I'm a huge fan of Shark Tank. At first, it was because I envied those that were on the show - these people were doing something they loved, working for themselves, and had something of enough value to stand in front of some of the most successful entrepreneurs our country has to offer. As time went on, though, and I started working on my own ventures, I dreaded watching the show. It became a forum that I was striving to be a part of, only I had no clear direction of how to get there. I finally learned that the people on screen are just as lost as I am, and that there's a great deal to be learned from the feedback that's given to them from the Sharks.
From my own personal experiences, the way one progresses successfully down the trail of entrepreneurship is to get knocked over, blind-sided, and trip over your own feet. The hard part isn't coping and moving forward, it's knowing that you won't be successful without having to put up with more defeat, in one way or another. I haven't gotten to the end of the path, yet, so I don't know what it's like down there - all I know is that there's something waiting for me around the next bend, trying to knock me on my ass to teach me another lesson.
So where does Shark Tank come in? Well, past the sometimes ridiculous business ideas is precious advice that isn't always so easy to get. As I move further along with my businesses and begin to talk to investors, I learn that there's always a new concern or a new question I don't have an answer to. The key is to be prepared to address those concerns, to hedge them off so they don't seem to matter anymore. Shark Tank is an opportunity to do just that, learn from others that are put in similar situations so that you can jump ahead of the curve and worry about the next tier of concerns that will arise.
I've decided to publish a new article each week that talks about the lessons I learn from each week's episode. Behind the harsh remarks from the Sharks are invaluable bits of information that, if learned from, can boost your pitch above your competitors'. Stay tuned for my first findings next week...