Today’s Illustration: An Interview With One Of The Most Successful Woman – And Here Is What She Said About Her Success . . . .

When: May 14, 2021

Where: Interview with Neal Freyman, managing editor of Morning Brew

Who: Barbara Corcoran

  • Born March 10, 1949
  • Edgewater, New Jersey
  • Second of ten children.
  • Married to Bill Higgins, former FBI agent
  • Two Children – Tom & Katie (adopted)
  • Graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Founded The Corcoran Group
  • Published The Corcoran Report in the ’70s
  • Sold her company for 66 million.
  • “In 2019, for her 70th birthday, she held a mock funeral.” [2]
  • She says dyslexia made her a millionaire. [3]
  • Member of “Shark Tank”

What:  Here are some interesting points made by one of the most successful women in business.

  • What is the most frequent reason you’re “out” on a company on Shark Tank?

A guy founder who doesn’t make eye contact with me or the women on the set. It happens more than you think. They want a guy as a partner and that’s where it ends—and you can tell right away when they stand on that set.

Are they simply intimidated?

Yes, but even when they’re not making eye contact because they’re intimidated I’m out right away. And I’m out for a good reason: Because building a business takes a lot of on-the-spot pressure, fast-on-your-feet kind of thinking. You have to be able to perform under pressure. And I see right away this person is going to fold under pressure.

I will tell you the reverse of it, by the way. When people are good with their eye contact, even if after a while they have to look down when they start getting scared, but when they initially get out there and make good eye contact, they’re always good entrepreneurs. If they’re really strong with the eyes…boom! I feel like I’m looking right into their soul.

And I bet if you ask yourself about who you’ve interviewed, you’ve never hired someone with bad eye contact.” [1]

  • I’ve heard people say that the most successful business people are the ones who respond right away no matter how busy they are, and that’s an indicator of an effective leader. Do you think that’s true?

I think there’s truth in it because I know one exceptional individual who epitomizes that, and that’s Mark Cuban. When I first started working with Mark I hardly knew him, and on the set of Shark Tank when he jumped in the van with me I thought he was a bellhop, so I asked him to carry my bags. Next thing I knew I was sitting next to him on set.

But you could be a nobody, you could be his associate, if you have his number and you text him, he answers. I almost picture him staring at his phone all day, but he’s an enormously successful, accomplished individual so it can’t be true. [1]

  • “When you’re labeled the ‘dumb kid’ by your classmates, you develop empathy & kindness towards others because you need it shown to you. . . . . People trust a kind person, and if they trust you, they’ll follow you.” [3]
  • My teachers and classmates constantly calling me dumb only made me more determined to prove myself . . . . I worked harder than anyone to overcome my ‘weakness,’ and it’s a large part of my success.” [3]
  • He Mom: “She had 10 kids. I never saw her sleep, I never saw her lay down. I didn’t even know when she slept,” she says. Florence was the person who showed Corcoran the true meaning of efficiency. She carted 10 kids around in a Blue Chevy station wagon by “putting all the seats down and using it like a flatbed truck,” Corcoran says and laughs. Her mom saw the good in everyone, and she always pointed out those positive qualities so that Corcoran and her siblings would see them too. Today, Corcoran says she can immediately spot someone’s special gift, a skill that has helped her hire, place, and, more important, retain employees. “You give someone a sincere compliment about what their great gift is and they will always measure up,” she says.

    Corcoran (top, third from left) was the second of 10 children in a household with an unsteady income. She got her work ethic from her indefatigable mother, Florence, and a competitive fury against sexism from hearing her father, Ed, talk down to his wife.  inline image

    Corcoran (top, third from left) was the second of 10 children in a household with an unsteady income. She got her work ethic from her indefatigable mother, Florence, and a competitive fury against sexism from hearing her father, Ed, talk down to his wife.

    Her mom is also the reason she won’t suffer complainers–the only type of employee Corcoran will warn just once before firing. She would keep an employee who had lied to her (and admitted it) before she would keep a whiner. “Complainers see life through a negative lens,” says Corcoran. “They don’t fix anything.” [4]


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

  • kindness
  • empathy
  • traits
  • fruits of the Spirit
  • weakness
  • success
  • education
  • trust
  • leadership
  • caring / responding right away


Sermonic Example:

(use whatever information from above you find useful)

. . . .  She said . . . “empathy & kindness – – – – because you need it shown to you.”  It doesn’t take the Scriptures to realize that truth, even those who profess no relationship with our Lord can come to that understanding.  She learned it by its absence in her life!



Other Information & Links:





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