“I hated business. I didn’t really have any interest,” QVC queen Lori Greiner has confessed. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a knack for it.”

In developing and marketing her first product, Lori Greiner found that she had not only a knack for business but an unexpected ability for entrepreneurship. The reluctant entrepreneur now owns more than 115 patents and is the undisputed wonder woman of the QVC home shopping network. Greiner is also one of the sharks on Shark Tank which recently started its fifth season on ABC. The show, which gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to break into the big time with financial backing from one of the millionaire “sharks”.

Greiner has been called the “nice shark” for her friendly smile and welcoming demeanor; but she’s a barracuda when it comes to business. In an interview with Channel Guide Magazine, Greiner said she understands how the entrepreneurs who come on the show feel. “The first time I went on TV to sell a product it was a terrifying moment,” she revealed. “You don’t sleep for days you’re so nervous. I will smile a lot, letting them know this is OK, breathe. You’ll be alright.”

Despite her encouraging manner, Lori Greiner expects entrepreneurs entering the shark tank to bring their A game. Unfortunately, she has noticed that many fledgling entrepreneurs tend to shoot themselves in the foot when they try to step into the big leagues. Greiner offers entrepreneurs the following advice:

  • Know your numbers. “You must know your business and have your numbers down,” Greiner advises. Entrepreneurs need to have a detailed understanding of every aspect of their business but being constantly aware of income, outgo and the cost of doing business is the key to success.
  • Show respect. Treat financial backers, customers and suppliers with respect.
  • Fill a need. “I like products that everyone needs and wants,” Greiner says. The broader the marketing base the better.

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