What Shark Tank Can Teach You

I’m a huge Shark Tank fan.  I love the drama, the deals, the pitches.  There’s a whole lot you can learn about business watching this show.  Never before have you been able to watch someone pitch their idea to real investors.

Robert Herjavec (the nice one) wrote a great article on being an entrepreneur, Top 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs.  One of his points really stuck out for me and it’s a minefield for all of us.

Everybody lies.

Yeah, I know, “Not me.  I’m honest.  I stick to the truth.”

Well, there you go, lying again.

We can’t help ourselves.  The reason this is so important to look at is because we tend to ask advice from our friends and family about our business ideas.

Social media has only turbo-charged this because now we have thousands of “friends” we barely know to ask.  How many times have you been in a Facebook group for wedding professionals and you see someone asking a question or opinion from the group?

My favorite is, “What do you think of my website?”  This is usually asked right after they’ve redesigned it.

Now logically, the questions about websites should be asked BEFORE you do all the work.  So why are they asking?

They really don’t want you to critique their website; they want you to say how great it is.

Guess what?

You’ll never run out of people to tell you how great your work is, even if it’s complete shit.  

Because they LIE.  They like you.  They want to make you feel good.

Not only do they lie to you, most of them don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.  Their own websites look horrendous!

And you want them to make you feel good, so you’re lying to yourself.  Do you really want them to rip your work to pieces?

Sometimes getting a beat down can make you tons of money because it forces you to fix your problems.  

Or you can go into complete denial and not ask that group of ignorant people for opinions again.

I’m guilty of lying about this, too.  

Someone asks me, “What do you think of my website?”  I take a peek and it looks like a schizophrenic from the early 90’s designed it, but I soft sell it.

“It could use a little work,” I say.

That’s really a lie when they really need to take it out back and put it out of its misery.

The point is that you have to go by more than what people tell you.  

Your mother will always tell you your idea is brilliant, and you might just say the same to your kids.  Your arch nemesis on Facebook is going to rip it apart, no matter how good it is.

Ask opinions from people your respect who have proven to be successful in the area you’re pursuing.  Hire an expert to critique your website or your copy.

Don’t marry yourself to an idea before you test it.  You may try a certain offer on your website.  Just because you created it that doesn’t mean you’re done.  You need to test it.  Check results before and after and measure your results.

The biggest complaint by the Sharks on Shark Tank is when someone comes in with a pitch and doesn’t know their numbers.  

An example of that would be, you create an offer and you’ve had it on your website for six months and you don’t know how that’s worked.  You don’t know your results.  You don’t know if your traffic increased or if you got more leads.  Face it, you just don’t know.

The good news is there are many resources to learn how to do this.

There is no excuse to stay stupid when it comes to your business.

Here’s a warning to anyone who asks my opinion (and I get asked quite a bit) I’m making a commitment to be brutally honest.  If you ask me what I think of your website, be prepared for a truth smack down.

And now I’m asking for your opinion…

What do you think?

photo credit: Black Tip Reef Shark via photopin (license) (Added text and background to image)

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Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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