“Shark Tank” investor Barbara Corcoran has a wall in her office that is filled with almost 30 picture frames, most of them turned backwards.
The photos facing her are portraits of her favourite entrepreneurs that she’s invested in, their smiling faces constant reminders that they’re deserving of her time and energy. The other ones… well, she’s not so excited about them.
“[T]he minute I realise they’re not a great entrepreneur, I flip the frame over,” Corcoran tells Business Insider. “I keep the frame on the wall, but this way every time I look up, it’s my symbol: Don’t spend any time on this. I put all my focus on my good ones.”
She came up with this unique management system when she realised that “Shark Tank,” which she joined in its first season in 2009, had become her full-time job. Although she made her fortune in the New York real estate business, Corcoran now spends her time working out deals with entrepreneurs on the set and helping manage the companies she invests in.
Over six seasons, she estimates she’s made deals with about 26 entrepreneurs. As soon as she closes a deal, she has them send a photo of themselves, which she then sticks into a frame.
Corcoran gives each entrepreneur four months to hit goals they agree on, and if they don’t meet them, she flips their picture around. She says that when she first started this system a few seasons ago, she gave each entrepreneur six months to make an impression, but she’s now thinking four months is too lenient.
As we spoke with her, she was looking at the wall.
“Let me see. Yeah, there are exactly nine,” Corcoran says, referring to those face-up. “Nine are up right now, and I’m sure I’ll flip a couple over in the next couple months and be back to seven,” she adds, laughing.
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