Dan Naden

Shark Tank: An Insightful Lesson on Business

Shark Tank is an amazing and instructive program. While practicing social distancing, we’ve binge watched the program to see what products will be pitched to the diverse and experienced groups of sharks. 

Over the course of viewing countless episodes, a few themes arise, separating the successful business owners (those able to strike a favorable deal) versus those who walk away empty-handed. These lessons could help any entrepreneur or business owner who’s looking to scale a customer base. Let’s face it. We won’t be in this economic malaise forever. Start learning and growing now for what’s next. 

  1. Exude Passion: If you don’t exude ‘unbridled, resilient enthusiasm’ for the market you serve, your chances of survival will plummet faster than our retirement accounts during the Covid-19 outbreak. Your passion will help you persevere when the waters get rough – a big customer chooses a competitor instead of you, a new product launch fails to meet expectations, or a key financing package falls through at the last minute, putting your business operations at risk. 

  2. Own your Story: People remember stories with characters, conflict and resolution — not facts, features and fancy slogans. Become a shrewd storyteller and you put the problems you solve into the context of your buyer. The best pitches on Shark Tank start with an emotional, poignant story about how the entrepreneur first discovers his or her zeal for the business or about how he or she dazzles customer #1 and see larger market potential for the product/service. 

  3. Turn a Product into a Business: The Sharks have seen it all. They’ve invested in and started products which went from nothing to taking over the world. And they are savvy and can sniff out a fad quickly. Your product may be DOA because it can’t evolve beyond ‘version 1.0’. If your product can’t morph into a platform or an ecosystem of ancillary products or services, it may dissolve into nothing. If a Shark or VC firm decides to invest in your ‘product’, you must clearly show a definitive roadmap, including a series of market-driven and intuitive products and services. A one-trick pony will never have staying power in a chaotic business world. 

If you plan on watching television during this outbreak, stay informed with news, but find some time to get you and your family learning and expanding their business minds by watching Shark Tank — it’s time well-spent. 

Got a favorite episode? Or another business show on your must-watch list? Share in the comments below. 

Until next time, 

Dan Naden

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