Barbara Corcoran Reveals the Entrepreneurs She Won’t Invest in on ‘Shark Tank’

With a net worth of $80 million and climbing, Barbara Corcoran is one of the most successful American businesswomen in existence. Though an author, investor, speaker, consultant, and syndicated columnist, she is most known for starring in Shark Tank as one of the many wealthy investors.

Barbara Corcoran Shark Tank
Barbara Corcoran of ‘Shark Tank’ | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Corcoran graduated college with a degree in education; however, after teaching school for a year, she moved on to various jobs before landing upon real estate (with a little nudge from her boyfriend at the time). Corcoran wanted to be her own boss and she co-founded the Corcoran-Simone; however, she and her boyfriend split up when he told her his plans to marry their secretary. 

The Corcoran-Simone quickly became The Corcoran Group, and Barbara Corcoran soon began publishing The Corcoran Report on real estate data trends in NYC. She later sold her business to NRT for $66 million and the rest is, as they say, history.  

Corcoran had to fight through some rough emotional hurdles and financial tribulations to land where she is today; she was one of ten children and wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her hand; thus, the kind of contestants she usually chooses to support should come as no surprise. 

Barbara Corcoran on the contestants she rejects on ‘Shark Tank’

In an interview with Young Hollywood, Barbara Corcoran discussed Shark Tank, and why it is important to give specific and honest feedback (even though it may come off as harsh); people invest their whole lives into these businesses and if they’re not going to walk away with the money, maybe they can walk away with a bit of wisdom, as she explained. She also goes on to note what she looks for on the show:

I’ve lowered my standards on which businesses I like, truly lowered them, because I find the businesses have very little to do with the success. But, I have upped the ante on which entrepreneurs I’ll give my money to because I found that the entrepreneurs, and their god-given talent, and whether they’re meant to be entrepreneurs determines their success. 

Young Hollywood

Corcoran has noticed that it comes down to the individual more than the idea. An idea may be great, but it takes someone with grit, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed. Elaborating on the above comment, she stated:

I’m finding that a lot of the entrepreneurs that are coming in now are better educated, they have much higher IQs, they’re coming from wealthier families, they’re a lot more savvy, they’ve got publicity, and those are exactly the entrepreneurs I don’t invest in. 

What I’m always hunting for are the people who are really poor, really hungry, really insecure, have something to prove. Somebody like me, so I can relate to them and really help them along the way, and then you get the satisfaction of seeing the ugly ducking become the swan. 

Young Hollywood

When it comes to Barbara Corcoran’s selection tendencies, she’s not going to opt for the rich guy who’s already got publicity on his side; she wants to see someone still in the fight, still pushing, still yearning to catch that big break, for those entrepreneurs remind Corcoran of herself.