What I Learned About Success From Watching Shark Tank
If you're not watching Shark Tank, you're missing out. Despite some crazy business ideas, there is a lot to learn about how to be successful by watching the show. The sharks are decisive, knowledgeable, and passionate about what they do. As a leader, entrepreneur, teacher or business person, there is something to be learned by watching experts in their field do what they do. I wanted to share with you a few observations that I made about success while watching the show.
I initially started watching ABC's Shark Tank because I wanted to learn. I was curious about how business leaders and entrepreneurs thought about, evaluated and viewed business. The Sharks are “millionaire and billionaire investors” who made their money in real estate, investing, clothing and more. One of my favorite Sharks is Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and other businesses. I've been a fan of Cuban's for a while and have even recommended his blog, BlogMaverick on my EmpoweredU page. If you haven't watched the show, you should check it out!
After watching several episodes, I began to see themes, trends and patterns emerge. Some entrepreneurs repeated mistakes I'd seen before, while others were successful where I didn't think they'd be. I thought I would consolidate and share some of the best lessons I've learned from watching Shark Tank.
Ideas alone don't make you successful
Just like we each have opinions, we all have ideas; but some are better than others. An idea by itself does not a business make. Whether you're pitching a new technique to try, or a new lesson plan to roll out, you must be able to illustrate and prove that your idea will work. But beyond the idea comes belief. As the creator of the idea, you have to believe before anyone else will believe. If you don't believe in your idea, it is pretty rare that anyone else would. Work on your idea and get some small wins; small successes lead to big successes.
Not only do you have to be unique, but so does your product
If you're indistinguishable from your competition, why do you exist? You are unique in some way, you may just have to figure out what it is that makes you special. People don't just buy your product, they buy you. You have to be likable because people buy from who they like. If it's your idea you're selling, they have to like you before they can like your idea.
You have to be prepared
Walking into the Shark Tank must be like walking into a dissertation board while trying to get your PhD. The Sharks are experts! The five Sharks in the Shark Tank really know business. If you're going to talk business with experts, you also must be an expert. You have to be the expert on your idea. If you can't stand up to questions today, you won't be successful tomorrow.
You have to be all in and love what you do
If you're not all in, no one else will be either. If you try to play it cool and hide your passion, your audience will read that as apathy and complacency. Be careful though, just because you're “all in” on your idea doesn't mean it's a good one. Sometimes we need someone on our Personal Board of Directors to give us a reality check. And while you do have to be completely committed to your own success, don't get greedy. Greed can kill a dream as fast a Shark can say, “I'm out.”
You must have a plan
To be successful, a plan is a requirement. Hope is not that plan. If you don't have a plan, you can't predict the future, and no one can buy into your vision if you haven't cast it yet. There's also a catch – good products and good plans don't always lead to success, you need something more. What that “something more” is is up to you. No one but you can provide that. The good news is, the “something more” that can make you successful is often you! You're already pretty awesome if you think about it.
Creativity is a must
No one wants to be part of a “me too” product or a “me too” company. You can avoid becoming the person that “also-ran” by starting creative and staying creativity. Your uniqueness can be the something extra you need. You also need to protect the uniqueness of your ideas. Patents, copyrights and intellectual property are extremely valuable. To be successful in the Shark Tank, you must be creative.
Generosity has no downside
The Sharks don't choose to invest in everyone that presents to them. However, I've seen the Sharks pass on an investment, yet still help someone they believed in. That goes to show that it's not only about the money. In fact, Daymond John, the founder of the FUBU clothing line, passed on an opportunity to invest in one of the entrepreneurs, but still connected her with someone who could help her. There really is no downside to generosity.
Whether you watch Shark Tank or not, I hope you enjoyed reading about what I'm learning from the show. Whatever idea you're working on, don't quit! Stick with it, find someone who believes in you, and make your dreams happen!
Question: What tips and tricks for success have you picked up along they way? Share your ideas in the comments section below by clicking here!