Barbara Corcoran: Turning $1,000 to $1Billion! | E204 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Barbara Corcoran: Turning $1,000 to $1Billion! | E204".

1970-01-15T18:37:11.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

What I would love to do is call something to my office on Friday. I love firing people on Friday. Far back on Friday in the house! My next guest is one of the biggest names in wheel estate. A successful entrepreneur and star of a hit TV show. Now the female Titan is getting some heat. The middle woman cries, she's giving away your power. Harvard is definitely over the top. If I wasn't dyslexic and I didn't have a hard time in school, I don't think I would have been successful. I think I had 22 jobs before I started my own business. Every person I meet is in real estate in New York. So how do you become the best? I was competing with the old boys network and they were asleep at the wheel. Nobody was thinking of new ideas in real estate. I would think of the greatest bullshit to create publicity. Did I manipulate them? I played my cards. Everything I've done in my life has been one long attempt to show the world that I'm not stupid. Ramon Simone. He was my boyfriend at the time and he offered to loan me a thousand dollars, started business with him. He was my 51% business partner. He ran off with my secretary, the Seventh Year we were in business. He said, "You'll never succeed without me." You know, insults can really be a wonderful motivator. I knew I was going to succeed. I had to, just because I had to show him that he was wrong. If you're driven by these unhealthy insecurities, you need to go and see a shrink. I'm afraid to see a shrink. Why? Why? Well, you ask good questions. Damn you. I had an issue. I felt... Before this episode starts, I have a small favor to ask from you. Two months ago, 74% of people that watched this channel didn't subscribe. We're now down to 69%. My goal is 50%. So if you've ever liked any of the videos we've posted, if you liked this channel, can you do me a quick favor and hit the subscribe button? It helps this channel more than you know and the bigger the channel gets, as you've seen, the bigger the guests get. Thank you and enjoy this episode. Barbara.


Personal Background And Career Journey

How did your childhood shape you? (02:04)

We always start this conversation in the same place on this podcast because it seems to be inescapable that the earliest context of our lives seems to shape us in a way that then changes the trajectory of who we are but also molds our character and really like hones our motivation. So my question for you to start is, what is that context from your earliest years that you're striving to understand, to understand you? First off, I'd say competition. I was one of 10 children. We of course only had two parents to share. We were in very tight quarters of two bedroom and just to get the attention of a parent was very hard to do. So I think everyone in my family, certainly myself, grew up very competitive, competitive for attention, competitive to do something better than the next kid. And what also came with it, we grew up in a team. So we never knew what it was like to be alone. My idea of doing anything is, who's with me? Who's with me? And I think we all, I shouldn't speak to everyone in my family but I'll speak just for myself now. I think I'm phenomenal at building a team but it's second nature to me. It was so easy for me to think of who would go with who, who wouldn't go with who, who would get along, who had the right task. I could just size somebody up really fast and make a great tight team. And I don't think that would have happened if I didn't grow up in a very crowded household looking for more attention and competing. That ability to sauce people out and understand them, you're saying that came from having nine siblings? I certainly think it did. Yeah, because you see all kinds of dynamics when you have a crowded household. So you know who the leaders are on what category? You know who's going to squeal to the parents? You know who's going to shut up? You know who can do your work for you when you don't want to do it yourself? You know who you could snow? You develop all the talents to get life in a form that you wanted in and you come out of the household at 18 years old with a lot of skills that other kids really haven't had the opportunity to do. What about the role of the influence of your mother and father? Oh, I was, thank God I had a mother and father who loved us. I think that's the most important gift in life. It makes you somewhere deep inside secure if you feel loved. And I had two parents who loved me. And my mother was a phenomenal role model. I never saw her sleep. She worked 24/7. She just never sat down. I don't know even when she slept. I've never seen her go to bed ever in my life. And my father worked two jobs his whole life to support us. So we were very much influenced by each parent as needing to work hard. I mean, we were all having jobs when we were 11 years old. I think I had 22 jobs before I started my own business because we were out working to contribute to the family. And think about the life skills you get outside a household when you're working young. I don't think anybody ever has any job where they didn't learn something about themselves. So even though when I went out into the workforce, when I started my business at 23, I may have looked 23. But inside I felt like I was 53 based on experience. And so there was nothing naive about me at that point I had already an awful lot of experience. When I was reading through your story, I read that your father struggled with work and struggled with having a boss. He certainly did. And he set up the pattern that we all share in my family nine out of the 10 kids have their all business. My father was a printing press foreman and a very good worker. But he didn't like someone telling him what to do. So he would regularly come home, sit at the dinner table and tell us he was fired from his job. It was a regular event. We all asked her and tell us the story. And it was the same story. He would basically, he said, "I told Mrs. Stein we're just of the job with a sundown shine." That was what. And we'd all clap for him and say, "Dad, our hero." And my mother, of course, would not even know how we were going to be fit until he found a new job. But he was our hero. And so when we grew up, even though he never worked for himself, the fact of the matter is, is we knew we wanted to work for ourselves. We didn't want to work for a boss. And honestly, I never had a boss I liked, even though I had so many. And I'm sure they were perfectly fine people. But I didn't like the fact that I wasn't the boss. It was clear to me. Your father drank sometimes. Yes, he did drink sometimes. And I'll tell you how that played a role in our family. He was a social drinker. So he was probably the best father in the world. Played with us, our play made our. We adored him, everything he did. But then when we went out to a party, which wasn't that often, a family party, he would drink too much. And he would come back. And he was a different person. He was a gorilla. And we all feared him. What that does is it makes you very fond of control. When you're with a parent who drinks, I think as a child, you never really feel like you're in control of things because you don't know when the lion might come out. And so it made us insecure and very fond of control. And I'm a control freak. I like to control everything I do. And I credit my dad with that. I don't want any curveballs or surprises. The way that he spoke to him other sometimes, it seems from reading throughout your story and the person you went from to be seemed to be pretty consequential to how you did respond to men who had talked down to you in your career. God, you do your research. Good for you. Really. That's a nuance, but good for you. I'm not my best if a man talks down to me. I credit my father with that because I adored my mother so much. There was nothing to talk down to my mother about. But when he was drinking, he would talk down to my mother and I hated him for it. And it scars you so deeply that I'll never get rid of that. So if a man actually dismisses me or talks down to me, particularly in business, I'm not my best. It's like, oh no, you're not going there. I get like this iron rod through my soul. Showing someone that they're wrong is probably not the best motivation. I got to believe probably not a healthy way to be and you probably need a shrink on that one. But it certainly works well in business, I think. It pushes you and makes sure that you make sure that things work out. I really resonate with that because as I've talked about probably too much on this podcast, my mother and father had a very loud way to communicate to say the least. What a lovely way of putting it. I've become more and more like diplomatic with Harry Freeman that, but a loud way of communicating. I learned that as I stood there as a little kid and watched my mother shouting at my dad, when I got older, my response to being shouted at was the response I always wish I'd seen in my dad, which was like run and don't take it. So when you were saying that, I was wondering if you could relate in the sense of when a man puts you down because you saw your mother be put down in such a way, your response is to... Yeah, do you brace up? Yeah. Yeah. Every time, brace up. Yeah. And most importantly, prove his assessment of me wrong. Did your mother, how did she respond? I have to actually think, I think my mother was so busy making sure my father was safe to his children that I think she was just making sure we were safe all the time, in those instances. You know? And it's kind of crazy. You know, you figured out, I mean, the next morning my dad would wake up and he was the most popular guy in the neighborhood taking every kid in the neighborhood out baseball playing, teaching him how to play tennis. He was everybody's favorite father and only the night before my mother was hiding us. So it was kind of an odd dynamic. She was hiding you. Well, hiding us because she didn't want my father to have his wrath on any of his children. So she was protecting us, kind of separating us out. Wrath. So strong word. Wrath is a strong word. I mean, wrath is, it could be, you know, just angry words can be so damaging. You know, whatever. It's weird you're making me feel sad. I guess you're supposed to. But it's so sad. You know, it's so sad addiction because it brings out the very worst in an individual. And the traits my dad had, a wonderful father growing up, just wonderful. We couldn't have hoped for a better father. He was so good that you forgave him for the bet. You really did as a kid because it's, oh, good dad's back. Oh, good dad's back. But again, I said to you early, I think it leaves the scars of insecurity with children. Because you don't know if you get the lady of the lion when the door opens. Like, who are we going to get now? You know, so it keeps you on edge. When we think about addiction, we see it as like a manifestation of pain. Yes. Or like, it is of sorts. Is that relevant to what you observed in your father behind? No, I think with my father, it was honestly, entirely due to too much pressure on one man. Think about it. Two jobs, he washed trucks every night through the night because he could wash some fast and sleep a little. Then he go to his day job at the morning. He had three children by the time he was 23. He had seven children by the time he was 30. And he was a workman. And he was supporting us, trying to make us happy, trying to share his time with us as best he could, which he really did a great job on. I think it was just too much pressure for a young man of what he signed up for. I think it was hard. I mean, it wasn't ever assured with us as children that we would necessarily get groceries. So, and he felt ashamed of that. He should be the provider. But it didn't stop him from quitting the job the next week when the boss told him what to do. So it's really a shame my dad didn't have his own business. I think he would have been phenomenal in his own business. All of his kids did, except for one, and they're all hugely successful. So I feel like he just didn't have the affordability of starting his own business. What role did the lack of money in your household have on shaping your view on money? Interestingly enough, very little. Really? What was great about my mother is she never worried about money. Now, here's a woman who should have worried about money. My dad should have worried about money. But I remember when I had many junctures along the way where I thought I'd be going out of business at the 11th hour. I tried everything, didn't think I had any more angles to work where I could stay in business another month. And I remember in one of those dark times, my mother called up, she said, "You sound distracted." I said, "Well, honestly, mom, I think I'm going out of business." And on Monday's sales meeting, I'm actually writing a speech to say goodbye and how thankful I am. And she said, "Don't worry about money. It's awful waste of time." And I stopped worried about money when she said it. I thought of a new idea. And it kept us in business another two months. My mother's attitude toward money was it was meant to be spent. As a kid, I guess I would have liked to have a new coat versus get my hand-me-downs. That's always better for a girl to feel like she looks pretty. But we were pretty much a happy bunch. And so money didn't win so far as you're happy. And also my parents never measured anyone by money. They never had a comment about who's rich, who's not rich, who has what. It was just not even on their radar. So it was really about my mother's mantra supported by my father when he was fine, was kindness. How kind can you be to the neighbor? What could you do for the lady down the street? And we all were raised on that, and as a result of it, we felt the satisfaction from helping out, even though we didn't have more money to help out, just doing nice things for people. And so money was not really on the radar, honest to God. Yeah. What about school?


School & Dyslexia (14:44)

How is... Oh, school sucked. School is tough on kids that can't learn. I was one of those kids, myself and my two brothers. The other kids were eight students. But we just couldn't read. We couldn't write. We couldn't learn. And what happens to a kid when you're in a school situation is you judge yourself based on school grades. What else do you have? Someone could say she's such a nice girl, well, that might sound good. But if you're getting all Fs, you feel terrible. You just feel terrible. And so your sense of self, I think, has formed very much by how good a student you are. And all school systems. And it shouldn't be because it's just one kind of intelligence, of course, but it is that way when you're a student. You sum yourself up based on whether you could get good grades or not. It's as simple as that. Were you bullied in school? No, not at all. I was too quiet to be bullied. You know, I was quiet and lovely. And that's what the sisters of charity always told my parents. She's not very smart, but she's quiet and she's lovely. Quiet and lovely. I hurt my whole life. And I was. I never said it works. I didn't have the confidence to say a word. I wasn't going to speak up and be found out. And those aren't the kids that were bullied. The reason I asked about the question about being bullied is because I know that you're dyslexic and often, especially in that day and age, we didn't understand dyslexia. So we just thought those kids were done. Yeah. Did you ever feel that kind of criticism from your peers or your teachers? From the teachers, yes. I had one teacher in third grade that really gave me a label that stuck with me till I got out of high school. She said to me, "If you don't learn to read, you'll always be stupid." And she said the word stupid was such disdain. That was the first time I really heard that word before that no one told me I was stupid. Stupid, stupid. That's what's wrong with me. I'm stupid. And that's what I got quiet. That's when I just shut up. I never talked again in school because I didn't want to be called on to read out loud. For me, my idea of hell on earth was being told to read out loud, which is typically how you learn to read those days. You go up and down the aisles, you turn to read. I mean, nothing was worse than me going, "The, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the them." And all the kids laughing and snickering. So I wouldn't call that bully. I mean, I was a show. I was a show. So I guess I would have laughed if I was them too. But it's so painful when that happens because it takes your confidence and demolishes it. But thank God. Thank God we all worked. Thank God I worked by 11. Because every job I had, I did a great job. I used my mouth. I didn't have to write. I didn't have to read. I could do any job. And people always told my mother what a great worker I was. So I was proud. So you know what? I think in hindsight, if I wasn't dyslexic and I didn't have a hard time in school, I don't think I would have been successful, believe it or not. Because I think everything I've done in my life has been one long attempt to show the world that I'm not stupid. So I'm driven because I'm always, there's a piece of me that always thinks I might not be smart. I mean, I know it's bizarre because I'm smart, but in an insecure situation, I doubt myself sometimes, but I've learned to replace the tape. I don't have sister Stella Marie in my head anymore telling me I'm stupid. I have a tape of my own telling me I'm incredible. I'm beautiful. Boy, you could do this. This is nothing. I've got that tape that I had to replace over the years, but let me tell you, it took me a lot of years, a lot of years. No, I can't say I totally replaced it, but mostly put a nail through his head. But it takes a lot to get over the damage done if your self-perception is a negative one from the get-go because we all don't leave our childhoods behind so readily. They stay with us, I think.


Do you need a shrink? (18:45)

And you credit it there for your drive. Oh, absolutely. But also, you said earlier, if you're driven by these unhealthy insecurities, you need to at some point go and see a shrink. I'm afraid to see a shrink. Why? I'm afraid they'll straighten me up. And would I be successful? And I stay a mile away. I know it's crazy. I've read a few books and self-analyze, but no, no, no. First of all, they're very expensive in New York. And then that way I'm too cheap to pay. My shrink is working out. If I work out or if I weed my garden, I'm straightened out for the moment. But that's the way it is. I asked for selfish reasons. I found myself at one point for the same sort of insecurities and feeling like I wasn't enough, being very driven to prove the world that I was. And at some point, that comes at the cost of this other set of things which are important for happiness, relationships and balance and whatever else. So when you said about at some point you need to go see a shrink, I get it because at some point, you can be a bit too dragged by your pursuit to prove the world that you are enough that you compromise a bunch of other things. Of course you do. I mean, if you're strong one arena, something's got to give. What I have to give for you? Relaxing. I don't think I've ever relaxed in my life. But honestly when I'm relaxed reading a book, it's fine for a half hour. And then I got to get up and accomplish something. I'm very driven to accomplish, to see the difference I've made in the world between the individual I just spoke to, to a business I've been involved in, to a neighbor, I befriended. Why? I've got to, why? Because I want to know for sure without a doubt that I haven't wasted a minute and that my existence makes a difference. Why? Because I think it's important. Why? You ask good questions. Damn you. Why? Why is that? Because I don't want it to be a wasted life. I'm just one of those that you, one shot at it and I want to see how much of an influence and how much of a difference I can make. I really do. I mean, so I guess relaxing feels like wasting time. It doesn't mean that I can't have fun with friends. I have the most great circle of close friends that I have so much fun with. That's a priority in my life. And it was a priority in my business. Fun. It's number one in developing teams, I believe. But in addition to that, I just have to be productive. I do need a drink, don't I? Do you have one in the house? No, but if you find one in my way. Would they give me a courtesy hour? Courtesy hour. Try to get a discount. Off you went into the world of work, as you said, you had some twig. By the way, you would make a good drink. Oh, did I just switch gears a little bit? No. And you do me? You don't realize what's happening here. I'm actually using you as my shrink. Oh, really? I don't think so. I ask questions that I genuinely care about. And typically that means because I'm struggling with something. So that's why I was pursuing that avenue so diligently. You had some 22 or 23 jobs before you started your own business.


What did you learn from your 22 jobs? (21:58)

Yes, I did. Your jobs, from everything from being a receptionist to a waitress to everything in between. We often look back at those jobs that didn't pay us a lot and that the world doesn't hold in high regard as some people might think that they are a waste of time or they were like necessary. Oh, wow. What's your view on when you're a receptionist in a waitress? What role did that play in your overall success? I think whether you have a menial job or an important job is what you're learning. I mean, there wasn't a job where I didn't learn a lot. For me, I would take any job, not based on pay. But gee, what could I learn? What could I learn? Because that made you more valuable. I never really thought it made you more valuable to be paid more. But hey, I haven't done this before. Let's see what this is about. And you learn skills. I think I learned more through my waitressing jobs because I always had a few at once. You could always get a waitress job behind a counter. I think I learned more about people waitressing than building my business. Oh, it's God. You have to size someone up. You have a territory as your counter. You have to make them happy. You want to upsell them a little bit. Maybe you can give the second cup of coffee for free. But how about a slice of cheesecake is really good today. You learn how to hustle. You learn how to be organized, how to get the containers in order, how to make sure they filled when the customer steps out, how to get that person something to drink while you're working on this person. I mean, I learned so much in every one of those jobs. And you know what's great about having a lot of jobs? You start to get a profile of what you're good at and what you're not. And I, in short order after maybe seven or eight jobs, not that I knew what I was going to do for a living, but I knew what I was good at. I knew I was good at getting along with people and making them smile. I could talk to somebody and make them happy. Absolutely. And I also knew that I was efficient. I could create a system and anything. I would see the diner counter all wrong, not running right. I would talk to the boss, say, you know, if you did this with the maple syrup and change sugar and I could like an executive, I could rearrange the whole counters, you know, in an efficient manner. And I started learning that those were my two gifts, people and efficiency. And if you think about any business, those are really big ticket items. If you could choose people, motivate people, get along with people, make them get along with each other, plus create systems to grow a big business. I mean, minute, you have more than a half dozen people. You need systems. And my companies are always so well organized that they ran like, they just ran like a Swiss clock as I have a good analogy. Everything was in its place. Nothing had to be duplicated. It was fast forward, and so I was able to build very quickly, which I had to do because we had big people in my market. And if I had built and replicated systems at a normal pace, I would never catch up to them. So I had to do double, triple time. And what's your answer on that one? Systems, systems get you, moving forward, get a business like a machine, you know. And that was a gift I got from my main little jobs. Thank God I worked. And actually, if I hadn't worked and went out into the real world thinking I was dumb, that I couldn't do anything just because I couldn't read or write, thank God I learned I could be a lifeguard. I learned I could be a tent salesman. I could be Barbara Buttons calling for solicitations eight hours a day. I could be all those menial jobs, hot dog salesman, some more hot dogs than the next guy. I mean, I had confidence from everyone in those jobs. I could look how cool I am. Maybe I wouldn't win respect by everybody well, who cares about the hot dogs? But in my book, I knew I sold more hot dogs than he sold on his, you know. So no, thank God for the jobs. You learn so much by trying different jobs on, you know, it's so important. At that age, if I'd asked you what you wanted, what your dream was, what would you have answered? I wouldn't have answered the question. I wouldn't have answered the question. I had no idea. I would say I just want to work. I just want to quote work. It didn't make a difference what I was working at. I just knew that when I was working, I felt capable. That's all. And conversely then, what are you bad at? I think, as you've said, it's very important to know strengths, but also weaknesses. You know what I'm bad at? I'm bad at math, numbers, terrible, just terrible, really. I don't even understand. I took algebra four times, four times, two years in summer school, never pass it. They finally just gave me the grade to go through. I'm very bad at math, I'm bad at legal, I'm bad at committee meetings, I'm bad at listening to a blowhard who just goes on and on, doesn't cut to the chase. I'm very bad at impatience. I want to know what you want from me, and then you tell me how you got there. I don't want to hear how you got there than what you want. I always want to cut to the chase, so I'm impatient. I've learned to hide it because you can't be so visibly impatient with people. As long as they tell me what they want on the front end, I could hang in there for the long explanation after because I've already concluded what I'm going to do. So that's what I'm bad at. But lucky for me, I've always surrounded myself with people who are opposite to me. By the way, I shouldn't really say I'm bad at numbers because I had a business partner, my 10% business partner, Esther my whole life, I made her my partner. She was great at legal and finance, and she has spent hours when we wanted to open one of the two new offices doing the numbers to see if we could afford it. And I used to come into her office and say, "What do you think?" She says, "I don't think we should really do it." I said, "Well, let me tell you why we're going to do it because you really need to beat the next guy." And let me tell you, if we have $80,000 and the desk produces only $42,000, it's going to take us about nine months to actually meet our overhead, and we'll have to cut back on the advertising, and we'll have the managers work for free. And she'd say, "What?" And it worked every time. I must have had a taste for numbers in that kind of a way. I could always see the picture on numbers, and I'd be right. I was spugged the crap out of her because she had all the numbers. But yeah, but I'm not good at adding up the numbers at all. A lot of people think, and I think it's really liberating to hear that, they probably exclude themselves mentally of being a business person because they are bad at numbers. Oh gosh, I think numbers are the least important thing in business. By far, I look at all the entrepreneurs I've invested in Shark Tank. I am telling you, the most successful, I hope I'm not giving anybody the short haul here, but the most successful are not good at numbers. They're exceptional at people. I think if you're great at people and you have ambition, you have the two magic cards to succeed in business. You do. That's what it's about. People and ambition, the drive to get to the finish line. Yeah. Then you find a way, you hire the people you need, you borrow the people you need, you exchange your gift for their gift part time if you have to get what you need. But you always get what you need if you know what you need.


Becoming the best residential estate firm (29:10)

Talking about borrowing, you borrowed a thousand dollars off-ray. Yeah, Ramon Simone, yeah. Ramon Simone. Nice name, huh? Ramon Simone, wow, okay. And he was your boyfriend at the time. He was my boyfriend, I met him at the diner, that was my last diner job. And he offered to loan me a thousand dollars to start a business within three months. Did you ask him for the money? No. He said, "You've got a great personality. You'd be great in real estate sales. Why don't you start a business?" And that's how it happened. Really? Yeah. So he had a gift for seeing talent, obviously. Yeah. And then off you go, 24 years old, you started your own. 23, but let me tell you something. Thank God. At 23, you don't know what to be afraid of. You don't know what falling off a cliff is about. And at 23 and poor, you have nothing to lose. There was no risk involved. I could always get my diner job back or any waitress job or a pool hand or I had millions of jobs I could get. I wasn't afraid of being unemployed. So I figured, what the heck? I'll try it. Let's see where it goes. However, what I didn't know and when the light went on in my head was I didn't know how much I would like being a boss. First day, I'm like, "I love this. Did I like real estate?" I didn't really care about real estate. Did I like the people I was meeting there all nice, but I had been meeting nice people my whole life. But I love the fact that I was in charge. And so I loved real estate. I love the people. I love the paint on the wall. I loved everything because I was a boss. I was meant for being a boss. I felt so freed, so freed to dream and do whatever I wanted and nobody could tell me what to do. It was just the greatest gift of all, freedom, freedom. I'm getting juicy just talking about it. That real estate company became very big. Am I right in thinking it became the biggest residential firm in New York? Yes, before I sold it, we were number one. The biggest residential real estate firm in New York. Why? There are so many residential firms in New York. There are so many real estate people. They're everywhere. Every person I meet is in real estate in New York. How do you become the best? Honestly, I think there's a lot of reasons how you succeed. But I think the major cards were I was competing with the old boys network and they were asleep at the wheel. It's not that they didn't do good work, but you have to realize real estate broke rich in New York when I was started and I guess it's somewhat the same. It was controlled by rich guys who inherited the business from their father or their grandfather before them. They were very important, very self-important, very well-educated, very good at what they did, but they did the same old thing. They did it the same old way. They also hired people like themselves. They were white, privileged, and they hired white, privileged women to work for them. That was the whole cast of characters. When I came in, I couldn't get those white, privileged women to work for me because I was a kid. I didn't know anything. It was no status associated with it. We were a new kid in town. We had three people who was going to work for me. I had a big bar and steel to get anybody to work for me. They were a cocky. The minute I smelled that they were a cocky, which happened to me about the third year in business when I went to a large real estate board of New York, meaning I remember I went home and I said, "I'm going to beat these guys." I knew it because they were very cocky that they were in charge. Weakness did that create. Tremendous weakness. They're blind. It's competing with blind people. They were also rich enough not to want to lose money when the market went south, which happens again and again in real estate, up down market. They would not spend money. They would hold their money in and protect it. They would not take a chance because of the reputation. They would check what they were going to do against a committee. I didn't have committees. They would check what they were going to do against their attorneys. They had attorneys. They were all stop signs. I would think of an idea on a Tuesday and have it in the street by Wednesday. They would think of an idea on Tuesday if they even thought of it or if they listened to a good employee who had a good idea, which tended not to do. It was always their ideas. If they listened to that employee, they'd have to check it with the committee, work it up the line, talk to their dad, talk to the attorneys. I'm like, "Thank God. They're in quicksand." I think a big reason why I was able to succeed is because I competed against the norm of an old boy network. If I had to compete with other people like me wanting to prove something desperate to make a go of it, I would have had that hunger to compete with. These guys weren't hungry. They were well fed and well vacationed and they liked it that way. One of the things I took from that is whenever you're competing against a big complacent, slow incumbent, being the opposite of the incumbent is the winning strategy. You were quick because you didn't have that bureaucracy or sign off for lawyers. You were high risk. You were agile. You were naive. You know what else I had? Which isn't to be underestimated. I had a wonderful imagination. I would think of the greatest bullshit to create publicity every day of the week. I just would dream up some stupid stuff and give it to the papers or the TV stations. I would turn out reports that I had no business turning out. I could think of an idea a minute and I would just throw it out there and see what happened. Nobody was thinking of new ideas in real estate. It was about controlling the listing market and controlling the number of bodies working for you. That was the only game in town. Not how you did it. What differently you could do. Nobody even really was concerned about the customer or the sellers. They just want to know if they had a contact with them because it was a contact game. But I came into a different generation where contacts meant less in New York as the waters of New York changed and everybody started coming to New York and different nationalities and different colors of people. Everything was changing. These guys really thought it was not changed. It was such an advantage to have a lot of ideas and to have to have tattered soldiers, anybody who could get your hands on and to make them believe they were as good as the fancy people. My people believed they were as good. You know what? They were as good and they were better in the end because they all hustled and they all had something to prove. We were all the poor kids trying to make it in New York. We were all driven. We were soul mates in a way.


Work culture (36:04)

That company culture and that philosophy, you're citing that as being repivital to why you were successful. What does that mean like culture? How do you go about creating that culture? The main card is having fun with you people. I put fun before anything. I certainly wanted to drive sales hard, open new offices, hire new people, nurture great management systems, all the things that go into any business. But more than that, I wanted to make sure everybody loved each other. The way you get to break down barriers between people who all compete with each other. Remember in sales, you like who you're working with but you don't really totally like them because they're after your market. You have friend enemies really in a way. I believe that if you had enough fun with your people, it was a great equalizer. When people laugh together, they come up with new ideas. When people laugh together, they loosen up. I used to have people dress for my parties so they couldn't come in. I would have them dressed in 1940s, 1950s. I had them cross dress. Oh, what a rebellion at the kingdom. The straight guys. I'm not cross dressing for her. Of course they cross dress for me. I had a party where everybody dressed as a nun. I'm not going as a nun. Of course they came as a nun. But you know how exciting it is to be in the Waldorf Astoria Bowl room and see a thousand nuns at a party? It's a blast and so much fun. So we would have picdicks, parties. I would take the women spontaneously, "Hey, come with me. We're going downstairs to party and buying your new underwear." Why? Because it's so bizarre. They all go down and pick out the most expensive underwear they could find. This bizarre stuff made them tell everybody who wasn't in the company, "Oh God, guess what we did?" It was an adventure. And sooner or later what happened after about, I guess maybe 10, 12 years, I didn't have to recruit anymore. Our reputation as being the best place to work started recruiting for us. My salespeople recruited for us just by repeating stories that happened every day. And so I do believe you create a great imaginative culture if you could insist on giving as much attention to planning good fun. I don't mean boring Christmas party. We drink. Nothing like that. The bizarre means of having fun. Everybody doesn't have enough fun and they want to stay with you. I had no turnover in my company. None in a business that's loaded with turnover. Of course, I fire a third of my staff every year because they couldn't sell. But other than the ones that couldn't sell, no one ever left for another firm. They had too much fun at us. Why would they leave for the same commission spread? I don't think so. Five years in to that business, to that venture, Ramon Simone runs off with your PA. Yeah, she was much prettier than I.


Leadership & firing negative people (38:44)

Ten years younger. I don't blame him. In hindsight, I don't blame him. At the time, I didn't like it. He was your boyfriend at the time? He was my boyfriend at the time. He was my 51% business partner. He took 51%. He said because he was financing the firm, which was there. I was a managing partner. I liked the way that sounded. Yes, but he ran off with my secretary the seventh year we were in business. Yeah, that was shocking. I didn't expect that. But you know, those blows that happened to you, egos, seem the worst at the time. But it doesn't take you long to realize why they happened and why they're the best things. I mean, if he didn't run off with her, I would have never started the Corcoran group. I'd still be Corcoran Simone working with him. I mean, that got me off my butt to start my own company without his help right away because I was a scorned woman. And I couldn't stand seeing them throw kisses at each other during the work day. It drove me crazy. And so I left. I just left. We cut the company in half. At the time, we only had 14 people. He took seven. I took seven, and off I went. Thank God that happened. And then he gave me that wonderful parting words. He'll never succeed without me. Thank you, Ray. Did that drive you those words for the forgiveness? I was. When he said that, I was like, "Vicious. I hated him for it." But I walked out the door hating him for it. I hated him for it the next month, the year after that, and the year after that. And then I started thanking him for it. Really? Yeah. I realized it was a gift. You know, insult can really be a wonderful motivator. With my entrepreneurs that I invest in on Shark Tank, I love it when I could find an entrepreneur that had a horrible dad, had this go wrong, that go wrong. Because they're angry. They're angry, and they have more to prove. I love an entrepreneur like that. I relate to them. That prejudice you experienced in that male-dominated industry, is it easier to manipulate people when they have a prejudice against you? Personally, you have to realize they didn't see me. I was invisible to them. They didn't take me seriously. Why would they take me seriously? Even the day I realized I was invisible, I realized I had to advance. I said, "Nobody's watching me." Does that make them easy to manipulate these men? Well, I don't know if it meant I manipulated them, but it was easier to compete with them. Because the word manipulate is like a dirty word. But at the end of the day, if someone is thinking that you don't matter, and they're disrespecting you, or they are sexist towards you, their underestimation seems like an opportunity. It's a great opportunity. You know who was easy to manipulate, though? Because when the business got large, we were more dependent on huge development sites, where they had 300, 400 condos for sale. We'd have to get control of that building. And I was the salesman who got the control. I went out after the developers. The developers you could manipulate easily as a woman. They had all men working for them. It was a man's world real estate. The developers didn't take me seriously at all, but I flirted. I cajoled. I wore short skirts. I dressed well in tight suits. I played my cards. I wore high heels, even though my feet were killing me. Yeah, did I manipulate them? Of course I did. Did I tell them they looked handsome? They were all handsome. Did I tell them they were brilliant? You're brilliant. They were all brilliant. Did I manipulate? Yes. I don't even think I'll go to heaven if you want to call it manipulation. And then your workforce, if I spoke to one of your employees and said, "What's Barbara like to work with? What do you imagine they would say to me?" I know what they would say, and you wouldn't believe me. They would say, "I love Barbara." She was perfect. She spoke to your assistant. Oh, you did. Well, she's going to lie. Emily? Yeah, she said you were a nightmare. I'm joking. I'm joking. She wouldn't say that. You have to realize who you're asking. Emily is an absolute angel on earth. She has never had a bad day. I wish I was her. She's incredible. So you can't ask her. You have to ask a son of a bitch who works for me. What would they say? They would say, "We love Barbara." I'm telling it, and I deserve it. I don't mean to brag, but I am the best boss I've ever met by far, and I don't think anyone could be a better boss than me. Honest to God. I think the root of being a good boss is from the very first day I was in business, I understood the cardinal rule, which is, "I work for you. You don't work for me." That's my attitude, my entire life. What can I do for you? How can I make your job earlier? Easier. What don't you like to do? What would you rather do? How could I be this for you? What else do you want? I shower my people with anything they need selflessly, and you'd say, "Well, that doesn't put the boss ahead." It does, because as they get stronger and go up the rank, they carry me for a free ride along with them. That's how it goes. I do believe the key to being a big boss, a growing boss, and a great boss is really understand you work for who's working for you. It's as simple as that. It's kind of like being a good mother in a way. You're slave to your kids. You just want to please your children. I've been thinking about something recently about how leadership isn't about being, and this sounds like it's wrong, but let me explain. Leadership isn't about being consistent with your people. Some people in your team will require a certain type of treatment to get the best out of them, and then some people in your team will require probably the opposite treatment to get the best out of them. Can you relate to that? Does that strike? Can I tell you it's a misnomer that you would treat anyone like someone else? I was biased with every single person who worked with me. I would do different things for different people based on their own need. I would just really size them up what's going to push this kid ahead, what's going to make this person have confidence, what could I do to... I had a different formula for everyone. No, I think the key was knowing each individual and what floats their boat. What's important to them? What's going to make them better? No, I was never even handed ever with any of the people I worked with. Because they were all individuals. And today more than ever, people really want to be individuals. They want to be treated as individuals. They're interests first. I meet a lot of my peers who complain that the modern day worker wants to be promoted fast, wants their interests met. I'm like, "Well, that's fine. I've always done that." That's the right way to handle people to get the best out of people. That's the way to go. Wherever that philosophy came from, they haven't created a big team. Wherever they know better. What characteristic would I have to demonstrate working for you that would make you fire me quickest? Fire you? Yeah. Attitude. Okay. Absolutely. You know what happens is as careful as I was to hire, and I control the hiring for probably the first 10 years of my business, until we got to 500 people and went past that, I couldn't do it anymore. I did some, but not a lot. What I would love to do is call someone to my office on Friday. I love firing people on Friday. I would stop by someone's desk on a Wednesday and say, "Hey, would you have any time sometime on Friday?" They should have heard about the rumors. "Yes. What time is good for you too? See you too." I couldn't wait until they came into fire them. You know why? Because I picked out individuals who were negative, and my attitude toward the negative person was, "They were ruining my good kids because people who are negative have to have somebody else to be negative with them. They got to talk to somebody, "Oh, right, right, right, complain." Okay. I'm not talking about people who tell you what you're doing wrong. They're invaluable so that you can get better. I'm talking about chronic complainers and negative people. You've got to get rid of them. So I learned very early after firing one negative person. Never tell them why you're firing them. Okay? "Are you getting a rat's nest? Why am I negative? I don't know. You just don't fit the company. But why? I don't know. You just don't fit the company. Maybe that's a little mean, but I never carried a negative person for more than a couple of months. Sometimes they're on the cover at first, but eventually they come out like, "Hey, do you have any time on Friday?" If you ever asked me for a meeting on Friday, I'm sorry about it. Don't come. I'm coming. I'm fully booked. I take the Friday off. Why are you so irked by complainers? Is it something about...? The thieves, they thieves. They take your money away and they take your energy. And the most valuable asset you have is your energy. And if they take your energy away, you're not going to deliver enough to everybody else. It's not enough to go around. No, they're thieves in the night. They come in. They got their hands in your pockets and they're taking your goods. That's how I see negative people. When you have a team filled with very positive people, it's like they're stuffing your pockets with money and jewels all the time. It's the way you want to be. It's those people you want to be. Have you noticed, because I think I've noticed this, that my first business where we had about somewhere around 500 people, 95% of my people problems were created by one person. Of course, the complainer. The negative person. You didn't ever work on Friday. No, you know what? I didn't realise. I should have just made the decision quickly to get rid of them. But then I had that complex which bosses sometimes have where I go, "Well, if I get rid of them, then it's going to impact the culture and then they're going to do this." And sometimes there's so much of a complainer and so negative. They've acquired so many ears to be negative too. There was this fear that if I fire them, then there's going to be even more negativity, like a volcano of negativity. That was naivety on your part. Yes, it was. Definitely once you fired a few. Amen. I learned the lesson. One of my philosophies now is as soon as you know, as soon as you know, as fast as you possibly can. And your point about don't say it's because they are, you can't say it because they're negative. Oh, you can't win at that game. You know, it took me probably three years. I hired a great salesman for another firm which was reaching for me because I groomed all my own. No one wanted to come. And someone actually wanted to come and work for me from a bigger firm. I couldn't believe it. I hired this lady. She was so negative right away. So negative. She had two percent as outward when you're interviewing and inward when they're working for you. And she was so, so negative. And I really thought I could change her around. I'm such a positive human being. Everybody used positive. I'm going to change her around. And then I learned the important lesson. If her parents couldn't make her smile, I wasn't going to forget it. They had this lady for their whole life and she's miserable. I'm not going to make her happy. And so part of it is admitting defeat that you're not all that powerful when you're going to turn somebody around. No, negative, you just get rid of them. Terrible. Let's talk about something positive. What about compliments? Compliments when they're genuine, not compliments that are empty and not compliments in front of a group for the sake of grandstanding. I just don't believe in it. People see right through the bullshit. You know everybody, you could get somebody with the lowest IQ in the world. You bullshit them. They know it. You're just assuming people are smarter than they look. And so I think a genuine compliment with specifics to back it up is the greatest thing in the world and you make someone fly and become even stronger the next day. But if it's not specific and why that was so smart that you did and what it did for us, that's a compliment. Let's give her a round of applause. That's the right kind of compliment. But to find those compliments, it is creating a habit as a manager or a business owner of looking for a, I would walk through and try to find anything good I could talk about. Anything, anybody did good that somebody would stitch on. And then I get the details down and then give them a compliment individually if I thought they were a private person. But if I thought they were a competitive person, I always did it in front of the group because they're competitive and they want everybody to see they're better. So yeah, the compliments are so powerful. But you know, they pass. I think the greatest compliment you could give an individual is trust that they are better than they think they are. And I honestly think that people write themselves off as so much less than they're capable of. When you say to someone, I noticed you dress, I'll give you an example because this is a silly example, but I got my advertising manager. She was a salesman who was mediocre, meeting overhead and turning out a little profit, but not great. And I looked at her every day and thought, "She is such a beautiful dresser." What she can do with her hair with a clothing is incredible. And I went out of my way to walk over to her desk. She had the perfect match. She had the perfect thing. Her desk looked like I wanted to vacation there. It was so gorgeous. So I said to her, Anita, how would you like to be my advertising manager? She said, "I didn't know you had an advertising manager." I said, "I don't. But how about you take it?" Now how did I know she would be exceptional in advertising because everything about her was put together. I figured that how to transfer to great graphics, beautiful design, the layout of the page. Because she was, that was kind of like a page I saw on her desk. She was incredible. I think you just have to find the gift in people and point it out and think, "How can I take advantage?" And Anita became probably the envy of every firmer in the city because of our great advertising. That wasn't me. I got the credit. It was her. But I blossomed her up because I saw that gift in her. Sounds like a stretch, but it's really not. It's not a stretch if you keep your eyes open and see what people are good at. We talked about the mouth there with the smile, but what about the eyes? You mean looking at someone in the eyes? Yeah. Oh, you have to. Does anyone who doesn't make eye contact ever really? You figure they're insecure, they shift insecure, dishonest, or probably those two. That's what I would say. Dishonaster and secure. Either way, you don't want to hang out with them. No, the eyes are key. All right, because I read that in the pandemic when you were hiring for any roles, there was 500 people and you basically excluded everybody that didn't make eye contact with the camera. You read that about me? Yeah. I think it was probably exaggerated. I don't think it was 500 people. I just, you know, a lot of people. Yeah, yeah. But a lot of people definitely. Okay. You don't make it. Absolutely. And you excluded everyone who had bad lighting? I did, yeah. Why? Because it showed a lack of aggressiveness and caring for themselves. I felt. I mean, if I was interviewing for a job and I knew it was competitive, most jobs are, I wouldn't want to show my best self. I think through everything. I mean, maybe me more than most people would do it. But I think if you show up with bad lighting and then on top of that, you don't make good eye contact. Next please. No, it's just terrible. No, it's very hard to hire people through COVID online, but I never did. In the end, whoever I hired, I insist I meet them in person. You can't really do a thorough job unless you're in person, I believe, or I've never been able to learn how to do that. I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. My girlfriend came upstairs yesterday when I was having a shower and she said to me that she tried the heel protein chick, which lives on my fridge over there. And she said, "It's amazing. Low calories, you get your 20 odd grams of protein, you get your 26 vitamins and minerals, and it's nutritionally complete." In the protein space, there's lots of things, but it's hard to find something that is nice, especially when consumed just with water. If you haven't tried the heel protein product, do give it a try, the salted caramel one, if you put some ice cubes in it and you put it in a blender and you try it, it's as good as pretty much any milkshake on the market, just mixed with water. It's been a game changer for me because I'm trying to drop my calorie intake and I'm trying to be a little bit more healthy with my diet. So this is where heel fits in my life. Thank you, heel, for making a product that I actually like. In telling our one of our sponsors on this podcast, and I'm here to tell you about their VPro platform, security and data protection are totally non-negotiable when it comes to the technology I use for my businesses. I'm constantly thinking about where we can upgrade our systems to protect against potential threats. So this is where Intel VPro has become our go-to. Intel VPro is built for businesses. It has a hardware-based, multi-layer platform security features protecting from cyber attacks, threat detection and also recovery systems, all in one platform. In an ever challenging cyber landscape, if I can put measures in place that I believe will save me time and money, then I absolutely will. So head over to intel.co.uk/vpro to find out how it can work for your business.


As a shark tank investor, what advice would you give me? (56:07)

Shark Tank. I'm a dragon on Shark Tank. You're a shark on Shark Tank. All the same. Yeah. He's your sucker. Does it? To be fair, I think dragons are slightly more impressive than sharks, I'm going to be honest. You think I think sharks are more impressive than sharks? Sharks are real. Dragons don't exist. Dragons are silly. It's an old fish and where sharks are sharks. Sharks? Other than Jaws, one of sharks really done for society, whereas a dragon is your someone of great imagination. To be a dragon, you have to have great imagination because they don't exist. It's like being a unicorn. So can we agree that dragons are better? I know I'm afraid not. Okay. Well, you're on Shark Tank and linked to what we just said about quickly assessing if a person is legit and worth investing in. What have you learned? Even on the show longer than I've been on the UK version of the show, what advice would you give me as a new dragon to be successful from your experience? I would say keep you money in your pocket for a little bit. Okay. Yeah, my first few seasons of Shark Tank, I spent so much money through money at the wall and anything that moved. Yeah. So I hope you haven't made that mistake. I needed like 11 investments in my first season. But for me, what I have learned in 14 years and I've learned it good 10 years ago, I'd say, is I never choose a business. I always choose the entrepreneur. I have sat there and listened to business plans that I don't even know what they're talking about. It makes no sense to me what they're talking about because it's not a business I know or I don't understand the terminology. In the old days, I would have thought I was too stupid, but now I know I'm smart enough that if I'm understanding it's okay, I'm probably still smart. But I have to be really smart in making the choice of the individual to a trustless person. Can I visualize them going through a wall? What's their background? Are they good at getting back up? Do they have ambition? Not passion. Passion is so overrated. I feel passionate. This we really wanted to do that's like saying you're excited about your first date. Who cares? You really get married to the lady and see how you feel. But I think the commitment and the drive and the ambition is what I'm always looking for. I'm looking and just trying to smell it out. If someone says they were poor and they didn't have a father, let's say. I'm biased right away. I want to buy the business. You want to invest right away? It doesn't mean I will because I have to hear more about how they handle things, what kind of an individual they are. No, I'm very biased or I should really say I'm not very nice or fair minded with rich kids. The problem with investing in a business owned by a rich kid is usually raise money already rather easily. It's not sweat equity. So you got a chunk of change to get started. Okay, that's nice. Now you would think that would make things easier. I think it makes things difficult. You don't spend your money wisely. It's pop as money or your parents' friends' money. Well, wherever you got it from. So it's not valuable money. And I've seen more people stand and say, "Well, we pivoted. We lost that and we pivoted." What happened to the guys that gave me the cash? What happened to them? No regard at all. When you get a poor kid, they typically have something to prove. They really have to stretch every penny. It's their own money. They're dying just to get a little bit more. There's so much a greater need. And there's also a desire to do well in living, in their life. They want to go on vacations. They too want to get a sports car. They want to get a nice apartment. These rich kids have had it all before. They've been on vacation everywhere. They've always had rich cars, rich parents. So I think it's so much harder for a rich kid to succeed as an entrepreneur. I just love poor kids. And I have to tell you, out of my whole portfolio, I don't have a single rich kid who succeeded. Well most of it is because I don't invest in them in the last five years. But even when I did years ago, none of them succeeded. No, they went on to do something else. My poor people, those are my winners. Yeah, they're desperate to succeed. The only thing that beats growing up poor, in Cochrane's opinion, is growing up damaged. Oh. Yeah. Well, aren't we all damaged in one way or another, right? But you could get damaged by money and affluence so easily. I think it's easier to raise a poor kid than a rich kid. Because of the circles they fly in, their value systems, who they measure themselves against, what they measure. I think it's more difficult to be an affluent kid or an affluent rich parent and raise a good kid with values. I really think it's harder. You know when I said I spoke to a assistant, I did. Well, we did. Emily, right? Yeah. Emily. Good thing you talked to the good one. Oh, there's another one. There's three and they don't like me. No more like me. Well, you can. And she told me about some pictures in your office that are hanging on the wall. Oh, those, the whole way of doom. What is the whole way of doom? Well, you see, anyone who's on Shark Tank, as you well know, Dragon's Den, has their night in the sun, where they're on the show and everybody orders from them. And they become almost rich overnight, or at least they think they're going to be rich. They're all celebrating excited. And then something goes wrong with the business. Maybe three to four months out. That's my timetable. I'm waiting for that day. Something's going to go wrong. It's not just the patent who comes through. That's minor stuff. Like the mold was wrong, where they delivered 10,000 pieces that are made wrong. And he had the patent. I didn't know he was going to give it to me, but he ran off with it. Something goes wrong. I just wait around and I watch and I say, "How's it going?" And there's only two different responses to that, which is, "He promised me." You know, "He promised me." I mean, the guy said he was good. "I go over to my wall and I turn the entrepreneur's picture upside down to remind myself never to talk to them again or spend time. No, I'll talk to them, but I'm not going to spend my time because they're victims." And then you have the one in four people who handle it this way. "Ah, crap. I can't believe I made that mistake." Okay, let's see what we should do. That's an entrepreneur. Moving on, moving out and going forward and taking the blame, even if they weren't a blame, every one of my really successful businesses I've done so well have had the worst setbacks, but they've always taken responsibility. And those pictures are always right-side up. They call me on myself. "Hello, how can I help you?" Because they're phenomenal entrepreneurs. I believe that the difference between the really good ones and the ones that don't make it are the ones that don't make it know how to be a victim. They feel sorry for themselves. They blame the next guy and they don't take the responsibility as their own. And that's what an entrepreneur does. You're the boss. It's your problem, period. It's your problem. It rests with you. Now, what are you going to do about it? And these kids that are really equipped to not hesitate at all, but just get on the horse and go galloping, going and going and going and going and going again. They're terrific. I invested four women cousins who have a very clever, wow, I don't know how clever the business was, but they're clever. And they lost $800,000 a month three stolen from their accounts. Couldn't pay the suppliers. All of their sales were gone. I couldn't wait to talk to them. I was not going to say too bad it happened. I said, hey, hi, I heard. What are you going to do? Well, we're thinking already, blah, blah, blah, back on the horse. They recovered. They ended the year with something like $7 million in sales. How did they do it? They are just not victims. They go forward, forward, forward, forward, forward. Those are the people I love. I love them. This allergic reaction to complainers and pessimists and victims. You're back to that again. Yeah, but does it come from, I was just reflecting on how much your mother, you said you never even saw her sleep. Yeah. She was just, she didn't complain. She just got on with it. Is it influenced by that? I'll tell you what my mother did, which didn't influence all of us. If we went to my mother with something my brother John did to me, well, my sister Ellen did to me, something unfair, we'd go to her. She took this from me. She wasn't supposed to. My mother would punish us both. She didn't hear the complaints. She said, you're both punished. Sit down. You have an hour. That's it. There was no sense in complaining about anything. So we never complained. We learned in short order as little kids. You don't complain. You just shut up. Otherwise, you both get punished. And you know, in business, it's really that way if you think about it. Yeah, if you're going to complain, you know, I even had an incident I learned very early on that just popped in my head. That reminded me so much of my mother. I had two department heads who hated each other and I wasn't aware of it. Someone brought my attention to it. Anyway, one came in and told me why this other department was getting in the way and the other one didn't, why the wrong? I said, wow, this must be terrible for you. I was empathetic, empathetic. Listen to both complaints. And then I said, we're here with the second one. I went and got the first complainer. And I said, okay, girls, you obviously have a problem with the way you're working together. Figure it out. You're both fired. I was mimicking my mother. Figure it out or you're both fired and I left the room. They figured it out. They never came to me again with a complaint. You know? Yeah. It works against everybody. You know, it just works against everybody. The culture of the business in every way.


Your husband & out earning him (01:06:05)

Bill. Bill. Oh shit, Bill. You know what all my friends call a bill? Poor Bill. Isn't that a shame? I'm the nice person. Bill is a difficult man and yet everybody who knows this both calls him poor Bill. Like he married the wrong person. That was your husband? Yes, 37 years. He said he's the nice one and you're the difficult one. Who said that? You spoke to Bill? Bill. You spoke to Bill. Yeah. Don't believe Bill. I can't believe he even answered the phone. He's always watching TV. I didn't speak to Bill. Oh gosh. I'm lying. You know, ironically, if you did speak with Bill, Bill adores the ground I walk on. You can never say anything negative and all I do is complain about Bill. And all I do is say negative things about him. I really mean it. I'm a terrible wife. I really am. I'm not just saying that. He should talk to Bill. He'll confirm this. I didn't. He'd confirmed it. It's terrible. The thing I was really compelled by is I was reading how at some point you started out earning Bill. Yes. And that in a relationship can have an interesting dynamic on the like, on the... Relationship. Yeah, because of the status. Definitely. And that's what I was reading about your story about it being a struggle at some point. You first lied when you out earned him for the first time. You put it down to an accounting error and you seemed to kind of not want to... It was tough at first, you know. When I met Bill, he owned a brokerage firm in New Jersey and I earned... I had one in New York. I had 1920 people. He had 1920 people. We were even, right? And then within the next four years, I had 500 people and he had 22. Not a good scene, right? We were both earning about just able to pay our rent kind of when we got married. But when it went askew that I out earned him by a mile, you have ego at risk, you know? Really? Very much so. Absolutely. I married the kind of guy that was most bulletproof for feeling ashamed about not earning money. He was an FBI agent. He was a top selling agent in New Jersey when he was a young stud. He graduated from Annapolis. He was an honor, Navy captain. I mean, he was accomplished ahead of the Republican club in the state of New Jersey. Everything he did he was accomplished. All I did was run a business, all right? However, all of that stuff is not measured by money, you know? Once I was making a lot of money, it was hard for Bill. It was hard for Bill. It was like everybody knew me. Once I had notoriety, you're married to Barbara. He stopped being Bill Higgins, the FBI agent. He stopped being Bill Higgins and Navy captain. I mean, all that stuff kind of didn't count as much anymore it should have because we're in a New York town where everybody values you by how popular and how much money you make. And he was less than me. But how did he stay with the marriage after all these years? Because Bill really doesn't have much value for money. He never did. It's not important to him. He's just a nice guy. But I had an issue with it. Yeah, I had an issue. I felt not feminine enough when you out earn your husband. You don't feel that feminine. You feel like the caveman instead of cave woman.


Final Question

Last guest’s question (01:09:32)

We have a closing tradition on this podcast. Yes. The last question is always left by the last guest. The last guest left the question for you. What did you learn from your greatest failure? I learned that you get back up and all the opportunities and getting back up. It's just got to be a habit of getting up. You get up and you're going to find some shit that you could do something with. Just get up. That's a habit. You have to make that habit. Barbara, thank you. My pleasure. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for the humor. You're hilarious and brilliant in equal measure. Really? And you're absolutely are. You're absolutely are. You're definitely in my top two favorite sharks, you and Damien are my favorites. Oh, forget about Damien. He's so good. Mark's not good. Thank you so much. And I want to be among your favorite sharks. I want to be one of your favorite people in the world. You're my favorite shark now that I've met and you're so funny, but so for sure for sure. I don't believe you. I don't believe you. I don't believe you. I'm looking you in the eyes. You can trust me. I do trust you. You're very trustworthy. I can tell. Thank you so much, Barbara. Sonona. Quick word from one of our sponsors. I've got a tip for all of you that will make your virtual meeting experiences I think 10 times better. As some of you may know, by now, BlueJeans by Verizon offers seamless high quality video conferencing. But the reason why I use BlueJeans versus other video conferencing tools is because of immersion. Their tools make you feel more connected to the employees or customers you're trying to engage with. And now they're launching one of their biggest feature enhancements to impact virtual events so far called BlueJeans Studio. I actually used it the other day. I did a virtual event using the studio, which I think about 700 of you came to, TV level production quality, all done by one person with very little technical experience on a laptop. So if you've got an event coming up and you're thinking about doing it virtually, check out BlueJeans Studio now. Let me know what you think because I genuinely believe, I know this is an advert and I'm supposed to say this, but I genuinely believe it's the best tool I've seen for doing really immersive, simple but high quality production virtual events.


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