Blog Archives

Diving Without a Cage

“Shark Tank” is a popular television show on ABC that highlights the complexities, tribulations, success and wild creativity of burgeoning entrepreneurs. These aspiring capitalists are usually met with harsh realities (and some praise of course) from the show’s all-star business panel, featuring Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary (aka-Mr. Wonderful), Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec. Each of these businessmen and businesswomen has a great (and in some cases surreal) success story in starting a business and subsequently building an empire.

If there’s a puppy around, then you’ve certainly got the attention of Mr. Herjavec (Hint: no matter the product, bring a puppy!).

The expert panelists listen to a pitch, which comes with an offer that reveals what the person(s) believe is their company’s valuation along with a percentage of ownership for a Shark if they are to invest. The Sharks investigate the product and then engage in an exchange focused on the company’s financial house in an attempt to find any leaks or faulty structures.

This process can be as stressful as, well, starting a business. The great catch of the show is that if one (or more) of the Sharks like the product and/or company, then they can accept the entrepreneur’s offer for capital investment and a percentage of the company or make a counter-offer, all with their own money. Not the show’s money, but their personal money. Consequently, the deals are difficult to come by on this show. There have been some great ideas that were passed on because of one lagging metric, statistic or personal characteristic. However, if a deal can be made, the deal will almost certainly pay immediate dividends because of the popularity of the show. This has been proven in seemingly countless testimonials by former deal makers.

For a show that plays at 9:00 p.m. on the now prime time-less Friday night, “Shark Tank” has done tremendously well. According to “TV by the Numbers,” last week’s episode saw an all-time series high in ratings with 7.5 million viewers. It “equaled a season high in Adults 18-49 (2.0/6). It was Friday’s #1 TV show on both counts.”

It’s a perfect show for America because of the country’s history and necessity for the entrepreneurial engine, then and now. Each member of the panel is a self-made/entrepreneurial millionaire or billionaire. The fortunes, the products and the jobs these individuals have created are undeniably impressive. It’s remarkable what these people, like so many other hard-working Americans, have built from the ground up.

And yes, they/we did build that with hard work, long hours, incredible levels of uncertainty and risk, ingenuity, courage, business savvy and a wherewithal to survive.

It’s very difficult to start and/or run a business, despite what some may foolishly believe.

As a fan of the show, it was exciting to watch a clip recently of a well-known pitchmen who appeared on “Shark Tank.” It’s from a few years back, but it should bring back some fond memories…

Saved by the bonds of business and friends.


Don’t Reach for the Horizon…Redefine It

A Departure.

Is this a genuinely fascinating word, term and concept or what? There are not only multiple levels, but infinite levels of departure one can engage in and invest their time, money and breaths. Why are there boundless levels? Because life is limitless, even when impossibility stares us in the face with its inhospitable, starry atmosphere in the space above. If there is a glow, our instincts incredibly (and sometimes dangerously) point us due north, south, east and west to horizons before unexplored or thought unattainable.

The intriguing aspect of a random, mysterious departure is the lack of assurance or guaranteed safety. But, when reflecting on the inexplicable thrills of wild and crazy adventurers of today and of past generations, there in lies the rub. Anybody can walk on the sidewalk adjacent to a busy street. However, only a few will voluntarily walk across a tightrope, high above the circus, one gentle sway away from disaster.

Uncertain reactions are at the heart of the rush. Adrenaline isn’t taught, but felt instinctively.

And whether or not you believe it, true serenity cannot be known until one has felt the stinging sensation of the wisdom that states that, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” You can thank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for that inspiration.

Astonishingly, we are only bound to our own imaginations. Our pursuits will change, evolve and intensify. Maybe there are too many variables to make a living out of jumping out of a plane and skydiving, but hey…it sure does look like fun (well, only if there is a rocket strapped to your back).

Wonderful is what is discovered internally when such a leap is taken. Whether it is a terrifying jump or a life-altering giant step, the rewards are boundless. It’s almost as if a light’s been turned on that has been dark all these years. Perhaps you never thought you could or should turn it on in the first place.

A capacity of magnificence maximizes adventurism,

Necessary to ourselves is the thrill of that moment, when our hearts are pounding out of our chest. In those seconds when we think we must be in a cartoon with the roadrunner with an actual heart pounding in and out of our chest, there is a surreal sensation. The realization of what the distinction between being alive and living is is clearly defined. The pulse is unmistakable.

Experience, which represents the 3D lens of life, elevates everything around us to another dimension and forces a new outlook on the people, places and things we thought we knew. There is a vividness in this environment that pops and reveals almost unlike any other medium we can imagine. It contains within itself a life of its own, ready to collide with its curious spectators.

We may look to the sky and the stars or to the depths of the oceans or to the road not taken just steps away, but seeing what’s around the corner is difficult to spot unless one is willing to walk, not look.

Live, or die, in relative terms of course. This reference is for the mind, which ultimately determines what gets done and what doesn’t. Even with a harness, would you walk the tightrope on and to the unknown?

For all of us to fully experience the world on our terms that will fill our own oasis of excitement, we must be willing to react and not think for a second. Just for a second. Just once.

A journey is only ambiguous and limiting until you take it and see what your mind and imagination wanted you to see all this time.

In a couple days, don’t forget to thank your wild curiosity. It just may thank you back with something truly unforgettable and even unbelievable…that is until the moment when you can tell everybody one hell of a story.