35 Killer Quotes From the Stars of Shark Tank Essay
Over the past seven years, the savvy moguls at the helm of ABC's Shark Tank — Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary — have heard countless pitches and offered more than $66 million to help aspiring entrepreneurs around the country turn their into reality.
The eighth season of the hit series will premiere on Sept. 23, so we've gathered some of the sharks' most motivational insights about building a business, making mistakes, managing money, finding your passion and being a great boss.
1. Don't let failures get you down.
"It's only when you put yourself in charge that you have a shot at becoming rich. … if you're competitive and pigheaded enough to get over the failures without wasting time feeling sorry for yourself, and if you can inspire enough good people to join you, you can pretty much become as rich as you want." — Barbara Corcoran
2. Success is nothing without passion.
"I get this all the time, which is crazy: ‘I want to be rich. What kind of company should I start?’ You can’t do that. It doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to be good at something and not only be good at it, but you’ve got to love it, and then you’re willing to work and do whatever it takes." — Mark Cuban
3. You’re in charge of your destiny.
"If you can afford to take a risk and you’re young enough, either start your own company or be involved with one where you’re racking up equity. There’s no other path to becoming a millionaire. No employer is going to let you make a million dollars off of their business. They don’t have to. Realize that if you want that path, that journey to becoming a millionaire, you have to sacrifice a lot and work like a dog. I did. There was no balance in my life. I wasn’t even around when my kids were young. But today, I can afford to gather them with me every weekend anywhere on Earth I want to." — Kevin O'Leary
4. Save as much money as you can.
"If you learn to live pretty simply and well, well under your means, you feel incredibly, incredibly rich and that frees you up and gives you the option to start something new, to leave the job you’re not excited about, where there might be a glass ceiling on you." — Chris Sacca
5. Meet your customers where they are.
“With Facebook and other social platforms, you can have highly targeted marketing campaigns to attract customers who are interested in the product or service that you have. Find the user groups they meet up in on social and win them over there." — Robert Herjavec
6. Learn to delegate.
“I always say, if you’re not a marketing person, you didn’t start the businesses to do marketing, so don’t do it." — Robert Herjavec
7. Listen to your customer — up to a point.
"Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happy. Listen to them. Make them happy. But don't rely on them to create the future road map for your product or service. That's your job." — Mark Cuban
8. Perceived weaknesses can be valuable strengths.
“You have to put it in your own mind that this is not an affliction that will negatively impact your future. It shouldn’t in any way diminish your self-esteem or be considered something that is going to hurt your chances to be successful at work or in life." — Kevin O'Leary
9. There is always a solution.
“There are no ‘nos,’ just ‘how can I?’” — Lori Greiner
10. Brands need to tell a story.
“It’s very important that it catches your eye, it tells you exactly what it is instantaneously and it makes you want to pick it up." — Lori Greiner
11. Protect your intellectual property.
“If you put it online, it can go around the world in a second, and someone will knock it off." — Lori Greiner
12. Nothing is a sure thing.
"I can't tell you how many times people have tried to scam me, and, unfortunately, they have pulled it off a few times. But I have learned that usually the easier someone says something will be, the more likely my scam alert goes off. Nothing is ever guaranteed. The people who are full of shit tend to try and make you think they have a sure thing. When you hear that, run away." — Mark Cuban
13. Don't overthink.
"Building a business is little more than a series of quick opportunities followed by a big a series of big obstacles. The opportunities arrive and leave so quickly that they're way too easy to miss. If I hadn't quit my job on a stranger's suggestion the moment I heard it, I would have probably thought about it and not done it. Every great decision I've made in business since was made exactly that way — quickly without any thought. I've learned that thought gets in the way." — Barbara Corcoran
14. Sacrifice in service of success.
"Be honest with yourself. What price are you willing to pay to make the business work and be successful? Would you sacrifice your time, your family, your friends, your golf game, your entire social life? I am not advocating that you should, but you have to ask yourself if you are prepared to." — Robert Herjavec
15. Keep meetings to a minimum.
“I don’t like to do a lot of meetings and phone calls because of the productivity hit. Only if you’re writing me a check, I’ll do a meeting. If there’s a problem and we need to solve it, I’ll do a call. Other than that, I keep communication limited to email. It’s more efficient.” — Mark Cuban
16. Tell yourself you deserve a seat at the table.
“I have just as much right to be here as you, I’m just as smart as you are. You might not think I’m smart, but I know I’m smart. Guess what, I’ve done a lot. Don’t you dare look down on me.” — Barbara Corcoran
17. Learn from your mistakes.
“If you can’t come clean and tell investors how and why you failed, that raises a red flag. They need to see that you learned from it and came back stronger.” — Daymond John
18. Money won't solve your problems.
“To me, success isn’t defined by your wallet. It’s defined by waking up with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day. But, sure, money can make your life a whole lot easier.” — Mark Cuban
19. Be resilient
“The difference between the real winners is how long they take to feel sorry for themselves. My winners feel it … but they come back up and say ‘hit me again.’” — Barbara Corcoran
20. Trust your gut.
"You have to have a senseless belief in your idea and yourself — almost to the point of being delusional. Remember that everyone has advice but no one knows what you have to go through to start, grow and scale a business until they live it! Talk is cheap, but action speaks volumes." — Robert Herjavec
21. Embrace self-reliance.
“You have to be willing to do as much as possible by yourself up until you simply have no choice but to hire someone; and even then, you will have to stay intimately involved in the day-to-day operations, because even the best employee will never be as vigilant as you will.” — Lori Greiner
22. Be optimistic.
"You have to see everything as half-full even though everyone is saying you have nothing in your glass." — Barbara Corcoran
23. Don't wait for the right moment to begin.
"You can't study to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes, you just have to jump." — Barbara Corcoran
24. Monitor your money.
“What I find so remarkable, and this includes very wealthy people I know, is nobody knows what they’re monthly nut is. Whether you’re single, married, a single parent or otherwise, most people don’t know what it costs them to live every 30 days, and that’s living on the edge.” — Kevin O'Leary
25. Don't just ride the wave. Chart your own path.
“I think it's harder if you're a 'me too' business or you're one of many. I think if you really have an innovative idea and you're first to market, there's no shortage in money.” — Robert Herjavec
26. Be thorough.
“To get people who will truly love your product and spread the word, make them proud of it and make sure you don’t embarrass them by putting something out there that isn’t 100 percent.” — Daymond John
27. Lead by example.
“Whatever you do, don’t stay up in a stuffy office away from your people. Get right in there, side by side with your employees. Get hands-on and show them there’s no task beneath you.” — Lori Greiner
28. Set your standards.
"I’m a great guy to work for 98 percent of the time, but the other 2 percent of the time, you’re going to do it my way and that’s it. A great boss is kind, but you have to strong, too. You can’t be a pushover.” — Robert Herjavec
29. Don't underestimate the power of your network.
"We’re talking tapping into other people’s marketing, mind power and momentum, even other people’s manpower. Cross-promote with others’ in the industry you operate in. It goes both ways. You promote them and they promote you. It’s mutually beneficial and it doesn’t cost a thing.” — Daymond John
30. Don't let anxiety hold you back.
"I think when you get old like me, you realize the sun really does rise the next day. I think the other thing is fear. If you let your fear dictate how you feel about others or things that are going on, it can paralyze you." — Robert Herjavec
31. Have all the information before making a decision.
“I always think it’s a smart move to have your eyes on everything in your business, everywhere. Go see your factory with your own eyes when you’re in a position to. No one knows your business better than you do and you have to see every aspect of it for yourself.” — Lori Greiner
32. Mistakes help forge who you are.
“I would say almost two-thirds of all of my best entrepreneurs had some injury coming out of their earlier life that they’re getting over, and I love it. Because if they have something to prove, I feel like I’ve got an insurance policy on my investment in my back pocket.” — Barbara Corcoran
33. You will never be completely balanced.
"Work-life balance is one of the biggest misconceptions people have. It’s not reality. I’m laser-like focused and driven and you just gotta keep going. You have to figure out what’s important to you, realize that everything has a price and make sacrifices.” — Robert Herjavec
34. You can find a wonderful mentor where you least expect it.
"Mentors don't have to be the Daymond Johns or the Mark Cubans. A person running a successful bodega or a tax firm in your community for the last 20 years, that person is working just as much as the individual who's running General Mills." — Daymond John
35. Discover what motivates you.
"Find something you are good at and do what it takes to be great at it. We all have something special about us. The hard and exciting part is figuring out what it is." — Mark Cuban
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