The SmartTalk series at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ continues with Barbara Corcoran. This dynamic businesswoman learned early on about motivation and business infrastructure, and shared her amazing experiences with us. She became a NYC real estate mogul at the Corcoran Group, and is a consultant, a real estate contributor for the Today Show, an investor for the TV show Shark Tank, and the author of the national best-seller If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails, and also Nextville, Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life.
Ms. Corcoran shared how her parents greatly influenced her. She comes from a family of 10 kids. Every time her mother arrived home with a new bundle of joy, she introduced the new family member and announced what she believed his/her gift was. Barbara was told she had great creativity. Her mother was always positively re-enforcing each family member, which gave them confidence to pursue their dreams. Her father was on the insubordinate side, which made them think he should’ve been self-employed, even though he wasn’t, and this influenced her and many of her siblings to become entrepreneurs. In addition, her father was the fun parent, which also had a major impact on her.
This leads me to tell you that Barbara Corcoran is FUN! She had the audience laughing after the first sentence, and it continued consistently throughout her time speaking. Despite the laughter, she was able to give insightful business tips, motivated us to never give up, and inspired us to take chances and be creative.
Another person who was influential in Corcoran’s life was a companion whom she met when she was in her 20s. He was also her benefactor, lending her $1,000 to start up her business. They ran the company together, but when they separated they split the company’s assets, and went their own ways. When things looked bleak, she thought of his negative comments about the survival of her company, became creative, and turned things around. Now that’s self-motivation!
She explained some of the most important things she learned:
- There are two types of people to hire, the expanders (creative types who try new things) and the containers (those who are well-organized).
- Fun is good business. She built her offices like a spa. She had manicurists, shoe shiners, massage therapists, and more, which helped keep her employees very loyal.
- The big company has the corner on the money, but the small business has the corner on creativity.
- Perception creates reality. If you give the impression that you’re big, people will believe it.
- The difference between the $40K and $1M dollar sales associate is how long they lay low and lick their wounds after rejection.
After 22 years she sold the Corcoran Group, and five years later she started landing TV gigs. She built her business putting herself second to her sales staff and managers, and now she’s in the limelight giving sage advice to the masses, whether it be on television or live. At the end of her performance, she actually went down to the audience and spoke with her fans, as well as gave autographs. This is a remarkable woman who is passionate about what she does.
I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Corcoran in her dressing room before the performance, and in the Green Room afterward, and I can tell you, that she can quickly assess people, collaborate on the spot, is very inspirational, is unbelievably funny, and very down to earth. I wish I could’ve spent the entire evening conversing with her, but in the short time I was in her company, she inspired me to think even further outside the box, and expand my creativity more than ever before, and for that I am truly grateful!
There are still tickets available for upcoming SmartTalk performances at the State Theater. Use the promo code RB2011 for a 10% discount on the purchase of a single ticket.
All photos are courtesy of Kim Schmidt Photography LLC.