Why ‘Shark Tank’ Star Barbara Corcoran Called Her School a ‘Jailhouse’ on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’

Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank recently stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show and shared some words of wisdom with the audience. Discussing her rise from humble beginnings to becoming a top real estate mogul, Corcoran described her childhood school days as something near to imprisonment.

Barbara Corcoran on the panel of 'Shark Tank'
Barbara Corcoran of ‘Shark Tank’ | Christopher Willard via Getty Images

Barbara Corcoran of ‘Shark Tank’ struggled in school

DeGeneres asked Corcoran about being diagnosed with dyslexia, where the Shark Tank star faced ridicule from both students and teachers.

“You know, what happens that does the damage is you make fun of yourself,” Corcoran told DeGeneres. “In a school system, they judge children by reading and writing, and I couldn’t read til I was in seventh grade. So I was declared the dumb kid.”

The stifling and critical environment made Corcoran dread her time in school. Yet she decided to turn the negativity into motivation, and have the last laugh on the naysayers.

“Let me tell you something that happens,” the real estate icon continued. “I didn’t know then as a kid what would happen in my life. When I got out of that jailhouse — it was like a jailhouse — I used the power of that insult to prove to the world that I wasn’t stupid.”

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‘Shark Tank’ star became a millionaire

Corcoran explained to DeGeneres that even as she got older, she still carried those past insecurities.

“I don’t think I really was convinced I wasn’t stupid til I was like 55,” the Shark Tank admitted. “Because I had to work so hard, like, oh my God, I’m always over-prepared — I always double-try everything. I try so hard because I just never want to be back in that spot where people are laughing at me.”

The millionaire investor showed all of her critics to never again question her intelligence. Corcoran turned a $1,000 loan into a real estate empire that she sold for $66 million.

“You know, Ellen, the best part — you know, because you came from nothing — the idea that I would have even a million dollars in my life seemed unbelievable,” Corcoran shared. “They put that $66 million into my checking account, and I found out where it was by cashing a $200 chit… and the receipt came out and said ‘$66 million in your checking account’ and I still get a thrill.”

What is Barbara Corcoran’s net worth?

Between her multimillion dollar sale of The Corcoran Group in 2001 and her portfolio of successful Shark Tank investments, Corcoran’s net worth today is approximately $100 million. Still, Corcoran noted that wealth can be a double-edged sword.

RELATED: ‘Shark Tank:’ How Barbara Corcoran Created a Second Career From the Reality Show

“The very good news is I never had to worry about money again… It was very freeing,” Corcoran told Andrew Warner of Mixergy, while adding a down side. “Having that much money changes everything. For me, it complicated life. My nine brothers and sisters saw me very differently. How do I take care of them? Is it my obligation to take care of them?”

Corcoran enlisted some help to manage her finances, which kept her bank account on track.

“It’s one thing, I realized, to make money,” Corcoran reflected. “I was great at making money, building a business. It’s something very different to manage money. You know what? The hardest part for me was trusting the next guy with it. … I had to learn to trust other people, and I’m still uncomfortable with it. Not so easy. Money is not what it is often cracked up to be.”