“Taking chances almost always makes for happy endings”
Most people knows Barbara Corcoran as the no-nonsense judge in the Hit TV show “Shark Tank”. However, before her journey to stardom, she was already renowned as the real-estate queen of New York City.
If you ever heard her story, she is one of those persons you would wonder about twice. How did she manage to it?
Barbara built an entire empire on a mere $ 1000 loan, launching The Corcoran Group, a real estate brokerage in 1973, simply based on the fact that she was good at selling products.
"I knew how to sell things," she explains. "And I didn't like working for other people. A good sign that you should be an entrepreneur is if it bugs you to work for someone else".
She has gained popularity throughout the world due to her demonstration of blunt honesty, brilliant courage and her ability to detect talent where typically it seems hidden.
What exactly makes a business mogul? Is it the straight A’s, high IQ or being born with a silver spoon?
Barbara was a straight D student in high school, and she had worked in twenty jobs by the time she had turned twenty-three. She quit her job as a waitress to start her tiny office in NYC. After being quoted in an article in New York Times about venture capitalism, she found that press was good for business, and thus launched a report which examined the real estate trends and statistics in NYC, realizing that since reporters often refer to statistics for stories, it was a good way to pull them in as she would have a greater chance of being quoted again, and thus expand her market.
At the age of 45, after having her first child, Barbara decided it was about time that she sold The Corcoran Group.
A real estate giant, NRT was purchasing other real estate ventures at the time, and they offered to purchase The Corcoran Group for $ 22 million dollars. When Barbara was offered this offer, she swiftly responded, "Tell them I want $ 66 million”.
"I figured I'd take a shot at it, Every time they came back, I stuck to it." Barbara stated. Finally, NRT bought The Corcoran Group at the demanded value.
Years after selling her company, her entrepreneurial spirit could not stay idle for long and she started to pitch herself to TV shows to give business advice on venture capitalism. It was then that she was offered a job for an unnamed show. She accepted. But, was soon turned down.
She demanded an audience with Mark Burnett via an e-mail and made his assistant promise to print and make him read the mail. Barbara got the job of course, and she has been on Shark Tank for over six years now.
Barbara had invested in over a dozen businesses since airing on Shark Tank. Her wisdom has helped a number of entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
She states that as a judge on Shark Tank, she is the talent, and she judges potential entrepreneurs based on her wit, and always chooses kindred and people who give off the vibe of being ‘nice’.
"They are always great risk takers and salespeople--and hugely organized," she says. "They also ignore me when I tell them what to do, which I love, because that means they truly are entrepreneurs."
It is evident from her words that she is as vivacious as her reputation precedes her. Being a woman, low grades, age, lack of capital, or the unavailability of investors did not stop her from becoming what she is today.
She is an inspiration to both men and women. This article highlights only very selective parts of her long and tiring journey. Nonetheless, it is high time that all and any individual with an entrepreneurial spirit realize that what takes you ahead is yourself and your belief in your own capabilities.