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How Persistence Paid Off for This 'Shark Tank' Star

Former Managing Editor
13 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If there’s anything that Barbara Corcoran has learned in life, it’s that there’s power in persistence.

The Shark Tank investor and real-estate entrepreneur has suffered plenty of personal and professional setbacks, not the least of which was finding out that her long-time boyfriend and business partner would be leaving her to marry her secretary. While the two continued running their real-estate company for another year, Corcoran eventually had enough. She took half the staff and set up her own firm within the span of a weekend.

Her ex’s parting words? “You know you will never succeed without me.”

Corcoran is more than grateful for that insult. She says the desire to prove him wrong stuck with her as she turned her small business into a multibillion-dollar real-estate powerhouse.

Today, she looks for that same persistence among the entrepreneurs she mentors on Shark Tank. “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," she says. "Because if they have something to prove, I feel like I’ve got an insurance policy on my investment in my back pocket.”

In the compilation video above, Corcoran reflects on four key moments in her life where failure proved a springboard to success. Check it out. 


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