Exclusive Interview: Lori Greiner, The Latest Sharkette on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’


Do you have an idea of a product or business that can revolutionize the world as we know it but you don’t know where to start?

If so, I have two pieces of advice for you:

– Watch Shark Tank: At the first chance you get, you must start watching Shark Tank on ABC where budding entrepreneurs coming in front of group of investors, aka Sharks, to pitch their businesses or products for investment.

– Read This Article: You must read what QVC personality, prolific inventor and successful entrepreneur Lori Greiner had to stay about about her most recent stint as a guest Shark on the series. During a very interesting chat with TV Equals, She has some fantastic insights into what it takes to make a great pitch and also be successful in a challenging economic environment.

Check out her interview below and don’t forget to tune in to watch the latest episode of Shark Tank which airs tonight at 8/7c on ABC. (Note: At the end of the interview, there is a must watch Shark Tank video featuring Lori Greiner)

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It must be very exciting to join the Sharks this season. How did that opportunity come about?

Lori Greiner: Well, I had met with Mark Burnett (Executive Producer of Shark Tank) before and he thought that I would be a perfect fit as a shark. Then I met with everybody else and they agreed and that’s how it came about.

Had you actually watched the show before?

Lori Greiner: I had watched the show before and I had talked with Mark a couple of years ago, too. I’m perfect to be a shark. I am self-made, have been an entrepreneur. I started with one product and turned that into three hundred and fifty products that I created. I have a hundred and ten patents and have grown in to a large, multi, international brand. I also have manufacturing abilities all around the world and can turn around products very quickly. So, I think that being a Shark and knowing what is a great product or a great business and then how to make that happen, helping others achieve their dream is a natural thing for me. It’s what I do everyday and what I’ve been doing for years already.

I’m sure you had expectations about the show before you started. How did those expectations match up with reality? Were the Sharks nicer than you expected? Did the pitches have a different feel?

Lori Greiner: I truly did not walk in with a certain expectation. I walked in excited to be a part of the show and to be a Shark and to see what items were going to come before us. I think that I was very pleasantly greeted by everybody and everybody on the set was fabulous. The other Sharks, while tough negotiators, I think are all great people. I found them all very interesting and nice, great to work with as was the whole crew and cast and producers. So, I think that I just was so happy with the entire experience. It was a really wonderful experience for me. And then my entrepreneurs that I made my deals with were wonderful and I’ve already made several of them very successful since we shot. I think that they’re very happy, too. So, it’s been a very gratifying experience for me, that I would be able to help them achieve success so quickly.

Are there certain qualities that you look for in an entrepreneur or in a specific pitch?

Lori Greiner: Well, I go with my gut. I think that I have a good pulse on what people are going to want, what’s going to work after doing this for fifteen plus years. I look for elements. If it’s a product or a business I look at it in terms of whether or not I think it’s something that a large majority of people want and need. I also look at the entrepreneur to see whether or not they would be a good partner that I would enjoy working with that would be a good business partner for me.

How would you differentiate yourself from all the other Sharks?

Lori Greiner: I’m self-made and I started with one product and built that up into a very large brand and a lot of products. I think that I have expertise in manufacturing and making products and business come to life. I think that I also care a lot about helping other entrepreneurs achieve the American dream that I have. It’s an important thing to me personally. I think if you’re lucky enough to be successful, you have a responsibility to give back. So, for me, some of the most gratifying parts of my life now are when I do help other people to become successful and give back. For me with life what goes around comes around.

Also, I can really relate to the entrepreneur, that I’ve been in their shoes, particularly the ones that come in with a product idea, a dream to have that made and get out there and be successful. I think I just very much relate to them and I know what’s in their head and what they’re thinking as they come before the Sharks. I think that I have special empathy for them.

These past few years have been challenging with the recession. What do you think an entrepreneur has to keep in mind when they start a business in this environment?

Lori Greiner: I think that you really have to do the research and know whether or not your idea is something that people are going to want. The hardest thing, and what I feel is something you have to be very cautious and careful about, is people who have sunk a lot of their own personal money into this business that they’re trying to create and start. It might be something that’s really not going to go anywhere and then they’ve put their house on the line or their family on the line, their life savings.

So, I think doing your homework first and seeing if people beyond your friends and family are saying, ‘This is a great idea, this is really needed,’ that this is something that they love and get excited by. I think that’s very important as a first step, to know is there a market for it, especially during hard economic times because you don’t want to risk yourself or your family on something that might not go anywhere.

Sometimes entrepreneurs have a certain personality, especially with people who come up with a product idea. We all think that our ideas is the best thing since sliced bread and that everyone is going to want it. You just forge ahead and you’re so excited and passionate about it. But sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re not and you really have to do the work beforehand, to say, ‘Yes, I’m excited, but now let’s see if the world is excited.’

Do you actually have a pet peeve when someone is pitching an idea, something that turns you off right away regardless of how the idea sounds?

Lori Greiner: If they’re not excited about it.

Have you ever seen that, people not excited about their own idea?

Lori Greiner: Well, yeah. I think there are people who have an idea, but maybe their personality doesn’t exude enthusiasm or they seem. There are just certain signs that show a person is not willing to do everything that’s going to be necessary, to really give it a hundred percent.

If you could go back in time and talk to yourself before launching your own business, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

Lori Greiner: Wow. I have no regrets because I’ve learned so much along the way. There peaks and valleys. There are good things that happen and bad things that happen and sometimes I think when bad things happens it’s great because it makes you smarter and stronger. So, I’m not sure that there’s something that I’d say to myself beforehand that would caution me or change the path that I took. I’d do the exact same thing because everything I did got me to where I am today.

I’m looking forward to this season.

Lori Greiner: I do know one thing. I do several ‘Shark Tank’ firsts, things that have never been done before.

Interesting. Such as?

Lori Greiner: I think you’ll really like it. I’ll tell you one thing. I wrote a check right on the spot.


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You can watch a clip of tonight’s episode of Shark Tank featuring Lori Greiner: