CC's Shark Tank Survival Guide

SO, you are one of the 50,000 + people who have applied to be on Shark Tank Season 7. Casting has emailed you back and asked for a 5-minute pitch video. Then they’ve asked you to try again with more “pep.” Countless red bulls, pump up speeches and sleepless nights later, two producers have called you separately, without warning, and grilled you about your business. Finally you’ve gotten the call. They’re flying you to LA for the taping!!!!!#%^$*@^#%@&!

This is not a guarantee you’ll make it on the show. They film about 50 more entrepreneurs than they can fit into the season, but you try not to think about that now. You’re in sunny California, staying at the Four Points Sheraton with a couple bus-loads of other hopeful entrepreneurs (who you’ve been instructed not to speak to­­­) and you’re feeling…nervous. Tensions are high. Your palms are sweaty. TOMORROW is pitch day. You’re wondering to yourself,

“Is the light at the end of the tunnel just a train?”

Hang in there and read these five tips from someone who knows what you’re going through.

 


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1. Keep your answers short

While they cut each entrepreneur’s airtime to around 8 minutes, the actual Q+A grilling session lasts much longer. I was up there for 45-50 minutes, which means there were a LOT of chances for me to screw up. If you keep your answers short and to the point, you won’t expose any weaknesses.

2. Have a game plan

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being in front of the Sharks is having to negotiate with them. If you go into the Tank with a clear game plan, the negotiating part will be a lot easier to navigate. I went in knowing that I was gunning for Barbara, that I would not take a royalty deal and that I was willing to raise my equity offer to 25% for the right shark. If I hadn't known that I would have been shark bait.

3. Know your body

If you're someone who sweats a lot, wear black. If you blush or get nervous hives (like me!) wear a high neckline and a lot of concealer. Your producers will ask you to wear bright colors but I'd risk disappointing them on pitch day if it means saving face later.

4. Take Tylenol PM

After you've prepared like you're cracked out on Adderall, it will be hard for you to get a good nights sleep, but being rested before pitch day is SO important. Maybe a warm glass of milk is more your thing. You do you, just make sure you sleep.

5. Laugh

One of my best friends Catie came along as my model and I was SO grateful she was there with me. After so much preparation, you're in danger of turning into a robot on set. Hopefully you've brought someone with you who is going to peel you away from your computer and make you laugh tonight. But if you haven't, video chat a friend from home, your mom, your sister, someone who will remind you that you're human and that they'll still love you regardless of what happens tomorrow. 

Breathe in, breathe out. You've got this. #BelieveinyourSHELFIE


In case you missed it,
click here to see CC's 8-minute
swim with the Sharks



Christina Conrad
Christina Conrad

Author



2 Comments

Daniel
Daniel

March 23, 2015

Hello, I’m actually in the position you were at the beginning of your blog, this might sound weird, but I’m literally losing my mind trying to determine how likely it is that I get chosen to tape once I’ve made it to the video submission portion? However, the process I’ve been through has been a little different, email submission, call back, phone pitch/story, “Congrats! Now you get to submit a video…”

This is where I am now, I’ve received all the application paperwork, and I have been stressing out like nobody’s business, no pun intended on whether I’m wasting my time, losing precious time to build my business, or if I have a realistic shot at being selected now that I’ve made it this far? See, with over 50,000 submissions it was easy to submit the email, but the video, they pump you up thinking you’re almost there, then leave you to lose your mind with whether or not you’re still in competition for over 10,000 slots or 500 slots? Both very different scenarios. See the video submission can turn into a drawn out, stressful process, unlike the email, and not knowing your chances makes to fret about every single aspect of the video, i.e. hows my story, should I include this embarrassing story, do I need to sing and dance like monkey, or should I be myself? Will they identify with the more sincere version of me, or the less authentic, yet doable, hyped up me?

I was just wondering if you had ANY idea of how many people they actually ask to submit the video?

No problem if you can’t answer, I was just curious… Cause like I said, it’s really been weighing on me… Not that I don’t know if I want to put the time in, IM IN. More that I’m afraid I’m stressing out too much over the small details that if there are closer to 10,000 submissions will matter a LOT, but if there are more like 500 and they chose 180 (I’ve heard last season it was 180 to pitch or so) then that would be a much different story, and I would feel like ensuring I focus on my product and the story will be enough to give my company an honest shot.

P.S. I LOVE how you describe the emotional turmoil you feel once you’ve been selected to move forward. It’s like winning the lottery, though you find out you have to win it again… and that’s where things get crazy it seems.

Thanks a lot for your comments, they truly were the best I’ve read so far, and it’s been a lot.

Colin Sullivan
Colin Sullivan

March 11, 2015

Hi Christina – That was really awesome. I just watched the episode and found it one of the best executions on the show that I’ve seen. I’d love to have that opportunity someday, just wrestling to find the right idea and timing. Good luck with Boobypack, very very cool – Colin

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