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One of my favorite TV shows is (and always has been) Shark Tank. I’m enamored by the courage it takes to pitch a business idea to some of the most successful, wealthiest individuals in the country, waiting patiently for an answer about the outcome of a high-stakes investment from one of these businesspeople – the sharks. Sometimes, I’ll play along like it’s a game show: I watch the entrepreneur give their pitch and decide whether or not I think it’s worth investing in. After doing this a few times, I started noticing a pattern amongst the biggest “winner” in the Shark Tank – the ones who walk away with a better deal or more money than what they were originally asking for. Here’s what I’ve found: 

They have to have a clear vision.

If a business owner comes in and knows exactly how they want to use the Sharks’ money, they are complimented on their decisive nature and grip on their business. Similarly, the Sharks like to see entrepreneurs with a clear vision as to how they will scale the business and generate a profit. Both of these qualities show that the entrepreneur has done their homework on their business’s target market, making them a trustworthy and appealing investment.

They have to show motivation and commitment.

My favorite Shark is Ms. Barbara Corcoran, a highly successful realtor based in New York City. She has said multiple times on Shark Tank that she doesn’t just invest in a business or a product: she invests in the individuals in charge of the operations. She loves to see people who are visibly passionate about what they’re doing and are able to convey their passion to those around them. 

This motivation and commitment looks different for each entrepreneur. Some are obviously motivated, demonstrating their commitment through impassioned speeches and reciting projections from memory. However, she can pick up on those who don’t display typical gestures of motivation or commitment. She’s in tune with the quiet, reserved entrepreneur, as well, and she sees value and merit in both types of businesspeople.

They have to be “all in” with their company.

The Sharks love an “all-or-nothing” entrepreneur, one that has put their own savings on the line or quit a high-paying job to pursue their business full-time. This used to bother me. Why would the Sharks- the self-made investors who made a fortune and now protect their money fiercely- want to invest in an individual who has made what a lot of people would think is a risky decision? I’ve realized it’s because the “all in” entrepreneurs show commitment to themselves. It is incredibly difficult to stand up for your beliefs when everything is Status Quo Good; it is even harder to do so when you’ve put it all on the line for something you believe in.

How does this relate to your teen?

After reflecting on the success of those who survived and thrived after the Shark Tank experience, I couldn’t help but to draw parallels to teenagers and how they need to take on the world. To make a difference, they will definitely need a clear vision as to what it is they want to do, even if that vision changes multiple times throughout their lifetime. In order to get people involved in causes that are important to them, they need to show their commitment to it. Once people are involved, they’ll definitely need to keep their spirits up through authentic motivation. Lastly, they need to be “all in” in whatever it is they do, even if it changes throughout their lifetime. Having a clear vision, showing commitment and motivation to do the right thing, and being “all in” on their ideas and beliefs will yield positive, sustainable results in their personal and professional lives.  

We want to make you an offer.

At Giant Leaps Learning, we are investors in our students’ futures. Our personalized learning model allows each student to customize their learning experience with topics they are passionate about. Each student is assigned a Student Success Coach who guides their time in Giant Leaps by asking questions and pushing them to dig deep to find better answers to common problems. We are in the business of bettering our future, and that starts with our young people. If you are ready to be “all in” on your child’s future success, schedule a one-on-one call with us today.