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7 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Shark Tank

Shark Tank is an award-winning TV show for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. It is currently in its twelfth season and a worthy show to watch. In this piece, we present the various lessons that budding entrepreneurs can learn from the TV show. Please read all about it.

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Photo Credit: ABC Shark Tank Show

Shark Tank is an award-winning TV show for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. It has become a widely watched TV show in the United States and across the globe. Now, the show features a star-studded cast of Main Sharks and Guest Sharks that make it entertaining and exciting. The Main Sharks are Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary. They are also the Executive Producers of the show and a host of other personalities. Some Guest Sharks that we have seen appear on the show are Daniel Lubetzky, Blake Mycoskie, Kendra Scott, Alex Rodriguez, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Sacca, to mention a few.

“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.

The Shark Tank Show is currently on its twelfth season at the time of this writing. The first episode aired on August 9, 2009. The show airs in the United States on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Network. In the United Kingdom, the show airs on the BBC and UKTV Networks. In Canada, it airs on Bella TV. The Shark Tank Show brings investors and small business owners together, but your idea or business project must be innovative to get you on the show as an entrepreneur. This TV show has a lot of lessons, and I’ll be sharing a few.

#1. Witticism Must Be Spontaneous

Don’t be stoic in your presentation. Instead, make it a fun process.

Wit is cerebral. In a way, it can also be evidence of one’s sanity. Wit is a pivotal element that ensures all endeavors of humans come to fruition. In the banalest sense of the word, it is the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure. So, don’t be stoic in your presentation. Make it a fun process.

“Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.” — William Hazlitt. 

The type of wit we mention here is the type that is associated with the intellectual output of a refined speech. It is a kind of speech design that mildly perforates the ears of the superior listener for a conclusion that would elevate both parties’ status to greater heights. So, as you present your pitch, make it fun, persuasive, and factual.

 As you present your pitch, make it fun, persuasive, and factual.

One does not have to flinch or fidget when trying to be spontaneous with wit. However, there must be a certain kind of tranquility in mind, so the experience does not end up being harrowing for the entrepreneur. It is a quality that we learn from watching Shark Tank—from the Sharks and the entrepreneurs that strike a deal.

#2. One’s Ideas Must Be Original 

Be creative. Be original. 

There is always something unique when something has a somewhat avant-garde feel to it. Originality makes the creator proud and filled with satisfaction and, most of all, happy. If all novels or books had the same storyline, we would not have had distinctive names like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, etc. Variety and originality are the spice of life.

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” — Theodore Levitt.

The Sharks like and enjoy it when they hear novel ideas about what the entrepreneur is striving to venture into—it catches their attention. It convinces the Sharks to take a leap of faith and fly out of a plane with the entrepreneur without a parachute, knowing the landing surface would be softer than the softest bed.

#3. It Pays to Be Peppy

Be peppy. Be lively. Be optimistic.

Optimism is present when one is peppy or lively. This sort of attribute inspires confidence and enables people to have a great deal of confidence in someone. I think it is difficult to imagine someone with a dreary demeanor making a striking impression on the Sharks. Even if one is naturally an introvert, the boisterous side needs to be out front and center when coming up against the Sharks. Why? Because the sharks want some enthusiasm to follow what the entrepreneur is saying. 

“If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.” — Mel Brooks

The fact is that you cannot invest in a business if you find any hint of a bleak surface on the entrepreneur. On the other hand, you want to invest your hard-earned resources in a venture that the pitcher is uber excited about at the end of the day. So generally, it is imperative to have an upbeat disposition, as it would open doors with the most elaborate locks and mammoth look. Finally, a peppy nature offers a more optimistic outlook for the entrepreneur, but it does not help when it leads to some frenzy. So, it must have the right balance.

#4. One Needs a Futuristic Mindset 

Think ahead of your time. Be futuristic in thought and actions! 

No one knows the future, which makes it a somewhat weird situation with an imagined ominous atmosphere. Except one has prognosticative powers, the future looks like a dull vortex spinning and causing images to look distorted in perception. So it is uncertain, hence the need to think ahead of our times. But a great mind can at least prepare for it with the right intellectual approach and possibly design the future and time with distinctive brilliance. That is where a futuristic mindset that thinks outside the box comes to play.

“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing towards what will be.” — Khalil Gibran.

It is essential to try and gaze beyond the horizon when setting out to beat life and not just when one wants to come up against the Sharks. There is some danger here for the Sharks because their money could easily find its way into the wrong hands. The Sharks need the entrepreneur to sound ahead of his/her time. There is no such thing as a free lunch in the financial world of business—they need to be sure they are getting the return on their investment. Losses could look like a waterfall of cash, cascading into an imperious-looking pit of fire that would quickly deplete the hard-earned funds of this world.

One needs a futuristic mindset—think galactic!

Having a futuristic mindset would keep one from being obsolete and instead gives one continual relevance. A futuristic mind never goes bankrupt of ideas. The greatest artists last for decades because of their relentless innovative prowess of always staying ahead and setting the pace and standard. Even when younger talents emerge and look like a threat to their creative existence, they are still the ones to beat because they always look beyond the present. 

It is dangerous to be satisfied with the status quo. The reason is that somewhere, someplace, in some alley, on some street, another intellectual mind is lurking and waiting to topple whatever visionary idea you have put out to the universe to buy recognition and relevance. So, being complacent might seem comforting, but it is very inauspicious for the future. It is a grave mistake to make. Once the entrepreneur thinks of the future, he thinks the best, and such thoughts delight the Sharks, and they won’t have to feed nefariously on the entrepreneur.

#5. It is an Eye-Opener for Nascent Business Minds 

A new mindset will always bud new results.

Business is more complex than how it looks on the outside. Of course, the veterans in this field know that. But the same cannot be said about the newbies. The odd thing is, even those with higher knowledge and experience still falter when they come up against the Sharks on the show. So, it is safe to say business newbies are the ones who watch the show more. Because even without them participating, it is a rare window showing them how the business world looks.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust. 

So, the clever newbies would see the Shark Tank TV Show as a sort of business school. But, of course, the Sharks themselves are the tutors. After all, they are the ones with uber-successful businesses and the funds to spare to invest in up-and-coming companies. Hence, the budding business minds can add to their already existing and possibly, rudimentary business ideas and take it several notches higher for their business ambitions to head towards sublime routes. A new mindset will always bud new results.

#6. Make Valid Points Immediately 

Make valid points immediately. Don’t waste time!

Suppose one has a creative mind but lacks financial support to achieve spotlight status. In that case, the ideal thing is to immediately play the right guitar strings to hypnotize any wealthy listener willing to listen to you. It is not a time to ramble and stipulate facts of no consequence. It is time to hit the nail on the head with the Sharks’ points wants to hear. It is imperative that you also know the numbers and data that back your claim as to why you are asking for the support that you seek. 

“It is not time to play the game of circle; it’s a time to play the game of direct, straight to the chase. Make your valid points immediately. Go for the jugular; deliver the punch that matters.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.

Movies and Musical performances that continue to send consumers to utopia do not happen because of the stylish look of the movie’s poster or the impressive artwork of an artist’s music album. It is because it grabbed the consumer’s attention within the first few seconds of the performance. In the words of Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze, “It is not time to play the game of circle; it’s a time to play the game of direct, straight to the chase. Make your valid points immediately. Go for the jugular; deliver the punch that matters.” 

“It’s a game called circle, and I don’t know how—I’m way too up to back down.” — Marshall Bruce Mathers.

Since several other entrepreneurs are in the queue and eager to speak their innovative minds, being succinct when trying to be persuasive is of enormous importance. Being terse and direct in your presentation would determine if the entrepreneur’s metaphorical vehicular idea will get a boost forward or backward. However, the fact remains that a car looks better when driving forward. So, it should stay that way. Be terse, factual, and direct. Forward ever, backward never.

#7. It is Didactic

Never stop learning.

Being didactic is one is self-explanatory. The show makes you examine yourself and exhibit a liberal mind. The essence is for you to learn, watch, and choose the best path in life to reach the mountain’s peak, where individuals who want to get the apex of their lives want to be, all things being equal. 

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci.

The Shark Tank Show is profitable for instruction. You learn from those who end up striking a deal with one or a couple of the Sharks. Also, you learn from the mistakes of those who bungle this opportunity of meeting with the sharks. This show helps you examine your business so you can measure the level of value you’re giving out and analyze the impacts. 

Educate yourself. Don’t be a victim of the Sharks.

The Shark tank show is indeed full of business lessons. This TV show teaches us that witticism must be spontaneous and one’s ideas must be original. It pays to be peppy, and one needs a futuristic mindset when running a business. Also, it is an eye-opener for budding business minds, and it’s ideal for making valid points when pitching to investors. This show helps you examine yourself as an entrepreneur, and it’s worth watching.

References

  1. Shark Tank Featured Image Photo Credit. ABC Shark Tank Show cast image. Retrieved from https://abc.com/shows/shark-tank/news/updates/appeared-on-shark-tank.
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Nelly Essien is a guest contributor of Oaekpost, LLC, a U.S.-based online media company. As an entrepreneur, she an apt business strategist, content developer, and copywriter. Her areas of specialty on Oaekpost are the categories, News, Entertainment, and Lifestyle. You can reach her at nelly.essien.gc@oaekpost.com.

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