I don’t watch Shark Tank but it came up in conversation this morning. It’s an interesting concept and one that interests me as a Corporate Philosopher because it highlights the struggles entrepreneurs fight through every day, from small start-ups to large corporations and even individuals fighting for their innovations and ideals within an organization.
Most of us have been in corporate meetings where we’re trying to get our voice heard, sell our innovative idea or get funding for our new projects. Finding a company that allows you to stretch boundaries may be difficult but if you’ve got what it takes to win at Shark Tank then you can get heard in any company.
Think like a shark…
- Do you have any enthusiasm for your brand? If you bring any “meh” to the table then you’ve lost the game, you’re out. No one can successfully launch or sustain their product or service without energy and a strong belief they have something special.
- Do you have what it takes for a long-term fight? You won’t get investment if you don’t demonstrate the tenacity necessary to take their company all the way. Obstacles, competition, disaster…there are so many reasons why a brand might fail. Entrepreneurs must demonstrate endurance or they will not reach the finish line.
- Is your product or service competitive? Do you have something special that is missing in the current market? Are there cheaper or more efficient alternatives to your brand? Entrepreneurs must know their competition – what they’re offering, their strengths, weaknesses and have a plan to overcome their adversary. If you’re sitting across from a potential investor/client, be that investor/client. Why should they invest in your products or services? Know their options so you don’t waste their time or yours.
- Are you prepared for failure? What if this direction is closed off…are you prepared to backtrack and find another way? Failure doesn’t have to mean the end unless you’re not flexible enough to retreat and move forward with a new plan. Entrepreneurs allow themselves to fail…innovative people have to because they’re pushing boundaries. If you allow yourself to fail then you’ll still be able to move your brand in a new direction if necessary. If you won’t allow failure then you’ll just bang your head against that same brick wall until it hurts enough to stop…then you’ll stop.
Sharks exist…I’m one of them. If I’m going to invest my time, money or effort into an organization then I want to see something special. If you’re not looking at your options with the above questions…you lost the game.