Barbara Corcoran, Keynote Speaker, Lead the Change

News, Summer 2015
Barbara Corcoran

“Taking Chance almost always makes for happy endings.” —Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran from the ABC hit series “Shark Tank” will be the featured keynote speaker at the Women’s Fund of Omaha’s 25th anniversary celebration, Lead the Change, Oct. 15 at the CenturyLink Center.

Appearing in all six seasons as one of the “sharks” on “Shark Tank,” Corcoran has put up her own money and invested in more than two dozen businesses. Her newest book, “Shark Tales,” takes readers behind the scenes of her life, business and “seen on TV” venture capitalism. Corcoran is famously brash and blunt, bold and courageous, and a brilliant identifier of opportunity and talent.

Following tradition at the Lead the Change event, grants will be presented to local nonprofit agencies to support programs targeting what Women’s Fund research has identified as the most critical needs for local women and girls. Attendees will vote to determine which of three local nonprofit agencies will receive this year’s $10,000 Be the Change Grant. Additionally, one woman will receive keys to a refurbished vehicle through the Recycled Rides program; local nonprofit agencies nominate clients for the program, and the recipient is selected by a Women’s Fund committee.

Honorary co-chairs for the luncheon are Kate Dodge of NEI Global Relocation and Dana Washington of Mutual of Omaha. This year marks the milestone 25th anniversary of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, and 1,500 are expected to attend the event.

During Corcoran’s presentation at Lead the Change, attendees will get her very best advice for starting, growing and expanding businesses; investing in businesses; and converting ideas and dreams into fortunes.

An interview with Corcoran provides a glimpse of what lies ahead:

Today’s Omaha Woman: What are some of the characteristics that distinguish successful entrepreneurs?

Barbara Corcoran: Successful entrepreneurs must be visionaries, have good judgment, be resourceful, have people smarts, have ability to sell, be competitive, have resilience, have persistence, and most of all, be able to fail well.

TOW: How should women entrepreneurs address failure?

BC: The secret to moving your business ahead is to learn how to fail well! You’ve got to get back up fast and be assured that the next great thing is hanging right around the corner.

TOW: What factors typically inhibit women from attempting to start businesses? Are there other reasons there aren’t more female business owners?

BC: Family, husband, children. Men do not normally take care of the home and the children, so they can focus 100 percent on their business. Women have to make sure the children, the home, etc. are cared for in their absence.

TOW: What do women entrepreneurs typically do well?

BC: Multi-task!

TOW: What do women entrepreneurs typically not do well?

BC: Trust your gut and pick yourself up after failure.

TOW: How does your current career differ from what you originally envisioned?

BC: I never thought about the TV business when running the Corcoran Group.

TOW: If you could go back and advise your younger self, what would you do differently?

BC: Nothing. Things happen for a reason. I was lucky!

TOW: What do you hope attendees take away from your October presentation for the Women’s Fund of Omaha?

BC: That every woman can make it in a “Man’s World!”

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