Star of ABC's Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran and I

To set the stage for the 2011 Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference, the keynote speaker was real estate guru, Barbara Corcoran.  I have seen Barbara Corcoran on local television as she is the contributing real estate expert on NBC’s Today Show in NYC.  She also is the only female venture capitalist on one of my favorite television shows on ABC “Shark Tank”, in which she is currently nurturing eight businesses.  To add to her resume she is also a bestselling author of “If You Don’t Have Big Breast, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails”, “Shark Tales”, in which she autographed for me and told me I am a giggler (so, so true) and “Nextville, Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life”.

Short and Sweet!

After a brief description of her upbringing and that she was one of ten children (her parents were devote Catholics).  Her mother is the most influential person in her life.  With each of her children she spoke positive words to them as they were growing up tell them they would be something specific.  With Barbara Corcoran it was her imagination.

She experience many things in life and she shared the following life lessons:

1) Perception Creates Reality – even if your company is not a billion dollar business, act like one!  Set in motion the reality of the business you want to create through how others perceive your business now.

2) All the Good Ideas are on the Outside – spend some time out of the work environment.  You will be surprised how much your best ideas will come to you when you are not in your office trying to work things out.

3) Don’t Underestimate the Power of Recognition – reward those who work for you.  Not all rewards have to be monetary. You will be surprised at how many people are more motivated just by being recognized.  Give it a try and see that you business will increase.

4) Shoot the Dogs Early – not a literal statement but if someone is not a fit for you organization after you have given them adequate time to perform release them.  Don’t do it like Donald Trump and tell them “You’re Fired”.  Most often if they are not performing it is because they are not in the right job or position.  Often when you release them they are free to be whom they really are.

5) Fun is Good for Business – Have fun with the people you work with.  People can be trained to have fun.  Get your staff to like one another by getting them to play together.

6) Only Two Kinds of People: Expanders and Containers – Businesses need both to properly function.  There has to be a balance.  Containers are people who love systems and like order whereas expanders are people who think out of the box and like to see how far they can go with something.  Both are equally important to the success of a business.

7) You Have to Right to be There – Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t have a right to do and be in the business you are or desire to be.  You are somebody and have a right to success just like anyone else.  Constantly speak self assurance even when you hear voices of negativity coming from others and even yourself.  You deserve it!

She definitely has lived a rags to riches life and was not exempt from having moments of self doubt.  It is reassuring that we can do whatever we put our minds to.  Everyone won’t pat you on the back so you will often have to give your own self a pep talk. Allow the creativity to flow and get out there and make it happen!

What are some life lessons you have learned along the way? Please share so we can learn from them too.