Apr 28 2015

Tank Shark Tank

shark tank

SHARK TANK: Entertainment


(But NOT Entrepreneurship)


It’s entertaining. It’s helped popularize the word entrepreneur and expose the hind flanks of what entrepreneurial pursuits are all about.  But TV’s “Shark Tank” is an entertainment product of pure fantasy. It bares almost no resemblance to the day-to-day real-world inhabited by zillions of struggling ideologists trying to piece their brainstorm ideas together with some magical business glue, and create success.

There’s really nothing “wrong” with the show or its (rather engaging) celebrity sharks. And “Shark Tank” is often amusing, provocative, comical, and at times even heart-rendering, but real entrepreneurs need to dismiss the show’s odds for funding success as akin to winning the lottery. And the occasional investment “loser” who ends up a winner –just from being on the show and gaining favorable PR exposure– is highly unusual.

Yes, there are some big-time “winners” plucked from the many thousands of applicants and auditions. But for the vast majority of contenders, time and energy expenditures alone can cost a fortune in opportunity losses.

So take Shark Tank for what it is: A source of amusement at seeing SO many people work SO hard to get to the point of not having the answers to questions they knew they’d be asked before they ever even set foot on the stage. If anything, the show is a rude awakening for those who think they can simply stroll into a bank, finance company or venture capital firm, talk about how great their ideas are, and leave with bulging wallets.

First of all, it is with rare exception that a business startup (or even a successful ongoing venture) cannot be more successful by focusing on making the creator’s idea work, instead of on seeking funding support. Ask anyone you know who’s made it, and they are likely to tell you that when they made their idea work, money simply came to them from out of nowhere – customer sales and investment offers. If your idea is great, money will find you!

Remember, ANY one can have a creative idea. It’s the ability to be innovative and internally driven to take that idea and run with it–all the way through to completion–that makes entrepreneurs and entrepreneurially-minded product and service developers stand uniquely apart from all other business careers and lifestyles.

Entrepreneurs are not just saying, “Hey! Look at this!” They are saying: this is how this works, this is what it costs. This is the market. This is how we can sell it. This is the profit margin. This is the next step, etc. etc. Unlike the fake version, Entrepreneurs, REAL entrepreneurs, don’t sit on an idea, or analyze it to death, or form a month’s- or year-long study committee. They just do it! Then they adjust it. Then they do it again. Then they adjust it again. Then they do it again and adjust it again, and keep going . . . until it works!

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Hal@Businessworks.US               931.854.0474


Many thanks for your visit and make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Dec 11 2010

Your Most Important Asset?

Well, It’s Your PEOPLE,


Of Course!



Whether it’s your spouse helping with bookkeeping while you run a home-based business, or it’s a workforce of 3 or 300 or 3000, if you are not doing a GREAT job of motivating each of them, your business will never get where you want it to go.

Having the world’s greatest business plan, fat investors, and full access to cutting-edge tech systems and equipment means zip without committed support from those who work with and for you! Your PEOPLE are your most important asset!

And that kind of support only happens with your consistent leadership by example.

Job one is to do whatever it takes to figure out how to best open each individual’s mind, then open it, then keep it open.

Because open minds open doors.


The more people are encouraged to think for themselves, and to think in innovative terms, and to always think first of customers, the more opportunities they will create — for both the business and themselves, which translates to steady growth.                                                   

3 Key questions to ask yourself (and answer) in order to succeed and grow:


1)   Can you readily identify and separate your internal and external customers?

2)   Can you really tell the difference?

3)   What percentage of every day are you marketing to them?


This set of questions and answers is all about your ability to market your people, market to your people, and market through your people.

Successful entrepreneurs focus intently on these (above) fifty or so words . . . take a minute!  


Do you think that the meaning of customer service is to have dedicated customer service people?

Successful entrepreneurs charge every employee with customer service responsibilities all of the time. Parttime assistants as well as the most senior officers need to be able to handle every customer service issue at any time.

Customer service interruptions should be the rule, not the exception. 


Can you “ask, don’t tell” with the words you use? Unless you’re a creative director guiding designers and writers, can you “engineer, not architect” with verbal pictures you paint? 

When you lead by example, can you diagram ideas, and resist “giving orders” in favor of putting others and yourself on the same side of the solution table?

Successful entrepreneurs recognize that marketing through their people means being careful with what is said and how it’s said.  


Are you breeding entrepreneurs (and can you manage them)? Or are you breeding investments in the status quo (and can you manage that)? Are you encouraging enough reasonable risk-taking? Are you rewarding failure when great efforts are expended?

Do your actions take the 5-step direction of:








Creativity only happens when thinking stops, and innovation requires re-activating THINKING in order to take the creative ideas all the way through every step of the strategic process from concept to launch, with all anticipated needs addressed. 

Then THINK AGAIN — Assess the innovative plans and designs.


# # #


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

2 responses so far

Nov 04 2010

When Reality Sucks!

Tired of Reality?


Ache for Fake?


Comes a time for every professional practice and business owner or manager to step up into the world of make-believe, and take a brain break from daily work realities and nightly reality TV.

I’m not talking a week in the islands or weekend at Disney World or some quality after-dinner minutes with kids or pets. These are all wonderful brain breaks recommended for every working human.

No, I’m talking about introducing a new ingredient in your daily schedule. You already read, right? But do you read right?

Are you filling your head with world news, industry news, market news, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow analyses, and all those advice articles: “How To Be A Better Leader”; “Saving Your Business From Financial Collapse”; “Why Motivating Customers AND Employees Is Like Juggling Seagulls”?

Ah, and even in the car, and late night TV, is it more business news?

Are you getting like one of those Washington DC-area C-Span junkies?


There is more to the world and more to your life than that. There is also more to your business than what you absorb from dwelling on business. And what might that be? Try INNOVATION!

Innovation doesn’t happen when you lock yourself up in a closet for a bunch of hours and suddenly come sweeping out with the magical answer (Note this analogy, those of you who retain creative services, which involves the same dynamic).

Innovation, it should be said, ONLY STARTS with a good idea. Ditch-diggers can come up with good ideas. For innovation to set in, you need a brain break!

Innovation means taking an idea

all the way through to fruition.

It requires comprehensive analysis of the product or service, the market, the competition, the creation and production options, the developmental costs and timelines, the human and operational resources needed, and so on and on, up to the point of launch countdown, and projections that go beyond that.

To foster and nurture innovation and innovative thinking requires a different mindset than is typically engaged on any given workday. The kind of free-spirited thinking that you evidenced when you started your business or professional practice or managerial job.

That attitude is not born of trade journals, online and traditional business media sources, or the rest of what you do every day!

Innovation comes about

from a mental shake-up!

It surfaces when you challenge yourself to look somewhere else besides the worlds of reality that cling to your shirtsleeves 5-7 days a week.

Yes, indulge yourself with travel and friend and family visits, and playing with your kids or pets (or the neighbor’s kids or pets). Take more photographs. Paint. Draw. Write. Get out of the rut.

One of the best ways to take this daily journey to increased productivity and innovative thinking is to do more reading — but not business stuff. Stop choosing excuses. Replace some of that reality overload with visits to fantasyland.

Go buy two FICTION books that look interesting to you. You might even find it surprising that you really CAN enjoy a novel. Set aside 20, 30, 60 minutes a day for it!

Anything from comics to Nelson DeMille’s serious humor stories, or Annie Proulx’s probes into America’s heartland, to Harry Potter books (you thought these were just for kids?), Richard Russo’s and Kent Haruf’s mainstream Americana stories, or a good mystery or suspense thriller. Just NOT business. And NOT nonfiction. And shelve the biographies and memoirs.

Your head needs to swim in make-believe. 


Do this conscientiously for just three weeks — your business cannot help but grow quicker and more brilliantly. Dangerous side effects: Your family, friends, and associates will actually enjoy being around you more. And (Aha!) less stress ( !) and new leadership opportunities!


931.854.0474 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Jun 11 2009


“Put your money


where your mouth is!”


Y’know what? Even the last traffic cone placement person you passed has good, solid, creative ideas. Tell the people who work for you that you don’t want any more good, solid, creative ideas.

Tell them they’re wasting their time, and yours, with all the suggestions about what should be done and who could do what and what would be best. Tell them to shut it down. Finis!

After they all stop gasping, tell them what you really want from them are innovative ideas, the kinds that entrepreneurial minds thrive on.

Explain that you don’t want to hear about the need to launch a new product or service. Be specific in telling your people that you want instead to hear about HOW to launch a new product or service.

Give them some guidelines. Let them know that you will be interested in and very appreciative of ideas that come to you that are fully supported with answers to questions like those that follow.

  • You want to know the unique customer benefits of the new product or service.
  • You want to know how and when the new product or service will be planned and created or manufactured or produced.
  • You want to know how and when and where it will be distributed.
  • You want to know how and when and where it will be sold, and by whom, and for what price and on what kind of sales compensation arrangement.
  • You want to know how the new product or service will be marketed and when and by whom and how and where and at what cost and via what media?
  • You want to see research studies and findings that support the answers to all these questions.

You want a business plan. It need not be fancy or formal. It doesn’t have to be filled with all the imaginary exaggerations about revenue projections that are typically waved in front of banks and investors, but it should include some realistic, conservative estimates of what might constitute total revenues and expenses for the first three years.

Golly Gee, that’s a lot of work!” your people might proclaim. Tell them: “Welcome to the real world” and point out that only by thinking in innovative terms (taking an idea all the way through from beginning to end, and having all the answers that support the pursuit) will people come up with the big winner products and services.

     Being able to have all the answers (and more) to the questions highlighted above, will put your people a few notches up on the competition and well on the way to proving the value of what they believe in. If someone says to you, “Ah, it’s kind of like putting your money where your mouth is?” Your answer is:  Yup!

# # #  


Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far


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