Sharks With A Passion

You’ve gotta read this article written by guest blogger Susan Placek.  It takes more than a good idea, money, and a desire to build a successful business…
Sharks With A Passion
By Susan Placek
You won’t find me in front of my TV very often, but Tuesday nights I treat myself to my new favorite show, Shark Tank.
If you are one of the many, more or less struggling entrepreneurs or just about to become your own boss, I strongly recommend taking the time to watch.
Kudos to the abc executives and Mark Burnett for delivering such a refreshing and valuable alternative to toddlers in heavy make up, dressed up like hookers and other weird television insanities.
The show airs weekly and gives desperate and hopeful entrepreneurs a chance to fish for investment money by throwing business proposal bait to a group of 5 sharks in business mogul costumes.
Shark Tank episodes are entertaining business lessons and a window to the vast world of tireless people, following their dreams of becoming successful with their own inventions and new business ideas. The range of products and businesses presented couldn’t be more diverse, from down to earth yummy potato pies to sophisticated safety-equipment inventions and protective underwear for flatulence.
After presenting their business in the best light possible, the candidates face the difficult task of convincing at least one of the sharks, to invest money in exchange for business equity.
Arriving ill prepared is not a good idea. It takes a perfect pitch and a profit promising business concept to get the sharks’ attention. Once the last shark decides to pass on the offer and announces, “I’m out!” there is only one direction for the ambitious entrepreneur: Out.
One of the featured products in the first 6 episodes was a line of special sports bras. All 5 sharks rejected it and agreed, that marketing this product would be too costly and competition too strong. Kevin O’Leary is one of the sharks and referred to the business as hopeless. The desperate business owner passionately believes in her product though and refused to give up, which resulted in Kevin’s comment, that there is no place for passion in business.
Indeed, chances are very slim for the bra lady, especially without a big financial marketing boost.
Kevin explains: “Here’s how I think of my money — as soldiers — I send them out to war everyday. I want them to take prisoners and come home, so there’s more of them.”
I have a lot of respect for anyone, who managed to build an empire from scratch with very little starting money, which is exactly how the sharks did it. But frankly, I detect a flaw in Kevin’s business philosophy.
Making money obviously is the purpose of doing business and should be the first priority in making important business decisions.
However, when the first excitement of starting a new business evaporates in the heat of unexpected and sudden challenges, when the road becomes rockier and the trip longer, much longer sometimes, than in the business plan suggested, this is when passion comes handy. Money and success is the destination of any business venture, passion for what you do is the fuel, which will give you endurance to make it through rough times. It is something to hold on to and the remedy for disastrous business days.
A lack of passion may result in loosing hope, a positive attitude and sight of the goal. Let’s face it, the “get rich quick” template works for very few people, most entrepreneurs work long and hard to get, where they want to get. Those who believe passionately and hold on to their dreams will become successful sharks some day too, sharks with a passion.
These are the people we need, to get our economy back on track, the long distance runners who won’t give up when the going gets tough and who’s passion reflects in the quality of services and products they offer.

Robert Herjavec, another one of the five sharks, brings it to the point: “If you’re emotional and you’re great at something, the money will follow.” Robert, you are just my kind of shark.


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