Many of you may know Barbara Corcoran as the New York real estate mogul who founded The Corcoran Group, a bestselling author and the canny investor on the hit TV show Shark Tank. What you may NOT know about this dynamic woman is that she turned herself from a straight D student into an A-class success story by navigating her own fair share of sharks… one of them being President Donald Trump himself!
This week on Secrets to Your Success, I head to the Big Apple to get Barbara’s tips on how to build your own multi-million dollar company in the sometimes cruel seas of business, without ending up as bait.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
On Shark Tank, Corcoran’s role may be to pick which company to invest in, but her real expertise is knowing which PEOPLE to invest in. Before she hires anyone or invests a dollar in a company she asks herself the following questions:
CAN THEY LOOK YOU IN THE EYE?
If they can’t, Barbara says they either lack confidence in themselves or the product. Either way, they won’t be able to sell your company to the outside world.
WOULD YOU LET THEM BABYSIT YOUR CHILD?
If the answer is no, then Barbara says it doesn’t make sense to trust them to look after your money or company, both of which are also your ‘babies’.
DO YOU WANT YOUR NAME ASSOCIATED WITH THEIRS?
When you hire a staff member or invest in a company you can be sure that they will be dropping your name and your companies name around town. If the idea of having your reputation and name linked to theirs doesn’t fill you with pride, then they are not the right fit for you.
When it comes to hiring people, Corcoran has these tips…
TIP 1: IGNORE THE RESUME. Recognize natural abilities.
To understand a potential employee’s core skills and how to best utilize them in your company, Barbara puts down the resume and instead strikes up a relaxed conversation to find out what they like to do and what they are interested in. Then she tries to categorize them according to their “work personality type”.
“There really are only two kinds of people. There are containers and expanders. Once I can size them up…I put people in the job function that suits their God-given talent”.
TYPE 1: Containers – People who like to keep everything in order, buttoned up.
TYPE 2: Expanders – People who like to throw as much on the wall and see what sticks.
TIP 2: HAVE A BIG MOUTH. Use the press!
For a company to survive, people must know about it. Corcoran said the “Big Kahuna” that helped get her name out there was the media. Twice a year, Corcoran would publish a Real Estate report that gave journalists insight and information about the market that they would use in their articles, always crediting The Corcoran Group as their source. Not only did this get her name out there, it established her as an expert at attracting new customers.
WHAT DONALD TRUMP TAUGHT BARBARA
TIP 3: BULLY A BULLY
When Corcoran’s company sold the largest land parcel in New York City, 12 city blocks owned by Donald Trump, she was owed a $4 million dollar commission. Instead of being paid that commission, she was sued for $4 million by Mr. Trump! Rather than crumble under the pressure, Barbara had another plan.
“I went out to hire the biggest bully to beat the bully I could find. If not for that we would have never won the lawsuit”.
TIP 4: STAND TALL. Maintain a positive internal dialog.
When Corcoran first met with Donald Trump she was hugely intimidated and spent the entire elevator ride up to his office saying to herself, “You deserve to be here, you deserve to be here, you deserve to be here!”
It was through this experience that she realized that in order for others to respect you, you must first respect yourself. The trick is to fill yourself with enough positive self-talk that there simply isn’t any room for negativity.
“It’s really about the battle with yourself, not about the people battling around you. That’s where the real battle is won or lost, based on what you do with yourself”.
Have you ever had to have that talk with yourself, the one where you have to remind yourself that you deserve success?