Entrepreneurs Find Success Without the "Shark Tank"

From the Shark Tank to the Trenches: Never Take ‘No’ for an Answer

The life of an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. Not only do you have to fully embrace regular challenges and ambiguity—you must possess unrelenting persistence, belief and focus.

And that’s just for the day-to-day operations.

However even with all its challenges, entrepreneurship can offer much excitement and fulfillment—after all, when the economy hits rock bottom and thousands lose job security and savings, what else is there to do but harness the power of your ideas or passion?

During the past 10 years there has been a definite revival of hope in the American Dream, and nothing has contributed to the frenzy quite like the television show “Shark Tank,” which the Washington Post described as personalizing the “desperation and pain experienced by victims of a broken-down economy.”

Now in its sixth season, the reality show has catapulted to a viewership of more than 6.5 million people per episode. It’s helped propel the American Dream to the next level; making billionaire investors seem attainable for just about any type of hobby or idea. Basically, if there’s a will (or a need), there’s a way.

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tony-hsiehWords of Wisdom


“Chase the vision, not the money. The money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos Founder

But while it gives small business owners the chance to get the necessary investment to continue their venture, it can equally break them down to despair as well. For some, it’s their last gasp for financial backing; for others, the sharks may scoff and state that the “contestant” should have never quit a day job to focus a part of their life on such a venture. Still, others may not need the financial backing, but need the connections, direction and management necessary to run a large corporation. And then there are the ones on the verge of bankruptcy, who seemed to make all the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons.

But in the life of a successful entrepreneur, it’s all about never taking “no” for an answer—even from the tank. After all, as Tony Hsieh, Zappos founder and CEO once said, “Chase the vision, not the money. The money will end up following you.”

To highlight how beneficial a deal can be, regular “updates” are provided during each episode about a certain company or product that garnered one and is now making millions—but what about the companies that didn’t get a deal (or turned down one that wasn’t adequate) and hustled forward, determined as ever?

Yes, just being featured on the show can be immensely effective to sales as raw marketing, whether you get a deal or not. However, it’s the entrepreneur’s job to keep the momentum going, and build off of it.

But how do they accomplish that task? Well, in order to find out, you just have to ask them.

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