Barbara Corcoran

Shark Tank is an exciting show that showcases some of the country’s most talented entrepreneurs. The established “sharks” who get to decide what business pitches to invest in offer great insight into how they achieved business success. Some of the up-and-coming innovators who are seeking funds to achieve their vision are also great examples of the hard work and perseverance it takes to start a company. But of all the sharks, Barbara Corcoran is our favorite. Here’s why:

She puts a spotlight on real estate
While much of the hype over entrepreneurship these days focuses on the Silicon Valley and the tech economy, it’s important to remember that there is plenty of room for innovation and success in mainstays of American business. As long as people need a roof over their head, real estate will continue to be a big part of the U.S. economy and Barbara serves as an important reminder of that fact every week on a major TV network!

She shows that street smarts matter
Barbara is smart as a whip, there’s no debate about that. But you might not have thought that if you looked at her high school or college grades or saw the string of jobs that she quit in her early 20’s. But like many brilliant minds, Barbara’s disinterest in the classroom likely had a lot to do with her desire to do her own thing and be in control of her own destiny.

She started from (nearly) scratch
Barbara started her real estate empire with a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend. That eventually turned into a major real estate empire. If that’s not an inspiring story of entrepreneurship, what is?

Girl power
The gaps between men and women are closing in a number of ways. More and more college students are women, and they are entering traditionally male-dominated professions, such as law and medicine. However, there are still fewer women in top business positions. Barbara serves as an inspiration for the many young women and girls who are striving to break the glass ceiling in the world of business.

The power of publicity
There are plenty of different kinds of business skills, one of which is salesmanship and marketing savvy. Barbara is a publicity genius. She recognized early on that reaching out to local media and getting her name in the paper would benefit her business. It is a type of marketing that, unlike sending out flyers or buying billboards, costs you no money whatsoever and is likely far more influential than paid advertising.

A friendly shark
Barbara shows that being a shark in the world of business does not mean you have to surrender your integrity. In an interview with Inc., Barbara says that when she is deciding who to partner with in business, she looks for “kindred spirits, nice people.” She also is able to take a little pushback, and says she sees it as a sign of strength in a budding entrepreneur. “They also ignore me when I tell them what to do, which I love, because that means they truly are entrepreneurs.”

Who is your favorite shark and why? Or what real estate tycoons do you look up to? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter!

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