Hello Reddit,

I am Barbara Corcoran, of ABC's hit show Shark Tank. I will be answering questions here from 12pm – 1pm ET.

For all of you entrepreneurs out there who don’t know where to start… bring me your burning questions! Want to know about the best insider Shark Tank secrets? Well, you’ve got to ask the right things. Just need to know if the male Sharks are really that good looking…? Yes, they are!


Follow me on Twitter

Friend me on Facebook

Fave my photos on Instagram

Check out my website

Find out more about my journey in my book – Shark Tales

I’ve been warned about ducks/horses and I expect this to get weird.

Annnnnnnnnd GO!

Edit: I will be here for the next hour - let's go!

Edit 2: Guys, this has been a BLAST but I've over stayed my welcome. I am about to hop on a plane to Texas. Touch base with me on social media and I'll schedule another AMA soon. Thank you for being so welcoming and don't tell the Sharks what I said about them.

Comments: 560 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

SirT6557 karma

Kill, marry, fuck, do business with: Mark, Kevin, Daymond, Robert?

barbaracorcoran1425 karma

Sleep with Mark Cuban any day – and do business between the sheets. From what he looks like in a suit, I’m sure I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Like everybody else I’d like to kill Kevin on a daily basis for all the right reasons.

In my opinion Robert should come out of the closet.

I’d like to have a beer with Daymond because he is the funniest man alive.

Did I get off topic?

CindyMagnifazine191 karma

Is it 100% true that the sharks have never been told anything and have no awareness at all of the businesses or the people before the minute they enter the tank? Do you all get a brief of what's coming up?

barbaracorcoran365 karma

Every time the doors open, I say to myself “I wonder what we have here…?” We don’t know a thing until they step into the tank.

Zbaan0006185 karma

Today if you had to start real estate from scratch, what would you do ? Would you do differently that what you did when you started ?

barbaracorcoran515 karma

I would have slept with my boyfriend sooner rather than waiting 6 months. I could have gotten my hands on that $1000 earlier and been off and running.

GarcondePisse179 karma

Hi Barbara. Firstly I want to say that I think you're an excellent investor and I like that you go after small retail concepts and successfully build them. My question is: how fun was it to see Kevin crash and burn so ignominiously on Celebrity Jeopardy? Should it be turned into a SNL skit?

barbaracorcoran279 karma

I didn’t know he had. Send me a link, I can’t wait to rub his nose in it.

Morphiate162 karma

Have you ever fired a gun in the air and gone "ahhh"?

barbaracorcoran251 karma

I’ve thought of killing my husband at least a hundred times, but lucky for him I don’t have a gun.

ness839149 karma

How did you get that first $1000 loan?

barbaracorcoran325 karma

Easy. A guy walked into the diner, while I was waitressing, gave me a ride home that night… and the rest is history.

LordJukebox149 karma

What's your faveorite movie and why is it Paul Blart Mall Cop?

barbaracorcoran452 karma

That movie sucks.

Still my all-time favorite is Dr. Zhivago… and I bought that exact hooded fur coat that Tonya wore in the snow scene when I made it big.

But I quickly realized it only looked good on her.

Edit: My brother-in-law has it now.

SocksOfRed137 karma

Ever since Mark Cuban got the producers to remove the requirement that companies that show up on Shark Tank must give up 5% of their company or pay a 2% royalty, there's been a noticeable uptick in the number of 'gold diggers' that show up just for publicity and with ridiculous valuations. Any thoughts on that?

barbaracorcoran252 karma

That stuff happens all the time, and it never bothers me. Put yourself in their shoes: a producer calls and says “how’d you like to be on prime time TV with 8 million people watching you?”. Who in their right mind would say no?

JoniW117 karma

What is the biggest mistake you see small businesses making? What advice would you give to avoid this mistake?

barbaracorcoran289 karma

Pissing away money on patents and PR. The right dance steps are: 1) make the product 2) get some sales 3) make the big guys envy you and only then get a patent.

But what gets in the way of all young business is self-doubt. The little poisonous voice inside all of us that whispers “don’t go there. You can’t do it. Don’t take the chance.” It took me 20 years to kill that voice and set myself free.

next3days108 karma

Barbara, as an entrepreneur I absolutely love Shark Tank and the exposure it brings to small businesses and start-ups!


Two questions. What percentage of the deals that you've made on the TV show actually get finalized and proceed once you and your team vets the finances and research your new partners? Also, do you think there will there be a time when you and the other sharks will have to leave the show because you have too many companies / partners?


barbaracorcoran173 karma

Roughly 65% get closed. No need to ever leave the show because I work diligently with every business but the minute I spot an unsuccessful entrepreneur in my lot, I turn his photo upside down in my office to remind me not to spend anymore time with them. So I always have room for a new, great entrepreneur.

nkleszcz88 karma

Barbara, you are amazing on Shark Tank. You are also a great sport, kissing Kevin O'Leary on an episode or two. Not to mention you being a voice of empathy on that show.

What books would you most recommend an aspiring entrepreneur to consume, before venturing out with their brilliant idea?

barbaracorcoran200 karma

You shouldn’t be reading any books before venturing out. Get out there now and then read them as you’re working. Still the best business book I’ve ever read is “How To Win Friends and Influence People”. Nothing better.

Concani86 karma

Well, Barbara welcome. What have been your most successful and unsuccessful ventures through the Tank?

barbaracorcoran255 karma

I won’t even mention my least successful, because they’re suing me for outing them last time! But clearly my most successful are Cousins Maine Lobster. Because they’re making me the most money, they’re the smartest guys in the bunch and they’re damn good looking. Even better they have the common decency to airbrush photos of us together – my face only – before they send them to me.

Bibbe0178 karma

Barbara, I am very excited to be able to ask such an impressive person a direct question. I recently created a product I am very excited about and am in the process of perfecting my prototype. The product I hope will be sold on a website and in distribution to big box stores. What can you recommend for initial distribution? Thank you for your time!

barbaracorcoran166 karma

Wow, you’re a schmoozer!

Use your schmooze ability to take one prototype out to the big box stores NOW and see if they buy it, and if sell it, what price?

Spending time perfecting things and getting ready always keeps you at the gate. You need to get in the race.

CindyMagnifazine78 karma

Barbara, I would like to know if the Sharks inform the producers of the industries they are interested in investing in, so when the producers are deciding who to put thru to the tank, they know the industries you each are most interested in?

barbaracorcoran348 karma

It’s not necessary. Because, the producers watch Shark Tank just like everybody else. They know that Mark loves technology, I love food products, Daymond loves textiles, Robert loves toys, Lori loves QVC and Kevin loves himself.

It’s pretty easy to schedule.

righteousmess75 karma

In your opinion, can introverts be successful entrepreneurs?

barbaracorcoran118 karma

Only if they join themselves at the hip with a great extrovert who is people smart. My partner Esther was quiet as a mouse, but I was her opposite as she was mine.

dayofthedead20464 karma

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for doing this AMA! I have a few questions:

What is your opinion of Kevin O’Leary?

What is your favorite shark species?

Finally – are you a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones and if so who’s your favorite character? Thanks Barb!

barbaracorcoran184 karma

Kevin, in real life, is a sweetheart. When his wife walks onto the set he is visibly shaking in his knees. Really.

Why would anyone have a favorite shark species? Are you nuts? The movie Jaws ruined swimming in the ocean for me forever.

I am a fan of GoT – my favorite is Tyrion and he has redefined, for me, what makes a man!

BigBee8762 karma

Hi Barbara! Which deal do you most regret not making in Shark Tank? Outside of Shark Tank?

barbaracorcoran132 karma

Notehall took my offer and then the two young guys shopped it around for a larger offer. And they sold the company, by year end, for $10 million. I regret not stuffing both of them in my luggage until the deal got signed.

abagofit60 karma

What do you think about the marijuana industry and the potential bubble/boom that would result from full legalization? Will you be investing?

barbaracorcoran235 karma

Not my kind of investment, but when I was out skiing in Aspen I visited two phenomenal pot stores with décor that put Starbucks to shame. They were each doing more business than anyone else on the street.

I was asked to leave the second one when the cops came in because I couldn’t prove I was over 21. It was so embarrassing, you’ve gotta believe me.

Bdag58 karma

Do I have any hope of making money off of the thousands of Beanie Babies my mother bought in the 90s?

barbaracorcoran110 karma

You can make some hobby money, but not real money. Go on Ebay and see what they’re selling them for.

But if you’re under 25, don’t do it till you’re over 30 because it might be the greatest gift in the world for your own kids.

kikiwas8756 karma

How were you able to go from straight D's to being successful?

barbaracorcoran138 karma

The great thing about being a stupid student, is you have the whole damn day to day dream. And day dreaming, about who you want to be, is a heck of a lot more useful than a rock-solid business plan.

swiheezy54 karma

Hey Barbra! Love you on the show.

If you had an opportunity to pick a partner shark to go in on deals with who do you think you'd pick the most? The least?

barbaracorcoran106 karma

Mark is always my first pick because I honestly think he is the smartest, and he’s got the most bucks.

Least likely partner? Robert. Because with Robert, immediate fun always comes before business. Maybe I’m jealous?

JamieKent154 karma

At face-value, does having immense wealth truly make life better day-to-day?

barbaracorcoran143 karma

Wealth complicates things. I’m not really sure who my real friends are now… and so I keep my original circle small. When I cashed out on my business, everybody I knew suddenly had a $10,000 problem.

But I’m not giving the money back.

RedVenomxz53 karma

Hi! I've heard that to get ahead in business it's not about what you know, but who you know. Is true?

barbaracorcoran144 karma

Who you know gets you in the door, but if you don’t learn it real fast, they’ll show you the door.

SqualsDogs47 karma

Hello Barbara,

I have recently opened up a hot dog cart and am in the process of expanding to a second location. I have having difficulty figuring out how to entice someone to work a hot dog cart for an hourly rate when I am only able to operate from 12am-2:30am. I am debating giving up a percentage of the earnings to get someone to work it so I can focus on running a second one to increase revenue all around. What do you think I should do?


barbaracorcoran92 karma

You should do what I did to find the right babysitters for my daughter. I went to the local high school and hung out on the playground as the kids broke for lunch (by the way, 12-2:30). I decided who I liked best and propositioned them to work for me after school. They took the job and they job share it. I’m sure I have the best girls in the whole school and I pay them $10/hour.

Get a team of high school kids and open your next ten stands soon.

barbaracorcoran2 karma

You should do what I did to find the right babysitters for my daughter. I went to the local high school and hung out on the playground as the kids broke for lunch (by the way, 12-2:30). I decided who I liked best and propositioned them to work for me after school. They took the job and they job share it. I’m sure I have the best girls in the whole school and I pay them $10/hour.

Get a team of high school kids and open your next ten stands soon.

pighalf46 karma

Hi Barbara! Love you in shark tank! I have $10k siting in the bank. What is the best investment?

barbaracorcoran152 karma

That’s a ridiculous question. The ONLY thing worth investing in is yourself. And so the real question is… what do you feel passionate about? Is there an angle you could work that would make you some money?

hostility_43 karma

Hello Barbara I love you and your show thank you for doing this AMA.

What is your opinion on the current income equality plaguing America?

barbaracorcoran124 karma

It’s a shame. I think what the country needs is a total dedication to the belief that it is everyone’s responsibility to help the poor become middle class, and the middle class to become rich. You can’t build anything great with a have and have not attitude. You need a team.

But I’m not giving back my money, I’m holding onto it!

hicks42040 karma

Hi Barbara

What do you think is the most common personality trait that holds people back from being successful entrepreneurs and what would you suggest is the best way to overcome it?

barbaracorcoran77 karma

Fear. The fear of failure.

The real question is… what makes you fearful of failing? It’s usually lack of self-esteem (or your parents did a number on you).

BigBee8740 karma

Hi Barbara! Thanks for joining us! After having been on the show for six seasons now, how do you manage all of the businesses that you've invested in? Are you able to devote yourself to all of them, or do you have someone within your organization that oversees them?

barbaracorcoran54 karma

I have a genius kid on my team that helps me with all of the businesses. But the real key to doing a lot at once, and doing it well, is figuring out every morning what you’re a priorities for the day really are, as there are very few.

The items I attend to first are the ones that answer well to the query – how dramatically would this affect my business?

Slim_Calhoun39 karma

How do you see the future of the real estate business changing due to technology?

barbaracorcoran70 karma

The internet has been the game changer. My NYC real estate firm was the first online, and in the first week we had two sales out of London. I knew that moment, that the power went into the hands of the buyer.

They’re in charge.

TurnerMayton37 karma

Hi Barbara!! I was your host at the derby mansion a few weeks ago, I would like to thank you for being such a delight and truly an inspiration!

My questions are : What was your guest - Gerrard's last name? Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

barbaracorcoran58 karma

I don’t know Gerrard’s last name! I’m calling to ask him right now, I’ll come back to you. 15 years? I hope to be still alive. That’s it!

TurnerMayton26 karma

Thank you, please let me know!!

You are awesome!!!

barbaracorcoran49 karma

His last name is Ryan and he is from Queens.

What a truly lovely man he is.

Thanks for reaching out!

tryanotherday33 karma

Which deal on the show you or any other host made , thought that it was a good decisions but later realized that it was a mistake in judgement and how would you have helped in fixing it ?

barbaracorcoran86 karma

You had to bring up the failures did you? Thanks a lot!

I actually have a list that I burnt in my fireplace along with the money that was wasted.

I invested in a soda company that went no where, an exercise company that went belly-up, a medical device company that all the doctors hated and believe it or not… a lipstick that ruined my lips! I won’t address this subject ever again.

Slim_Calhoun32 karma

So . . . where do you see this real estate market headed?

barbaracorcoran62 karma

There is no end in sight in real estate right now. We are still making up for 5 lousy years and most houses are still a good deal.

Try renting the house you’re thinking of buying instead – it’ll cost you a lot more.

x0klly0x29 karma

Hi Barbara, I’m a huge fan of your work!

My question for you is, what was your first major project/idea/business that really got you into the world of business? At what point did you realize that the world of business would be your career?

P.s. You’re one of my biggest idols! As a woman in the industry, I look up to you so much. Hopefully someday we will have the chance to work together. :)

barbaracorcoran64 karma

My first business failed miserably. It was a flower of the week club, for only $3.95 a week. I would later build my very successful real estate business.

Ironically, the guy who put me out of my first flower business, was none other than a real estate broker. He owed me 47 weeks of flowers for both him and his mom – at $3.95 a week!

I had a cash flow problem and went under.

lazyflowingriver24 karma

Thanks for joining us, Barbara! :)

Did you know any of the other sharks personally before Shark Tank? How do you get along with everyone now?

barbaracorcoran47 karma

Working 10 hour days with my fellow Sharks builds friendship, in much the same way army guys in a bunker.

We all met first on set, and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We’re pals, we are all pals.

TheJackal824 karma

After the deal is done, how much do you see the owners of the companies you invest in?

barbaracorcoran41 karma

A lot more than you would expect. Just like some people are high maintenance and others aren't, some of my investments need to be told “I love you” daily, and some never call unless I call them.

jcdavis3717 karma

Next to sales/profit, What is the most important quality you look for in a company you are considering to invest in?

barbaracorcoran37 karma

The head of the company has to be able to sell. You need a salesman at the helm. Because if he can’t sell the product/service who can?!

Sugarfuzz116 karma

What advice do you have for me as a solopreneur who has no interest in having a cofounder when it comes to landing an angel investor?

barbaracorcoran31 karma

Then don’t have a co-founder. Use your own energy, and the typical funding from family and friends. Or go to the SBA (small business association) for a loan. After you work your business for a few years, revisit the question then.

roobiscube13 karma

Barbara! Thank you so much for doing this! As a NY native living outside of the tri-state area, do you feel being born and raised in NY gives you a competitive advantage of sorts in business? I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you!

barbaracorcoran38 karma

My mother always believed that the meek would inherit the earth. Not so in New York, where the biggest loud mouth reigns supreme.

Realizing that completely shaped how I do business.

zacksonzacksonzacks11 karma

Hi Barbara!

I asked a legitimate question, that's probably buried somewhere, but I guess I'll step up to the plate and ask you the ole' reddit stand-by, with a twist.

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Mr. Wonderful's, or one Mr. Wonderful sized duck?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Edit: a word

barbaracorcoran35 karma

I don’t even like Mr. Wonderful. In any form. So the duck.

But in all seriousness, when they married us on Shark Tank… I didn’t want to admit it but, he has lovely soft lips.

Edit: I hope I didn't miss your serious question only to fall for the duck one.

Morphiate10 karma

Do you or one of the people you work with might be a psychopath or sociopath?

(The actual definition, not the serial-killer definition that TV portrays)

barbaracorcoran34 karma

Do you or one of the people you work with might be a psychopath or sociopath?

Let me ask them now… Okay, I’m back. No one in my shop knows what those words mean. Help!!!