"Shark Tank" Investor Barbara Corcoran Shares Secrets to Success

October 11, 2017

School wasn't easy for the show's judge, but Corcoran says being a poor student taught her the importance of surrounding herself with the right people.


Now on your website, on your bio,

you describe yourself as somebody who got straight Ds in high school and in college.

Well, how many people have those bragging rights?

And half of them were charity Ds,

by the way. I begged for them.

How do you think an experience like that set you up to build

your own business that you ended up selling for

tens of millions of dollars early in your career essentially?

Can I tell you what's great about just doing poorly in a school situation is,

you think it can't get worse.

It's no fun for kids to laugh at you,

it's no fun to be the loser in the crowd.

So when you get out, you're so thankful to be out,

it's like breaking out of jail free.

And so once you start working,

anything seems like fun compared to school.

And so you get a big rush up on that sort of thing.

But more importantly than that,

you get accustomed to being an outsider.

And when you're an outsider and you start your own business,

that's read very differently.

You're then the innovator.

I was an innovator in every field I went in.

But because I was so comfortable hanging on the outside of the perimeter of stuff.

So you get used to being lonely,

you get used to being the odd man out with the odd opinion.

But what you also get from failing is, you learn empathy.

If you have any kind of heart in you and you have failed miserably again and again,

you will never ever look down on a person who's failing.

And so you collect people around you who really want to be on your team.

And that has been the secret sauce to my success,

collecting people who really want to follow me

anywhere and they really believe in what I'm doing.

And I would not have gotten that kind of empathy or

ability to read people if I hadn't been a real loser.

I think it's just part of the program.

That's amazing. It's a real hustling mentality here.