Eric McCandless / ABC

Barbara Corcoran is the founder of the real estate brokerage Corcoran Group and the executive producer on Shark and ABC’s “Shark Tank”. She said, “Shark Tales: How I turned 1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business!” Are the authors of. And the host of the podcast “Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran,” as well as a motivational speaker and media personality.

Recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s most influential people, she shares here what she finds in the entrepreneurs she invests in, how she became a female success story during the “Old Boy Network” and the importance of having some fun with you. Money

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What do you see when you choose to invest in a shark tank?

I always ask myself two questions about the business: “Does this product make sense? And will people buy it? ”But more importantly, increase the size of the entrepreneur because I want to choose people who will make their business successful, and it’s not that easy.

To begin with, I never choose a person I don’t like because I like the people I work with. I do very well with people I love – we all do. I also ask myself, “Do I trust them?” Then the hard work begins, trying to quickly find out if there are any key attributes shared by each of my successful entrepreneurs. I’m looking for someone who can “sell” their product, who is comfortable taking risks, and most importantly, who knows how to recover from failure. I have found that there is only one difference between my most successful entrepreneurs and all the others: when successful entrepreneurs are shocked, it takes less time for them to feel sorry for themselves.

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What qualities or skills do you think contribute most to your success?

I have a great imagination. I was a dumb boy at school and could not read or write, so I spent my days in class. My whole life was six hours a day to practice my imagination. I am also very good at people. I read people well and I know how to use their talents to build a successful company. I was constantly embarrassed for not getting answers every day at school; And, once I got out of that prison, I decided I would never feel ashamed again for not getting an answer – and that made me very prepared for everything I do. After all, I have tremendous energy and I (anyone) can work. Which I got from my mother, who raised 10 children.

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What advice would you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

Forget that you are a woman. It just gets in the way. I never thought of myself as a girl – I considered myself a competitor and competed with every man, woman and boy I met. I built my business despite being told I couldn’t do it despite having an “Old Boy Network” in New York; And, when I was insulted or disrespected, I promised myself I would be fulfilled. I did. I became the number one contestant.

On many occasions when I was afraid to speak, I asked myself, “What will a man do?” And spoke with hands up. I didn’t need credit, and often didn’t get it, but I made sure I listened.

What is one money advice that you want everyone to follow?

I’m not very good at making money on money, but I’m really good at spending it wisely. Whether you are struggling for a small business or running an empire, the best money you can make is for your team to have fun. This is the most neglected tool for building a highly innovative team and you need to make it part of the budget. My mom called it “crazy money”.

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At Corcoran Group, we excelled at selling real estate, but we were equally adept at having fun. We have shoe shiners on Tuesdays and Thursdays and manicurists on Fridays. We had a February sweetheart party where everyone came dressed; We had a picnic in the summer time and each of my managers had to spend 5% of their operating budget on fun. If they did not use it by the end of the year, they would have to return it.

I treat my own “Wade Money” in the form of 400 cash each week. I use that money to buy flowers, to buy presale from street carts, or to take a cab when I don’t like to walk. I spend it all on the little things that make my life more enjoyable and I don’t worry about wasting one thing!

What was the biggest mistake you made in your career and what did you learn from it?

The first big mistake I made was making my first profit, 77,000, on a new idea – it was a complete flop. I thought it was a good idea at the time and I have put all our property listings on videotape so that our customers can choose a comfortable apartment in their home with their Le-Z Boy Chair. I called it “Holmes on Tape” – short for “Hot”. He failed. My agents would not give it to them because they feared that their clients would call another agent listed on the tape instead. I should have known better and lost 77,000!

When my Navy Captain husband Bill returned from playing a war game in Korea, I was looking for a way to save face in real time on this new government thing called the Internet. So I registered with, tossed all the videos online, and we had two out-of-sight sales in London in a week! There were no other real estate agents on the internet back then, and they were potluck because I had time to experiment with every disturbing idea I could think of. And I immediately registered the URLs of all my competitors so that they would have to ask me and I would know when they got up on the internet – a tool that would change the industry forever.

My biggest mistake was having the biggest prize! I immediately realized that all my good successes were on the heels of failure.

Jaime Catmull contributed to the report of this article.

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About the author

Gabriel joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brought with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Prior to joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Use Weekly, Patch, Sweetie High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” ​​as a celebrity news expert.