Recently, I caught up with Barbara Corcoran before she was to give the keynote speech at the Iowa Women’s Conference. She’s not politically correct, but as straightforward and as honest as your best friend should be.
“Find 10 real estate brokers and give them your product in exchange for giving you honest feedback" is the advice that Barbara Corcoran gave when asked by a first time entrepreneur on how to get feedback for her unique invention.
As a child, Barbara grew up with nine siblings on the main floor of a three family home. They had a boy’s room on one side of the house, and the girl’s room that she shared with her sisters on the other side.
She connects with many entrepreneurs, such as myself, by pointing out, “I wasn’t a good student, I barely made it through school with a D average." I know that all too well.
Still, that didn’t hold her back and while working as a waitress, she scored a $1,000 loan from her then boyfriend to start her real estate empire. Later, that same boyfriend took off with her secretary. “I never paid him the $1,000 back", she says, making note that she got even with him!
She actually downplays her success somewhat by comparing how much she has made to the other Sharks, saying “Those guys have made billions and I’m in the millions, making it hard to compete."
I personally think Barbara Corcoran has done just fine, making some great deals that the guys wouldn’t make. Still, we’re going to find out that just because she finds it tough to compete with them, she can make great business partners with them (hint, hint)…
She understands products and services that are used everyday, but shy’s away when it comes to technology saying she doesn’t get it. She does, however, understand that on her deals, she needs to have a strong social media presence. She relies on targeting people who prove to her that they know what they are talking about.
She’s preparing to return for the fourth season when they start filming in June. “I pushed for a long time to have two women on the show, which I believe will add an interesting twist." We’ll know soon if Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner (Barbara says she’s so attractive, she’s jealous of her) will appear on the show together.
Personally, I think both of them are quite attractive, intelligent and make a great contribution to the show.
Speaking of the Woman’s contribution, Barbara stated, “I have to sit with my legs crossed for ten hours and then they expect me to jump up and be excited when making deals. Sometimes, I’ve had to pinch myself really hard to so I am able to get up on these super high heels!" She continues, “The guys are lucky, they can sit their relaxed and with legs apart." She also notes, that the stage is set up for the height of the guys, and not necessarily for her.
I shared with Barbara that her deal with Kim Nelson of Daisy Cakes inspired me to focus on the TV show Shark Tank, writing about each episode in my personal blog. Then re-run after re-run of that episode, I continued to see great numbers, finally deciding that The Shark Tank blog needed to come to life.
She noted, “Daisy Cakes needed a new website fast after crashing within a minute of airing on the show. 70,000 visitors in just 3 minutes and it didn’t let up. By Monday morning, they had a new website up. She noted that they are readying a new website as I write this to keep up with their traffic.
Rob and I have talked with several entrepreneurs who have Barbara Corcoran as a partner, and they all say how great she is. After meeting with her, I agree, if I needed an investor, I would be lucky to have her in business with me.
What surprised me most is the way Barbara makes her investment decisions. On the show, she appears to make more emotional decisions, but after listening to her, I discovered she pays attention to the emotions of others, combined with the numbers and her gut to make decisions. She’s able to capture deals based on experiences that the guys don’t have.
Proving this point is AVA The Elephant, an idea that Tiffany Krumins had. She walked in with five prototypes when she pitched the Sharks and walked out with Barbara Corcoran as a partner. AVA The Elephant is available in Drug Stores nationwide and through Amazon. AVA Talks as she dispenses medicine to sick toddlers. I know I could have used her this weekend so I ordered one through Amazon this week!
You might be wondering if I got a Scoop, and yes, I did. I promised I wouldn’t share what happened, but I don’t think it would hurt if I slipped a little-bit of info… Barbara will do a deal with a partner that surprised me….
We’ll be watching this Friday night as we see a successful deal being made and a website that get’s overwhelmed by traffic from Shark Tank success.
The one scoop I didn’t get, came after a woman nearby asked what’s it like working with the guys on stage. Barbara literally looked straight at me and said “Kirk, Cover your ears, you’re not going to write this!" She made sure I couldn’t hear…. Oh, Well…. Maybe next time…
Check out Barbara Corcoran's personal Website