#SWAAYthenarrative

The 2% Reality of Shark Tank Success: How Your Business Pitch Can Land You An Investment

4min read
Business

It's not every day that a TV show can offer its audience tried and true tips for succeeding in their real-life endeavors. However, that has been one of greatest selling points of the popular reality series Shark Tank which showcases rising entrepreneurs pitching their business concepts to a panel of renowned investors, referred to throughout the show as "sharks." The entrepreneurs who step into the shark tank not only offer up their best business pitches, but must also come prepared to answer more cuthroat questions on their company's services, practices and revenue. While every contestant aspires to get any one shark to bite, thus enabling them to walk away with financing for their company, it is no surprise that convincing more than one shark to invest is far more challenging.


In effort to uncover more about the success of its participants, Frontier Business analyzed data from the Shark Tank website to find out just how successful entrepreneurs of the show have been. According to the data collected, Shark Tank has received pitches from a total of 894 companies over the course of their 10 seasons on air. Of those companies, 499 have been successful in accepting a deal from one or more sharks while only 2% of the total companies have received or accepted investment offers from three or more sharks.

Despite the show serving as entertainment to millions of its viewers, there is no exaggeration in the sharks' unwillingness to invest in just any old company. The renowned self-made tycoons, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner have their own unique interests and requirements that can make or break an entrepreneur's chances at striking a deal. However, even when a deal may seem too good to pass up on, the sharks have had to face the unfortunate fate of having to witness a company they once had faith in, fail to meet the demands of its respective market. While some of the most successful products and companies to emerge from Shark Tank includes Scrub Daddy, Wicked Good Cupcakes and Simple Sugars, to name a few, other companies such as Classroom Jams were unable to find success following their debut on the show.

For the companies that have managed the reap the benefits of having a shark invest in their business, the price for this success has always been heavily dependent upon the amount of equity entrepreneurs were willing to hand over. "On average, companies that made a deal with the sharks gave up 26.84% equity in their company. Those with three or more shark deals gave up 34.82% equity," according to Frontier. In order for the sharks to offer more funding, entrepreneurs are expected to hand over a greater percentage of stake in exchange. However, securing more funding from the sharks does not determine the inevitable success or failure of the company overall.

Even when a business looks great on paper, it is simply not enough to ensure that there is room in the market for the business to stay afloat, much less flourish. One of the most crucial selling points for sharks is the valuation of the company being presented. Entrepreneurs can claim their company to be worth over $10 million, but if the true value is estimated to be far less, in the eyes of the investors, then chances are entrepreneurs will not be walking away with their desired amount of funding. Because valuation determines equity, lowering the valuation of a company means equity becomes cheaper, as well. This my advantageous for sharks, but ultimately puts entrepreneurs at a disadvantage by restricting how much money entrepreneurs can request.

So, how have the 2% of successful companies managed to overcome these odds? They have all successfully showcased their company's ability to earn profits while proving to the sharks that there exists a significant demand for their product/service in its respective market. According to Frontier, the two most popular categories of companies who have received three or more offers have been the fashion/beauty and food/beverage categories. While it may seem as though there is only so much room for originality within these categories especially when it feels as though everything that could exist probably already does, these entrepreneurs have managed to successfully demonstrated their originality while proving there are still game changing ideas left to explore.

Earlier this month, O'Leary and shark tank contestant Sarah Paiji Yoo, sat down with Kitco New's Editor-in-Chief to discuss the key factors in a pitch that can help future entrepreneurs win on Shark Tank. The Co-founder and CEO of Blueland, a household cleaning supply company with a mission of reducing plastic pollution, first appeared on the show's Season 11 premiere episode. Their innovative dissolvable cleaning products quickly struck the interest of the sharks. O'Leary jumped at the opportunity to invest by requesting 10% equity in the company, but ultimately ended up accepting Yoo's counteroffer of 3% equity with $.50 royalty on each Clean Essentials Kit. Not only was O'Leary admittedly impressed by the product itself, but stated that Yoo's success on the show stemmed from her ability to demonstrate the products effectiveness alongside its history of financial success.

"I love products that are disruptive because they're going to get a lot of attention. I love products that you can see and within four seconds understand why they should exist. "I love entrepreneurs that have a track record of success, and as you know over the last eleven years, the majority of returns have come from companies run by women," said O'Leary.

Although each shark may be persuaded to invest in a company for a variety of personal or professional reasons pertaining to their own experience with companies maintaining success after the show, it goes without saying that a well demonstrated product backed by a well-rounded business pitch will increase the chances of entrepreneurs getting more than one shark to put an offer down for their startup. Despite Yoo being offered funding from leading investors, her understanding of the market and the valuation of her company and products is what ultimately sold O'Leary on taking a chance on her.

While Shark Tank has not only changed the lives of its participants by giving them an opportunity to scale their businesses, the show offers aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to refine their own business pitches based on the mistakes and successes of others. Receiving an investment from three or more sharks may be staggeringly low, at a mere 2%, but the data compiled from Frontier opens the doors for entrepreneurs to successfully pitch to investors and receive funding or maybe even try their luck at winning Shark Tank themselves.

6 Min Read
Self

Why Women — Even Successful Women — Doubt What They Deserve

Self-care is not selfish.

What do you believe you deserve? That's a pretty loaded question, isn't it? In more than twenty years working as a women's life coach, I've asked it thousands of times, and I've received countless answers. The majority of responses I've received have been disheartening, and they've revealed a startling truth. Women - even very successful, accomplished women - doubt their deservingness.

Deservingness is not to be confused with entitlement. Entitlement is about believing you have a right to something. Deservingness is about how much you believe you're worth.

When you doubt your deservingness, what you're really uncertain about is whether or not you measure up. Are you good enough? (YES.) You've made some pretty big mistakes. Do those bad blunders make you a bad person? (NO.) Are you a good enough person to deserve good things? (YES. YOU ARE.)

Many women carry around a secret shame that impacts their feelings of self-worth and deservingness.

Our stories are individual, but our core experiences are very much the same.

At some point in your life, someone told you there was something wrong with you. This is inevitable, of course, because there's something wrong with all of us, but it gets to dangerous and disempowering territory through repetition.

If even one person in your life tells you over and over again that there's something wrong with you, well, you can start to believe them. Being rejected or criticized hurts, and it has a cumulative effect. Imagine every criticism you've ever received is a tiny little pin that landed right in your heart. (Seriously bad visual, right? Wouldn't your heart look like a pincushion if that was the case?) Beyond hurting like hell, a heart full of pins holds you back and makes you play small. YOU ARE NOT SMALL. I want you to stop acting like you are.

In life, you always create the results you believe you deserve. If you don't believe you deserve good things, you won't let yourself have them.

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You'll sabotage, procrastinate, and excuse the good right out of your life if you don't believe you deserve it. Happily, you can raise your sense of deservingness, and deepen your feelings of personal worth. I'm going to show you how today. It's time to start believing in you again.

Step 1 – Take good care of yourself.

On the face of it, you'd think this advice would be obvious and unimpeachable. Of course you have to take care of yourself. The problem with this truth is that there are whole communities of people who will try to convince you that prioritizing your needs makes you a selfish person. (And who wants to be seen as selfish?)

I've never encountered a woman who hadn't heard some version of this self-care-is-selfish-nonsense. The thing is, these messages are about control, and they come from people who are happy to keep you down and disempowered. (Which makes it easier for them to manipulate you.) Do not fall for this line of hooey.

Self-care is not selfish. Self-neglect is selfish.

Self-neglect tells you that you don't matter. It asks you to stuff your wants and repress your emotions. When you chronically neglect yourself, eventually, you turn into a repressed, angry, self-doubting zombie (or banshee depending on your anger level). Nothing about self-neglect is attractive. I want you to stop doing it. TODAY.

We need you in top form. There is purpose in your life. To make good on it, you need to connect with your SELF. The most fundamental way to begin that process is to take care of your physical body. When I'm working with a client, we practice four physical care basics. (I practice these guys too. Religiously.)

  • SLEEP: You need seven to eight hours of sleep. Every night. No exceptions.
  • HYDRATE: You need proper daily hydration. Water is energy.
  • NOURISH: You need to eat food that nourishes. Not just food that fills your stomach.
  • RELEASE YOUR STRESS: You need some way to unload your tension. Think working out, meditation, journaling, gardening, prayer, sitting in nature, cooking, or hot scented bathing. Let. It. Go. Girl. ☺

Notice I said, "you need." These are non-negotiable requirements. If you're tempted to argue against your ability to practice them, please pause. I've heard every excuse known to woman. And I don't buy a single one of them. We're in a no-excuses zone now. You don't get to argue against yourself and also be empowered. It doesn't work that way. You have to choose.

If you haven't taken care of yourself in a long time, this topic can feel totally overwhelming. I understand, and I want you to do it anyway. Remember, I'm your coach. A loving boot-in-the-butt will sometimes be required in our relationship. Consider this my velvet tipped toe, making contact with that booty of yours.

Take a deep breath and start tackling your care basics. You DO have time. You are NOT selfish, and there's no wrong way to do this except not to do it at all. Practice makes powerful. SO PRACTICE!

Okay, time to up the ante a little bit. This next step is harder.

Step 2 – Be someone you can count on.

You can't think your way into believing in your own worth, but you can act your way there. As it turns out, keeping the commitments you make to yourself increases your feelings of worth and deservingness, and strengthens your confidence too.

Think about it. You make countless commitments every day. The trouble bis that most of them are for other people. When you don't have a strong sense of your own worth, you agree to most incoming requests. Which means you're probably way overcommitted.

When your calendar is crowded, and something's got to give, you're the one who usually goes. Because it's easiest to break commitments to you, right?

WRONG!

Every time you break a commitment to yourself, what you're really doing is showing yourself, through your own inaction, that you don't matter. NO! Bailing on yourself is like giving your hopes and dreams a big middle finger. (Please stop doing it.)

It's time to start following through FOR YOU. Don't panic. I'm not suggesting you stop doing things for other people. As a woman, you're a natural-born nurturer. Of course, you're going to do it for other people. I just want you to add yourself to the list of people-you-do-for.

The best way to get a handle on showing up for yourself is to start paying attention to what's going on when you don't. What causes you to cross yourself off your own list? When you bring your triggers into your awareness, you'll notice a pattern, which will give you the power to make changes.

Take things one choice at a time. Whenever possible, choose to follow through for you. Every time you do, you remove one of those tiny little heart pins and strengthen your sense of worth and deservingness.

Now for the hardest part…

Step 3 – Stand up for yourself.

When you don't believe in your own deservingness, you become an earner. Meaning, you spend your time and energy earning love. This can show up in a lot of different ways. We'll talk about three of them here.

  • You could be a PLEASER. You say yes when you mean no. You do a ton of favors. You're secretly annoyed the entire time you're doing them, but you keep doing them anyway.
  • You might be a PERFORMER. You're the life of the party and an overachiever. You use material items and accolades like money, degrees, titles, and awards to prove your worth. (I used to be this girl.)
  • It's possible you're a DOORMAT. This pattern is most damaging because it means you're allowing other people to treat you poorly. On the extreme end of the spectrum, this could look like allowing people to demean, degrade, or disrespect you. Even on the lesser end of things, it means you allow people to get away with passive-aggressive comments, or take advantage of you. On any end of the spectrum, doormat behavior is toxic.

It gets worse. When you live as an earner, you attract users. (That's just as bad as it sounds.) There are unfortunately people in the world that will live at your expense without giving it a second thought. If you're willing to give it, they'll take it, and even talk themselves into believing they deserve what they're taking. These kind of people like to keep you small, scared, and doubting your deservingness. (Then you do whatever they want. Whenever they want you to.)

YOU MUST STAND UP FOR YOURSELF.

Start by catching yourself in the act of playing the earner. What and who triggers the earner response in you? What are you afraid of? What are you trying to prove? If you feel drained or bad about yourself after you're with a specific person or in a certain place, you need to think twice about being with that person or in that place.

I know this is easier said than done. It's possible the people who make you feel bad are co-workers or family members. It's not like you can just stop seeing them, right? If you find yourself in this position, there is only one path. You need to speak up for yourself. Stat.

For help, you can check out three of my other blogs. They'll show you how to stop living like a pleaser, set some boundaries, and say no like you mean it. Will you be uncomfortable? Yep. You will. Can you handle it? Yes. You can. Be willing to be uncomfortable. Speak up. Stand up. Stop accepting less than you deserve.

Every time you speak up for yourself, you remove another pin from your heart, raise your sense of deservingness and you deepen your own sense of worth. You also show other women what it looks like to know your worth and live like you know it. Which encourages them to do it too. (THAT is female power.)

You are good, and you deserve good things. You deserve acceptance, belonging, and love. There's no mistake in you, my sister. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. Just as you are.

My mission is your empowerment. That's why I'm here. If you haven't already joined my community, please do it by entering your email (www.kimberlyfulcher.com). Until we meet again, know that life is happening for you.

You've Got This!

Kim

Originally published at www.kimberlyfulcher.com

This article was originally published November 25, 2019.