How To Touch A Shark... (Without Loosing Your Hand)

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We were doing some social mining and analyse the other day over at the SchenkOrg office when one of the teenagers from one of the employees came in. She was going to hang out with her mom for a little while till they could ride home together.
So in the fashion of most teenagers today she pulled out a Kindle (that she told us she got last year for Christmas) hooked up to our wireless and started streaming an episode of Shark Tank from Hulu.
Some people were surprised that is 13 year old girl would be watching Shark Tank. I thought it was cool, because I love the show as well, but I could see how some people would think that would be a little odd when they would think she would probably be more into Supernatural or some other show on the C.W.
So I asked her what she liked most about the show. She said that she liked to watch people bring their ideas before the Sharks and then watch them try to sell their ideas to these people who were already multimillionaires in business.
She said she also liked to watch how quickly the Sharks make a decision and how quickly they knew if this is something they wanted to do or not and that they weren't afraid to tell them point blank to their face that they "were out" or not interested.
Then she said I'd love to talk to some of these Shark's but they are multimillionaires and they would never talk to someone like me.

I told her that I think she is wrong on thinking that and that she might be surprised at how easy it could be to have a conversation with a Shark if she knew where they hung out.
She gave me this look "like OK old man, you are just talking out the side of your neck again." Where could I possible go to meet a Shark from the Shark Tank and why would they ever talk to me.
I told her let me show you some information and some social mining data we've been working on here at SchenkOrg and let's see if we can't figure out the best place for an unknown to meet a Shark.
So first let's give some background for those who don't know anything about the Shark Tank and who the Sharks are.

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The SharkTank TV show is about:
"Budding entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their dreams to fruition in this reality show from executive producer Mark Burnett . They present their ideas to the sharks in the tank -- titans of industry who made their own dreams a reality and turned their ideas into lucrative empires. The contestants try to convince any one of the sharks to invest money in their idea. When more than one of the sharks decide they want a piece of the action, a bidding war can erupt, driving up the price of the investment."

The Sharks on the show are:

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Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban was an entrepreneur from the early age of 12, when he sold garbage bags door-to-door. Today, Mark is the highly successful entrepreneur and investor who founded HDNet, and MicroSolutions. He has also been an investor in startups, including Mahalo,,,, Naked Pizza and

Named a winner of the GQ "Men of the Year" in 2006 and included in the NewYork Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas," Mark is recognized as being among the most influential people in both the cable and sports industries.

Mark may be best known for his purchase of the Dallas Mavericks on January 4, 2000. Under his leadership, the team's home games have become a total entertainment experience. Despite initial criticism, he added much more to the usual game-day experience by introducing original video content, advanced technology and unique entertainment options like the Mavericks ManiAACs. His successful efforts have brought a sense of pride and passion to the fans.

Prior to his purchase of the Mavericks, Mark co-founded, the leading provider of multimedia and streaming on the Internet. was sold to Yahoo! Inc. in July 1999. MicroSolutions, a leading national systems integrator, was co-founded by Mark and partner Martin Woodall in 1983 and later sold to CompuServe.

"I'm just a lean, mean shark machine, baby!"

Currently, Mark is the owner and chairman of HDNet. HDNet and its sister network, HDNet Movies, are one of the few remaining independently owned and operated TV Networks in the U.S. and the first in the world to be programmed exclusively in high definition. Mark takes personal responsibility for the programming on both networks, creating a unique schedule of creative and original programs. Behind his leadership and that of his co-founder, Philip Garvin, HDNet continues to outperform networks owned by much larger corporations and those with much greater distribution.

Mark also co-owns the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures and Magnolia Home Video along with partner Todd Wagner. With the release of the movie Bubble in 2005, Magnolia and Landmark Theaters pioneered the release of the movie's "day and date," meaning the movie was released in theaters, on TV (HDNet Movies) and on DVD all on the same day. Taking this process one step further, Mark created the "Ultra VOD" platform for movies, releasing movies to video-on-demand on both cable and satellite up to four weeks prior to their release in theaters.

Mark Cuban is used to riding the waves of success so he should be right at home swimming with the Sharks!

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Barbara Corcoran
This big bucks self-starter's credentials include straight D's in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she'd turned 23. Don't believe us?

Now what would you say if we told you it was Barbara Corcoran's next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country, when she borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City?

Over the next 25 years, she'd parlay that $1,000 loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business and the largest and best known brand in the industry.

"If I could set a world record, it would be that I have 150 business partners, all with thriving businesses of their own that started with nothing and I made the difference to make them all billionaires."

As a speaker, Barbara brings her front-lines experience and infectious energy to each person in the audience. They laugh, cry and learn how to become more successful. Motivational, inspirational and sometimes outrageous, Barbara Corcoran's tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a refreshing approach to success.

The author of IfYou Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails, an unlikely business book that has become a national best-seller, Barbara credits her struggles in school and her mother's kitchen-table wisdom for her innovation and huge success in the business world. The book is a fresh, frank look at how to succeed in life and business, and is as heartwarming as it is smart and motivating.

"Don't you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct."

Barbara is the popular real estate contributor for the TodayShow and CNBC. She writes a weekly real estate column for the Daily News and monthly columns for MOREMagazine and Redbook. In 2008, she released her second book, Nextville:Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life, to great reviews.

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Lori Greiner
Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. She is now regarded as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products, having created over 400 products, and holds 120 U.S. and international patents. A well-known celebrity personality on QVC-TV, Greiner has hosted her own show, Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner, for over 16 years.

Greiner's cleverly designed products cover a large range, as she is constantly adding new items. From kitchen tools, travel bags and unique accessories to must-have organizers for the home, her products are enjoyed by men and women alike. She is known for creating some of the most popular jewelry and cosmetic organizers of her time. Her inspiration comes from her passion to bring happiness to people by making their everyday lives easier. Her products are sold on QVC and in retailers across the U.S. and in Europe.

"I can sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in minutes, not months."

Greiner's accomplishments come from her sharp instincts and strong business sense. She handles the legal and patent processes, and drives her business to the success it has achieved. An expert on patenting and a guest speaker for the United States Patent & Trademark Office, she is hands-on in all facets of taking a product from concept to creation and to market within months. She has also helped many budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into hit products. At the heart of her own success lie talent, hard work and perseverance, as well as sincere, energetic on-air appeal.

Greiner's collection of over 400-plus products are regularly featured in top magazines like Town & Country, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman's Day, Family Circle and InStyle. She has also been profiled in Financial Times, Forbes, Success, and on CNBC and Bloomberg. Her Initial Silver Safekeeper was chosen as one of Oprah's favorite things.

"I can tell instantly if a product is a hero or a zero."

A great believer that, if you are lucky enough to be successful, you have a responsibility to give back, Greiner's most gratifying moments come when she is able to help budding entrepreneurs achieve the same success she feels lucky enough to have enjoyed. She also believes that what matters most in life is who a person is and what is in their soul. She and her company annually donate a substantial amount of their profits to a variety of charities.

Greiner's all-American success story is refreshing in today's challenging economy. Her inventions address the everyday needs of a wide-range of people, and her affordable pricing makes her products accessible, allowing her to spread her enthusiasm for problem-solving to millions.

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Robert Herjavec
We all know the dot-com industry has had its ups and downs over the past decade. But here's a guy who continually manages to bracket the boom with dollar signs!

Robert Herjavec has lived the classic "rags to riches" story. The son of Croatian immigrants, he earned his incredible wealth by overcoming the odds with pure hard work and intuition. He remembers how his mother, who could barely speak English, lost the family savings to a smooth-talking vacuum salesman. Since then, Robert vowed he would never let his family be taken advantage of again.

"If you're emotional and you're great at something, the money will follow."

In the early '90s, Robert eked out a living waiting tables at a posh Yorkville restaurant. During the initial stages of the dot com craze, he realized that technology was the ticket to serious money.

"Don't ever be enamored by what something sells for. It's more important what you get to keep in your pocket."

By night, he launched BRAK systems, his first technology company, which is now worth a reported $100 million dollars. He sold his company to AT&T in 2000, but that was only the start. Robert then helped negotiate the sale of another technology company to Nokia for $225 million. Instead of retiring with his cash, he now heads The HerjavecGroup, a leading IT security and infrastructure integration firm.

His palatial 50,000 square foot Bridle Path mansion hosts luminaries like Michael Bublé and Mick Jagger. For thrills, Robert jets to a private island near Miami or cruises Yorkville in one of his many luxury cars.

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Daymond John
Here's a true entrepreneur who keeps us dressed to the nines while we play hard on both field and walk down the path of life. Daymond John's creative vision helped revolutionize the sportswear industry in the 1990s. As founder, president and chief executive officer of FUBU—“ForUs, By Us”—Daymond created distinctive and fashionable sportswear and a host of other related gear. FUBU's phenomenal success made mainstream apparel companies realize the potential for fashionable sportswear that appeals not just to trendsetting urban youth, but to mainstream teens as well.

Daymond was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn but spent his childhood in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens during the 1970s. An only child, he grew up in a single-parent household headed by his mother, who was a flight attendant for American Airlines but often held more than one job. His first foray into the apparel market came when he wanted a tie-top hat and was put off by the price. Daymond asked his mother to teach him how to use a sewing machine, and he began making the distinctive tie-top hats in the morning and then selling them on the streets of Queens in the evening hours.

"My first celebrity crush had to have been Foxy Brown...with the big afro."

One day in 1992, he and his friend sold $800 worth of hats and realized their ideas had definite potential. They created a distinctive logo and began sewing the FUBU logo on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Daymond lured some longtime friends into the business and asked old neighborhood friend, L.L. Cool J., to wear a t-shirt in a photograph for a FUBU promotional campaign in 1993. Daymond and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for the $100,000 in start-up capital. Even more amazingly, she then moved out so the quartet could use the home as a makeshift factory and office space.

FUBU officially emerged in 1994 when Daymond and his partners traveled to an industry trade show in Las Vegas. Buyers liked the distinctively cut, vibrantly colored sportswear, and Daymond and his partners returned to Queens with $300,000 worth of orders. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy's, and they began expanding their line to include jeans and outerwear. A distribution deal with Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung allowed their designs to be manufactured and delivered on a massive scale.

"If you do counter, I will counter."

As CEO and president, Daymond guided FUBU to a staggering $350 million in revenues in 1998, placing it in the same stratosphere as such designer sportswear labels as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger. Over the last 16 years, Daymond has evolved into more than a fashion mogul. In 2007 the street-smart businessman penned his first book, Displayof Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding &Lifestyle, which was named one of the best business books of 2007 by the Library Journal.

Known as the "Godfather of Urban Fashion," Daymond is regarded as one of the most sought-after branding experts and keynote speakers in fashion and business today. With multiple business ventures on his resume, Daymond can be seen sharing his knowledge and business genius on numerous business and entertainment television programs.

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Kevin O'Leary
We think this guy is opinionated and ruthless, hungers for big deals and loves to take control—yet he made his millions helping children learn how to read. Kevin O'Leary's success story starts where most entrepreneurs begin: with a big idea and zero cash. From his basement, he launched SoftKey Software Products. As sales took off, Kevin moved to headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts and went on an industry consolidating acquisition binge.

From 1995 to 1999 he bought out almost every one of his software competitors, including Mindscape, Broderbund and the Learning Company in the industry's first vicious public hostile battle. Shareholders loved his take-no-prisoners, cost-cutting style and fueled him with billions to do his deals.

"Here's how I think of my money: As soldiers. I send them out to war everyday. I want them to take prisoners and come home, so there's more of them."

In 1999 Kevin sold his company to the Mattel Toy Company for a staggering 3.7 billion dollars, one of the largest deals ever done in the consumer software industry. To keep his money working hard, he took control of his wealth from his lackluster money managers and founded his own mutual fund company, O'Leary Funds. He raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors who share his "get paid while you wait" yield oriented, value investing philosophy. He shares his tips and tribulations with a national television audience and turns The Street upside down in the process.

"Don't cry about money, it never cries for you."

As a self-proclaimed "Eco-preneur," Kevin looks hardest for investments that make money - and are environmentally friendly. When he's not squeezing the market from his office in West Palm Beach, he travels the world looking for new opportunities to deploy his capital. He is a founding investor and director of Stream Global, an international business outsourcing company. He is on the investment committee of Boston's prestigious 200-year-old Hamilton Trust, and is the chairman of O'Leary Funds. He also serves on the executive board of The Richard Ivey School of Business.

Kevin escapes on weekends with his family to his luxurious cottage that spreads over prime Canadian wilderness on the shore of an ancient glacial lake.

So now that we know what the show is about and who the players are let's dig deeper in the Sharks and let's see if we can figure out where would be the best place to meet them and interact with them.

So we started doing some social mining on each of the Sharks. From a social stand point here is the information we uncovered.

Mark Cuban:

Twitter: 3.96 million followers, He follows 973 people currently.
Facebook: 1.1 million likes on his page currently.
Instagram: 349 thousand followers, He follows 98 people on Instgram currently.
Google +: 1.3 million followers currently.
Pinterest: 1.9 thousand followers, He follows 7 people on Pinterest currently.

Barbara Corcoran:

Twitter: 392 thousand followers, She follow 349 people currently.
Facebook: 289 thousand likes on her page currently.

Lori Greiner:

Twitter: 742 thousand followers, She follows 574 people currently.
Facebook: 1.1 million likes on her page currently.

Robert Herjavec:

Twitter: 466 thousand followers, He follows 146 people currently.
LinkedIn: 500+ connections currently.

Daymond Jon:

Twitter: 407 thousand followers, He follows 681 people currently.
Facebook: 302 thousand likes on his page currently.

Kevin O'Leary:
Twitter: 447 thousand followers, He follows 774 people currently.
Facebook: 68 thousand likes on his page currently.

With this information we can derive a few things:

For the people who think Twitter is a fad or going to go away anytime soon, You are just plain wrong. 

Twitter is the only social network that all of these Sharks have in common.

With a total of over 6.4 million followers and growing, these Sharks use Twitter and they understand the power of this social network.

So your easiest network to try and reach a Shark would be using Twitter. Twitter is not a social network for the passive so in order for people to get a lot of followers (which these sharks have) you have to interact with people and grow your community.

But let's take it one step further and look at each Shark individually maybe you are only interested in reaching out and talking with one of the Sharks.

Kevin O'Leary:

The least favorite Shark according to our analyse is Kevin O'Leary.

I know big surprise there, anyone who watches the show knows Kevin can be not so nice at times, but I think it's also important to remember that Kevin is there for one thing and one thing only and that is to put his money to work so it can bring him more money. 

And frankly as Kevin has said this many times himself he really doesn't care if you like him or not.

Strategy: With this being said probably the best way for you to have a conversation with Kevin would be either over Facebook or probably his personal email.

Daymond John:

To reach out to Daymond you'd probably have the best luck on Twitter. 

Strategy: Get to know Daymond's friends and their group of friends and work your way up to a conversation with Daymond.

Robert Herjavec:

To reach out to Robert your best bet would probably be on LinkedIn. 

Strategy: Follow Robert as an "Influencer" and get an introduction to Robert via someone in his 1st or 2nd level of connections. He is also quit active on Twitter and if you share a love for any of his passions such as race car driving that might be another way you could have a conversation with Robert.

Lori Greiner:

To reach out to Lori you would probably do the best on Facebook. 

Strategy: She is very active on Facebook and she is constantly releasing good content. This is also a very visual platform and its probably easier for the inventor in Lori to share her ideas and concepts with people in a very visual way. Check out what kind of groups Lori belongs to and if they interest you join the group. Contribute to the group and share great content and you might just land yourself a conversation with Lori.

Barbara Corcoran:

To reach out to Barbara your best bet would be either on Twitter or her own website. 

Strategy: I've reached out to Barbara before myself on Twitter and have had a brief conversation with her. She is a great lady and she is very interactive so that is why I think Twitter is a great social network for Barbara. I also know that she is very active with her website and she is constantly keeping it up to date and putting new content and information out on her site. Leave a comment on her site or fill out her "Contact Me" page Barbara is a hard core Real Estate women first and foremost so she is used to making contact with people and following up to make sure things get done. I'd try those ideas if I wanted to have a conversation with Barbara.

Mark Cuban:

To reach out to Mark Cuban your best entry point would probably be Instagram.  
Strategy: On this platform it is very easy to follow someone and it's also very easy to leave comments on the pictures they post. If you are one of the first 3 people to leave a comment on one of Mark's pictures you can almost be guaranteed that he will see and read your message. Also if you were to post pictures of things that interest Mark such as basketball, sports or tech you might be surprised that he would leave you a comment on your picture. Then you could take that opportunity to start a conversation with Mark.


So there you have it, it took some time to write this all out and it went a lot faster in the office but as we broke this down for this young lady you could see the lights start to go on in her mind.  

What a beautiful sight that is when you can see the lights of inspiration start to glow inside of someone else.

But also on top of that it was great that now she knows and understands what her mom does, and what our team is doing at SchenkOrg.

She got to experience first hand how we enjoy sharing our information, strategies, and insights with others.  What a great experience it was not only for her, but for all of us.

Who knows, she doesn't have many years left until she graduates, and maybe she will want to come and work along side her mom and do some amazing things.

*If this post brought you value please leave us a comment below and please feel free to share this post with your friends. 

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