To go it alone or take the financial support of your family is a tough decision as an entrepreneur. The majority ruling on a recent episode of Shark Tank was that you must do what you have to, although one shark really didn’t agree.
A young entrepreneur featured on the show to pitch her new healthy date spread. The sharks were very interested and enquired more about how the finances were and how she was supporting herself. She told them the money that the product was bringing but highlighted that her father still supports her financially.
One shark, Barabara Corcoran, lost it. She said the pitch fell apart for her when she heard this. She criticized the entrepreneur telling her that success was just an option, not a necessity. However, the other sharks quickly disagreed.
Both Mark Cuban and Daymond John refused to accept that. They pointed out how if that was true then their own children were destined for failure and it just didn’t make sense. Daymond John told a story of how his mother mortgaged her house so that he could pursue his dream. The most brilliant moment was when the young entrepreneur defended herself. She pointed out how although she is supported financially she still works incredibly hard to make the product a success and risking a lot.
Corcoran was well and truly shut down and tried to backtrack from there, but it was too late. She had already declared herself out and made herself look pretty silly in hindsight. To think that for an entrepreneur to be successful they have to do it off their own finances is unrealistic. So many people today aren’t in a position to do that and may be lucky enough to have the help and support of family and friends. If they do have this support it simply gives them more options and makes them a stronger force in the market, not a weaker one.
The entrepreneur closed her pitch and did so well that Cuban agreed to invest. I wonder how Corcoran views the support of angel investors if the thinks that everyone should be going it alone. Everyone needs help at some stage and to sit in her chair and criticize others for accepting help is not the behavior of a good role model. Hopefully, she learned her lesson from the encounter.