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The Cold Hard Truth About The Sharks

The Cold Hard TruthThe Cold Hard Truth about Shark Tank and investors is that everything happening on the show also happens in the real world negotiations between investors and entrepreneurs. That’s the beauty of the show. That does not mean what happens on the show happens in every negotiation, but all the scenarios do play out in the real world.
Why do you think Kevin O’Leary, says it’s The Cold Hard Truth so often? He’s doing more than selling books he is saying it like it is, no matter what you think. That said, the guy will get it wrong from time-to-time, just like every other investor who succeeds at making money from Start-Ups. Most successful investors make money on only a sliver of their investments.

The Cold Hard Truth About The Pitch

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that edited pitches don’t paint real stories, editing paints a vivid story, despite many entrepreneurs saying the final cut ended up quite different than what really happened. While their situation may seem different, every scenario happening in the broadcast happens to thousands of entrepreneurs who are seeking capital.

How do I know what The Cold Hard Truth is? I have been in hundreds of negotiations with investors, and nothing is a sure bet. We entrepreneurs can do everything to prepare for our pitch, but unless we make a connection with out investor, we won’t land a deal.

The Cold Hard Truth about entrepreneurs and investors does come down to a philosophical game, and it takes more than just Believing in your ideas and yourself. Countless number of people who do believe in themselves and their ideas end up broke because they wouldn’t listen to people who could help them.

Sure, this post isn’t the feel good, “Think and Grow Rich” type that Rob posted yesterday. This post is a dose of reality, The Cold Hard Truth. That said, if I could only work with one of The Sharks, I would pick Kevin O’Leary. Yes, I realize the guy can be viciously tough, but I want The Cold Hard Truth.

So The Cold Hard Truth is that we entrepreneurs need the total package, not just belief in ourselves. Far too many entrepreneurs who believe in themselves and their product walk out without a deal because they continually trip over themselves, proving that winners and losers believe in themselves and their products.

Take it from somebody who has experienced many of the story lines played out in the show, they do happen, and they are real. Be prepared because you never know when your investor will be standing in the elevator next to you.


  1. Interesting post. It always amuses me when people fail to get investment into their ideas. 9 times out of ten it is because they are looking at it with rosy tinted glasses and fail to see the cold hard truth staring back in their faces!

  2. Dr Watson Goh says

    My take on this is that sometimes the investors are “playing” safe ball. Too many unnecessary consideration before assisting investors. To me, investment in somebody is always a gamble, it works both way. So as long as some basic criteria are met, and your gut feeling say it is ok, just invest. Off course, the amount will varies accordingly with the degree of risk persist.

  3. I am amazed when a mediocre idea/plan gets funded on the show because the entrepreneur makes a connection with a shark.

  4. So right Kirk, investors only make money on a small percentage of investments. The scenario you describe is played out all over the world of the bright eyed bushy tailed with their better mousetrap eventually having to face the reality of their passion – even if it takes 30 or 40 years. If only there was a way of assessing the value of ideas at an early stage without having to go through all the pain of research and development when there is no guarantee of success.

  5. interesting thank you

  6. emotions always get in the way at first

  7. Yeah, reality often is more of the “cold hard truth” than the kittens and rainbows of positive thinking

  8. Lenore Goodnreadytogo says

    Hi Kirk, You tell it like it is!
    Regards, Lenore

  9. everything you say here is spot on. I agree completely with the points raised here. Here in the UK our version of Shark Tank is called Dragons Den and the treatment is just as harsh and brutal as you describe.

  10. Even the best of ideas are hard to sell without a viable plan, and the will and mentality to see the plan through when faced with adversity. I think the reason investors and entrepreneurs “connect” with some and not others is often based on the ivestors assessment of the entrepreneurs tenacity.

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