Shark Tank is one of the few shows I watch on TV. It's such a good entrepreneur show, that I record it and have my kids all watch it too. This past week, there was something that has been playing over and over in my mind.
A little background: There was a man from Venice, CA who had invented a printing machine to print anything on shoes, hats, etc. They would print any graphics right in the store for people as they waited. In just a few months he had hundreds of thousands in profits. As I watched his story unfold, I wondered how many of the sharks would have a feeding frenzy over this great invention. What I saw take shape though, was far different from what I expected.
From the get go, the sharks didn't seem to like the guy. One of his first statements was that he made up a phony resume to get a job at the age of 18. I think he was trying to impress the sharks with his ingenuity. What he ended up doing was alienating them with his lack of integrity. Really? You want to impress people with your ability to "make up" something? In my home, we call that lying.
Another thing that caught my attention was that the sharks didn't like that his plans were so big and he just kept going back to his big plans rather than hearing them talk about how to make massive money by starting small. It seems a bit contrary to what a lot of vision board people preach. They say DREAM BIG! Sometimes we get caught up in our big dreams. It sometimes takes a lot of small houses to end up with the big house.
The third thing the sharks didn't like was that although the man came from humble beginnings, he seemed to have lost the feeling of what it's like to be hungry. Getting rich for the sake of getting rich is not what builds great character. They wanted him to go back to eating mac n' cheese to get his "hunger" back. He had seen a little success, and seemed to be resting in it. He mentioned that he didn't even go to his store anymore. He even told Mark Cuban, "I could live on six figures." So could I!
The principles covered in this show can apply to all of us who are in business for ourselves.
- A. Always lead with integrity - not with lying ingenuity
- B. Take small steps toward the big picture, but don't expect the big picture tomorrow.
- C. Never get to the place of complacency.