Yesterday, I listened to a webinar featuring Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoron who spoke about small business. Most Shark Tank fans will know that Barbara started her business with a $1000 loan, and built it into a billion-dollar empire.  During the webcast, Barbara talked about her personal story and road to success, but I found the Q&A portion of her presentation the most interesting. I took a few notes to share with our ReinventionWorks audience that might be thinking of starting a business on their own road to reinvention.  Here are my key takeaways:

INDICATORS OF A SUCCESSFUL START-UP

  1. Personality Plus (of the founding entrpreneur(s))
  2. Street Smarts
  3. Resiliency
  4. Salesmanship
  5. Vision
  6. Competitiveness

BARBARA’S PEARLS OF WISDOM

“The major challenge for today’s small business start-ups is getting funding.”

“Like cleaning out a closet, you gotta know when to kill a business.  Most entrepreneurs’ first venture will not be successful (but if they try again, they’ll hit on their 2nd or 3rd attempt).” << There’s that resilience quotient for ya!

“Play is the birthplace of creativity.” (Barbara requires all of her companies to take time off and get together in some kind of fun environment.)

“Create a gimmick.” (Barbara believes strongly in hiring a good PR firm to harness the media through public relations – she learned this by creating “The Corcoran Report,” in which she issued the average real estate price for her properties and it made the NY Times!)

“Knowing when to grow or expand is intuitive.”

“Forget the patent! Save your money.  Build a prototype and try to sell it first!”

“Know what’s NOT your forte and either hire that talent or outsource to get it done.”

“You have to know how to separate your work and personal lives.” (Barbara installed a electrical outlet outside her apartment so she could charge her phone but not have it interfere with life at home once she was off the clock.)