35 Killer Quotes From the Stars of Shark Tank

Need some inspiration? These lessons from the sharks will motivate you.

learn more about Nina Zipkin

By Nina Zipkin

Michael Desmond | Getty Images

Over the past seven years, the savvy moguls at the helm of ABC's Shark Tank -- Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary -- have heard countless pitches and offered more than $66 million to help aspiring entrepreneurs around the country turn their visions into reality.

The eighth season of the hit series will premiere on Sept. 23, so we've gathered some of the sharks' most motivational insights about building a business, making mistakes, managing money, finding your passion and being a great boss.

1. Don't let failures get you down.
"It's only when you put yourself in charge that you have a shot at becoming rich. … if you're competitive and pigheaded enough to get over the failures without wasting time feeling sorry for yourself, and if you can inspire enough good people to join you, you can pretty much become as rich as you want." -- Barbara Corcoran

2. Success is nothing without passion.
"I get this all the time, which is crazy: "I want to be rich. What kind of company should I start?' You can't do that. It doesn't work like that. You've got to be good at something and not only be good at it, but you've got to love it, and then you're willing to work and do whatever it takes." -- Mark Cuban

3. You're in charge of your destiny.
"If you can afford to take a risk and you're young enough, either start your own company or be involved with one where you're racking up equity. There's no other path to becoming a millionaire. No employer is going to let you make a million dollars off of their business. They don't have to. Realize that if you want that path, that journey to becoming a millionaire, you have to sacrifice a lot and work like a dog. I did. There was no balance in my life. I wasn't even around when my kids were young. But today, I can afford to gather them with me every weekend anywhere on Earth I want to." -- Kevin O'Leary

4. Save as much money as you can.
"If you learn to live pretty simply and well, well under your means, you feel incredibly, incredibly rich and that frees you up and gives you the option to start something new, to leave the job you're not excited about, where there might be a glass ceiling on you." -- Chris Sacca
Read more: All 7 Shark Tank Stars Share Tips on How to Become a Millionaire

5. Meet your customers where they are.
"With Facebook and other social platforms, you can have highly targeted marketing campaigns to attract customers who are interested in the product or service that you have. Find the user groups they meet up in on social and win them over there." -- Robert Herjavec

6. Learn to delegate.
"I always say, if you're not a marketing person, you didn't start the businesses to do marketing, so don't do it." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: 'Shark Tank' Star Robert Herjavec's Top 5 Small-Business Marketing Tips

7. Listen to your customer -- up to a point.
"Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happy. Listen to them. Make them happy. But don't rely on them to create the future road map for your product or service. That's your job." -- Mark Cuban
Read more: Mark Cuban on Why You Should Never Listen to Your Customers

8. Perceived weaknesses can be valuable strengths.
"You have to put it in your own mind that this is not an affliction that will negatively impact your future. It shouldn't in any way diminish your self-esteem or be considered something that is going to hurt your chances to be successful at work or in life." -- Kevin O'Leary
Read more: Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary: Having Dyslexia Is a 'Superpower' in Business

9. There is always a solution.
"There are no "nos,' just "how can I?'" -- Lori Greiner

10. Brands need to tell a story.
"It's very important that it catches your eye, it tells you exactly what it is instantaneously and it makes you want to pick it up." -- Lori Greiner

11. Protect your intellectual property.
"If you put it online, it can go around the world in a second, and someone will knock it off." -- Lori Greiner
Read more: Shark Tank Star Lori Greiner's 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

12. Nothing is a sure thing.
"I can't tell you how many times people have tried to scam me, and, unfortunately, they have pulled it off a few times. But I have learned that usually the easier someone says something will be, the more likely my scam alert goes off. Nothing is ever guaranteed. The people who are full of shit tend to try and make you think they have a sure thing. When you hear that, run away." -- Mark Cuban
Read more: Mark Cuban on Giving Back, Boredom and Sniffing Out Bullshit

13. Don't overthink.
"Building a business is little more than a series of quick opportunities followed by a big a series of big obstacles. The opportunities arrive and leave so quickly that they're way too easy to miss. If I hadn't quit my job on a stranger's suggestion the moment I heard it, I would have probably thought about it and not done it. Every great decision I've made in business since was made exactly that way -- quickly without any thought. I've learned that thought gets in the way." -- Barbara Corcoran
Read more: Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran: 'All the Best Things Happened to Me on the Heels of Rejection'

14. Sacrifice in service of success.
"Be honest with yourself. What price are you willing to pay to make the business work and be successful? Would you sacrifice your time, your family, your friends, your golf game, your entire social life? I am not advocating that you should, but you have to ask yourself if you are prepared to." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: Shark Tank Star Robert Herjavec's Top 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

15. Keep meetings to a minimum.
"I don't like to do a lot of meetings and phone calls because of the productivity hit. Only if you're writing me a check, I'll do a meeting. If there's a problem and we need to solve it, I'll do a call. Other than that, I keep communication limited to email. It's more efficient." -- Mark Cuban
Read more: How Mark Cuban 'Gets Shit Done' and Stays Productive

16. Tell yourself you deserve a seat at the table.
"I have just as much right to be here as you, I'm just as smart as you are. You might not think I'm smart, but I know I'm smart. Guess what, I've done a lot. Don't you dare look down on me." -- Barbara Corcoran
Read more: What This 'Shark Tank' Star Tells Herself When She Needs a Jolt of Confidence

17. Learn from your mistakes.
"If you can't come clean and tell investors how and why you failed, that raises a red flag. They need to see that you learned from it and came back stronger." -- Daymond John
Read more: Shark Tank Star Daymond John Says Never Make This Common Mistake When Pitching Investors

18. Money won't solve your problems.
"To me, success isn't defined by your wallet. It's defined by waking up with a smile on your face, knowing it's going to be a great day. But, sure, money can make your life a whole lot easier." -- Mark Cuban
Read more: Shark Tank Star Mark Cuban: 'Money Can't Buy Happiness'

19. Be resilient
"The difference between the real winners is how long they take to feel sorry for themselves. My winners feel it … but they come back up and say "hit me again.'" -- Barbara Corcoran
Read more: Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran: Real Winners Say 'Hit Me Again'

20. Trust your gut.
"You have to have a senseless belief in your idea and yourself -- almost to the point of being delusional. Remember that everyone has advice but no one knows what you have to go through to start, grow and scale a business until they live it! Talk is cheap, but action speaks volumes." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: Shark Tank Star Robert Herjavec's Top 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

21. Embrace self-reliance.
"You have to be willing to do as much as possible by yourself up until you simply have no choice but to hire someone; and even then, you will have to stay intimately involved in the day-to-day operations, because even the best employee will never be as vigilant as you will." -- Lori Greiner
Read more: Shark Tank Star Lori Greiner's 4 Money Rules for New Entrepreneurs

22. Be optimistic.
"You have to see everything as half-full even though everyone is saying you have nothing in your glass." -- Barbara Corcoran

23. Don't wait for the right moment to begin.
"You can't study to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes, you just have to jump." -- Barbara Corcoran
Read more: Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran: 4 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do

24. Monitor your money.
"What I find so remarkable, and this includes very wealthy people I know, is nobody knows what they're monthly nut is. Whether you're single, married, a single parent or otherwise, most people don't know what it costs them to live every 30 days, and that's living on the edge." -- Kevin O'Leary
Read more: The 4 Dumbest Money Mistakes People Make and How to Stop Making Them, According to Shark Tank's 'Mr. Wonderful'

25. Don't just ride the wave. Chart your own path.
"I think it's harder if you're a 'me too' business or you're one of many. I think if you really have an innovative idea and you're first to market, there's no shortage in money." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: What 'Shark Tank's' Robert Herjavec Looks for in a Startup

26. Be thorough.
"To get people who will truly love your product and spread the word, make them proud of it and make sure you don't embarrass them by putting something out there that isn't 100 percent." -- Daymond John
Read more: Daymond John's Top 7 Tips on How to Launch Your Product Like a Shark

27. Lead by example.
"Whatever you do, don't stay up in a stuffy office away from your people. Get right in there, side by side with your employees. Get hands-on and show them there's no task beneath you." -- Lori Greiner

28. Set your standards.
"I'm a great guy to work for 98 percent of the time, but the other 2 percent of the time, you're going to do it my way and that's it. A great boss is kind, but you have to strong, too. You can't be a pushover." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: Shark Tank's Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec on What Makes a Great Boss

29. Don't underestimate the power of your network.
"We're talking tapping into other people's marketing, mind power and momentum, even other people's manpower. Cross-promote with others' in the industry you operate in. It goes both ways. You promote them and they promote you. It's mutually beneficial and it doesn't cost a thing." -- Daymond John
Read more: 3 Free Things Shark Tank's Daymond John Says You Must Do to Help Your Startup Survive

30. Don't let anxiety hold you back.
"I think when you get old like me, you realize the sun really does rise the next day. I think the other thing is fear. If you let your fear dictate how you feel about others or things that are going on, it can paralyze you." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec: In Business, Don't Forget That 'The Sun Always Rises Tomorrow'

31. Have all the information before making a decision.
"I always think it's a smart move to have your eyes on everything in your business, everywhere. Go see your factory with your own eyes when you're in a position to. No one knows your business better than you do and you have to see every aspect of it for yourself." -- Lori Greiner
Read more: Shark Tank's Lori Greiner on the No. 1 Mistake to Avoid When Manufacturing Your Product Overseas

32. Mistakes help forge who you are.
"I would say almost two-thirds of all of my best entrepreneurs had some injury coming out of their earlier life that they're getting over, and I love it. Because if they have something to prove, I feel like I've got an insurance policy on my investment in my back pocket." -- Barbara Corcoran
Read more: How Persistence Paid Off for This 'Shark Tank' Star

33. You will never be completely balanced.
"Work-life balance is one of the biggest misconceptions people have. It's not reality. I'm laser-like focused and driven and you just gotta keep going. You have to figure out what's important to you, realize that everything has a price and make sacrifices." -- Robert Herjavec
Read more: Shark Tank Star Robert Herjavec: Don't Ever Expect a 'Balanced Life'

34. You can find a wonderful mentor where you least expect it.
"Mentors don't have to be the Daymond Johns or the Mark Cubans. A person running a successful bodega or a tax firm in your community for the last 20 years, that person is working just as much as the individual who's running General Mills." -- Daymond John
Read more: Daymond John of 'Shark Tank' on the No. 1 Thing Entrepreneurs Need

35. Discover what motivates you.
"Find something you are good at and do what it takes to be great at it. We all have something special about us. The hard and exciting part is figuring out what it is." -- Mark Cuban
Read more: Mark Cuban on Giving Back, Boredom and Sniffing Out Bullshit

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

'This Made Me Physically Recoil From My Phone': Lingerie Brand Apologizes For 'Creepy' Ad Referencing Ryan Reynolds and Bras

Online lingerie retailer Harper Wilde is under fire for a bizarre sponsored post it has since pulled from Instagram.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business News

Viral Sensation 'Popcorn Guy' Has Earned a Gig at the 2023 Oscars

Jason Grosboll first went viral on TikTok for his theatrical method of buttering popcorn in a Texas movie theater.

Business News

The Scam Artist Who Robbed Backstreet Boys and NSYNC Blind. 'Some of the Guys Couldn't Pay Their Car Payment.'

In the 1990s, Lou Pearlman made millions creating the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. It was all a giant Ponzi scheme.