It wouldn’t be an overstatement if we said the reality show “Shark Tank” is an MBA class in action. With the inflow of ideas, and the opportunities presented to new entrepreneurs, it does a fantastic job of inspiring millions of individuals across the nation. Each season we’re introduced to everyday entrepreneurs and their dreams. We may agree or disagree with the views of all the investors, righty termed as “sharks”, but we can’t ignore their presence. Every investor brings unique ideas to the table and prompts us to think about the right mix of ingredients for business success.
One such shark is fan favorite and real-estate millionaire Barbara Corcoran. Rightly identified as the “Queen of Real Estate”, her story is filled with loads of inspiration. What makes her exceptional is her humble background and simple upbringing. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth or handed over wealth as part of the family legacy. Everything she has achieved points to her strengths as a “self-made” woman. More importantly, her life illustrates how good old fashioned hard work can lead to success. Which is why today I’ll highlight not only Corcoran’s multimillion dollar ventures, but the story behind them. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur, Corcoran’s story will inspire you to dream big and earn your success.
Corcoran’s Early Life
A real estate mogul and business expert, Barbara Corcoran brings life to her words “Taking chances almost makes for happy endings”. If it wasn’t for her first step towards something completely different from her background, she wouldn’t be helping others realize their dreams. Born in the industrious town of Edgewater in New Jersey, Corcoran’s childhood wasn’t as comfortable as her lifestyle today. Sharing a 2-bed apartment with nine other siblings, she attended a Catholic elementary school. She wasn’t the best student. In fact, she got “D” grades in school. Yet, none of this limited Corcoran.
From Waitressing to Real Estate
Fueled by a passion to do something different and remarkable, Corcoran worked hard after finishing college. She worked numerous odd jobs including waitressing and renting out apartments in New York City. Even in these odd jobs, Corcoran showed hard work and determination. While these jobs promised a stable paycheck, there was still something keeping Corcoran unsatisfied. The lack of fulfillment turned out to be a good thing. Soon, Corcoran would begin her own journey as an entrepreneur by opening up her own real estate firm.
The Famous $1000 Loan
Corcoran started out by creating a small real estate business with her boyfriend in 1978. She utilized a $1000 loan from that same boyfriend to get started. The business took off, with happy clients and strong profits. They achieved more than a half million in sales within their first two years. Though all of this points to instant success, Corcoran’s journey took her through several challenges including a break up with her then boyfriend and business partner. At this point, Corcoran could have called it quits. But as they say, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger or as Corcoran likes to put it “I have a theory and I really believe it. I think your worst weakness can become your greatest single strength.” She seized this opportunity to be independent and turn into the proud face we see today.
She split off from her ex-boyfriend and partner to form her own firm “The Corcoran Group” which became New York’s largest real estate company. Corcoran realized the role of media in any and every domain of the industry which prompted her to start “The Corcoran Report.” The primary aim was to share trends, news, highlights and all the buzz about real estate in New York City.
At this point, there was no stopping this strong woman who continued to defy every odd. After all, her words “Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct” seemed to push her even more toward success. Keep in mind, it wasn’t easy at the time for a woman to excel in real estate, a domain that was otherwise considered to be a man’s game. But this is where Corcoran set herself apart as extraordinary.
In 2001, Corcoran decided to sell her business. Imagine her level of excitement when she convinced NRT Incorporated to agree to her quote of $66 million. This was indeed the point of no return, turning her into a legendary example of rags to riches success. After all, when Corcoran borrowed $1000 to start her real estate business, who would have thought it would turn into a billion dollar asset?
The Queen of Real Estate Gives Back
Today Corcoran still publishes “The Corcoran Report.” Her first slice of media success is still a hit. Also, Corcoran continues contributing her share of inspiration by authoring several books, writing columns for magazines and guest speaking at various real estate events around the country. Her book “Shark Tales: How I turned $1000 into a Billion Dollar Business” continues to motivate millions of people to start their own business. Corcoran’s tale inspires people to think “If she can do it, so can I” and we realize that success does not depend on luck, it depends on our efforts.
With an aim to motivate others, Corcoran started her own consulting and television production business Barbara Corcoran Inc. An investor on Shark Tank for nine seasons, Corcoran enjoys the opportunity to interact with young, ambitious entrepreneurs. It’s no surprise to see Corcoran rooting for entrepreneurs who remind her of herself, extremely ambitious and willing to take risk.
The Fairy Tale Ending With A Twist
Today, as Corcoran enjoys the beautiful Manhattan view from her penthouse, one can only wonder what it must feel like to take that long journey from a tiny apartment to a huge empire. As you can see, this real-life success story has every element of a fairy tale, except in this case – the fairy does not “get” it all, rather she “earns” it for herself. Interested in buying a home yourself? Read the 7 Myths Every Home Buyer Should Know before you make your purchase!