Barbara Corcoran Gives Career and Financial Advice to Audience

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I am so happy to meet you. I'm such a huge fan, and I admire you so much. You accomplished-- I mean-- OK, talk about this story. So you take $1,000 loan, you turn it into one of the most successful businesses. How does this happen? Well, because I had a lucky break. I was a diner waitress, it was my 23rd job I had had. I was 23, and guy walks into the diner and sits at my counter. And he became my first boyfriend. He later offered me $1,000 a year later said, why don't you start a real estate business? I'll take 51%, you keep 49%, let's get going. I had no idea what I was confronting. I was a kid from New Jersey, a blue collar town. And everybody in New York was rich and powerful. And I was too stupid to know any better. And there's a great virtue to being stupid, I just plowed ahead. [APPLAUSE] Right. So you take $1,000 and it turns into-- so you just keep flipping like properties, is that what you were doing? I wasn't actually investing in properties, I was investing in people. I found all the people like me that never had a head start, the people that didn't think they could compete, and I made them my little tattered band. And before you knew it, I had five people, then 500, then 1,000 people. And those old guys in the business that we're the sons of the rich guys, they never saw me coming. And I had such an advantage because they didn't respect me. They didn't take me seriously until I became the number one rival. And they knew who I was by then. [LAUGHTER] Yeah. Really I mean, to accomplish what you have as a woman, it's quite something. So you in school, you had dyslexia, correct? Yes. And your students-- the students and teachers made fun of you. Well, you know, what happens that does the damage is you make fun of yourself. In a school system, they judge children by reading and writing, and I couldn't read till I was in seventh grade so I was declared the dumb kid. But let me tell you something that happens I didn't know then as a kid what would happen in my life. When I got out of that jailhouse-- it was like a jailhouse-- I used the power of that insult to prove to the world that I wasn't stupid. I don't think I really was convinced I wasn't stupid till I was like 55. Because I had to work so hard like, oh my God, I'm always over-prepared. I always double try everything, I try so hard because I just never want to be back in that spot where people are laughing at me. So you made a decision to sell your real estate business. You have a lot of businesses, but real estate business in 2001. Yes I did. Was that an-- did you know you wanted to sell it all along? Well my dream was to be the queen of real estate, and be the number one firm. Once I reached that, I had a two-year-old at home, I had my first baby at 46, and I decided that I would like to be a woman of leisure and just take Italian cooking lessons. I took one, gave up on that, and had to reinvent myself all over again. Because I missed the people I had hired, they were my family, as much as my real family was my family. And I couldn't stand being without them. I felt like I had sold my children, really. Wow. Wow. And how long was that business that-- did you have that? I had it for 27 years. 27 years. And so can we say what you sold it for? The best part, $66 million. She sells her business for $66 million. And you know, Ellen, the best part-- you know, because you came from nothing-- the idea that I would even have a million dollars in my life seemed unbelievable, and they put that $66 million into my checking account, and I found out where it was by cashing a $200 chit-- and the chi-chit-chit, and the receipt came out and said $66 million in your checking account. And I still get a thrill every week I'm up to $400. Like, I see it and oh! [LAUGHTER] That's fantastic. And you so you are now doing Shark Tank. Yes. And you have invested in-- what do you love-- I mean, I love that show. I watch it every week, but what do you love most about doing it? Think about it, I've got the most desirable job in the world. I get to sit on that seat and play fairy godmother. Bing, you're going to be rich. Bing, you're going to be rich. On and on it goes, and I'm always looking for someone just like me that didn't get a shot, and I'm trying to give them that shot. And it makes for a magic show. It's not fake, it's all a real money, it's real success that these people have, and I get to do that every single day I sit there. Who wouldn't want that job? Yeah. No, it's fantastic. It's fun to watch, and I can't imagine being in that position. I love to watch you all fight over who's going to get who. And one of the businesses you invested in, we sell here at the Ellen Shop, The Comfy. Yes, of course. The Comfy turned out to be probably one of the most successful things you've done. It is the most successful business I've invested in. These two guys came out with a crazy jingle, they had one prototype in their hand, and they said they wanted to sell it. They didn't know where they were going to sell it. They didn't know what the price was. They knew nothing. But these two guys, there was something about them that I loved. And I invested and they went from zero to $600 million in 4 years. [APPLAUSE] Unbelievable. All right, we're going to take a break, and then Barbara's going to give some advice to some of our audience members. We'll be back. You have this podcast, Business Unusual and-- tell everybody about that. Well, everybody's good at something. I happen to be very good at answering questions, and I'm giving the kind of advice that people won't get from anybody else. And I have a way of moving people ahead, and that's my joy in the podcast. And I have an 888-Barbara number so people phone in whatever question, from the boardroom to the bedroom, whenever they want, middle of the night, I get millions of questions. And you read every single one of them, you hear every one of them. I read every one, I don't have an answer for everyone. Almost, yeah. All right, so our audience has some good questions. So we picked a few. Andy is going to start. Hi. Yes. We have to find you first. Oh my gosh! Hi. Wow. You're Barbara from Shark Tank, and you're Ellen DeGeneres. I'm Jacki. Hey. Hi. [LAUGHTER] And you're Jacki. All right. That's me. OK, cool. I have a question. So, Barbara-- Yes. --where should someone start when creating a budget for the first time? Well, you're so young. It's nice that you're asking that question. All the budget is, is what's coming in, and what's going out. So you should sit down make a list of everything that you have going out, and that's looking at your credit cards, it's not fun but you got to do it. And then make a list of everything that you have coming in, which is your income, and what your expenses are. But there's one thing that's more important than any budget, and that is you've got to give yourself a budget for mad money. Something to do for yourself that's going to make you feel like a million bucks, even if it costs 10 bucks. Because you won't stick with a budget, unless you have an item called mad money in my book. And my mother used to give my dad $10 a week and say, spend it on what the hell you want. And want to know something, that's how she kept him in line her whole life. Oh, wow. Well, more than $10 now, but-- [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] Thank you Jackie. Hailey Goldhammer? Hi. Yes. Hi. What you-- Hi, ladies. Hi. So my question is I've been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, and next year school, my girls will be in school. So is it too late to start a career? Where do I start? How do I find a path for me? First of all, you have a head start because you're a hard worker. Anybody who's juggling jobs and juggling a family is a hard worker, and that ain't going to change. What you should do is sit down, list every little stupid job you've had, as unimportant as it might seem, and put right next to the job what you like best about that job. There's got to be something in every job you liked and something you hated. Take the list of what you liked and see what occupations apply to you. What gives you those things that you like to do? Everybody's good at different stuff. That'll give you a reading on what you're good at. OK, thank you. Great. Great advice. [APPLAUSE] All right, Korynn Pope. Hi, Korynn. Hi. Hi, Ellen. Hi, Barbara Hi. HI. Hi, what you-- Oh sorry. I'm currently a graduating senior at San Diego State, and I wanted to know what advice do you have for upcoming graduates. You picked the lucky year. You are so lucky. They're going to be more jobs created for your graduating class than any other class in the last 15 years, and you know why? Because everybody's been holding back, and we're going to make up for lost time. You're going to have an embarrassment of riches. Thank you so much. I also want to suggest to you that don't believe the usual stuff out there that you should build your resume and hang on to a job for a year or two. The idea is to try on as many jobs as you can so you could find out who you are. Because nobody walks into a department store knows what dress they look good when they try stuff on, right? And make sure you pick a good boss, because you don't have a good boss he'll make you miserable and won't get behind you. If you have a good boss, you got a guy on your back or a woman on your back that's pushing for you. Excellent. Excellent. [APPLAUSE] Thank you so much. You're as amazing as I thought you'd be. You can find Barbara on ABC's Shark Tank and listen to her podcast called Business Unusual on Apple Podcasts. We'll be back.

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