‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneurs share five business secrets in new book

shark tank book
Celebrity “sharks” like Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran shared their business wisdom with author Michael Parrish DuDell. Credit: Hyperion

There are plenty of fish at sea, but there can only be a few sharks, as ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” proves. The show features celebrity investors who evaluate pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs and decide whether or not they want to invest in the idea.

Celebrity “sharks” like Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Grenier, Robert Heravec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary shared their wisdom with author Michael Parrish DuDell in “Shark Tank: Jumpstart Your Business” – you can listen to the audiobook for free.

DuDell, himself an entrepreneur who runs Race + Vine, a marketing and branding consulting firm, told Metro that he plans to apply the lessons he learned from the “sharks.” Here are five key tips DuDell shared with Metro readers.

1. There is no substitute for hard work: DuDell said to forget any get rich quick schemes. “Because of technology and what we’re able to do quickly, there’s a movement to find work hacks and to work smarter, not harder,” he told Metro. “That’s important, but the fact of the matter is every single person you see on the panel got there because they worked really, really hard and put in the hours and the time.”

2. Learn to sell: DuDell said entrepreneurs often underestimate the importance of salesmanship, figuring they’ll hire a sales team down the line. “A lot of entrepreneurs don’t think of that,” said DuDell. “If you can’t sell you can’t be an entrepreneur.”

3. Put your passion in the right place: This is one place where the sharks disagree with each other. Mark Cuban does not believe entrepreneurs need to follow their passion in order to be successful, but Lori Grenier thinks it is paramount to success. “The person who gets it right is Daymond,” said DuDell. “What he says is you have to love what you’re selling, but the part you have to be really passionate about is the daily running of the business. If you’re not passionate about the day-to-day, the business will never succeed.”

4. Forget business school: All of the businesspeople DuDell spoke with believe business school is a waste of time. “I brought up the issue of an MBA and everyone said in this day and age, it’s not worth it — create your own MBA,” said DuDell. “You don’t need to go to school to be an entrepreneur.”

5. Work-life balance is a privileged right: Though magazine articles stress over and over again the importance of work-life balance, Robert Heravec told DuDell work-life balance is something he earned after 20 years of hard work. “Work-life balance for the entrepreneur isn’t something you just get or expect — you really have to work and earn that,” said DuDell.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


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