Shark Tank TV show: 5 lessons for founders of the millions of businesses who have watched it

Some say that Kenyans have a tendency to show great interest when something unusual happens in or outside the country and is given a lot of airtime on local television.

What do you mean unusual? Breaking news touching on the endless drama we are used to seeing and hearing about in politics, the introduction of a new local program, gripping soaps, movies…

One unusual thing happened on NTV Kenya not long ago. They took the time to air a program which I believe was a great learning platform to the millions of people who own businesses and the ones thinking of starting theirs soon.

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The program, Shark Tank, though pushed late in the evening (on Wednesdays) had many business lessons for investors, entrepreneurs holding dearly to their ideas, parents and young adults.

I’d say that anyone who took their time to watch Shark Tank learnt a great deal.

So, why write an article about a program that some have already forgotten ever aired? Simple. Even if you have moved on to other things, I am sure you didn’t just forget about the many lessons you got from the program.

That’s got to mean something. Perhaps that there are a few things you picked just waiting to be implemented.

Whether you watched the program every time it aired or didn’t allocate time to watch it you will, in this article, find five lessons you can use to keep your dream of building a more profitable business real.

1. People may not share in the enthusiasm you have for your business or ideas

What do you do when the people you think will share in your enthusiasm fail to do what you expect them to do? Do you stop?

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Do you wait for someone to come along to encourage you, to hold your hands and feel the same way as you do about your ideas and plans?

You don’t top, slow down or let their failure to be ‘happy for you’ stop you from carrying out your plans.

It does not matter how those around you feel about your ideas and plans, as long as you are doing the right thing.

Whether you are meeting potential investors, talking to your entrepreneur-friends, or playing the big dreams and plans you have in your mind, don’t allow yourself to be worried or harbor feelings of resentment just because people don’t care about your ideas, business, what you have to say about them or how dedicated you are in your quest to ensure they result in a profitable business.

2. You learn for one simple reason –

– And that simple reason is, ‘So you can implement what you have learnt to make things better.’ You soon realize after opening your doors to customers that a business is in fact a school in itself.

There is so much to be learnt every single day. But learning for the sake of learning is just a tiny bit of a major responsibility you assume once you get in the business world.

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To improve yourself, your products, your services and how you relate to your customers requires that you take all you learn, sieve it all, then implement whatever you think will benefit your business. That is how it is.

Easy to say than do? You may be right. True learning is not easy especially when the learning experience comes from a big mess or a plan you hoped could lead to more profit that ends up taking more from your business than it brings in.

True learning may also become a pain especially when you are under attack. Don’t let personal attacks stop you from learning and improving. Don’t let success stop you from carefully reviewing all the feedback you receive and take the appropriate steps to keep growing.

3. No doesn’t mean no, at least in a few occasions

Don’t be that guy or lady who hears a ‘no’ and lets all hope loose.

You can do your homework very well and actually believe firmly that a ‘yes’ is going to come your way easily, only to hear a ‘no’ that sounds like it’s said with a lot of arrogance and leaves you looking bad, may be foolish.

Don’t let that two letter word freeze your tongue. Say something. Something intelligent. You never know, it could just be one of those tests life throws at you to see how you react.

Even if the word shakes your confidence in a big way, don’t bow to it and later wonder what could have happened if you countered or asked why your offer attracted an immediate no.

Say something.

See what happens.

The yes you expected to hear might finally find its way to your ears.

4. Don’t let others make you mad easily

Most people hates it when someone makes them mad, whether they are doing it intentionally or not.

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What do you do when you find yourself in front of someone you expect to inject cash in your business to help you take it to the next level who ends up making you looking like a beggar? Or someone who calls your expertise into question, throws a joke your way when you don’t tolerate any?

You make a choice. One, to do what you went to do there in the first place or two, to allow those ‘attacks’ to let anger conquer your heart.

This is one area every business owner must work on because you will meet such people several times.

Know when not to say a thing. Know when to walk away. Know how to politely fend off their attacks.

And you will be happy to not let anger push you into doing something that may injure your reputation, plus all that you represent, and make it easier for customers and investors to work with your competitors while shunning you like a plague.

5. Your business must make money

That is why it is a business. Figuring out how to be profitable is one area you must give special attention, whether you are experienced in selling and keeping the money in or not.

You have to do your best so that your expenses don’t exceed the money coming in. when your business makes money, it is easier to focus on building better products or offering better services than rushing something to the marketplace fearing that any delays could result to a string of losses.

Besides, investors and customers love businesses that make money. It shows that people are actually interested in what you are investing your time and energy into.

Every time things are going as planned, or challenge after challenge lines up in front of you, remember these five lessons. Refer to them during the good and bad times.

What did you learn from the show?

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