Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank would totally sleep with her fellow Shark Mark Cuban.

There, did I get your attention? It worked on Reddit, too, where Corcoran recently did an impressively candid and interesting "Ask Me Anything" feature. Sure, she gave some interesting, straightforward advice about starting a business or getting the Sharks to invest on Shark Tank, but that was only after setting the tone.

A Redditor called SirT6 asked Corcoran, 66, about her relationship with fellow Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec--basically asking her to play the KFM game. Maybe you remember this from high school; he asked her which Shark she'd want to kill, which she'd want to marry, which she'd want to do business with, and which she'd want to--well, I try to keep this column PG-13 at the worst, so let's paraphrase and say, sleep with.

Corcoran picked up the gauntlet.

"Sleep with Mark Cuban any day--and do business between the sheets," she answered. "From what he looks like in a suit, I'm sure I wouldn't be disappointed. Like everybody else, I'd like to kill Kevin on a daily basis for all the right reasons. ... Did I get off topic?"

"Damn, you're like one of those awesome ladies in movies where some punk teenager says some type of crude or sexual remark but you retort with a witty reply and leave him speechless," a Redditor replied. (There were actually a lot of replies like that.)

Before I go any further, a little quick exposition on Shark Tank. I'm sort of obsessed with the show, to the point that I studied every single pitch made during the first five seasons. And I know that Corcoran and her fellow Sharks have their public personas down pat. Still, here are 17 extraordinarily candid observations and revelations from Corcoran's AMA:

1. On how she got the first $1,000 she needed to start her real estate business ...

"Easy. A guy walked into the diner, while I was waitressing, gave me a ride home that night ... and the rest is history."

2. On what she'd do differently if she were starting over today ...

"I would have slept with my boyfriend sooner rather than waiting six months. I could have gotten my hands on that $1,000 earlier and been off and running."

3. On how she feels about entrepreneurs who are clearly on the show only for the publicity, and not because they seriously want the Sharks as investors...

"That stuff happens all the time, and it never bothers me. Put yourself in their shoes: A producer calls and says, 'How'd you like to be on primetime TV with eight million people watching you?' Who in their right mind would say no?"

4. On how much she knows about Shark Tank contestants ahead of time ...

"Every time the doors open, I say to myself, 'I wonder what we have here...?' We don't know a thing until they step into the tank."

5. On the biggest mistakes that small businesses make ...

"Pissing away money on patents and PR. The right dance steps are: 1) make the product, 2) get some sales, 3) make the big guys envy you, and only then get a patent. But what gets in the way of all young business is self-doubt. The little poisonous voice inside all of us that whispers 'don't go there. You can't do it. Don't take the chance.' It took me 20 years to kill that voice and set myself free."

6. On how many deals actually get done on the show, and how long she plans to stick around on it ...

This one was interesting to me in light of my analysis of Shark Tank contestants. The short version is that the "deal or no deal" percentage, so to speak, was very close to 50 percent. However, we don't know how many entrepreneurs apply to be on the show to begin with, or what percentage of agreed-upon deals on the show actually close after due diligence and additional negotiations. Anyway, Corcoran gave some data on that second question: "Roughly 65% get closed."

7. On how to know whether you're in her good graces as an entrepreneur once she's invested in you ...

"I work diligently with every business, but the minute I spot an unsuccessful entrepreneur in my lot, I turn his photo upside down in my office to remind me not to spend anymore time with him. So I always have room for a new, great entrepreneur."

8. On her best and worst investments on the show ...

"I won't even mention my least successful, because they're suing me for outing them last time! But clearly, my most successful are Cousins Maine Lobster. Because they're making me the most money, they're the smartest guys in the bunch and they're damn good looking. Even better, they have the common decency to airbrush photos of us together--my face only--before they send them to me."

(Murphy notes: A little sleuthing, and I think I've got the "least successful" deal she mentioned, from a 2012 interview: "My worst was investing in a fast-talking cowboy selling exercise equipment who needed to lose 50 pounds. Instead, he lost my $50,000.")

9. On what books you should read before becoming an entrepreneur ...

"You shouldn't be reading any books before venturing out. Get out there now and then read them as you're working. Still, the best business book I've ever read is How to Win Friends and Influence People. Nothing better."

10. On the deal she wishes she'd made but didn't from Shark Tank ...

"Notehall took my offer, and then the two young guys shopped it around for a larger offer. And they sold the company, by year-end, for $10 million. I regret not stuffing both of them in my luggage until the deal got signed."

11. On her academic and educational background ...

"I achieved impressive straight D's in high school," Corcoran said in her introduction, adding later, "The great thing about being a stupid student is you have the whole damn day to daydream. And daydreaming, about who you want to be, is a heck of a lot more useful than a rock-solid business plan."

12. On what happens to your life when you become independently wealthy ...

"Wealth complicates things. I'm not really sure who my real friends are now ... and so I keep my original circle small. When I cashed out on my business, everybody I knew suddenly had a $10,000 problem. But I'm not giving the money back."

13. On her morning routine ...

"I have a genius kid on my team who helps me with all of the businesses. But the real key to doing a lot at once, and doing it well, is figuring out every morning what your priorities for the day really are, as there are very few. The items I attend to first are the ones that answer well to the query, How dramatically would this affect my business?"

14. On the No. 1 personality trait that stops people from being successful ...

"Fear. The fear of failure. The real question is ... what makes you fearful of failing? It's usually lack of self-esteem (or your parents did a number on you)."

15. On what you should invest in if you had $10,000 lying around ...

"That's a ridiculous question. The only thing worth investing in is yourself. And so the real question is ... what do you feel passionate about? Is there an angle you could work that would make you some money?"

16. On her first experience as an entrepreneur ...

My first business failed miserably. It was a flower of the week club, for only $3.95 a week. I would later build my very successful real estate business. Ironically, the guy who put me out of my first flower business was none other than a real estate broker. He owed me 47 weeks of flowers for both him and his mom--at $3.95 a week! I had a cash flow problem and went under."

17. On the most important thing she looks for when evaluating a business, after sales and profit ...

"The head of the company has to be able to sell. You need a salesman at the helm. Because if he can't sell the product or service, who can?"

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How to Get on Shark Tank
Published on: Jun 25, 2015