She really needs no introduction! I met Barbara at an event years ago and then to my absolute shock and delight she reposted a video of mine on her TikTok last month- so flattered! So of course I seized the opportunity and asked her for an interview and she said yes! Double flattered, haha! You likely know her name from Shark Tank, but she’s done A LOT more than that. She’s an Entrepreneur, Author, Investor, Real Estate Mogul and more… But above all, a pioneer for women in the workplace! As an Entrepreneur myself, this was a major ‘pinch me’ moment to have her contribute to this feature. So let’s hear it Barbara!
LA: What is one interesting thing people may not know about your career?
B: I had 22 jobs before I started my career in real estate. It wasn’t on my radar until my boyfriend at the time pushed me in that direction! He told me I’d be really good at real estate sales, and of course I believed him.
He offered $1,000 to start my new business and the rest is history!
The boyfriend didn’t work out, but the business did.
LA: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?
B: I blew my first big profit of $75k on an exciting new idea I called “Homes on Tape.” I put all our listings on video tape so that people could view them from the comfort of their own Lay-Z Boy chair. It was a huge flop! My agents were afraid they’d lose a client to another agent if they saw someone else they liked on tape. So no one wanted to hand out the tapes!
I cried in my soup for a day then decided to pick up the pieces. I had heard about this new government thing called “the Internet” that my Navy Captain husband Bill was using to play war games in real time. I decided to register my URL and put the videos online, and we sold 2 apartments to new customers out of London within a week! I also registered all of my competitors’ URLs so I would know when they caught on to this new Internet trend! It was one of the pivotal moments in my career that taught me how to bounce back from failure.
LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?
B: There are lots of things that I’m proud of professionally, but I have to say I’m most proud of my kids. Tom and Kate, and my daughter-in-law, Lia. They are my bread and butter.
LA: One thing you wish people would stop doing in business?
B: I wish people would stop using “fancy talk”. That’s what I call business jargon. It’s incredibly annoying when an entrepreneur walks into the Tank using buzzwords and I can’t figure out what they’re even talking about. You don’t have to “speak business” to be able to sell your business.
LA: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)
B: A crisp cold glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!