As I reflect on Season 5 from my red chair, it has been another exciting, funny, and surprising season of fantastic business opportunities, excited entrepreneurs and the odd bit of blood in the shark-infested water.
The investments I’ve made were in leading edge technology (Breathometer and Revolights) and new twists on an existing theme (Tipsy Elves, Happy Feet, Hamboards). Silly X-mas sweaters, oversized slippers and land surfboards. A few other deals were made on the show, which we look forward to closing in the very near future, or unfortunately never came to signing on the dotted line.
We saw entrepreneurs from every background – California surfer dudes, young high-tech gurus, students, surgeons, lawyers and salt-of-the-earth family people. I’ve loved getting to know each of them and their businesses. Most have taken incredibly high risk moves with their businesses – left high-paying professional careers, worked multiple jobs at the same time, borrowed or begged money from their friends and family to breathe new life into their businesses.
The common bond with each and every entrepreneur I’ve invested in has been PASSION. I look for it, feed on it and reward it.
We don’t get any information prior to the pitch, so every reaction from the panel is immediate and spontaneous.
So what’s in a perfect pitch?
A perfect pitch is when people know their numbers, capture my fleeting attention quickly, feed me when I’m hungry (which is most of the time), and allow me to interact and play because we’re there for 12 hours at a time and I get stir crazy a lot! But most importantly, you need to be passionate, from the look in your eyes through to every cell in your body. Not only does this motivate me to invest in a product, but it motivates me in my daily life – from being a great dad, to running a world-class cyber security business.
Starting up a business is one of the hardest and nerve-wracking adventures you could ever take on. If you are not 110% committed to it, don’t start, you will fail 115% of the time!
On “Shark Tank,” I watch the entrepreneurs very closely. I will attack the business idea, not the person, but I have a keen eye for the type of entrepreneur that I like to work with. If they’ve got drive, I never worry about getting a return on my investment. My worst investments have not been because of bad ideas but because of people that weren’t 100% committed to their business or personal issues took them off their focused course.
“Shark Tank: Season 6” will bring many other great passionate entrepreneurs, exciting businesses, train-wreck pitches and the odd fight amongst my fellow Sharks, but that’s what makes it so exciting once the doors open and it’s your turn to step into the Tank! I may be the “Nice Shark”, but don’t underestimate the kindness!
To your success,
Founder and CEO, The Herjavec Group
Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank
Follow me on Twitter @robertherjavec
Photos: 1 & 2 Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images 3: Michael Ansell/ABC via Getty Images