I often get questions about my relationship with Barbara Corcoran along the lines of...
- “What’s she really like?”
- “Does she really help you?”
- “What was Shark Tank like? Do you really make a deal with a Shark?”
- “How often do you talk to Barbara?”
- “Why do you think you got a deal, what did you do differently?”
...I appreciate all the interest, so let’s get down to it.
Appearing on Shark Tank and partnering with Barbara was the best thing that could have happened to our young, small business. The audience and the Sharks are in the same position where each Shark has no idea about the business they are about to be pitched, the entrepreneurs they could partner with, or the product they are about to evaluate. The pitch you give on set is live; no do-overs, the pressure is palpable. Our pitch lasted about 52 minutes and was edited down to 12 minutes (a lot happened). Jimmy blacked out midway through the pitch and really doesn’t remember much, I too was really nervous. That said, we were both extremely prepared, which I believe is the reason we represented ourselves well on the show and eventually got a deal.
Prior to the pitching the Sharks, Jimmy and I watched about 50 episodes of Shark Tank and wrote down (on flashcards) the common questions that each Shark asked. If you are a fan of the show, you will notice that they each ask similar questions to each new entrepreneur. We wrote down our answers on the back of the flashcard and we each took turns standing and answering the questions asked by the pseudo-Shark, all in the living room of my one bedroom apartment. We would go on jogs and practice our pitch, answer questions from the flash cards, and even stand in the mirror of my bathroom and practice our responses while the other person would do anything they could to break their train of thought. I won’t get into, but if you know us, I’m sure you could imagine how distracting we can be. All of this work didn’t eliminate the nerves we experienced on set, but it prepared us to answer the questions the way we planned, internalize our numbers and get the deal with Barb.
The Sharks are all exceptional people who have been extremely supportive of CML. Kevin is one of the most intelligent and funny people I have ever met, he keeps me laughing the entire time I am with him. Yes, Mr. Wonderful is funny…very funny. Daymond has been the most supportive Shark and I couldn’t say enough good things about him. One of the many kind gestures he has done for us was surprising us on the opening night of our first restaurant and was the first customer in line. Kind gestures like Daymond’s make you realize how small of a family this whole “Shark Tank” community truly is.
Barbara has been a true mentor, friend, and now a family member to us. Two months after closing the deal, she came to Maine to shoot some footage for Shark Tank and learn more about CML. On the phone with her, I casually asked her if she wanted hotel recommendations or if she wanted to stay with us at our house with our family. Without any thought, she told me she would prefer to stay with us in our house. After shooting each day, we would play Scrabble, eat, drink, and laugh. I couldn’t believe that Barbara Corcoran was in our house, eating lobster rolls, cheating in Scrabble, and making fun of my hairline. More than her humor (which is hysterical), Barb’s true gifts are her her attention to detail, the pointed questions she asks, and her conviction for what she believes in. She believes in the strength of a family and her greatest investment has been the family of entrepreneurs she has created.
When we see her now, it could be for a casual dinner at her home in New York, at a restaurant in LA, or on a vacation somewhere far from the stresses of work. We talk to her weekly, she is extremely involved in our business, and she provides us perspectives on our business that we would never have considered. She texts and calls me more about my love life than business, once threw my cell phone into a canyon, and secretly hired a personal trainer for me who showed up to my door, unannounced. That’s Barbara Corcoran.