Why ‘Shark Tank’ investor Barbara Corcoran is convinced rich kids have a disadvantage over poor kids in business

Poor kids may wind up better entrepreneurs, says Barbara Corcoran, pictured. Brian Ach / Stringer / Getty Images
  • Barbara Corcoran is a real-estate mogul and a star investor on the ABC series “Shark Tank.”
  • She thinks kids who don’t grow up with money have an advantage over kids who were raised wealthy when it comes to business, partly because the former are accustomed to failure.
  • Corcoran has said before that she doesn’t invest in rich kids’ businesses on “Shark Tank.”

“I shouldn’t say this,” says Barbara Corcoran. “But I think a poor kid has a better shot than a rich kid.”

Corcoran is a real-estate mogul and a star investor on the ABC series “Shark Tank.” Though she grew up one of 10 kids in a two-bedroom house with one bathroom, today she’s a multimillionaire raising her own pair of rich kids.

On an episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” Corcoran told US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell why she thinks “poor kids” have the business advantage:

“My bias toward the poor person coming up is they’re usually hungrier. They’re more injured. They have more to prove. They haven’t been given a lot of privilege in their life to make their landing softer. So they have had a few bumpy endings and they’re used to failure, and, my God, what’s more important in building a business than failing?”

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Corcoran has shared this opinion before, on season six of “Shark Tank.”

As Business Insider’s Richard Feloni reported, when entrepreneurs Ben and Eric Kusin revealed that their father is the founder of GameStop and had invested $US2 million into their business, Corcoran said: “I feel very badly saying this to you, but I, as a matter of principle, don’t invest in rich kids’ businesses.”

“The best way to think of a solution in business when you’re slammed up against a wall is to try to think of five different solutions to get around it and keep going,” Corcoran told Feloni.

“But when you know that you have a trust fund, you know that you can always fall back on your parents, and you know that you can get additional funds, you get cheated out of thinking of those spur-of-the-moment, very needy ideas that get you through.”

(Eric Kusin told Feloni there’s a difference between being rich and being spoiled, and feeling entitled to success.)

Corcoran clarified her point for Shontell: “It’s not that I don’t like rich kids. I love my children, and they’re rich kids now. But I think they, with their good education and the coddling that even I’ve given them and their father is giving them, makes kids a little softer in the belly.”