When Babara Corcoran sold her real estate firm for $66 million in 2001, it was Manhattan’s second-largest private real estate company and had given her the reputation as a power player.
But in the mid- to late-1980s, Corcoran and the Corcoran Group were struggling. It’s why, she told Business Insider at a recent event for the personal finance resource Zebit, she felt the money she made in 1991 was burning a hole in her pocket.
“The best money that I ever spent was my first $67,000 profit … after I had seven or eight years of absolutely no profit, and barely living hand to mouth myself,” she said. “And when I had that $67,000 profit, I did the most intelligent thing anyone could ever do: I blew it. Immediately.”
She bought herself and each of her parents a car — she remembers getting her dad a new Lincoln Continental and her mum a new Mercury Cougar convertible and sending them down to their Florida condo. “And it was probably their happiest and my happiest day in my life,” she said.
While Corcoran now tells the entrepreneurs she invests in through “Shark Tank” to keep a level head and invest their profits back into their growing business, she thinks that there are instances where you can make an exception and use a new stream of cash to “invest in yourself.”
“My advice is when you do make a killing, spend it on something you can look back at, laugh about, and smile about versus being extremely educated and spending it wisely!” she said before laughing. If you’re in a position where you and your business won’t take be severely hindered if you decide to make a big purchase for your own enjoyment, she said, then you should go for it.
It’s why Corcoran doesn’t regret splurging on some new cars back in ’91 to raise her spirits and give back to her parents.
“I think you invest in the things that have meaning in life, because it’s not so much about dollar value, it’s more about psychic value,” she said. “And believe me, that was probably the happiest money I’ve ever spent in my life.”