Kevin Harrington, one of the Original Sharks, wants to be your 'Shark' too. He wants you to put into practice a secret shared by generations of Japanese fishermen for bringing fish back to shore as fresh as when caught in the deep sea. They put a shark in their fish hold. The small shark keeps the fish moving, energetic and fresh. Of course there might be a few sacrificed and eaten, but selling the freshest sushi or launching the hottest product is worth the loss.
Many investor sharks have the philosophy that they bet on the jockey and not the horse. In this metaphor, you would bet on the fisherman and not the fish. According to Kevin, his philosophy is contrary, "In the early days of Shark Tank, I gave money to a jockey and didn't surround them with a dream team. If they didn't have a team, they went through the money." By getting in an entrepreneur's business tank with the perfect team, "a perfect trainer...a perfect everything, I can help the jockey win the race."
Through an unusual IndieGogo crowdfunded book launch for Putting a Shark in Your Tank: Actionable Steps to Business Success managed by Brandon T. Adams, inventor and host of the popular University of Young Entrepreneurs Podcast, Kevin Harrington is offering you an opportunity to put him in your tank. He wants you to "harness the fresh ideas that come from being pushed in the right direction."
The real question is will getting a shark in your tank, especially if your tank is small, put you into a cycle of activity versus achievement? Here are three of the right reasons to put a shark in your tank and two reasons you might end up lunch.
Put a Shark in Your Tank...
When you don't have experience to know what not to do
Bringing in the right resources are business accelerators and insurance policies against the risk of rookie errors. If building a business or putting in a delivery and logistics plan is not your core competence, then getting a dream team from your shark is an ideal way to go. This shouldn't be your only reason because you can hire experts yourself and avoid losing a piece of your company.
Because you need a successful 'Rolodex'
Too often in business, it's not the 'what' but the 'who' that leads to success. This is especially true when you want to get on a retail shelf or get on television. Who you know is a powerful accelerator and the perfect reason to put a shark in your tank.
If you want the power of association
The power of association with success is exactly why Brandon Adams was driven to get Kevin Harrington to keynote his Young Entrepreneur Convention. He knew someone like Kevin would tip the scales and sell out his event. It did. The more interesting part of this story is that Brandon was able to bring his own expertise, crowd-fundraising to the tank as well. By freely offering up his knowledge about on-line fundraising to Kevin, Brandon not only got a powerful association for his event, but got a collaborative project launching the book as well.
Skip the Tank When...
There are too many fish in the tank
When there are too many other entrepreneurs in a tank, there is the high likelihood that you won't get the mentorship attention you need. There might a dilution of shared resources or a systemization that forces all ventures into a on-size-fits-all solution. Plus there is a higher acceptance for failure and loss. Many investment groups only have a 10% success rate and expect 90% of their ventures to fail. Odds are you will be lunch.
You know you need the opportunity to learn (even if you fail)
So many business success stories, just like Kevin's and Brandon's, include a tale of bootstrapping and failure before phenomenal success. There is a significant power in the opportunity to fail and learn the path to success. Those that don't fail have trouble replicating their success again. Fear of failure and eagerness to learn is a natural power that can chase you without taking a bite of your company.