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Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran Wants to Invest In "Someone Who Probably Needs a Good Shrink Instead of a Business" She's been around long enough to know that the best entrepreneurs are often driven by deep personal injuries.

By Jason Feifer Edited by Frances Dodds

This story appears in the January 2023 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of ABC | Sony

You can't take yourself too seriously," Barbara Corcoran says. Sure, on Shark Tank, she's a powerful investor who does not hold back her criticisms. But when she's off the TV set, she's often making goofy TikTok videos and cracking jokes at her own expense. Why? Because it makes her happy. It's also good business. "People instinctively know what genuine is," she says. "And when you're not genuine, people see right through it, and you lose credibility. The most important thing in all business is trust."

To Corcoran, business is entirely about human connection. It requires showing vulnerability, harnessing ambition, and using every negative experience as an opportunity to grow. That's what she looks for in entrepreneurs on Shark Tank, which is now in its 14th season. And today, as entrepreneurs stare down the uncertain economy of 2023, Corcoran says that entrepreneurs will need that human touch (and self-awareness) more than ever. Here, she explains how to open up, give feedback, and persevere.

Related: 5 Lessons for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs I Wish I'd Known Sooner

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