifestyle. And so where would they learn those struggle values? They don't see it among their friends. Right? And so what I do is I try to demonstrate how hard I work for what I do. I'm working as hard now as I ever worked. OK? And I certainly am older than most people working this hard, OK?

    My son, when he was 17, and he called me from the street and said, "You know, Mom, my shoes are pretty bad, my loafers for school. Do you mind if I buy a new pair of loafers?"

    I said, "Well, that's so nice of you to call and ask of course! Go ahead — buy those loafers. No problem." And I really hung up the phone thinking, "Wow, did I do a great job!"

    Well, an hour later, he walks into the house with a shoe bag — they were $600 loafers! And he walked in and trotted by and goes, "Hi, Mom!" and I see that bag and I want to kill him. I'm, like, "You didn't say you were shopping for those loafers — you said 'loafers'! Do you know how old I was before I had that brand of loafer!"

    And he says, "Mom, if you want me to have your values, you could raise me in Edgewater with 10 kids. Rather than Park Avenue with the maid. And I thought, 'Shit. That's kind of true.' Like, how does he learn those values? You know, all the kids at school had expensive shoes on.

    And so I tried to do my best by kindness to other people, always being even-handed to everyone. I don't care who they are. I treat everybody the same, and of course not to think they're more important than the next guy. That is such a terrible trait in people, and it can happen very easily when people do well and make a lot of money. Too easily I'm afraid.

    How Corcoran turned $1,000 into a real-estate behemoth

    corcoran

    Shontell: So let's talk about you getting your start in real estate. Tell me who Ramone Simone is.

    Corcoran: Oh, well, he was the dream date that walked into the diner, the Fort Lee Diner one night, and offered me a ride home. I hadn't had a boyfriend until then. I was 21 or 22. Within a year he suggested I'd be great at real estate. I was working as a diner waitress. I quit that started working as a receptionist for Giffuni Brothers in New York answering the phone: "Giffuni Brothers! Giffuni Brothers!" And then a year later he said, I should start my own company. He'd give me a thousand dollars and he'd take 51% give me 49%.

    And so that became the birth of Corcoran-Simone company. His name was Ramone Simone. I later learned his real name was Ray Simon — he just put "E" and an accent on each one it looked fancy.

    And then seven years later of course he came home one night and said he was going to marry my secretary. So that was such a shocker. Like, I thought, we were an item, but we weren't anymore. And so then, probably a year after that, I ended that company when I found the courage. Again — what did I have to lose? Not that much. And start again as the Corcoran Group, and that was the beginning of my own firm.

    Shontell: If I think about starting a thousand-dollar business right now —

    Corcoran: That was then.

    Shontell: That’s right. So I think with inflation that's $5,000?

    Corcoran: Yup, $5,000.

    Shontell: So how do you what did you do with that money? You bought some ads in The New York Times.

    Corcoran: Well, I plotted it out. Remember I had an organized mother who made ends meet, and I watch her operate, you know, for Christmas gifts and things like that. What I simply did is I took that thousand dollars. I found out what an ad in The New York Times was. I forget what it was then, but let's say it was $12 for an ad, a three-line ad — that was the minimum ad. Most people were doing five lines but you could get a three-liner, OK? If he didn't use bold type on the header, OK?

    So then I got started that way placing my first ad. But what I did, because I had so little money, is very carefully placed that first ad. And so I went back to Mr. Giffuni and asked if I could have one of his listings to advertise, and he gave me the one next to 3L, the super's apartment. Next, J was something where the super was.

    And I went into it — it was an L-shaped living room like every other apartment in New York with a small bedroom in a doorman building. And I looked and looked and looked at the New York Times ads and saw there were hundreds and hundreds "One bedroom 320 month,""One bedroom 330 a month,""Doorman one bedroom: 340 a month," and they all looked alike. And so I went back and said, "Could you build a half wall between the L and the living room so I could advertise as "One bedroom and den"? So that Sunday, my ad went in even before the wall was built, "1 BR Plus Den: 340." It fit on one line, right margin, and I probably got 80 phone calls that next morning.

    Because it was a gimmick. Because why would you call on every other ad if you get a one bedroom for $340 when you get a one bedroom and a den for 340? And you know what: Within the first two days I had a check for $340. So I always doled it out and you know even until I sold my business when I had a thousand people strong as sales agents I still use the exact same methodology. I was always running against the clock thinking, "Well, at least I have nine months now, I have 10 months now," and carefully keep my overhead and spend every dollar like I was poor.

    Shontell: So Ramon does the stereotypical ex thing. He's got 51% of the company. You have to split it in two then.

    Corcoran: I put the rules down. I said, "This is how we're going to end the business. You picked the first person. I'll take the second." We divide our receivables, we divide our cash — the little we had. And then I moved two floors above him in the same building. I went immediately to my landlord to ask for a new lease on another space and it was a tough market. He happily gave it to me and it was cheaper than my other lease by a few hundred dollars a month. And I loved getting out of that elevator with Ramone Simone and his new wife every day and saying, "Sorry, I'm going up."

    Stupid ego lifts that you do in life, right! But somehow that made a difference. If I was below him, psychologically it would not have been good.

    Shontell: And from what it sounds like, he said to you on the way as you guys are closing the business and closing the relationship, "You'll never survive without me." Which still sounds like it burns a fire in you today.

    Corcoran: Oh my gosh. It's almost as heated as the day I heard it. When I walked out the door that Friday afternoon to start my new business on Monday morning, he said, "You know, you'll never succeed without me." In his giving me those words a funny thing happened. It just hit me in the gut and I felt that fever in my body like, "I'll be damned if you ever see me not succeed." I felt like I would kill not to let that thing happen.

    And you want to know? He gave me an insurance policy. Some people are motivated by insult. I happen to be one of them. I've succeeded on a lot of difficult situations by being insulted, even on things that I don't really want, just to prove somebody wrong. Isn't that sicko?

    Shontell: So he burns this fire and you thrive off it.

    Corcoran: I thrive off it, thank God.

    Shontell: Yeah, and eventually you build this company to a $66 million exit. What were some of the important steps you took to make sure that he wasn't right about you, that you were going succeed?

    Corcoran: Well, to stay in business as the No. 1 charge. I mean, you know, in real-estate brokerage, cycles go up and down. So that was the first thing I learned how to do. How the hell do you stay in business in the bad troughs? And what you have to do is you have to be more creative. I mean, whenever something's wrong in any marketplace, any business — now I've learned with many years on "Shark Tank," not just real estate — whenever something's wrong in business, there is some huge opportunity there if only you have the foresight or the intelligence or the need to see it.

    And so I remember I got through the closest I got to bankruptcy. I was literally writing the speech and making sure I had everybody's name to thank everybody, for the Monday meeting, and bingo, as I'm writing and I was thinking of the Ramone’s Simone’s word, and bingo I think: "Wait, I could sell those 88 apartments that an insurance company owns who didn't want an auction." It just popped in my head and I went back and I priced them all alike, got the same dollar but I priced one bedrooms, two bedroom, studios, all alike, I sold them for the same price.

    And for those 88 sales I went from owing 300 — I remember exactly — $348,000 is what I owed out at that time. And I came in with over $1.2 and commissions within a week. How did that happen? Bad times made it happen. I was desperate. And that's what popped the idea in my head.

    And that always happens. So surviving — the survival instinct of what could you come up with, where you jiggle out to get you through, is such — it's probably the most important trait if you're going to build a business. One thing for sure is you’ll have bad times; you can count on that one.

    Shontell: It sounds like you built a strong corporate culture. Retention rates are incredibly high. Nobody ever left.

    Corcoran: Yeah, we had a happy family is what we have. I did what my mother did. I adored my children. I would do anything for them. I would kill for them. And I nurtured them and I loved them and I tried to give them as much freedom as I could. I pushed them forward, got them to believing they could do a lot more than they were doing. And they did! Because people don't really know what they're capable of. And I made them love each other. I knew how to create teams where everybody got along and everybody respected the different attributes that people have and forgive the ones that were bugging them, you know?

    I learned how to get rid of complainers. Complain in my company, I couldn't wait till Friday to get you out, OK? So I felt like they were attacking my young.

    And then what I was particularly adept at was what I learned from my dad: how to have fun. My father knew had more fun with our family than anyone in town, even though we had no money to do it. So what I learned in my corporate "culture," if you want to call it — I wouldn't call it a culture; it was just a gathering of sorts — is I learned to make sure everybody was having fun. We had bizarre ... probably today maybe illegal-type parties, I don't even know the way I had people dress for them at all. But we had parties galore. We had spontaneous events. All I did was think of, “What can we do that's fun?”

    And when you get people laughing their asses off and drinking too much and dressing in things that they've never dressed in before, guess what happens? You wind up with a creative company, so we wound up being in the creative hothouse as well but we never had anybody leave — except, of course, the people who exited quietly on Friday. "But why — I'm selling. Why? My sales are good?""'You just don't fit in here baby — OUT!"

    Shontell: Yeah, I think you said it well with the complainers. I mean, if you have someone who's toxic in your work environment it can infect all the people around it.

    Corcoran: One negative person will take the energy out of 15 great people quietly. That's why I think of complainers as thieves in the night; they don't work upfront. They quietly are zapping you.

    Sex appeal, marketing the Corcoran way, and going all out in family and work

    shark tank barbara corcoran donald trump

    Shontell: So you had to make it in an industry that was traditionally owned by men. Salespeople were often women; the business owners were a lot of men. How did you do that? And I know that you've talked about some tactics you've used: I think you've talked about sometimes playing "the dumb blonde" card.

    Corcoran: Yeah, that's always useful. Or "the dumb anything" card. People underestimate you.

    Shontell: Sometimes, like, even "the sex appeal" card.

    Corcoran: Of course! I wore flashy bright-colored suits, short skirts, I had great legs. That was my best asset. I flaunted them, no doubt about it.

    Shontell: So do you think that would fly today if you were building a startup? Because like now we've got to deal with things like Harvey Weinstein, and Donald Trump even, and there's this whole focus on women and sexual harassment by powerful men. I mean, do you — would you advise that same sort of strategy today?

    Corcoran: Of course you know all that is is marketing, good marketing. What is good marketing on any level, whether it be individual or for a corporate campaign? Marketing is a point of difference. How do you stand apart from the pack? Who wants to be like the rest of the pack? You don't get noticed. You could spend all the money in the world on it, you won't get noticed, all right?

    So any opportunity you have to stand apart from the pack — which starts with you, if you're owning the company, you're the leader of the company, you're a billboard. As are your managers. So yeah, you have to use whatever you have. And that happens to be what I was particularly adept at: marketing. I knew how to work angles and market.

    So sure, I would do the same today. The great advantage I had — and still have, because I travel mostly in a man's world still — is just by being a woman. I stand apart from the pack. I never saw it as a liability. I saw that as an advantage. Like, "Look, I'm the only girl in the room." They might not remember my name but they'll say, "The girl in the room," where they wouldn't say, "One of the 50 boys in a room." Right? So no, I think you just have to play up whatever you can to get positive attention, because attention brings business.

    I got very good at creating noise in the press, cause story ideas — from the "What's happening in the market" to "Teaching dogs how to shake hands in Central Park so we could get them through the co-op board." Stupid stuff like that. Or smudging an apartment, rang bells, and burned incense — because the apartment couldn't sell — and getting the New York Post and The New York Times are up watch it. All that nonsense stuff. Why? Because our name was always in the paper.

    Shontell: Do you think that you can get ahead just by brains instead of beauty now as a woman?

    Corcoran: I don't think anyone — listen. Think about what a consumer has: They have ears, they have a mouth, they have a nose, and they have eyes. So you're asking, can you get ahead trying to ignore the eyes of the consumer? No. The eyes of the boss of the colleague? No!

    You're in a visual world. No, you have to use everything. You have to be well-spoken, communicate clearly so people aren't trying to figure out what the hell you're saying. You have to look good. You have to look the part. You even have to smell good — you can't go into work smelling bad — you're not going to get ahead on that one right. So you've got all your barrels going. You know, you just have to use every advantage you can. And lucky for you, you're good looking. Now I ask you: Do you think that would be an advantage here, that you look exactly like the girl next door?

    Shontell: I've definitely found myself underestimated because of how I look... So yeah, no, I understand the instinct. But I was curious for your perspective. Thank you. So I know you mentioned you started your family after you had a hugely successful career. And I read that you did IVF. 

    Corcoran: Seven times actually. Yeah, I’m glad I had the money.

    Shontell: Exactly.

    Corcoran: A lot of people don't.

    Shontell: Exactly. And I've heard people say now that they think that IVF will actually be as empowering for women who are in their careers as birth control and things like that.

    Corcoran: More empowering.

    Shontell: Yeah, because it basically makes it so that you could have kids later and essentially become like a guy.

    Corcoran: It puts you in charge. You know, I know a lot of young women two generations down, early 30s, serious about their career who are producing eggs and banking them. I mean, that would have sounded absurd years ago, but I'm all for it. I just think anything that you can be in charge of yourself about is always good for everybody, not just you. The future kids you will or won’t have, your colleagues, the people you associate with. I just am so much a believer in not giving away your power to the universe, see where it will land. You know?

    Thank God that I was able to take control back when I couldn't get pregnant and have children. I did it with the help of my baby sister, honestly. In the end she produced the fertile eggs. All five of my sisters volunteered but I took my youngest, the one who is in best shape with the best grades. I'm like, ‘OK, this is an opportunity to create the best baby.’ And so thank God.

    But then also I didn't want to go back there again, but wanting more children I adopted a child. I mean, no, I'm all for anything that is going to put the power in anyone's hand — man, woman, child. I mean, so you can make your own life as you wish it to be.

    Shontell: And did you find that it was helpful to establish yourself to rise to the top of your career before having a family?

    Corcoran: Helpful?! It had to play out that way. If I'd had my brokerage business and had kids on the side, I would have certainly made a good living as a real-estate salesman and perhaps had a smaller firm, but I would have put my kids first. It's instinctive really, when you have any children and a job; in the end the children feel more important, and they are. Well, that's my opinion.

    So I could have never built a Corcoran Group if I had had children earlier. Never. It was meant to be. I kind of lived life like a free man, like a bachelor, I did whatever I wanted. I could put myself at risk. I think that I lived life kind of in reverse: I went all out on building my career. And then when that chapter — when I wanted to wind down, I went all out on building a family. But of course little did I know that I would be all out on both in short order.

    Were it not for one email she 'spent 8 minutes writing,' Corcoran never would have been on 'Shark Tank'

    shark tank

    Shontell: That's great. I'm glad it all worked out for you.

    So let's talk about your "Shark Tank." You were obviously a hugely successful businesswoman. Now you are a hugely successful investor in tons of startups and nine years of "Shark Tank." It's amazing — congrats.

    Corcoran: No, it's great. I can't believe it's been nine years; it feels like four. But that's what happens when you're having a good time.

    Shontell: Exactly. So at first you didn't get the job, right?

    Corcoran: Well, actually, I was offered the job, and I took the job and signed the contract and sent it back without even reading it. That's how excited I was about getting my first gig, you know? And after all I had never been to Hollywood — "I'm going to Hollywood!"

    Shontell: You had never been to Hollywood?

    Corcoran: Never! I never been to California, but I think I told everyone I knew I'm going to Hollywood — I'm going to Hollywood!

    Egg on my face of course. They call and say they've changed their mind; they've invited another woman for the one female seat. I just couldn't believe it. It was like Ramone Simone all over again. It really felt like that, like how could that be? How could that be?!

    At least I had the presence to get angry, right? And sit down and write a very potent text to Mark Burnett who owned the studio. And I had the people sense to make his assistant promise me over the phone that if I wrote it she'd print it out and how to walk it over to him. And I think I opened it with — I should have this on my wall in my office because it's one of my proudest accomplishments — because it made a nine-year difference in my life. Think about it: Just for writing an email that took about eight minutes. OK, but it was really more than that. I was standing up for myself. That's why I earned it. I feel in hindsight now.

    But anyway, the first line I think I said, "Mark, I understand you've asked another girl to dance instead of me and I appreciate you keeping me as a fallback." How insulting! Who wants to be a fullback? But anyway I said, "But all of the best things have happened in my life on the heels of failure starting with Sister Stella Maria who told me I'd always be stupid because I couldn't learn to read or write. I'm not stupid."

    And I said, "I hope you invite both women to compete for the seat and I expect to be on the plane on Thursday," and the next day I got the call: "OK, we'll let you compete for the seat." Thank God.

    But the importance of standing up for yourself. I had learned that over and over again because even if it doesn't work you feel self-pride. You'd think if you really tried something and you didn't get it that you would feel embarrassed but I never found that to be the case. I felt self-pride that I tried and then of course so many tries you wind up getting a few yeses along the way and this happened to be one of those yeses.

    Shontell: And as you said sending one email that took eight minutes changed nine years of your life.

    Corcoran: Yeah, but it was an act of courage, you see, or an act of persistence or obstinance or craziness. Call it what you want, but it was a very little effort, but it was born out of a lot of years of experience of learning to persist and getting back up, you see? Or I probably would have rolled over maybe and cried. But I was near tears honestly because I couldn't imagine why something I envisioned — I already had bought two new suits and signed autographs. I thought I was going to be like a Hollywood star. I think I got the movies mixed up with reality TV somewhere there.

    But I just couldn't imagine that what I had envisioned wasn't going to come true because any time I dreamt of anything from the first day of dreaming about being the queen of New York real estate I saw it in my mind as clear as it happened 25 years later. So I saw everything so clearly and I thought, "How could that be? I saw this clearly! How could this be?" And I think it was that disbelief that got me to write down or write that damn e-mail.

    Shontell: Well, congrats. Huge win.

    Corcoran: Thanks you.

    Shontell: So I was reading actually in the Sony leaks there was an email from Mark Cuban about salary negotiations on "Shark Tank." It feels like he thinks he's irreplaceable. I mean, he was given, I think, $30,000 an episode for season five.

    Corcoran: He was insulted.

    Shontell: He was very insulted. And he actually wrote to the producers and said, "Start taking me out of the promos now."

    Corcoran: Yeah.

    Shontell: Do you have that same tactic when negotiating something like a salary for the show?

    Corcoran: No, you know, I'm not as — I'm more clever than I am smart, actually. I'm a little foxy. What I did is found out who Mark's attorney was a couple of years ago, because he's the biggest man on campus, if you think about it. He's the only billionaire on set — right away that qualifies him as the biggest guy on campus, in my opinion. OK? We're all millionaires, measly millionaires. He's a billionaire. That’s a big difference.

    But what I did immediately is find out who his attorney was and hired the same woman. She's about 6-feet-2 and intimidating! Smart as can be, scary when she walks into the room. So she negotiates both contracts. I mean, that's my sneaky way of like being tough. Like, "Let me let me grab onto who's got a tough person and go for the ride!"

    Shontell: Smart. It works.

    Corcoran: Yeah.

    Shontell: So what is the day like on set for you? Talk about when you're filming this show what time do you wake up. How do you get ready?

    Corcoran: We spend about an hour in makeup and hair maybe an hour and a half. Then it’s pressure, pressure, pressure get on the set. We shoot from ... we start usually eight in the morning and we finish at maybe 7 at night, so we have generally the 11-hour days. I actually had to think about that. They don't feel that long as they click by. We sit on the set and we're hearing pitch after pitch after pitch. We know nothing about the pitch.

    Within two minutes I know I'm definitely out on without even knowing a thing about the business. OK? Because they just fall apart. You can see them falling apart in front of the big cameras in their faces. And so the day goes on and on and on - we're literally exhausted. The lunch is like, I think we have 20 minutes, we're back in makeup and hair. Back on the set. It's a marathon. And the day goes on and on and on. It's a lot of fun, it's very competitive. You're spending real money, which adds a layer of pressure to you because you really don't want to lose your money. You know?

    I think Mark had said it last time. I wholeheartedly agree — the hardest part of "Shark Tank" is coming up with a new reason for going out. Because a lot of times basically, my attitude in my head is, "You know what, I don't like you. I'm out," but you can't say that, you gotta go, "You know about those projections."

    Shontell: Yeah, that's true. I guess you have to get creative.

    Corcoran: I mean, there are a lot of outs in a season of "Shark Tank"— you've got to make them sound all different.

    Shontell: Absolutely. Well, sounds like a long day but a fun one. Do they tell you like what kind of personality they want you have, like they say, "Kevin, we want you to be like Simon Cowell of the show" or anything like that?

    Corcoran: No, Kevin picks that one for himself. Mark picked the billionaire for himself. OK, you're a big, tough billionaire. Lorry picked the merchandise person, the smartest one on the set that could sell anything. But we're not told what to be.

    You know, it's interesting, for the first four or five seasons of "Shark Tank" our producers would always meet with us before the season, "We'd like to see more of this, less of this, more of this, less of this." And it used to make me so neurotic. And then one day Mark Burnett — I think it was season three, when we knew we were starting to have a hit on our — invited us all to his beautiful Malibu home for dinner on the cliff, just like a Hollywood set.

    Anyway, we get over there and he says, "Here's my advice: Ignore what everybody says and be yourself" and my shoulders went down. It was so much better to just have to be yourself, and that was great advice, and he's the smartest guy in the whole industry. So I listened to him.

    Shontell: So you said when you got out to Hollywood for the first time you thought you're going to be movie-star famous. And I would argue that you are pretty much there. Like I think you're a household name at this point. Everyone knows you as Barbara Corcoran businessperson and Shark. What's it like to be famous? Is there good, is there bad?

    Corcoran: Well, fortunately for me, I love people. So I'll talk to anyone and really enjoy the conversation, not pretend to enjoy it, because I find people eternally curious, odd, interesting in every way. OK? And so with having people constantly come up and talking to you like they know you. The minute they introduce themselves like you've been pals.

    So it can intrude on your personal life, so I don't go out for restaurant owners anymore, period. It's work because I just have to really pose for selfies, right? I don't do a lot of things. I don't do parties anymore. 'Cause I almost feel like a paid entertainer. I don't do a lot of stuff anymore. But it's all right with me because I'm really a homebody want to be cooking myself. I want to be home with my kids and my close friends and family, so it works out. Yeah, so that's what it's like.

    Shontell: Bringing it back to the entrepreneurs. You've made a lot of investments and you've made a lot of impact on their businesses. And by now you've seen so many people. What what’s your advice for people who want to start their own thing, to get going, and what is the trait that you see them at most the people who are successful?

    Corcoran: Well, I'll do it and reverse. The successful trait is identical in every one of my most successful businesses. They're street smart. And when they're slammed they don't feel sorry for themselves. That's it.

    I've talked to more entrepreneurs after I've invested within the first of maybe eight, nine months, after the shine of "Shark Tank" is gone after the rush of sales is behind them, where something goes wrong and then I'm on the phone or on a Skype call with them and I hear them blaming it on someone else, like, "The shipment never came in! The guy didn't do this such and such."

    Right! It's another version of "Oh, poor me." The minute I hear that, I go right to my wall where I have all my entrepreneurs and frames, beautifully matted, and I hang that picture upside down. And why do I do that? Just to remind myself that I shouldn't spend any time with that person, because they're never going to succeed. Every one of my successful businesses are run by entrepreneurs who are so good at taking a hit and getting back up. They just don't feel sorry for themselves. That's a trait.

    Shontell: Great!

    Well, Barbara, thank you so much. It's been really inspiring and just awesome to talk to you.

    Corcoran: Very easy to talk at those starry eyes you have.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Lyft's president went from taking no salary for 3 years to running a giant startup worth $11 billion


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    Before finding fame on "Shark Tank" and before building her New York real-estate empire, Barbara Corcoran was one of 10 kids in a working-class New Jersey family.

    “We watched my father get fired and hired and fired and hired — he must have interviewed well,” Corcoran said on Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It.” “He would always come home and tell the story as to why he was fired, and it always came down to the same bottom line: He would tell Mr. Stein where to take that job and shove it up where the sun don't shine, and we'd go, 'Yay, Dad!'”

    If nothing else, she learned how to take a risk. She started with a $1,000 loan from her then boyfriend to go into the real-estate business.

    They broke up, then the company broke up, and she built her half into the Corcoran Group, a real-estate behemoth that she sold for 66 million dollars in 2001. From there, she landed a spot co-hosting the hit reality-TV show “Shark Tank.”

    Corcoran discusses all this and more in the episode, including how she stands out in a competitive field. Her advice was pretty controversial:

    “I wore bright-colored suits, short skirts, I had great legs — that was my best asset. I flaunted them, no doubt about it.”

    You can find the full interview transcript here.

    Subscribe to "Success! How I Did It" on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, or your favorite app. Check out previous episodes with:

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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.

    shark tank giftsAmericans are known for their strong entrepreneurial spirit and this trait is no less evident than in the reality TV show "Shark Tank," where ordinary people like you and me pitch their creative business ideas to a team of well-known business executives and investors.

    While some products have tanked miserably on the show, others have seen huge success.

    For a unique holiday gift idea, consider these cool products that got their start and the green light on "Shark Tank." You'll have a wide range of interesting gifts to choose from, whether the recipient is a parent, child, adventurer, baker, or athlete. 

    Having trouble figuring out what to get people for the holidays? You can check out all of Insider Picks' 2017 gift guides here.

    SEE ALSO: 20 awesome tech stocking stuffers under $50

    Rocketbook smart notebook

    With this notebook and accompanying app, you can send your handwritten notes to your preferred cloud service — Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc. — then erase and reuse the notebook by heating it in the microwave. It'll be the coolest notebook you own. 

    Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook, $25.97, available at Amazon



    Tipsy Elves suit

    Tipsy Elves has become known for its one-of-a-kind ugly Christmas sweaters, fun onesies, and party suits. 

    Tipsy Elves Tangle Wrangler Christmas Party Suit, $95, available at Amazon



    SCOTTeVEST jacket

    At first glance, SCOTTeVEST jackets look like regular apparel. It's only once you open them up that you discover they have 25+ pockets that provide effective storage for and convenient access to all your essentials. You can go bag-free during your travels with the peace of mind that your important devices are close to your body. 

    SCOTTeVEST Men's Jacket, $175, available at SCOTTeVEST

    SCOTTeVEST Women's Jacket, $175, available at SCOTTeVEST



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    barbara corcoran

    • Barbara Corcoran is a founder of the real-estate behemoth The Corcoran Group.
    • In 2008, she was offered a position on ABC's "Shark Tank"— only to have the offer rescinded.
    • So she took about eight minutes to write a powerful letter to the studio owner that persuaded him to give her another shot.
    • Ultimately, Corcoran got the position. She said that standing up for herself via the letter was a matter of "self-pride."


    Anyone who was friendly with Barbara Corcoran in 2008 knew she was going to Hollywood.

    Corcoran, a founder of the real-estate behemoth The Corcoran Group, had just been offered a part on the ABC series "Shark Tank" and was delivering the news to everyone she knew.

    On an episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Corcoran told US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell that she was so excited about landing the "Shark Tank" gig that she "signed the contract and sent it back without even reading it."

    From there, things went downhill, she said.

    "They call and say they've changed their mind; they've invited another woman for the one female seat," she said. "I just couldn't believe it. It was like Ramone Simone"— Corcoran's former business and romantic partner who ultimately left Corcoran for her assistant — "all over again. It really felt like that, like how could that be? How could that be?!"

    Corcoran said she was "near tears, honestly, because I couldn't imagine why something I envisioned" wasn't going to come true.

    "I already had bought two new suits and signed autographs," she said.

    But Corcoran wasn't one to resign herself to a disappointing fate. She told Shontell:

    "At least I had the presence to get angry, right? And sit down and write a very potent text to Mark Burnett, who owned the studio. And I had the people sense to make his assistant promise me over the phone that if I wrote it she'd print it out and walk it over to him."

    barbara corcoran mark burnett letter shark tank rejection

    The letter began: "Mark, I understand you've asked another girl to dance instead of me. Although I appreciate being reserved as a fall-back, I'm much more accustomed to coming in first.

    "I think you should consider inviting both of us to LA for your try outs."

    Corcoran went on to list why she deserved to participate.

    For example, she said she "had all my big successes on the heels of rejection," including from a teacher who told her she'd "always be stupid" because she couldn't read. (Corcoran later told The New York Times she had dyslexia.) And Corocan said Simone had told her, "You know you'll never succeed without me!"

    Corcoran told Shontell that writing the letter "made a nine-year difference in my life."

    "Think about it — just for writing an email that took about eight minutes," she said. "But it was really more than that. I was standing up for myself. That's why I earned it."

    The next day, she said, she got a call saying she could compete for the seat.

    Corcoran shared with Shontell some of the lessons she learned from the experience, including "the importance of standing up for yourself."

    "I had learned that over and over again, because even if it doesn't work, you feel self-pride," she said. "You'd think if you really tried something and you didn't get it that you would feel embarrassed, but I never found that to be the case. I felt self-pride that I tried, and then, of course, so many tries you wind up getting a few yeses along the way, and this happened to be one of those yeses."

    Read the full text of the letter:

    Mark,

    I understand you've asked another girl to dance instead of me. Although I appreciate being reserved as a fall-back, I'm much more accustomed to coming in first.

    I think you should consider inviting both of us to LA for your try outs. Here are my reasons why:

    1. I do my best when my back's against the wall. I love the heat of the competition as I've learned it brings out my best. I've had all my big successes on the heels of rejection and frankly, it's right up my alley. There was Sister Stella Marie in 5th grade who said I'd always be stupid just because I couldn't read. Then there was the New York old boy network trying to lock me out of their real estate fortunes, until I became their largest competitor. Then there was The Donald himself who wrongly swore in court I'd never see a penny of the $4m commission he owed me for saving his ass and making the largest land deal in the city's history. And of course there was my ex-partner Ramone Simone who parted with the words, "You know you'll never succeed without me!" I consider your rejection a lucky charm.

    2. If you have both ladies in LA, you can mix it up a bit and see which personalities make the best combination for your show. I've found in building teams myself that the combination of personalities is always more important than the expertise or strengths of single individuals. You may even drop a man for me because, believe it or not, I'm just as smart and mean as the next guy.

    3. Last, I've known from the get-go the shark role is a perfect fit for me. Everything I've done so far in the business and TV worlds has made me ready. My style is different than the other sharks' and your audience would fall in love with me. I've watched thirty-seven dragon episodes so far and know I could rival the best shark on each show in shrewdness and personality. It seems to me that the same two sharks steal most of the shows and I know I'd be one of them.

    The reputation you have in your field is equal to the reputation I have in mine, Mark. I know you're the best at what you do and I trust you'll reach the right decision. I've booked my flight for the 6th and hope to be on that plane.

    Thanks,

    Barbara

    SEE ALSO: Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran reveals how getting dumped for her secretary and sending 1 gutsy email helped turn her into a business mogul

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul


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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.

    rapid ramen cooker $7.99

    Nine seasons in and hundreds of products later, the show "Shark Tank" continues to entertain us as well as the panel of celebrity investors with creative pitches. However, that doesn't always mean the products are actually good. Some end up being a little too creative or out-there and border on plain gimmicky or "Who would even use that?"

    We looked through all the "Shark Tank" products available for purchase and came away with a selection of star products for the home that made us curse and ask ourselves, "Why didn't we think of this earlier?"

    Many solve for the wasteful design of many common products you already use, while others address the annoying inconveniences that everyone experiences. 

    Check out the "Shark Tank" home products that are worth buying below.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best gifts that got their start on ‘Shark Tank’

    A spring-loaded laundry hamper

    This hamper drops down as you add clothes and rises as you remove them, meaning doing laundry will no longer be that uncomfortable chore you never look forward to. It eases the strain on your lower back, so it's especially great for expecting mothers, people with bad backs, and the elderly. 

    Household Essentials Lifter Hamper, $29.99, available at Amazon



    A self-cleaning dog potty

    If you've already tried many indoor potty training systems, your search ends here with the world's first self-cleaning dog potty. You can adjust the timer to automatically change a dirty pad one, two, or three times a day, or manually change it with a push of a button. The machine will wrap and seal the waste, keeping your home clean and odor-free. It's best for dogs under 25 pounds. 

    BrilliantPad Self-Cleaning & Automatic Indoor Dog Potty, $159.99, available at Amazon



    A rapid ramen cooker

    Granted ramen is already a pretty convenient meal to make, this tool makes the process even easier. The water line stops you from overfilling the bowl, the bowl doesn't get overly hot, and you don't need to use a pot and stove. It's perfect for anyone who doesn't have access to a kitchen, including students living in dorms and office workers. 

    Rapid Ramen Cooker, $7.99, available at Amazon



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    curtis norris

    • Curtis Norris, the founder and CEO of Metro Mobile Power Washing, recently won $15,000 in Defy Venture's national pitch competition.
    • Defy helps people who are currently or were formerly incarcerated start and grow businesses.
    • Norris told Business Insider he'll use the money to buy equipment.


    Curtis Norris is 67 years old, but his business career is just beginning.

    Norris recently won $15,000 in a national business pitch competition put on by Defy Ventures, a nonprofit that helps formerly and currently incarcerated individuals start and grow their own businesses.

    Norris, who served 10 years in a California state prison between 2003 and 2013, won for his mobile power-washing company over five fellow entrepreneurs in training, or EITs, in the November 13 competition in New York City.
    curtis norris pitch defy

    Defy Ventures helps inmates regain financial independence

    "The word that I would use is just 'wonderful,'" Norris told Business Insider. "It's wonderful to win. All of this has been worth it now, everything I went through, because this is my last one."

    Norris is referring to Defy's ladder of pitch competitions. Built in the style of "Shark Tank," each competition involves EITs giving seasoned business executives, typically in the world of finance or venture capital, short pitches about their business. At the end, the executives rate the pitch, ask questions, and offer feedback.

    Catherine Hoke, Defy's founder and CEO, started the organization in 2010 as a way for inmates to harness their natural sense of hustle and repurpose it as business savvy. To date, Defy has worked with more than 3,600 EITs and recruited roughly 4,400 executives. Inamtes who go through the program have a 95% employment rate and 3.2% recidivism rate. The national rate is nearly 68% after three years post-release.

    Norris first participated in a Defy pitch contest in 2016, then another earlier this year, and finally the latest one, which was the first national competition Defy has held since it began mentoring EITs in 2012.

    As one of Defy's EITs, Norris has been working with an executive mentor to grow the business, earning different colored "belts," a nod to the rankings of martial arts, each time he hits a milestone set by his mentor. The belts signify EITs (and their companies) are progressing through the Defy system. The first belt — the white belt — is the CEO of Your Own Life program, where Defy mentors people still imprisoned. 

    Norris is a brown belt and hopes to soon become the second-ever black belt. So far Coss Marte, the founder and CEO of the prison-style bootcamp workout ConBody, is the only one to have reached black-belt status.

    curtis norris

    A hobby in the 1990s turns into a business in the late 2010s

    Norris started his own business, Metro Mobile Power Washing, after a Defy worker came to his halfway house in November of 2015. He'd been working in the power-washing business since the 1990s, but initially wanted his Defy business to involve furniture restoration. His mentor told him the insurance liabilities would be too great.

    "And I said what else can I do?" Norris recalled. He soon remembered his background in blasting the grime off gas stations and restaurant facades. "So I said OK, I'm going to start power washing and pressure-washing."

    In the two years he's been in business, Norris has pulled in $17,000 in revenue and hired two part-time employees (one of whom is his current girlfriend, who helps with "this and that," Norris said). He projects he'll be able to pull in $135,000 for 2018, provided he can start growing his client base and handle larger projects, like aging or repurposed shopping malls. He said he plans to use the prize money to buy equipment, instead of renting.

    As for his involvement with Defy now that he's outgrown the competitions, Norris said that bond is for life.

    "My plans for Defy are going to be continuing, period," he said, pointing to the handful of fellow Defy members, many of them young, who also hail from the San Francisco Bay Area. "That's something I've going to do. I've got to pass it on."

    SEE ALSO: A "Shark Tank"-style pitch competition is helping prisoners launch their dream companies — take a look

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    NOW WATCH: Some iPhone users can't type the letter 'i' — here's what's going on and how to fix it


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    barbara corcoran

    • Barbara Corcoran is a real-estate mogul and a star investor on the ABC series "Shark Tank."
    • She thinks kids who don't grow up with money have an advantage over kids who were raised wealthy when it comes to business, partly because the former are accustomed to failure.
    • Corcoran has said before that she doesn't invest in rich kids' businesses on "Shark Tank."


    "I shouldn't say this," says Barbara Corcoran. "But I think a poor kid has a better shot than a rich kid."

    Corcoran is a real-estate mogul and a star investor on the ABC series "Shark Tank." Though she grew up one of 10 kids in a two-bedroom house with one bathroom, today she's a multimillionaire raising her own pair of rich kids.

    On an episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Corcoran told US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell why she thinks "poor kids" have the business advantage:

    "My bias toward the poor person coming up is they're usually hungrier. They're more injured. They have more to prove. They haven't been given a lot of privilege in their life to make their landing softer. So they've had a few bumpy endings and they're used to failure, and, my God, what's more important in building a business than failing?"

    Listen to the full episode here, or listen later with the buttons below:

    Corcoran has shared this opinion before, on season six of "Shark Tank."

    As Business Insider's Richard Feloni reported, when entrepreneurs Ben and Eric Kusin revealed that their father is the founder of GameStop and had invested $2 million into their business, Corcoran said: "I feel very badly saying this to you, but I, as a matter of principle, don't invest in rich kids' businesses."

    "The best way to think of a solution in business when you're slammed up against a wall is to try to think of five different solutions to get around it and keep going," Corcoran told Feloni.

    "But when you know that you have a trust fund, you know that you can always fall back on your parents, and you know that you can get additional funds, you get cheated out of thinking of those spur-of-the-moment, very needy ideas that get you through."

    (Eric Kusin told Feloni there's a difference between being rich and being spoiled, and feeling entitled to success.)

    Corcoran clarified her point for Shontell: "It's not that I don't like rich kids. I love my children, and they're rich kids now. But I think they, with their good education and the coddling that even I've given them and their father is giving them, makes kids a little softer in the belly."

    SEE ALSO: Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran reveals how getting dumped for her secretary and sending one gutsy email helped turn her into a business mogul

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran reveals what separates successful entrepreneurs from those that fail


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    Barbara Corcoran

    • Barbara Corcoran is a real-estate mogul and an investor on the ABC series "Shark Tank."
    • She's found that all the most successful founders she's invested in are street smart.
    • They also take responsibility for their own failures.


    After nine years as an investor on the ABC series "Shark Tank,"Barbara Corcoran has learned certain qualities contribute to an entrepreneur's success or failure.

    The No. 1 trait of the most successful company founders? On an episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Corcoran told US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell that it's simple: street smarts.

    Listen to the full episode here, or listen later with the buttons below:

    Another quality that helps company founders succeed, according to Corcoran: "When they're slammed they don't feel sorry for themselves."

    She told Shontell:

    "I've talked to more entrepreneurs after I've invested within the first of maybe eight, nine months, after the shine of 'Shark Tank' is gone, after the rush of sales is behind them, where something goes wrong and then I'm on the phone or on a Skype call with them and I hear them blaming it on someone else, like, 'The shipment never came in! The guy didn't do this such and such.'

    "Right! It's another version of 'Oh, poor me.' The minute I hear that, I go right to my wall where I have all my entrepreneurs and frames, beautifully matted, and I hang that picture upside down. And why do I do that? Just to remind myself that I shouldn't spend any time with that person, because they're never going to succeed. Every one of my successful businesses are run by entrepreneurs who are so good at taking a hit and getting back up. They just don't feel sorry for themselves."

    Corcoran's feelings about blaming other people aren't unique. According to Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of "Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results," leaders should avoid the phrase "That's not my fault" at all costs.

    "While no one likes to feel blame, a great leader absorbs the hit, demonstrates accountability, and rallies the team toward a solution,"Price previously told Business Insider. "Instead of blaming previous management, the former administration, other departments, or the economy, say, 'Let's talk about what we're going to do next to ensure success.'"

    SEE ALSO: Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran reveals how getting dumped for her secretary and sending 1 gutsy email helped turn her into a business mogul

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul


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    Robert Herjavec Shark Tank

    • LinkedIn Influencer Robert Herjavec originally published this post on LinkedIn.
    • Investor Robert Herjavec shares his advice for people who want to be contestants on "Shark Tank" and sell their business pitches.
    • The best candidates aren't boring and know their numbers.
    • The best pitches are businesses that are a solution to a problem.
    • You might have a great idea, but investors are really investing in the entrepreneur themselves — not just the business.

     

    "Shark Tank" is an award-winning show, so there's a lot at stake — for the entrepreneurs and for us Sharks.

    Every year, the show's producers get upwards of 250,000 applicants but only 150 of them end up traveling to LA and taping a segment with the Sharks each season.What sets those 150 entries apart? How do they ensure they make the cut? And if they do, what helps them secure a deal?

    After being on Shark Tank for 9 years, here's what I've learned:

    Don't be boring!

    This is the number one lesson — you're on national television and TV is not made for boring! In the past 9 years, we’ve seen a lot of pitches and if you can't get excited about your business, neither can we. You get one shot to be in the Tank with five Sharks who are willing to give you the cash you need — don't waste your chance!

    Know your numbers

    There are two reasons entrepreneurs are guaranteed to lose us during the pitch: not knowing their numbers (total sales, annual revenue, net profit, etc.) and giving us the wrong valuation. You need to know these numbers, period.

    The best way to hook a Shark is to give your business a fair valuation — so be realistic! If your revenue means your business is currently worth $100 thousand, don’t value your business at $1 million. You may be sitting on a potential $1 million business, but you're not there yet.

    shark tank

    We invest in the entrepreneur, not the business

    Here's why I said don't be boring. Over the years, I've invested in a lot of businesses and some have been more successful than others. Why? Because of the entrepreneur.

    Many people think the magic formula is the business idea itself — but here’s the kicker — it's really the entrepreneur and their hard work and commitment to the idea. I'd take a great entrepreneur with a so-so business over a so-so entrepreneur with a great business any day.

    Sharks don't always play nice

    As much as we all like each other, we're Sharks and that remains especially true in the Tank. There are times when we don't all get along and we'll hold nothing back. But there's a level of respect that's always present.

    It's important to keep that in mind as a business professional. Things may not always go your way, people may not always agree with you, you may lose out on a deal — but treat others with respect no matter what.

    Is your business fixing a problem?

    Is your business solving a problem? It better. The best businesses solve a problem and that's what makes them successful. When you build a joke product, you better understand that you’re building just that — a product, not a business. If you're in it for the long haul, you need to ask yourself what you’re trying to fix.

    One of my ventures, Lollacup, did exactly that. Mark and Hanna Lim had problems with their kids' sippy cups because they kept spilling them so they made their own. They experienced a problem, sought to fix it, and built a business out of it. Simple as that.

    Don't let emotions control your moment

    Pitching your business to a bunch of Sharks can get emotional. Entrepreneurs spend a lot of time and money on their business and many go through substantial financial troubles just to make sure the business keeps afloat. There's nothing wrong with that. We like emotion — it shows us you're passionate. But you can't let your emotions control the moment.

    If we're going to invest in you, we want to see a good return. So if we tell you there's a mistake in how you’re running your business, you'd better listen. Remember, we're investing more in the entrepreneur than in the business so when we see an entrepreneur being driven by emotion rather than rationality, it's a red flag for us.

    "Shark Tank" airs on ABC every Sunday at 9/8c.

    See you in January!

    To your success,

    RH

    Read the original article on LinkedIn. Copyright 2017. Follow LinkedIn on Twitter.

    SEE ALSO: 'Shark Tank' investor Robert Herjavec gives his best money advice for 20-somethings

    DON'T MISS: The 20 best gifts that got their start on ‘Shark Tank’

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul


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    Mark Cuban Tiffany wife

    • Mark Cuban met his wife, advertising executive Tiffany, at the gym in 1997.

    • Earlier in their relationship, Tiffany had trouble adjusting to the billionaire's lifestyle and the couple experienced "scheduling problems."

    • They were wed in an intimate 2002 ceremony in Barbados, and now have three children.



    "Shark Tank" star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has long teased a run for the White House.

    As an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump, Cuban even weighed the possibility of taking over the Republican ticket at some point.

    But if Cuban's wife Tiffany Cuban has anything to say about it, a run for the White House may be off the table. CNBC reported that he said he would be far more tempted to toss his hat into the political ring if he was single.

    The couple wed in 2002, and is currently worth $3.3 billion, according to Forbes.

    Here's a look inside their 15-year marriage:

    SEE ALSO: A look at the weddings of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, LeBron James, and more highly successful people

    Cuban first met Tiffany the gym in 1997. He was 39 and had already launched Broadcast.com, which Yahoo would acquire in 1999 for $5.7 billion. Tiffany was a 27-year-old advertising executive.

    Source: ForbesBustle



    Early on in their relationship, Cuban said he considered any speculation about marriage "a no-win question for me," according to Forbes.

    Source: Bustle



    And, while they were still dating, Tiffany told The New York Times that adjusting to life with the billionaire required "great patience."

    Source: The New York Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mark Cuban

    • Billionaire investor Mark Cuban leads a busy life, between starring in "Shark Tank," owning the Dallas Mavericks, and spending time with his family.

    • He works hard throughout the day, often clocking in first thing in the morning.

    • But he still leaves enough time to exercise, get enough sleep, and spend quality time with his kids.



    When it comes to thinking up powerful, productivity-boosting mantras, you can't beat Mark Cuban.

    "Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you,"he once said.

    But how exactly does the billionaire investor, "Shark Tank" star, and Dallas Mavericks owner work throughout the day?

    Unsurprisingly, Cuban, who Forbes estimates is currently worth $3.3 billion, has a few rituals and routines that help him stay focused.

    Here's a look inside the billionaire investor's typical daily routine:

    SEE ALSO: A look inside the marriage of billionaire investor Mark Cuban and his wife Tiffany, who met at the gym, are worth $3.3 billion, and insist he won't run for president

    DON'T MISS: 7 quotes that shed light on Mark and Tiffany Cuban's incredibly down-to-earth marriage

    Cuban hits the ground running every morning. "Business is my morning meditation," he told Entrepreneur in 2014. "Business is what I like. I get up and I work immediately. I love doing this."

    Source: Entrepreneur



    Back in 2014, Cuban said he'd specifically check Cyber Dust — his messaging app — upon waking up. Afterwards, he said he would go through his emails and "read, update and deal with whatever issues I have to address. First thing's first and the first thing for me is always work," he told Entrepreneur.

    Source: Entrepreneur



    Cuban told Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington that he continues to check his email throughout the day. "If I'm laying in bed watching a game, if it's halftime of a Mav's game, that's when I'll do my emails," he said. "It allows me to disconnect from whatever other things that have my attention, and it actually works out really well."

    Source: The Thrive Global Podcast, CNBC



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mark Cuban Tiffany wife

    • Mark and Tiffany Cuban may be worth billions, but their relationship is low-key and, for the most part, out of the spotlight.

    • The "Shark Tank" star and the former advertising executive first met at the gym in 1997.

    • Their own words help to paint a picture of their marriage, from their philosophy on parenthood to Tiffany's lack of enthusiasm over her husband's political ambitions.



    "Shark Tank" star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and his wife Tiffany are worth billions, but their meet-cute story is refreshingly relatable.

    The entrepreneur and the former advertising executive met at the gym in 1997. They dated for years, and ultimately wed in 2002 in an intimate ceremony in Barbados.

    The Cubans are currently worth $3.3 billion, according to Forbes, and have three children.

    Here are a few quotes that succinctly illustrate their down-to-earth marriage of 15 years:

    SEE ALSO: A look inside the marriage of billionaire investor Mark Cuban and his wife Tiffany, who met at the gym, are worth $3.3 billion, and insist he won't run for president

    Back before the couple tied the knot in 2002, they were candid with the press about their reluctance to prematurely marry. "It's such a serious commitment," Cuban told The New York Times in 2000.

    Source: The New York Times



    Tiffany also spoke to The New York Times about some of the "scheduling problems" fueled by her then-boyfriend's work ethic — and late-night computer use. "He can't turn it off," she said. "He just can't!"

    Source: The New York Times



    But certain strategies helped the couple overcome pain points. In a 2012 interview with NBC 5, Tiffany revealed that she often avoids sitting with her husband at Mavericks games, due to his tendency to yell a lot in the stands. "I have fewer headaches," she said. "It's a business to him... I can still be a fan and watch it from my seat and experience it like a fan."

    Source: NBC 5



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    BI Graphics_Success! How I did it_Banner

    daymond john

    • Daymond John grew his clothing line FUBU from a few sewing machines in his mother's house into a $350 million company.
    • In 2009 he became one of the original celebrity investors on the hit TV show "Shark Tank."
    • He's invested millions in a variety of companies, written books, and opened a coworking space in Manhattan.
    • His newest title, "Rise and Grind," looks at examples of people who succeeded despite the odds.



    Daymond John grew up in Queens, New York, where he dreamed of making clothes for the coolest, most famous rappers. That dream became a reality in the 1990s when FUBU became one of hip-hop's hottest brands.

    He started off with nothing, turning his mom's house into a factory, using graffiti as marketing, and talking his way on to the sets of music videos.

    John built FUBU into a global brand that brought in $350 million in annual sales at its peak. In 2009, he became one of the celebrity investors on "Shark Tank," which started a new chapter in his career.

    He's authored four books, invested in dozens of companies, and opened the coworking space Blueprint + co. in Manhattan. His newest title, "Rise and Grind," profiles people who succeeded against the odds.

    The title of that book has taken on a new meaning for him. John was diagnosed with stage two thyroid cancer in 2016, which is where Business Insider senior strategy reporter Richard Feloni started their conversation on this week's episode of "Success! How I Did It."

    Listen to the full episode:

    Subscribe to "Success! How I Did It" on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or your favorite app. Check out previous episodes with:

    Following is a transcript, which has been edited for clarity.

    Overcoming cancer and finding a new source of motivation

    Daymond John

    Feloni: I, like many other people, was really relieved to hear that you had recovered from the thyroid cancer. When you were diagnosed last year, that was shocking news.

    John: Yeah, it was shocking to me as well, but not in the way most people would think about it. Most people may say they were feeling ill or something wasn't right in their body. But, you know, me, knowing that I have a lot of great doctors around, and I go to normal physicals and everything else, found out that there was a tumor in my throat the size of a marble for probably about five years.

    When I had it removed, then they found out it was stage two cancer. So thank God I didn't have the worrying part all the way up to it. And then after it was removed, they found out that my lymph nodes were reacting to the surgery, like they naturally should. But now there's something else swollen in my body. And then my doctor was saying, you know, "I don't know if this is going to spread to your brain, or if we have to do this again." I was, like, "Holy crap." And they find out that that was just my lymph nodes reacting, but that was the scariest part, after you find out what you're facing, you know?

    But thank God. I'm cancer-free. I'm here. I'm hanging out. The reason why I went public about it is so that everybody else can go out there and get early detection and be able to hangout and drink and party like me.

    Feloni: Did that really change your perspective on things, when you were confronted with that?

    John: You know, I think that it reinvigorated my purpose to do things, because, you know, people always say, "What's your drive?" You find your drive, and I find my drive every day, like my daughters and my staff and the people that I get to invest in.

    But when you realize that your new definition of "Maybe the reason why"— I'm somewhat of a spiritual person — that God put me on a public stage is that, now I get to tell people about early detection, and now I'm saving lives because people coming back to me, telling me that they either went out and got early detection or they told their parents, and now that's driving me more. That's defining my life even more. Maybe everything I did in my life was to save somebody's life tomorrow.

    Feloni: And with that drive that you're talking about, that ties into the title of your new book, "Rise and Grind."

    John: It does.

    Feloni: That's become like a mantra for you, right? What does it mean?

    John: I didn't have this message crafted, but my mantra of "Rise and Grind" is how do you maximize the same 24 hours that we all have in a day.

    John followed his mother's example — even if he didn't know it

    daymond john

    Feloni: And I've seen you talk a lot about getting your work ethic from your mother.

    John: Well, my mother and my dad were both very hardworking people, but then my father had left when I was 10 years old. And my mother, you know — I look back and I say, "You know? I didn't really listen to my mother when I was growing up, but I ended up doing everything she did." She had a little cab service that she was driving. She was working part-time here and trying to work on her dream at night.

    Feloni: Just always working?

    John: Always working and always trying to find like-minded people around her. Always educating herself, at that time she was going to the library. Reading The Wall Street Journal. Looking in encyclopedias. And she was traveling as much as she could, she actually got a job, part-time, working for American Airlines so she could see the world, so she could broaden her view of life.

    And as I look at my success, and I look back, I did everything she did, even though when I was a kid I was like, "My mother's the stupidest person on the planet." Right? Just like my kids think that I'm the stupidest person on the planet, but you do what you see your parents do and not what they say.

    Listen, I'm a self-proclaimed mama's boy. I say it now, but I wasn't going to tell you that at 15, 16, 20 years old, when I was trying to be cool. I'm a mama's boy.

    Feloni: But her influence was still affecting you, even if it wasn't cool to admit it.

    John: Yeah — exactly.

    Feloni: Didn't she have a sign that would say "THINK BIG" in your house?

    John: She had a can opener that was over our refrigerator cabinets, and it was a — I want to say 3 feet, maybe 2 1/2, 3 feet — can opener that said "THINK BIG." It was this long! I didn't know what the hell was wrong with her. It looked like a long back-scratcher, right?

    Feloni: Yeah.

    John: I was wondering, "When the hell are we going to open anything with this can opener?" I didn't think about it until years later, when I was, like, "Think big"— I get it now.

    Feloni: What was your version of the lemonade-stand thing? Because you said you always had these small hustles as a kid.

    John: I had plenty of versions of that. I used to scour the whole neighborhood looking for bike parts that people would throw out or whatever. Abandoned, you know? You would go around New York City and see the bikes that are all taken apart but still left on the chain?

    Feloni: Yeah.

    John: Before you know it, I would assemble bikes and I would sell them. I would have kids working for me in the yard. If I didn't have enough parts to put the bike together, it would be a go-kart or something of that nature. I had kids working out of my garage doing that. I used to sell pencils when I was a kid. I sold everything. I sold candy bars. I went to Catholic school for seven years, and, you know, they had this chocolate sale.

    Feloni: I had one of those.

    John: Actually, I'm thinking about it. I remember making enough sales where I bought a TV. A little black-and-white television set. That's when I used to watch all the Met games, my favorite team at the time. I found them on that TV. And I remember, I broke the TV, cause I was so excited I knocked it over when the Amazin' Mets won the championship.

    Feloni: Yeah.

    John: So I was selling everything. I think that's great what the Catholic school did to me, to make me go door-to-door and sell things.

    Feloni: So entrepreneurialism was in your blood?

    John: I think entrepreneurship is in everybody's blood. It's just sometimes the people in the surroundings around us, or society, tells us that we can't do what we are dreaming about doing. But as a kid none of us sit there and go, "It can't be done." We all go "I'm going to be Superman." We grow up dreaming, right?

    It's the people around us who stop us from dreaming, and sometimes they do it because they care about us, and maybe they grew up in a generation where one parent could go to work, the other one can stay at home, and you worked at a good place where you retired at 60 years old and Social Security was around, and things of that nature. But we're not in the Industrial Age anymore, and we're not in the Agricultural Age anymore. We're not at that time. Now is a different time.

    Learning that entrepreneurship is more than 'chasing money'

    daymond john

    Feloni: Yeah. When you were starting to come into your own, you came across a book, Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich."

    John: I still read the book every other year. I read it probably three times until I caught on to the definition of the book. I started to activate the tactics they taught about goal setting.

    And goal setting is, by far, the most important aspect you could do in your life to become whoever you want to be, right? You're goal setting one way, whether you like it or not. So if you're goal setting that you'll never find a great man or a great woman, you're always going to be in a abusive relationship, you're setting a goal for that.

    I set the goals that Napoleon Hill told me to set and visualize, and I read them every day at the time, and I became the person that I wanted to be, that I envisioned myself being, by the time I was 30 years old.

    But it wasn't that easy. It got so, so dark in between those times of my life. I don't want to paint this picture of, "Set a goal and all of a sudden you're going to get this magic-carpet ride." I just don't know what gave me the faith to keep reading those goals as it got darker before it got brighter.

    Feloni: Were you doubting yourself? Did you question whether you could ever be successful?

    John: I wasn't doubting myself. I was making the wrong moves. I started doing things for money. I started to buy crashed cars and sell crashed cars. I figured that I had this, you know, I buy it at $5,000 ...

    Feloni: A crashed car? Just the scraps?

    John: Yeah, you buy it at auctions. I buy it at $5,000, I put $2,500 into it, and I sell it at $10,000 or $12,000. I did the numbers, because I was so brilliant, and if I sold X amount and they started compounding, I would be a millionaire by 21.

    All right, so, well, that didn't work out quite well, and I was a waiter in Red Lobster at 21 years old. I was miserable trying to do that. I can't do anything with my hands, in regard to manual labor like that. I don't like that type of stuff. But I was just trying to do that for money.

    And I did various things for money. I opened up my delivery service, which I had a good time doing it, but I literally worked 18 hours a day. By the time I paid for all the insurance, the Department of Transportation, fines, and maintenance, and everything else, at the end of the year, I literally was leaving with a $30,000 net, but I was making $300, $400 a day. I was bringing in the van, but everything else was going every place else.

    I did that for three years. I was extremely heavy at the time from eating fast food, sitting on the road. I was tired. I did two or three things like that. I turned around and I said, "I don't think I'm going to be that millionaire, whatever the case is. Let me stop chasing money."

    And during my downtime, I said, "Let me go back to Red Lobster. I'm not going to take that job home with me. I just want to get my head straight." And I picked up this hobby called FUBU, where I wanted to just dress people on the side, because of this love of rap music and the culture and fashion.

    Founding FUBU out of his mother's house

    daymond john mom

    Feloni: So FUBU was just a hobby, to start. And that was what, 1992?

    John: First time was '89.

    Feloni: And how old were you?

    John: In '89 I was 20. I closed it three times, from 1989 to 1992, because I ran out of money.

    But the important point is that I took affordable steps. I ran out of $1,000, $2,000, $5,000. And every time I'd run out of money, let's say, the six months that I wasn't doing FUBU anymore, somebody would say, "Man, what's going on with those shirts?” or “I bought that shirt from you at an expo. I been looking for you all year!" And I'd always go, "All right. I'll make a couple more." I'll wear them and they'll go, "Hey. Where you get that shirt?"

    Feloni: So it was just side cash at first?

    John: Yeah. It just made me feel good. Also, another reason I was doing it is that I needed reasons to stop getting kicked off the video set. If I can go to the video set and say, "Hey — I'm dressing that person over there." They be like, "That person? That caterer?"

    Feloni: Just finding your way into LL Cool J videos and stuff?

    John:"I'm the wardrobe person over here, sir. Excuse me."

    I was going on video sets. I was dressing people once in a while. I was getting to talk to all the video chicks. I was eating all the free food that they had over there, and I was watching LL Cool J, or Salt-N-Pepa, or Run-DMC, or Biggie Smalls perform. I'd have paid money to go there! I was hanging out there all day.

    Feloni: How'd you even get yourself in the room? How'd you get them aware of this brand?

    John: Because I live in New York. At that time video sets weren't huge. They were these small things being shot on damn near camcorders. And once, growing up in Hollis, Queens, I mean, listen — everybody's from Queens. There's Run-DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, Lost Boyz, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, you know, Salt-N-Pepa, LL Cool J., Nas.

    Feloni: Yeah.

    daymond john ll cool j

    John: Once you knew one person, and then you get to see their homie, and you get to know their homie, and then you get to know the buddy-guard — not the bodyguard— and the friend, and you go, "Hey, what's going on tomorrow?""Next week we're going to Latifah 's set!""I'll see you there!""All right!" It's the same thing as networking, right? It's what we do every single day in bars and in conferences. I was just doing it on a different set.

    Feloni: At what point did it go from just having a shirt with something that you had just sewn onto it to it being this is a piece of clothing that people want.

    John: Well, they started talking about it very shortly after ‘89, probably about 1990. By '92, I decided to make a real run at it. And '92, they started talking about it a little bit more, from the levels of Queens. And I got with someone named Ralph McDaniels who had a show, a long-lasting show, called "Video Music Box." It was a video show. He did a little piece on me in his local show, which he's still got even till today. He talked about FUBU being the next brand.

    And so ‘93, ‘94 was went people really started checking for me. And around ‘95 is when it all culminated to me writing $300,000 of orders at the MAGIC trade show. I came back and I turned my house into a factory.

    That almost went bust. By ‘96, I had signed my first distribution deal. That's when we started to go global, '97 to 2000.

    Feloni: The name FUBU — "For Us By Us"— what did it mean for you? What were you looking to accomplish?

    John: So the name For Us By Us has always been an acronym for "us.""Us" has always been a culture and not a color.

    And the reason why is there was a boot company that made a comment, saying, "We don't sell our boots to drug dealers," in The New York Times, I think. Or Wall Street Journal. And it had already pissed me off because I was so busy buying Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren. I was buying ski jackets that cost $1,200. I said, "Who's ever going to respect and value the people that love the brand?" So I created FUBU, For Us By Us. And I didn’t want it to be — I wanted to be inclusive. I didn't want it to be a brand that also rejected people because their color. Because you just had to be cool and love hip-hop. I would have dressed the Beastie Boys just as quick as I would have dressed Run-DMC. I would have dressed 3rd Bass just as quick as anybody else. And I would definitely, if he was around. I think is one of the greatest rappers of all. Eminem would have been my first, right?

    But it started to spread as a brand that was only made for a certain color, which I think was wrong. It was made by a generation and a color of people that started a movement of something of called hip-hop, absolutely. But it would move on to be a global brand that, in Korea, and other places, they appreciated because they respected hip-hop. That was always the For Us By Us.

    Feloni: Didn't you have like, basically, this guerrilla-marketing thing of just like spraying graffiti throughout New York?

    John: Yeah. Well, it wasn't spraying graffiti. We weren't violating any laws. But we went to old stores that we could find, that had the gates pulled down, the storm gates, and we would ask them, can we whitewash their gates, and can we put "authorized FUBU dealer" on the gates? They could be selling Chinese food. I didn't care what they were. They weren't an authorized FUBU dealer. Actually, there was no authorized FUBU dealer.

    But we spray-painted those gates. We spray-painted like 300 of them from New York to New Jersey. Those gates would be down early in the morning and down early in the evening, and they would look like billboards. We would just do anything and everything we could, and we had a really great following.

    Feloni: Your mom — she moved to Manhattan and left you the house in Queens, right? You kind of turned it into a factory?

    John: Correct. Mom got out. She said, "You guys are crazy,” and my friends all moved in. We burned all the furniture that we couldn't sell. We moved all these commercial sewing machines into the house. We had a bunch seamstresses sewing the clothes.

    Feloni: Weren’t you renting out rooms, too.

    John: I was renting out the rooms to my friends. It was all about $75 a room. It was just a big Airbnb. There were strangers in the house.

    Feloni: Like a sweatshop or something?

    John: It wasn't a sweatshop. We were paying the women good money. I had to take a second mortgage on my home, which is about $100,000. I have no idea how we got that mortgage because my house is worth $75,000.

    It was a crazy time. We were manufacturing about a year and a half. We were burning polo fleece in the backyard, the excess polo fleece, so the whole neighborhood was purple. The fire department would come and kick down the door.

    Feloni: Just burning things, yeah.

    John: Yeah. We had to get rid of the extra goods. I wasn't paying to get it carted away, right?

    Feloni: Oh. So you saved money on garbage?

    John: On burning the extra fabric, right? Why not? My neighbors weren't really happy about it. The firemen would come and kick down the door. We would jump the back fence and leave. The fines would be there. We'd just be known as the guys just burning crap in the backyard. We just didn't care. We had the eye of the tiger. We were focused, man.

    daymond john

    Feloni: Well, when did it go from this scrappy startup to a legitimate business? I mean, by 1998, it was like the hip-hop brand.

    John: Yeah, '95 and '96 was when we were doing the factory thing. In '96 we ended up putting an ad in the paper because we ran out of capital. This was our version of Kickstarter. It said "$1 million in sales. Need financing."

    Feloni: Straightforward.

    John: Straight up. Thirty-three people called the ad. Thirty of them were loan sharks. Three were real, and one was Samsung's textiles division. They said to us, "We have a deal. You're going to have to sell $5 million worth of clothes in three years to keep this level of distribution." And, um, because we had already made all our own mistakes small, and was there from 1989 to 1996, and knew our customers and knew what worked and didn't work.

    We sold $30 million in three months. Then FUBU really just took off. And I was able to do what we do best, which was guerrilla marketing, sales, and branding, and deal with all the artists. We had back-of-house logistics who could handle manufacturing and logistics.

    Feloni: You've said that part of your success as an entrepreneur has to do with you being dyslexic. What does that mean for you? When did it go from being something to be ashamed of to being proud of?

    John: I was never ashamed of it because I didn't know I had it. My mother treated me so well and loved me so much and made me feel like there was something special I had, but I had to work on all the things I was weak about.

    But as I look back and I try to address people about dyslexia — and I believe the stat is over 40% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Out of the Sharks, add all the Sharks together, and the guest sharks, there are 12 of us, and eight of us are dyslexic.

    Feloni: Really?

    John: Yeah.

    Feloni: Wow.

    John: As I look at, it was always a workaround. I would read something, I had to read it three times, then I'd have to go and try to do anything in there that I read because I don't know if I grasped the information correctly. So it always made me take action.

    I took something called the co-op course, in high school, where I got to go to work one week and get credit for it, and go to school one week. I ended up working on 55th Street, I think, or 53rd Street, at First Boston — happened to be a venture firm. I started to see how people were dealing with venture capital at that time. I was a messenger, though. I was walking the streets all the time.

    But anyway, the cheat and the workaround, dyslexia got me around to some area of doing something else that ended up becoming entrepreneurial.

    Feloni: So then FUBU. It's bringing in, like, $350 million in sales in '98. But then, in your 2014 book, "The Power of Broke," you refer to this period in the early 2000s or so where you had all of this excess inventory, and then, also around this time, your investment in Heatherette, this fashion company, lost you millions of dollars. I think it was $6 million, you said?

    John: Yeah.

    Feloni: Was this a dark time in your career?

    John: No. You know, listen. It definitely wasn't dark. I already had the resources behind me that I never had to work again. I was now, like, what all business owners face. I was in, “What am I going to do for my staff? How am I going to move forward? I was trying to find my way. So was it a dark time? No. It was a frustrating time.

    Becoming a surprise TV star on 'Shark Tank,' and being busier than ever in 'early retirement'

    daymond john barbara corcoran kevin o'leary

    Feloni: But then you got a call from Mark Burnett, with this invitation to be on "Shark Tank" in 2008, this was basically right after the great recession.

    John: No. It was right in the middle ... It was starting.

    Feloni: So "Shark Tank," this opportunity comes along during the recession. Was this something that you jumped on, like a good opportunity?

    John: No, no. When I got the call it was a waste of my time. I was, like, "This crappy show? Nobody will ever watch it. Who the hell is going to watch five business people talking? But I wanted to go out to LA and hang out for a little while. See some friends. So I'll take the flight out to LA. I'll shoot the crappy little pilot. One condition: I get to sit with you, with Mark Burnett, and I get to pitch him my three smoking-hot TV-show ideas that will change the entire world."

    Feloni: So you saw it as an opportunity for yourself, not "This is going to be a good show"?

    John: Yeah. At that time I was probably about 35, 36. And I go out there and I'm so just like not interested in the show that I'm going out to a club that night. I wear my earrings. I'm like, "I'm going to wear the suit. I'm going to wear my earrings. I got to hurry up and change. I go out to the club and I have to have some bling-bling on at the time."

    The damn show gets picked up and they tell me, at that point: "Well now, for continuity, you got to keep your earrings in all the time." Now I got to keep the earrings in. Now I'm 48 years old still wearing the goddamn earrings because I'm no longer the "Shark Tank" guy if I don't wear the earrings.

    That's what happened. I did go and tell Mark. I go to breakfast, I go and pitch him my three great ideas on TV shows. I swear to you, before the eggs came, he shot down all the ideas. Now that I think about them, they were pretty crappy.

    Feloni: The show ended being a phenomenon. But yeah, season one, no one could have predicted that. We had Barbara Corcoran in here, your fellow Shark. She was saying how, when Lori came on to the cast, she felt great that she didn't have to be the token woman of the show. Were you ever uncomfortable being the only nonwhite person when they were casting this?

    John: I'm not white?

    Feloni: [Laughs]

    John: Um. No. Not at all. I've always been confident in who I am. I think that the cast is extremely diverse in the way of thinking. You know, I'll be very honest, prior to that, I'd had some run-ins in Hollywood. I've dealt with a lot of Hollywood people. I'll be very honest, the people over at ABC, and at Mark Burnett's office, have always been the most solid people I've ever worked with.

    Feloni: So it ended up going from something that was on the brink of being canceled to this cultural phenomenon, essentially.

    John: It is amazing.

    Feloni: When did you realize that it had become that?

    John: I think when Mark Cuban came on and he started to do the analysis on his own and said, "This is the top show watched, kids 5 to 15 years old, and the top show watched, parents and kids together." This is not going anywhere if you look at the data on how it has — it's on the 17th year in London. I don't know what year in Japan. Every city it goes to, it pops after three years. You know, we realized we're part of something special.

    Feloni: With "Shark Tank," renewed for a 10th season. Even something that is so popular can't just go on forever. But you've tied so much of your brand into it. You've got The Shark Group, which is one of your companies. You're TheSharkDaymond on social. What happens if the show weren't around anymore?

    daymond john

    John: Nothing, I’m still a Shark, you know? I didn't build around those things. "TheSharkDaymond," yes, because it was easy to separate my name from all the Daymonds out there, but The Shark Group was initially the "Stealth Branding" I used to have before Shark, then people started calling it "shark branding" when they called. Then I changed it to "Shark Group" because we do way more than just branding.

    Feloni: And outside of "Shark Tank"you launched Blueprint + co. last year, which is like your spin on coworking space, but also kind of incubator and creative studio, right?

    John: No. It's incubator, creative, but it's for established companies. People who already have 100 people working someplace else, but they want to just maximize their talent and their staff, but they also don't want somebody at the water cooler getting pitched by somebody else for a $5,000 investment. These people aren't looking for funding. They already are established.

    Feloni: In "Rise and Grind" you say that you've never been busier or more ambitious in your life.

    John: I was telling my friend the other day, I said, "Technically, I'm retired." I've been retired for about six, seven years because I haven't had to worry about my 300, 400 people at FUBU. I've licensed most of the brands out, so I didn't have to necessarily go to work and have this big infrastructure.

    But then, all of a sudden, now that "Shark Tank" has taken off, and I'm investing in all these companies, and we're doing a lot of branding and marketing, I'm busier now than when I was working, right? And I love it. I love every aspect of it.

    Now I wanted to put out a book, because I see another book about what's going on and how to be more productive, because so many people get the wrong information. So many people are sold insecurities. There's so many people out there making money to make you feel insecure. "You need this pill. You need this funding. You need me to give you consulting."

    So I decided to come out with "Rise and Grind" and highlight these amazing people, because there's so many people that are more successful than me in various different ways. And I look at success as not for money. I have people in the book who may not have money.

    daymond john mo's bows

    Feloni: Some of our listeners, if they're early in their careers and they're looking to aspire to a career like yours, what is a piece of advice that you'd give them?

    John: If they happen to be working right now to pay the bills, which we all have to do, don't quit your day job. Never do that. Start setting goals to put in one hour, six hours, nine hours a week on whatever that dream is. Go out and surround yourself with like-minded people. Try to network as much as you can. Find people who are mentors, who don't have any interest in your company or your product. Take affordable steps. Don't go bet the house. Instead of going to Vegas and playing a $1,000 a hand blackjack, play 1,000 hands of $1 a hand blackjack until you get to learn the groove and don't risk it all. Then you'll understand. And true entrepreneurs act, learn, and repeat. Learn every single thing you need. If you don't know how to sell online, then you go and start learning how to be a social-media expert. You start learning coding so at least you know the basics. Then you know when you can hire people.

    But the biggest investment is always going to be yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you. I'm not going to come to your house and grab you off the couch. Tell you to put down that Sega or whatever the hell you're doing. "Come on. I'm going to make you successful." Nobody's going to do anything for you. I promise.

    And don't tell people your problems. Bottom line. Walk in the room happy. Twenty percent of people don't care about your problems. The other 80% are happy you have them.

    Feloni: Thank you so much, Daymond. Really appreciate it.

    John: Appreciate it.

    Feloni: Thank you.

    SEE ALSO: Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' says his best investment — which brought in $50 million at profit last year — contains a lesson for all startups

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


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    daymond john

    • "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John got his start when he founded clothing brand FUBU in Queens, New York in 1989.
    • By 1996, he had $1 million in total sales, but was still running the company out of his house, which he had essentially converted into a factory.
    • That year, he placed a straightforward ad in the New York Times asking for funding. It led to an international distribution deal with Samsung that brought in $30 million in sales in three months.


    As a teenager, Daymond John visualized himself as a high-powered executive. He didn't really know what he wanted to do, or where, but he had a strong ambition. By his early 20s, though, he had a series of jobs that included selling car parts and working at Red Lobster. His dreams felt far away.

    Then, in 1989, he decided that he would break into New York City's growing hip hop scene with clothes that both rappers and fans like himself would enjoy. He began sewing his logos for his brand, FUBU, onto hats and shirts. After a few years, he took it from a hobby to a full-time endeavor.

    When things were getting tough, he put an ad in the paper for funding, and Samsung's textile division answered. Two years later, FUBU had gone from a project run out of a house to an international brand with $350 million in revenue.

    You can listen to the full podcast episode below:

    After getting Queens rappers like LL Cool J to lend credibility to the brand in its early years, John had enough momentum to land $300,000 of orders at the MAGIC retail convention in Las Vegas in 1995. He returned to New York and turned the house his mom left him after she moved to Manhattan into a makeshift factory.

    "That almost went bust," he told Business Insider in a recent episode of our podcast "Success! How I Did It." He had $1 million in total sales, but it was getting difficult to maintain. He took a second mortgage out on the house so that he'd have $100,000 to help fuel his business. "I have no idea how we got that mortgage because my house is worth $75,000."

    "It was a crazy time," he said. "We were manufacturing about a year and a half. We were burning polo fleece in the backyard — the excess polo fleece — so the whole neighborhood was purple. The fire department would come and kick down the door."

    It was fun, but it wasn't exactly sustainable. He decided to place an ad in the New York Times. "This was our version of Kickstarter. It said, '$1 million in sales. Need financing.'"

    John got some calls. Most were from scammers or sharks, but one was from Norman Weisfeld, president of Samsung's textile division.

    The proposal was simple: They could provide large-scale distribution to retailers if FUBU could sell $5 million of clothes over three years. With the help of rappers wearing FUBU in media and video appearances, FUBU ended up selling $30 million — in just three months. In 1998, it brought in over $350 million in revenue.

    John's career would go through ups and downs after that, but one thing that didn't change was that his successes and failures were always at a high level. He had managed to achieve the goal he set as a teenager, and so it was time for a new one.

    SEE ALSO: Before Daymond John became a millionaire investor on 'Shark Tank,' he was waiting tables at Red Lobster and talking his way onto LL Cool J's music video sets

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


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    daymond john barbara corcoran kevin o'leary

    • Half of the "Shark Tank" investors — Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O'Leary — are dyslexic. Guest Shark Richard Branson is, as well.
    • Dyslexia is a lifelong learning disability that makes reading difficult, but does not affect intelligence.
    • Research suggests that anywhere from 5-20% of the global population has dyslexia, but that as many as a third of entrepreneurs in the United States has it.
    • The Sharks say that skills that help with dyslexia, like learning how to control focus and delegate responsibilities, help with creating and running businesses.


    Dyslexia affects anywhere from 5%-20% of people in the world.

    Among the judges on the NBC show "Shark Tank," it's 50%.

    Three of the six "Shark Tank" investors are dyslexic, and they consider the learning disability not a disability at all, but an advantage.

    Research suggests they're onto something. A 2007 report from the Cass Business School in London found that 35% of 139 American entrepreneurs surveyed were dyslexic. While that number is based on a small study that may have resulted in a number that isn't representative of an entire population, other research has found the percentage of entrepreneurs with dyslexia is higher than the percentage of those in the overall population.

    According to the DyslexiaHelp team at the University of Michigan, dyslexia affects people of all intelligence levels, but affects an above-average percentage of those with high intelligence.

    In a recent interview with "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John for Business Insider's podcast "Success! How I Did It," John mentioned his fellow dyslexic Sharks, and explained how he was able to use dyslexia to his advantage as an entrepreneur. Here's what he and his other Sharks had to say on the subject, including the Season 9 guest Shark, Virgin founder Richard Branson.

    • Daymond John: "As I look at, it was always a workaround," he told us. "I would read something — I had to read it three times — then I'd have to go and try to do anything in there that I read because I don't know if I grasped the information correctly. So it always made me take action."
    • Barbara Corcoran: She told Entrepreneur in 2014 that growing up with dyslexia forced her to be more creative and social than classmates who took to schoolwork more easily. The key, she said, was overcoming an insecurity over it and embracing it. "And the kids that are so good at school, that don't have to fight for it, very often they don't do as well in life and business because they're not flexible," she said. "There's no system dictated to them out there like it is in school and they certainly tend not to make good entrepreneurs."
    • Kevin O'Leary: Like Corcoran, O'Leary was initially ashamed of his dyslexia, until he learned to control it. Then he considered it a "gift," he told Entrepreneur in 2016. He said, "staying focused in challenging times and on the tasks you're trying to achieve in business is very important, and that is actually how you get over dyslexia. Forcing yourself to focus over and over again."
    • Richard Branson: Branson has been one of the most vocal supporters of entrepreneurs with dyslexia. He told Bloomberg in 2015 that dyslexia has forced him to keep his communication with his team simple and efficient, and to be quick to delegate responsibilities to others that could do them better. "Too many leaders want to cling onto everything themselves and do everything themselves and never let go," he said. Similarly, dyslexia also made him adopt a habit from a young age of keeping notes throughout the day, which has become "one of his most powerful tools" in business.

    As John told us, he realized as a teenager that his dyslexia may have made him different from most people, but he believes the workarounds developed him into an entrepreneur.

    You can listen to the full podcast episode below:

    SEE ALSO: Before Daymond John became a millionaire investor on 'Shark Tank,' he was waiting tables at Red Lobster and talking his way onto LL Cool J's music video sets

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    NOW WATCH: Here's the morning ritual 'Shark Tank' star Daymond John uses to stay focused throughout the day


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    daymond john mom

    • "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John cites his mom as his greatest inspiration.
    • For FUBU, she taught him how to sew, took out a mortgage on her house for seed money, and let him use her house as a makeshift factory.
    • Just three years after moving FUBU out of John's mom's house, it brought in $350 million in revenue.


    "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John said that he wouldn't admit it until he was in his 30s, but he's always been a "mama's boy."

    But jokes aside, John is serious when he says that his mother was his main inspiration for working hard and starting the business that became FUBU and made him wealthy.

    "I look back and I say, 'You know? I didn't really listen to my mother when I was growing up, but I ended up doing everything she did,'" he told us for a recent episode of Business Insider's podcast "Success! How I Did It."

    You can listen to the podcast episode below:

    John explained that his father left when he was 10, and that his mother worked multiple jobs to provide for them. She became a role model for him, "Always working and always trying to find like-minded people around her. Always educating herself, at that time she was going to the library. Reading The Wall Street Journal. Looking in encyclopedias. And she was traveling as much as she could. She actually got a job, part-time, working for American Airlines so she could see the world, so she could broaden her view of life."

    His mom kept a giant can opener in their kitchen that wasn't practical, but said "Think Big" and served as a sign of inspiration. ("I was wondering, 'When the hell are we going to open anything with this can opener?'" John said.)

    John explained that he had decided as a young teenager to be a successful executive of some kind, but by age 20, he felt lost. He had foregone college to make some money, but found himself working dead-end jobs and side projects.

    As he remembered it and said in a previous interview with Business Insider, his mother told him at this point, "Listen, you're going to have to figure out what you're doing the rest of your life, one way or another."

    In 1989, he decided that when he wasn't at his Red Lobster job, he would work on an apparel company called FUBU, that would allow him to both create something and participate in the growing hip hop scene he loved.

    Ms. John, as his mom likes to be known publicly, taught him how to sew, and he started making and selling hats. After seeing how passionate her son was about the project, she mortgaged her home in Hollis, Queens to raise $100,000 in funding and turned half of her house into a makeshift factory, working alongside John when she could. She then moved to Manhattan and left the house to John and his friends, who had moved in to help him build the business.

    In 1995, FUBU had gained enough buzz in the rap community that John and his cofounders were able to sign a distribution deal with Samsung's textile division. With the combination of John's influencer network and Samsung's resources, FUBU brought in $350 million in sales in 1998.

    John sat down with his mom in 2015 for a video produced by the Understood foundation for learning disabilities (John is dyslexic).

    "I believed in you because I saw how excited you were about being an entrepreneur, about making your own money, about making your own product," Ms. John told her son.

    She was confident by the time she moved out of their house in Queens that Daymond had finally found what he wanted to do with his life.

    "Any parent would have been so happy just to see their child so excited," Ms. John said.

    This is an updated version of an article that originally ran on March 10, 2015.

    SEE ALSO: Before Daymond John became a millionaire investor on 'Shark Tank,' he was waiting tables at Red Lobster and talking his way onto LL Cool J's music video sets

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    changed dashboard

    • More than half of students in the US use loans to pay for their tuition and other higher education costs. 
    • Total national student loan debt tops $1.4 trillion and students are feeling the pressure.
    • ChangEd is a student loan payment app that rounds up your credit and debit card purchases and collects the spare change to put toward loan payments. 
    • With just a little spare change every day, you can save a surprisingly large amount of interest costs and time off your repayment term. 

    The cost of higher education has only climbed over the years, so it's no surprise that millions of people turn to student loans to finance at least a portion of that cost. According to the Federal Reserve53% of those who completed at least a bachelor's degree acquired at least some debt in the process and the mean level of student debt in 2016 was $32,731 while the median was $17,000.

    This burden is so daunting and stressful that recent surveys found people preferred loan repayments as gifts over material items during the holiday season. When many people are still paying back student loans well into their 40s and 50s, you have to wonder whether there are any ways to speed up the process and make it just a little easier. 

    ChangEd is a new app that says it can take six years off your repayment term and save you $14,000 in interest costs — all with a bit of spare change.

    If you think this sounds too good to be true, keep reading to learn more about ChangEd's approach to relieving your student loan debts. 

    SEE ALSO: The 5 best apps to start investing with little money

    ChangEd was founded by a pair of brothers who saw a better way to pay back their student loans.

    Like millions of other borrowers in the US, founders Dan Stelmach and Nick Sky were saddled with their own student debts. Looking at the spare change accumulating in their pockets, the brothers estimated that it added up to about $50 a month. Not making use of it was a missed opportunity. 

    After testing beta versions with friends, they launched their student loan payment app ChangEd in April 2017 and also took their idea to a January 2018 episode of "Shark Tank," where they received an offer from Mark Cuban. 



    Chipping away at your student loans is easier with ChangEd's model of small, automated payments. Here's how it works.

    Similar to the app Acorns, ChangEd rounds up your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. Instead of investing this extra cash, it deposits the change into an FDIC-insured ChangEd account. 

    Once your account reaches $100, the app automatically sends it to the loan servicer. The company says it currently works with most loan servicers, including Great Lakes, FedLoan, Navient, and Nelnet.



    The app has a well-designed dashboard to help you track your progress.

    You can visualize the payments you've already made, how much you're saving in interest, and how much sooner you'll pay off your loan. 



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    shark tank success mainI love tuning in to "Shark Tank" every week for my fill of inspirational founder stories and entertaining investor personalities, but one of my favorite parts is seeing the updates on past deals.

    For many of the entrepreneurs, appearing on the show is a pivotal turning point. Unlike a lot of reality television in which the content is staged, it's not just for the cameras when they shake hands with a Shark. Afterwards, they work together to put their money where their mouth is and create thriving businesses, and there's no better example of the show's power than the following companies. 

    These products have become household names, and they have the sales to prove it. As you'll see, even though they share the common ground of "Shark Tank" beginnings, there is no formula or recipe for the type of business that does well on the show. 

    Get inspired by some of the most successful companies that landed deals on "Shark Tank" below. 

    Scrub Daddy

    The Scrub Daddy is soft in warm water, firm in cold water, and can be used for the toughest household cleaning situations. This versatile sponge premiered in Season 4 and remains the most successful "Shark Tank" products to date. What originally started as a sponge designed for auto body shops and mechanics led to QVC appearances, a deal with Lori Greiner, and more than $100 million in sales. 

    Scrub Daddy (4-Pack), $14.99, available at Amazon

    Scrub Daddy, $3.59, available at Target



    Bombas

    For something you probably wear every day, regular socks have a lot of annoying problems, and investor Daymond John agreed. Bombas makes comfortable socks with extra-long staple cotton to keep them breathable, extra cushioning where your feet need them the most, and a blister tab.

    The company made $50 million in 2017, which is great news for its community partners as well: for every pair purchased, it donates a pair to a homeless shelter or community organization. Bombas has donated more than 7 million pairs to date. 

    Shop men's, women's and kid's socks at Bombas here



    Tipsy Elves

    Robert Herjavec's $100,000 investment in ugly sweater company Tipsy Elves in 2013 has turned into more than $50 million total sales since. In addition to festive sweaters, it also makes ski gear and costumes that are sure to turn heads and attract some compliments. If you watched the 2018 Winter Olympics, you might've caught a glimpse of Jamaica's bobsled team wearing custom Tipsy Elves warmup suits. 

    Shop Tipsy Elves apparel on Amazon here



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    shark tank rejects main 2Throughout its nine seasons, the show "Shark Tank" has averaged four to nine million viewers. It's the biggest public platform that an entrepreneur could hope for, and just a 10-minute pitch on the show can translate to huge sales. Household names like the Scrub Daddy and Tipsy Elves all got their start after successfully striking deals on the show, but even companies that walked away without deals have done well, if not better than companies that did. 

    The founders of these companies took their "Shark Tank" rejections in stride, using them as learning lessons to nonetheless make millions in sales. Money from the judges would've been nice, but it turns out the national exposure can be just as valuable. 

    Check out the 8 companies that you'll be surprised didn't get deals on "Shark Tank" 

    The Bouqs Co.

    Online flower delivery service The Bouqs Co. left the Tank in 2014 without an investment, but Robert Herjavec kept them in mind three years later when he was planning the flowers for his wedding. Herjavec eventually ended up investing after getting a firsthand glimpse into the process behind creating the beautiful arrangements. Co-founder and CEO John Tabis said that there were several days in 2017 when the company sold $1 million in flowers in a day. It's now valued at $43.1 million. 

    Shop flower bouquets at The Bouqs Co.



    Ring

    This smart video doorbell gives homeowners peace of mind about who's at their door, whether they're at home or not. When Ring founder Jamie Siminoff appeared on the show, he valued his company, then called DoorBot, at $7 million.

    Since then, it's counted prominent investors like Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers,Qualcomm Ventures, Goldman Sachsand Richard Branson among its supporters. Most recently, Amazon bought Ring in a deal worth over $1 billion, a testament to its versatile capabilities beyond home security.

    Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell in Satin Nickel, $134.99, available at Amazon



    Kodiak Cakes

    The co-founder and COO of Kodiak Cakes, a natural food brand that makes whole grain, protein-rich breakfast options, went on the show seeking a $500,000 investment for 10% of their business. Though the Sharks all liked the taste and nutritional benefits of these pancake mixes, none of them agreed with the valuation. 

    Now, it's the fastest-growing pancake mix brand in the US, growing 80% year-on-year and approaching $100 million in revenue. 

    Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Pancake, Flapjack and Waffle Mix (3-Pack), $14.97, available at Amazon

    Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Unleashed Flapjack On the Go Baking Mix (12-Count), $20, available at Amazon

     



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