Barbara Corcoran is most recently recognized as the first female on Shark Tank based on her credentials as the woman who turned a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend into a billion dollar empire. Sure, it didn’t happen overnight, but can you say “quintessential entrepreneurial dream”?
Corcoran’s degree is in education. She taught school for one year before picking up part time jobs, one of which involved renting apartments in New York City. Her entrepreneurial breakthrough came when she published a New York City real estate guide highlighting trends in the market and then sending it to prominent New York City newspapers. Sources like The New York Times picked up The Corcoran Report, legitimizing her business at no cost to Corcoran. She also has an uncontested claim as the first person to think of using the internet to show real estate properties.
After nearly 3 decades in the industry, she sold her real estate business for $66 million in 2001. Since that time, she has continued as a syndicated real estate columnist and contributor, author, and savvy investor (which is how she turned her $66M into more than $1B).
Corcoran is also a sought-after key note lecturer and subject matter expert. Here are some of her most quoted pieces of advice for entrepreneurs:
“If you want to be noticed, dress the part.”
“Failure is my specialty.”
“Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.”
“Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.”
“People want to do business with someone they like. If people like you, they’re going to want to do business with you. And if they don’t you’re going to have an almost insurmountable obstacle to overcome.”
“Most great entrepreneurs I know are nothing like the other kids. They’re almost like tangent lines—those lines that seem to go nowhere. Nothing connects them, until they get out in the real world. Then they connect just fine.”
“A good organization is like a box of crayons. You need different colors of the spectrum, but all the crayons should fit in the box.”
“Always choose attitude over experience. Always.”
“That ability to pop back up is true of anyone who succeeds in their field.”
“Great sales people [don’t] have the ability to feel sorry for themselves.”
“In business, you’re the Chief Salesman. Create a sense of demand, rather than waiting to have demand.”
“The joy is in the getting there. The beginning years of starting your business, the camaraderie when you’re in the pit together, are the best years of your life. So rather than being so focused on when you get big and powerful, if you can just get the juice out of that… don’t miss it.”
“If you get labeled a winner, people come along for the ride.”
—Barbara Corcoran, Entrepreneur, Shark Tank Investor