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How Barbara Corcoran Spots Success


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Barbara Corcoran is an entrepreneur, real estate maven, and Shark on ABC's Shark Tank. She sat down with LinkedIn's Daniel Roth to talk about her road to success, the future of real estate, and what she looks for on Shark Tank.

Some of our favorite excerpts:
On Failure —
I think the left side of your brain is totally overrated in business. So much of your good guesses and hunches come surely out of your intuition. And I think we're trained from the very beginning to be very left brain and analyze everything to death. It's great to have a plan. No doubt.

I always had a goal, not a plan, and then tried to figure out how I was gonna get there. But what happens is real life gets in the way. So everything you plan doesn't work out. And if you stay with your plan, what happens is you don't see the opportunities left and right.

You don't see the best opportunities, which are always on the heels of failure. And so I just am not a believer in that Harvard MBA. type stuff. And by the way, most of the times I ever lost a lot of money with somebody, they graduated from Harvard.

On Partnership —
I don't think you can build a business having one type of person. And the bigger the business gets, the more it's gotta look like a giant crayon box with a million different colors. That's what gives the business its substance. You always have to look for your opposite in partnership. And then head every department with people who are good as containers, good as controllers, and put them together.

Most people like to hire pals that they get along with that are similar to themselves. Always the wrong call. It's, this is what you do well. This is what the company doesn't have, and this is what we're gonna have to do to get to the finish line.

Every one of my most successful businesses from Shark Tank, I would say the seven big winners to date, have opposite personalities at the helm. I'm just a big believer in it.

On Making It to Shark Tank —
In my mind I thought, "This is a perfect fit. I'm gonna help young people build business? That's what I'm great at, building a business." And so I signed that contract, mailed it back, and then just a few days before I was supposed to fly to L.A., I got a call from Mark Burnett Productions saying, "I'm sorry, we've changed our mind."

I just couldn't believe it. I had seen myself there in Hollywood against that sign, being a star. But then I got mad. And that's a great trait I have: I get mad and then I bounce back up.

And I typed out an email to Mark saying, "I understand you've asked another girl to dance. But I do my best work on the heels of rejection and consider your rejection a lucky charm." And then I cited for him all the rejections I had had in my life, the worst ones and how it turned into my best success. And what do you think Mark Burnett did? He changed his mind and invited me out to compete with the other woman. And I won for that seat on Shark Tank.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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